We love a family day out whether rambling across the Dales or visiting something a little more organised and adventurous. Here are some of our favourites to get you started…
Some of our favourite family days out
- Forbidden Corner is a Brilliant day out for all the family; Sam and Millie (aged 8 and 9) absolutely the place!
- Berrys Farm is only 5 minutes away and is great for breakfast or lunch and there is always something going on for the kids…the farm tour is excellent
- Kinsley Park Estate is a fun day with something for everyone who likes to be outdoors including fishing, pony trekking, cycling and walking
- Lightwater Valley is a long established theme park that is suitable for all ages and only 35 minutes from Craggley
- Semer Water is a big favourite of ours, we love a day here picnicking, walking and playing in the River Bain (Yorkshire’s shortest river); the views are stunning!
- White Scar Caves is England’s longest show cave and is great fun for everyone other than claustrophobics!
- Hesketh Farm Park is a big hit with kids, and big kids, who love a day here; couple it with a trip to Bolton Abbey if you get out early enough
- Big Sheep, Little Cow is only 25 minutes away and the indoor play area is a great option for inclement weather; the farm tour is fab too with plenty of chances to get hands on with the animals
- Holme Open Farm is a traditional Dales working farm where you can picnic by the river, tour the farm and let the kids loose in the brilliant play area
- Wild Wednesdays are free family drop in sessions open to everyone and always offer lots of different crafty ways to discover what is special about the National Park as well as stream dipping (don’t forgot wellies!) and lots more
Look, we’ll level with you, sometimes it rains in the Dales…if the kids (and you!) need an escape then Richmond has a swimming baths, a cinema and a theatre…as well as several pubs! It’s worth mentioning that the best wet weather fun is probably popping your wellies on and jumping in muddy puddles!
Some of our favourite family walks
- A beautiful circular walk from Craggley taking in 3 wonderful villages; this one really is a must!
- 6 miles, 3 hours, moderate difficulty
- Great views over to Penhill and an excellent pub in Redmire to finish
- 4.6 miles, 2.5 hours one way, moderate difficulty
- Time it right and you could get the train back from Redmire!
- A circular walk through beautiful Coverdale taking in 4 villages and the River Cover
- 6.5 miles, 3 hours, moderate difficulty
- A pleasant circular walk with stunning views, direct from Craggley
- 5 miles, 2.5 hours, easy
- The lovely views make up for the occasional piece of challenging terrain on this circular walk!
- 7.6 miles, 3 hours, moderate difficulty
- A short circular walk in this beautiful part of Swaledale
- 2.5 miles, 1 hour, easy
- A short circular walk through lovely woodland with stunning views of the famous falls
- 2.2 miles, 45 minutes, easy
- This stunning circular walk is right in the heart of Swaledale taking in 2 wonderful villages and Kisdon Force
- 6 miles, moderate difficulty (well signposted!)
- Stunning views in beautiful Nidderdale on this circular walk, with Brimham Rocks a well deserved highlight
- 9 miles, moderate difficulty
- We have listed the best walks in the Yorkshire Dales. If you complete all these walks you will, without doubt, have a full and proper knowledge of the Yorkshire Dales (or Dales, a couple sneak in to the Cumbrian Dales).
Some of our favourite places
- Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway Take a ride on a vintage steam locomotive and step back in time, always lots of different events going on so checking the website is a must
- Aysgarth Falls Free to visit and something that all the family will love, maybe best for a morning or afternoon
- Hardraw Force England largest single drop waterfall boasts some great views and walks and is a must to visit while in the area; brass bands use the natural amphitheatre during the summer months
- Wensleydale Creamery Enjoy a taste of Yorkshire at the famous Creamery visitor centre after watching the master cheesemakers at work, you may even see Wallace and Gromit! Great for a few hours when the weather is a bit iffy
- Black Sheep Brewery Great tour, beer, and bistro that can be coupled with a visit to the beautiful town of Masham; we enjoy having a picnic and watching the cricket while the kids play in the superb play park
- Wensleydale Railway always has plenty going on through the year with various events; use the railway for a day out and leave the car at Leyburn or Redmire
- Dales Countryside Musuem is run by the National Park Authority and located in the disused Hawes railway station; well worth a visit!
- Ingleborough Cave is reached from a lovely walk along the nature trail from Clapham; well laid paths and floodlights are welcome as you journey towards the famous Gaping Gill
- Red Squirrel Trail catch the Little White Bus from Hawes and enjoy some stunning scenery, walks and wildlife; brilliant!
- Harrogate, York, Skipton or the stunning drive to the Lakes through some of England best scenery
If you want to be a bit more active
- Alfresco Adventures Reeth
- Low Mill Outdoor Centre
- How Stean Adventures
- Mountain Biking
- Caving and Pot Holing
- Clapham Adventure
- Rock Climbing
- Aerial Extreme
- Pony Trekking
- Horse Riding
Driving days in the Dales
We thought it would be useful to add some ideas for a day out in the car where you can see the local area with some driving days with some walks added in you want a leg stretch, as with all of our recommendations we have visited all the places we list! Hope you enjoy and please ask if you need any assistance or have any questions.
