Yorkshire Dales England Holidays

Inspirational cottage holidays in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales

Follow us on: Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter
Raydale in the Yorkshire Dales

 raydale part of Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales

Raydale offers a quiet oasis in the Dales, rent a cottage in the Yorkshire Dales or self-catering log cabin for a week or short break and come to appreciate its real beauty.

This small dale in North Yorkshire is the River Bain valley. The river, at 2.5 miles long, is said to be the shortest main river in England. It flows out of Lake Semerwater to meet the River Ure in Wensleydale. Fly-fishing on the River Bain comes recommended and is especially good for brown trout. Lots of established walking routes in the locality will keep the keen rambler happy and families will have the opportunity to pick a walk according to their abilities and the ages of any younger children.

Semer Water is a glacial lake, popular for water sports, including windsurfing, canoeing and yachting. Fishing is another favourite pastime here. It is North Yorkshire’s second largest natural lake, covering a hundred acres. The Yorkshire Trust runs the Semer Water Nature Reserve, which adjoins the lake. The meadows and wetlands here support a variety of bird life, including nesting birds, waterfowl and waders. Visitors may spot Canada geese, sand martins, lapwings or whooper swans. Marshland plants and wild flowers also make this habitat very special, as do the roe deer and red deer sometimes spotted.
Three settlements can be found around Semer Water, the largest of which is Countersett. Marsett is a hamlet, as is Stalling Busk, whose claim to fame is being the location for Raydale Preserves, makers of hand made jams, chutneys, marmalades, mustards and sauces. This family run business operates from a converted barn and visitors are welcome to see the production process and taste the products. The company is very much a part of the local community, as their ‘Raydale Rambles’ demonstrate. Visitors are welcome to participate in one of the rambles, which are a series of themed conservation walks, taking in local landmarks and features of interest with regard to local history.

Stalling Busk is also worth a visit for St. Matthew’s Church. This present church in the village centre was consecrated in 1909 and it’s a much admired and remarkable structure. It is normally open during daylight and Sunday services are held on occasion. 

At the head of Raydale, in Upper Wensleydale, close to where the River Bain meets the River Ure, we find the picture postcard village of Bainbridge, with its large village green and evidence of a Roman fort nearby. The village green has a set of stocks, all ready for lawbreakers! Because of its proximity to an old hunting forest, the tradition of sounding the hunting horn in a local inn every night, between September 12th and Shrove Tuesday carries on to this day. Anyone wandering about on the fells in days gone by was glad to be guided home by the horn for welcome refreshment!

Raydale is an unspoilt part of ‘God’s country’ (as Yorkshire folk like to call their county) and if you really want to get away from it all, this valley is what the wide-open spaces are all about. Tasty local produce, water sports and country pursuits are hard to beat when you want a relaxing break and there are plenty of cottages to rent or similar self catering accommodation to suit all budgets.