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  • Posted on Sep 13, 2017

    The Yorkshire Dales - Why You Should Visit


    Home to great castles, abbeys, picturesque landscape, and a kind of atmosphere that’s good for your soul, the Yorkshire Dales is the jewel in the crown of Northern England.

    Boasting two historically-rich protected areas - Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Yorkshire Dales National Park - the Yorkshire Dales is best-known for jaw-dropping beauty and tranquil surroundings. Spanning 2,178 square kilometres, “the Dales” (to use their universally recognised moniker) has more than 20,000 residents.

    With picture-postcard scenery that includes undulating hills, patchwork fields and hay meadows - the Dales are visited by thousands of hikers and cyclists who come from all around the world to tackle the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks. For the less serious rambler or cyclist there are quirky taverns, speciality breweries and cheese-making centres. This is Wallace and Gromit country after all!

    History of the Dales

    In 1954, an area of the historic County of Yorkshire was designated as the new National Park of Northern England. A major part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park also comprises the neighbouring counties of Cumbria, and Lancashire.

    In 2016, the park was extended westward bringing the M6 Motorway within its boundaries. The total area of the park increased by almost 24% in this time and brought some parts of another historic county, Westmorland, in too.

    On Weekend Breaks

    If you are planning a weekend trip to the Dales then you’re options are plentiful. From historically-enriched destinations such as the Forbidden Corner near Leyburn, to the volcanic-age phenomenon  Brimham Rocks near Harrogate, to the Henry VII-abolished Fountains Abbey near Ripon.

    If you have children, they’ll love the blissful Hesketh Farm Park at Bolton Abbey and the chances are, you will too. Other adventurous places include Aerial Extreme near Bedale and paddle walking at Bolton Abbey in Skipton.

    Other places well worth a visit if you can find the time include the Underground Walk at White Scar Cave in Ingleton, Aysgarth Falls at Wensleydale, and Harlow Carr Botanical Gardens near Harrogate. A ride on the Embassy Railway in Skipton is also excellent fun for all the family.

    A Tourist’s Paradise

    Who doesn’t want a peaceful atmosphere in today’s manic world ? The Yorkshire Dales has a special place in the hearts of travellers, not only because it is peaceful to unwind, but also because it has breathtakingly beautiful scenery along with historical remains in the form of great castles and abbeys.

    While the Northern areas are trimmed and full of drystone walls and barns, the Southern areas are wild, yet peaceful. A summer break in a rambling riverside cottage or winter weekend around the open fire or in a country pub are just couple of of Yorkshire Dales possibilities.

    Where to Walk

    When in the park, don’t suppress the urge to go off and ramble, you won’t be disappointed by the lush green fields and gardens blossoming with flowers and fresh grass round the year.

    • The Pennine Way starts from Edale, passes through the Yorkshire Dales, and ends at Kirk Yetholm, just as it enters Scotland. Running through the Pennine Hills, which are also known as the “backbone of England”, the Pennine Way is the most beautiful, yet the toughest route for walking and jogging.
    • At a not-inconsiderable 84-miles in length, the Dales Way follows the River Wharfe, Bowness on Windermere, and Ilkley are the largest settlements on the Way.
    • If you want to experience true country life, Malham Tarn upland farm walk is the place. It boasts a variety of domestic birds residing in its ancient limestone pastures and upland hill farms. The walkway is seven miles long.
    • At 2 miles, Langstorthdale is rich in hay flower and springs. The lime kilns and stone circles make unwinding away from urban life easy.
    • The James Herriot Way covers 52 miles in distance. It is a go-to place for rural photographers and videographers, as the beautiful circular trek surrounds the valley bottoms and enchants the glorious skyline.
    • The 52-miles long Horsehead Moor is a beautiful, yet rugged place for a wild walk. Always hazed by thick clouds, it is rich in oystercatcher, kingfisher, and dippers.

    The Highest Point: The Yorkshire Three Peaks:

    The highest point in Yorkshire is a collection of three hills known at the Yorkshire Three Peaks. Pen-y-ghent (2,277 feet), Ingleborough (2,372 feet), and Whernside (2,415 feet) are nestled collectively in the Pennine Range. Rich in history, the area has remains of Settle-Carlisle Railway and Iron Age Hill Fort. It also crosses Ribblehead Viaduct. Throughout the year, charity walks and challenge walks are organised these include yearly organisations such as, The Yorkshire Three Peaks Ultra, The Three Peaks Race, World Long Distance Mountain Range Challenge, and The Three Peaks Cyclo Cross.

