Yorkshire Dales England Holidays

Inspirational cottage holidays in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales

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Waldendale for Hidden Wonders in the Yorkshire Dales

Waldendale is the Walden Beck valley and tributary valley of Wensleydale, the beck being a tributary of the River Ure. Its relative seclusion is part of this dale’s appeal for holidaymakers who want to get far from the madding crowd. Waldendale is terrific for walkers and cyclists, with several walking paths and cycling trails available. Outings to the ancient hamlets of Walden and Walden Head reward the visitor with wonderful scenery.

West Burton is a small, very pretty village, with a large village green, which has retained the old pump for the village and a set of stocks. This no through road village, which has been described as a ‘show village’, has a few shops and a pub. This village is also the location for a popular business called Moorside Designs Cat Pottery, a family run enterprise in operation since 1982. Cats is the name of the game and these exclusive metal, ceramic and stone cats make ideal garden ornaments for a reminder of your trip or a gift for a loved one.

When visiting West Burton, it’s strongly recommended that you go to see the nearby West Burton Falls, sometimes called Cauldron Falls by local people. It’s actually a series of waterfalls and is a popular destination, offering convenient parking. When the artist, J.M.W Turner was touring the area, these falls were one of the attractions that he painted.

Nearby Wensleydale also offers many attractions. Most people visit the lovely village of Aysgarth to see the series of three waterfalls there. After a lot of rainfall, the waterfalls are even more impressive. From the viewing areas, you get the full impact of their beauty and also their mighty sound. Access to the Upper Falls is restricted to the mobile, but the Middle Falls can be accessed by wheelchair. In addition to the falls themselves, an artwork trail, with pieces made from stone and oak, is designed for children and the visually impaired. Families also enjoy the shop, information centre and café. In the museum, close to the bridge, there is a collection of horse-drawn vehicles and carriages.

The falls even made it on to the Hollywood screen, featuring in Kevin Costner’s ‘Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves’. Also of interest at Aysgarth is St. Andrew’s Church, mostly dating back to the 1800s but with some features from the 1300s. The village also offers pubs and eating places.

Another worthwhile excursion is to the Wensleydale village of Hawes. This picture postcard market town has a host of independent shops, local crafts, antiques, cafes, pubs and tearooms with a market normally held on Tuesdays. Cheese lovers may already know that Hawes is where the famous Wensleydale cheese is made, made even more famous by Wallace and Gromit! Also enjoyed by visitors is the Dales Countryside Museum, situated in the old railway station. Traditions, crafts and industries of the Dales come alive with the exhibits, which include a static train and a lead mine.

Waldendale may not be the biggest or the most well-known of the Yorkshire Dales, but it has hidden gems, lots of opportunities for leisure activities in the countryside and proximity to attractions in the nearby, better known dales.