The Dalesman team reveal Yorkshire’s most underrated locales
The Dalesman team share with you a selection of Yorkshire’s towns and villages which we believe to be severley underrated, or, at least, much less visited than the popular tourist centres like Grassington, Haworth, Whitby and more! Oh, how difficult it is for us to have so many wonderful places nestled within our county’s borders… We’re simply spoilt for choice.
Is there a more archetypal village than Askrigg which nestles in Upper Wensleydale? Great pubs, friendly shops, a cobbled high street running down to the ancient St Oswald’s church, stone cross and bullring – it is a picture perfect spot, untouched and unspoilt by the modern world. It has received some attention as the location of All Creatures Great and Small (1978), especially the King’s Arm Hotel which stood in for The Drovers’ Arms. However, the village itself – not just its foil, Darrowby – deserves our attention as its own unique locale.
While its neighbour, Pateley Bridge, receives all the tourism and visitor traffic, a short walk south takes you through the beautiful hamlet of Bewerley. The nearby Fishpond Wood houses many hidden routes and secret finds, one notable example being the Ice House – an over 200-year-old structure used to store ice from the nearby pond. Bewerley Grange Chapel nestles at the heart of this idyllic Yorkshire village, and dates back to 1495!
The stunning moorland setting of Rievaulx houses the ruins of the Cistercian Rievaulx Abbey, founded in 1131, which is a popular tourist attraction. However, the village itself – though small – holds its own appeal. Picturesque old stone cottages populate the village, where an old watermill has been converted into a house around the original workings. The village church of St Mary, a Grade-II listed building, stands on the main street and was once the abbey’s gatehouse chapel; it is the only outer building of the abbey to have substantially survived, and boasts work from the thirteenth century!
One of the largest civil parishes in England, Bradfield is made up of two villages: High Bradfield and Low Bradfield. The latter is an idyllic countryside location, home of Bradfield Brewery and great pubs like The Plough, while the former is a notably historic location. The stunning Grade-I listed church of St Nicholas was built in the 1480s in the Gothic Revival style, and pairs with the village’s extensive ancient earthworks at Bailey Hill to form a historically intriguing village in South Yorkshire.
Situated amongst the rolling hills of the North York Moors, and home to the Moors National Park Centre, the village of Danby captures the essence of the Yorkshire countryside. Just downstream from the Moors Centre lies the thirteenth-century Duck Bridge, while local walking routes traverse impressive structures like the Danby Beacon and the medieval Danby Castle. The annual Danby Agricultural Show is sure to entertain, with its traditional country activities and exhibitions; there’s no struggle to find quality accomodation either, as inns like The Duke of Wellington, dating back beyond 1765, ensure a relaxing stay.
Ideally located between three Yorkshire hotspots – Ripon, Harrogate and York – Green Hammerton is a cosy village with its own communal village pub: The Bay Horse Inn. Nestled in the Harrogate district of North Yorkshire, it should not be neglected simply because of its larger neighbours; if you find yourself passing through the area, make sure to pause. Nearby vineyards and farm shops make for an especially enjoyable experience.
Less well-known than its brasher neighbours, Sandsend is something of a well-kept secret on the North Yorkshire coast. Higgledy-piggledy fisherman’s cottages tumble down the bankside to the seawall, where, when the tide is out, lies an expanse of golden sands. Fossils can be found here, along with ice cream and cold drinks from the handful of beach front stalls. The perfect holiday spot, accommodation like Sandsend Bay Cottages offers you panoramic views of the coast from an elevated position.
Surrounded by moors and farmland, this little village is one mile west from the more famous, Brontë-centric village of Haworth. Though this doesn’t mean that Stanbury holds no appeal! Close to the Brontë Waterfall and Top Withens farmhouse, the village is bursting with opportunities to explore Brontë country: nearby Ponden Hall, a Grade-II listed building, is thought to be the inspiration for Wuthering Heights‘ Thrushcross Grange, while the village itself boasts the Wuthering Heights Inn – an ideal spot if you’re a walker in need of some rest, or simply someone who wants to take in the views!
Howden’s quaint streets are home to plenty of stunning Georgian architecture, with everything from tea rooms to historic coaching inns nestling within its borders. Known for its stunning, Grade-I listed Minster, the town was once the capital of the East Riding of Yorkshire! A tranquil retreat from the bustle of city life, Howden has an array of unique shops and charming accommodation to keep you busy.
Nestled in the breathtaking Yorkshire Wolds, Thixendale is a small yet standout village which is popular with walkers, as it comprises part of the Yorkshire Wolds Way National Trail. It is home to The Cross Keys pub – a regular winner of the local Campaign for Real Ale award – and several buildings in the nineteenth-century Gothic Revival style, such as the Grade-II listed church of St Mary. At the spectacular confluence of six Yorkshire valleys, this village should not be overlooked.