Any trip to the Dales must include a drive over the Buttertubs Pass, described by Jeremy Clarkson as ‘England’s only truly spectacular road’ – Leaving Craggley head west along the A684 to Hawes, Hawes is a beautiful place to look around if you want a stop and we tend to call into the Wensleydale Creamery for a coffee and some cake although there a lots of other nice places to eat or just look around the quirky shops.
From Hawes it is a short 6 mile road that has everything you need for an amazing drive with dramatic scenery – you will see the signpost on your right as you drive into Hawes but if you pop Thwaite into the Sat Nav the car will do the rest.
There is a stopping point midway to view the limestone pot holes which is where the name Buttertubs came from, local legend says that the farmers would store their butter here to keep it cool in the summer when en route to the market at Hawes – The views on this road are staggering so a couple of stops for pictures are a must.
Once arriving in Swaledale you can continue the road trip with visits to Keld, Muker, Gunnerside, Reeth, Grinton and Richmond which are all lovely in their own right and I would recommend lunch in either the Farmers Arms in Muker or our favourite which is the Punch Bowl in Low Row. Swaledale and the villages are beautiful but here are a few ideas if you are stuck:
If you wanted to build in a walk to the day the circular walk from Keld to Muker is superb and in our opinion is one of the nicest walks in the Dales and suitable for all the family. Muker is a great half way point with a pub and tea room for some well-deserved refreshments, it takes about 2.30 hours. If you want any ideas for shorter or longer walks the please just ask us!
You can head back to Craggley using the Buttertubs Pass, head from Reeth to Leyburn over the moors or take the road just out of Grinton to Redmire – all lovely options!
Craggley has so much to see within a short drive that this 30 mile circular is a great day that doesn’t mean you are in the car all day, shorts sections with lots of stops and things to do and see – we have broken the drive down into sections below to make it nice an easy to follow.
- West Burton to Aysgarth Falls
- Aysgarth Falls to Semerwater
- Semerwater to Wensleydale Creamery
- Wensleydale Creamery to Hardraw Force
2 Options for lunch, either the Green Dragon Inn at Hardraw or take a short walk/drive to Simonstone Hall Hotel (where we got married!). If its a sunny day we recommend lunch on the terrace at Simonstone, the views are stunning!
- Hardraw Force to Askrigg then Bolton Castle
- Bolton Castle to Leyburn
- Leyburn to Berry’s Farm Shop & Cafe
Short drive back to Craggley.
Britains highest pub
This drive is a beauty and takes in parts of Wensleydale, Swaledale and Arkengarthdale, all very different in appearance but beautiful in their own right.
Set on a lonely hill high in the Yorkshire Dales, stands a unique and historic Inn dating back to the 17th century with its exposed beams, stone-flagged floor and welcoming fire. The World Famous Tan Hill Inn is Britain’s highest public house at 1,732 feet (528m) above sea level. Situated in Swaledale, just near Keld, the highest Inn in Great Britain is a warm meeting place known internationally, where walkers and cyclists brush shoulders with bohemian like-minded individuals. You’re likely to converse with people from the Arts, Music Film & Theatre, and possibly a sprinkling of celebrity, as well as sports minded people who have made their way up to the “top pub”. All set against the back-drop of the most stunning scenery to be found in the UK. The Inn was used in the 2017 Waitrose Christmas advert so chances are you will recognise the place when you see it!
Add Tan Hill Inn (DL11 6ED) into the Sat Nav and head west on the A684, turn right at Worton and head towards Muker/Keld – Lots of places to stop on the way for a coffee including Humble Pie in Askrigg and Rukins Keld Tea Rooms (website has no details of the tea room but it does exist!), both excellent with super home cooking.
Head up to the Tan Hill Inn for an excellent lunch with superb views and maybe a small walk after before heading on the journey home using a different route.
There is a lovely circular walk from Reeth to Grinton if you want to walk off lunch or you can spend some time exploring Reeth and enjoying the views before the return journey to West Burton via the lovely villages of Redmire and Carpeby.
Day trip to the Lake District
West Burton to Windermere/Bowness along the A684 and A591, a great driving road with Sedburgh being a lovely place to stop mid-way for a leg stretch and coffee before heading onto the Lake District.
Once at Windermere you can spend a day exploring on foot or continue the road trip to the nearby villages before heading back to the Dales, for a different route home you can use the A591 to Ingleton and head to Hawes from there – Lots of places to stop on the way.
Something else that’s worth a look
The official Yorkshire Dales website is full of ideas and packed full of information that will help make your stay even more memorable