Yorkshire Dales England Holidays

Inspirational cottage holidays in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales

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Self-catering holidays in Arkengarthdale - Yorkshire Dales


ArkengarthdaleOn the east side of the Pennines, this North Yorkshire dale contains only a few villages and hamlets. A subsidiary dale to Swaledale, Arkengarthdale and Swaledale are the most northerly of the Yorkshire Dales. Once a busy centre for the lead mining industry, holidaymakers come to these dales today for unspoilt beauty and peace and quiet without the bells and whistles of commercialisation.

Features such as dry stone walls and stone-built barns in the fields, not to mention lots of sheep, help to give this area its atmosphere. There is nothing quite like acres of moors covered in heather and foxgloves growing by the roadside. Perhaps rent a secluded holiday cottage for a very peaceful break?

rent cottages in the yorkshire dales

Several TV and film productions have tapped into this atmosphere and used Arkengarthdale as a location. The popular 1970s TV series that adapted the James Herriot books, detailing life as a vet, All Creatures Great and Small, were mostly filmed in neighbouring Swaledale and in Wensleydale, but Arkengarthdale’s village of Langthwaite also played a part. Langthwaite is the largest settlement in Arkengarthdale and the bridge there can be seen in the opening credits to the programme. The village pub, called The Red Lion, was also on view in several episodes.

Near Langthwaite, we find Arkle Town, which is actually a hamlet and not a town! Booze is the name of another hamlet and doesn’t contain a pub! Another oddly named hamlet near Langthwaite is called Whaw and it’s one of the smallest settlements in Arkengarthdale. Eskeleth is another pretty hamlet in the area.

Arkle Beck Meadows is a designated biological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) covering 21 acres and was granted its status because of the hay meadows. These types of meadows have become quite rare in Britain due to intensive farming.

If you don’t mind the peace being shattered for one day by the roar of motorcycles, you’ll be interested in the annual Scott Trial. Started in 1914, this is one of the most challenging trials competitions of its kind in the country and is said to be the longest one-day trial anywhere in the world. Cross-country riders negotiate the off-road terrain against the clock for 84 miles. The moors on either side of Arkengarthdale are part of the course. Money raised from the event, which is organised by Richmond Motor Club, goes to charities in the area.

Of course, this area is very popular with walkers who want to get away from it all and a little bit of research will reveal several walks to follow, suitable for different abilities. For the best scenery, the recommendation is to start in Langthwaite and head northwards.

If you want to see the Yorkshire Dales but want to escape the maddening crowd, this dale ticks that box and also provides tasty local produce and distinctive traditions. You can also explore ‘Herriot Country’ and the amenities of neighbouring Swaledale. If you feel like visiting somewhere lively, the market town of Richmond is a short distance away by car and offers historic attractions and popular events, first class restaurants and pubs. Richmond also has the advantage of plenty of places to stay, including self-catering accommodation from budget to luxurious.