Love, from the Yorkshire Dales

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

Walk across the limestone pavement and across the hills to Gordale Scar. We were stopped in our tracks by driving rain on top of the cove, but you could do this Malham Cove walk if you fancy it.

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.


  • Janet 08/09/2015 at 5:23 pm

    Yay to Yorkshire! I grew up in Bradford and have hankered to move back there for the last decade. I love the scenery in the Dales (although I have horrendous memories of being made to climb Gordale Scar while on a school hike – I’m terrified of heights, so did it while sobbing hysterically)

    • smidge 09/09/2015 at 9:40 am

      Oh gosh! I climbed the scar too whilst with scouts. Was petrifying, it was even scary watching the people there do it. We were with friends and they roped their children up – we did it freestyle!

  • Dave Schofield 13/03/2016 at 7:40 pm

    Skipton born and bred, moved up to the Scottish Borders and settled in Kelso for a couple of years. Loved the outdoor atmosphere and scenery, and so handy for the coast at Berwick and the city of Edinburgh. But the Yorkshire Dales is in my blood, so after a couple of years over the border, we had to return.

  • katy@untoldmorsels 09/04/2016 at 8:31 am

    Bolton Abbey looks so beautiful and I think the stepping stones look fun! Thanks for sharing #my favouritetrip

  • Jenni |Dancing in the Rain 09/04/2016 at 11:53 am

    Lovely photos. I have family in Yorkshire but not been to Skipton since I was a child. Well done for making it across the stepping stones! #myfavouritetrip

  • NewLifeOnTheRoad (@NewLifeOnRoad) 12/04/2016 at 3:57 am

    Oh what stunning pics! Love the crossing, my boys would have run across those stones and I would have had my heart in my throat worried they would have fallen in!!! I remember the wonderful pubs in England – so much character and so very friendly, if they are like that in Yorkshire I so would have visited every pub. How come you are scare of cows?

  • Our Seaside Baby 14/04/2016 at 5:08 pm

    What a lovely trip! I saw Bolton Abbey in a film once and would love to visit. I would be so scared of that crossing too, my nerves would probably make me fall in! Food/hotel sounds lovely and nice to see more of your family too. Beautiful photos! Thanks for joining in with #MyFavouriteTrip Polly x

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