I’d been hankering after a trip to the Yorkshire Dales for years. I had pushed out childhood memories of the noise of incessant rain on the roof of a static caravan and lots of cows for thoughts of expansive blue skies, beautiful walks, spectacular beer and some of the prettiest villages the UK has to offer. Let’s go to the Yorkshire Dales.
A weekend in the Yorkshire Dales
Where to stay in the Yorkshire Dales
25 years since my last visit to the Yorkshire Dales, our static caravan has rotted away (what a shame) so instead, with my parents, we checked into the Woolly Sheep Inn located in the pretty market/canal town of Skipton. Skipton is just an hour north-west of Leeds and is often called the gateway to the Dales.
‘A good place for a day out’, as my Dad kept declaring, ‘plenty of pubs’ I’m sure he kept saying under his breath.
The Woolly Sheep Inn was located right on the main street and is a noisy, bustling kinda place. Room prices range from £70-85 a night (inc breakfast) which in this part of the Dales is pretty good value, with lots of lovely extra touches and a whatever you want to eat kind of breakfast; although one grouch, 9.30am felt a little stingy to be stopping serving. In short, I would recommend.
Things to do in the Yorkshire Dales
Climb the spectacular Malham Cove.
Visit Bolton Abbey and the Strid.
A ruined abbey, banks of the river, dramatic water-flow, lovely walks. Plus the dreaded stepping stones. See that kid crossing? I did that with absolute terror. In fact, my knees were knocking together so much my mother was pissing herself laughing and B practically carried me across. So much for me being brave. You can see the terror on my face.
Eat all the cheese
Wensleydale has to be in my top 5 kinds of cheese of all time so I couldn’t pass up a visit to the Wensleydale Creamery. It’s a bit of a drive north from Skipton, but if you are in the area, the pretty town of Hawes and Aysgarth and the famous Robin Hood Prince of Thieves falls are close by and make it a worthwhile drive.
Eat French Food
My father lives by the CAMRA REAL ALE GUIDE and had discovered that in Skipton was the holy grail of food choices; a restaurant that served beer for my dad and better than pub food dinner for my mum & I. B just gets what he is given. So to Le Bistro des Amis we went. Here we found an early dinner menu which suited everyone and two courses for £13.95 for can’t believe we are in the depths of the Dales refined French food. It’s not all pie & chips in Yorkshire.
… and finally, drink all the beer. Lots of beer.
Over our two evenings, as our family aims to do, we visited most of the pubs in Skipton (there are quite a lot) but I’d recommend three in particular:
- Skipton Soundbar – This place is utter genius. A beer bar in a record shop. I really can’t believe nobody has thought of this idea before. Beer and records go perfectly together. To stop the slop / sticky records, they stop serving and close at 8 pm. If you are looking for somewhere to while away the hours with excellent tunes, here is your salvation.
- The Beer Engine – Micro beer bars are popping up all over England (they haven’t quite made it to Edinburgh yet) and are basically one-room establishments with as much real ale/craft beer/ seats/people as they can squeeze in. This is one of the friendliest I’ve come across.
- The Narrowboat – Not actually a bar on a boat, but a pub in one of the alleys running down from the high street to the canal. Large & long pub with an excellent selection of beers and a convivial atmosphere. Seats outside for the locals. Loud, beery and fun.
A lovely time was had by all (and drunken, that beer I’m drinking was 7.2%!)
Love from Scotland x
Not pictured – my lovely mum, who I promise was with us too! No idea how I didn’t manage to snap a photo of her. She took the Bolton Abbey snaps. Also, not pictured, a cow that almost stopped me getting back across the field from Malham Cove. My dad wound it up by petting it until it head-butted him, I promptly screamed.