WELCOME TO THE DALES & HERRIOT COUNTRY
Main image: Ribblehead Viaduct. Images this page top to bottom: Starry skies above Malham. Keelham Farm Shop. Skipton Castle. Hunton Steam Gathering. Peaks and Pods.
flower shop, award-winning butchers and barn stocked with popular seasonal produce. Town End Farm Shop in Malhamdale (as seen on BBC2’s Top of the Shop) produces traditional sausages, cured meats and a range of charcuterie in addition to regular Yorkshire Dales cuts. The magnificent Berry’s Farm Shop & Café in Leyburn offers farm tours in addition to selling and serving local produce and also has a pretty packed events calendar all year round. A trip to Thirsk is a must do activity for fans of local author James Herriot. Known as the heart of Yorkshire, Herriot Country spreads far and wide in the areas surrounding this prominent town, but Thirsk was the home of the writer’s veterinary practice and provides the base for the World of James Herriot, the ultimate attraction for fans of the esteemed animal lover. Richmondshire Museum is also worth a trip; it houses the surgery part of the original film set for All Creatures Great and Small along with some other interesting artefacts from the local area. It’s worth sticking around to explore further as Richmond is one of Yorkshire’s most picturesque and historic market towns. The Georgian Theatre Royal dates back to 1788 and is one of the oldest of its kind in existence, whilst nearby Richmond Castle was built circa 1066, offering incredible views of the surrounding countryside. Easby Abbey (an English Heritage site along with the castle) sits on the bank of the River Swale and though technically ruins, is considered to be one of the best preserved monasteries of its time. Outdoorsy types should head to the Coniston Estate for a whole host of activities and pursuits set in an impressive 1,400 acres. Try your hand at off-road driving with the Coniston 4X4 Experience or clay pigeon shooting at the CPSA Premier Plus Shooting Ground. Learn about birds of prey at The Falconry Centre, which features a new white-tailed sea eagle, now on show to the public. Fly fishing is also available for those wanting a more sedate endeavour. You can also find an impressive events calendar in this neck of the woods, with the popular Yorkshire Dales Festival of Food and Drink, Dales Festival of Food and Swaledale Festival which sees music and performances take place across the district in a number of different and unique venues and Hunton Steam Gathering, is one for fans of classic cars and vintage vehicles. The annual Dark Skies Festival is great for stargazers; with large areas completely free from local light pollution, it’s a fantastic place to start your astronomy adventure. In most places it’s also possible to see the Milky Way as well as planets, meteors and even the Northern Lights when activity and conditions are right. When bedtime calls, Peaks and Pods in Rathmell near Settle is a ‘green’ business with a Gold Award from Green Tourism. Here you can swap tents for luxury pods specially designed to be used all year round, with heating, insulation, double glazing and indoor cooking. Glamping at its best! The Fleece Hotel in Richmond recently opened its doors offering 12 boutique rooms, a restaurant with a delectable menu of local foods and a bar with a classic selection of cocktails.