    Popular Viewpoints

    Yorkshire is rich in beautiful vantage points, so don’t forget to bring your camera along. Among the many viewpoints, the popular ones include:

    • The Janet’s Foss (Malham), Runswick Bay,

    • Tatham Fells (near Bentham),

    • Ingleborough, Stump Cross Caverns (Nidderdale),

    • Whernside,

    • Malham Cove,

    • White Scar Cave.

    Like what you’ve read? Then what’s stopping you from a trip to Yorkshire’s most famous National Park? Given its unwavering popularity, the Dales is not short on beautiful accommodation and it’s a holiday suitable for lone travellers, couples, large families and even pets.

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  • Posted on Aug 30, 2017

    Walking in the Harrogate District

    Set in the stunningly scenic heart of Yorkshire, the Harrogate District is widely regarded as one of the best UK walking destinations. There’s something for everyone, from families to experienced hikers. Trek off the beaten bath across the Access Land of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or explore historic locations such as Fountains Abbey and the Nidd Gorge. Here are a few of our personal favourites:       

    The Seven Bridges Valley Walk: Studley Royal Water Garden

    A family-friendly circular walk of 3.8 miles set in the beautiful surroundings of Studley Royal Water Garden. Starting at the Lake outfall, the walk follows the Skell river along the valley via a series of delightful arched bridges. A great spot for catching a glimpse of some wild deer! https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountains-abbey-and-studley-royal-water-garden/trails/the-seven-bridges-valley-walk

    Pateley Circular via Brimham Rocks

    This 9 mile loop promises stunning views across the National Trust site of Brimham rocks, featuring huge rock formations thousands of years old. Stroll along the banks of the River Nidd and you might just see some of its birdlife such as Dippers, Kingfishers and Herons. http://www.visitharrogate.co.uk/things-to-do/pateley-circular-via-brimham-rocks-p1246281

    Six Dales Trail

    For the more serious hiker, this 38 mile route covers the entire length of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty from Otley in Wharfedale to Middleham in Wensleydale. The route showcases some of the most breath-taking Dales in the area, crossing some of Yorkshire’s lesser-known countryside before finishing at Middleham Castle. http://www.sixdalestrail.org.uk/

    And Something for Afterwards...

    No walk in Yorkshire is complete without a comforting meal and a refreshing drink in a traditional pub! The Harrogate District will leave you spoilt for choice – why not try The Royal Oaks in Staveley, The Guy Fawkes in Scotton, or the Travellers Rest in Harrogate for delicious food and a true country atmosphere.

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  • Posted on Aug 25, 2017

    Autumn in Harrogate 2017

    As the summer holidays draw to an end, there’s still plenty to do in and around Harrogate this autumn! Here’s a small selection of what’s coming up:

    Royal Hall Open Day 5th September

    The Royal Hall is once again opening its doors to the ‘glittering palace of gold’. A great opportunity to see how a piece of Harrogate’s heritage was returned to its Edwardian splendour after a huge restoration project. http://www.visitharrogate.co.uk/events/royal-hall-open-day-p1274481

    Harrogate Autumn Flower Show 2017 15-17 September

    Widely regarded as one of the most prestigious independent shows in the gardening year, the Autumn Flower Show is not to be missed. Visitors can expect stunning plant displays, live demonstrations from experts, and a wealth of shopping opportunities, not forgetting the famous giant vegetable competition! http://www.flowershow.org.uk/autumn-flower-show-2017

    Harrogate Comedy Festival 2-14 October

    Harrogate theatre presents its 9th annual comedy festival with a jam-packed programme of 26 events presenting more than 40 comedians over 13 days. The line-up includes big names in stand-up comedy such as Jason Manford and Jason Byrne, as well as Edinburgh Festival previews, a comedy club for kids, live music and more. http://www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk/harrogate-comedy-festival/

    Countryside Live 21-22 October

    Run by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society (organisers of the Great Yorkshire Show), Countryside Live 2017 promises animals galore, fabulous food and family fun. Attending this year is special VIP guest Gregg Wallace as well as TV favourites Julian Norton and Peter Wright. Thanks to a new partnership with The Yorkshire Vet and Channel 5, the event is set to be bigger and better than ever before, featuring competitive livestock competitions, show jumping, trade stands and a ‘Create and Explore’ area for children - there’s something for everyone! http://countrysidelive.co.uk/visitors/

    Looking for somewhere to stay? Nightspace offers luxury self-catering accommodation in Harrogate. Find out more on our website or contact us directly: 01423 564468 / enquiries@nightspace.co.uk.

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