Nestling in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park in a hollow of the tranquil Walden Valley, the village of West Burton is a delightful find. With no through traffic and boasting the largest village green in England, complete with stocks and market cross, West Burton is an oasis of calm. There is a real sense of community here, centred around the village pub, family butchers, tea room and village shop.
West Burton sits at the junction of Wensleydale and Bishopdale, it is often listed in Britain’s prettiest villages and none other than James Herriot described the village as ‘The most beautiful village in England’, a considerable claim, although he may be biased as the village was used for filming of All Creatures Great and Small in the late 70’s and is still largely untouched by the passages of time.
The village green is perfect for families as children can play in complete safety while parents look on maybe even enjoying a real ale from the local pub or ice cream from the village shop.
A few minutes’ walk along a path from the village green leads to an old packhorse bridge that crosses Walden Beck. The beck has pools and rocks ideal for taking a dip, a paddle or just relaxing and drinking in the view. Here, you will discover the hidden delight of the West Burton, known as Cauldron Falls. The falls cascade into a tree-shaded shallow below and onwards to the River Ure. Cauldron Falls were famously painted by J. M. W. Turner when he toured the North Country. There are other, smaller but equally pretty, waterfalls further downstream.
The village is a great base for walking and we’re happy to share our favourite routes with you. If you’re looking for something a little more leisurely than a walk, the Little White Bus runs a regular timetable along the valley of Wensleydale, with a stop outside the village shop in West Burton. The historic market town of Leyburn and the ever popular Hawes are both only 10 minutes away by car.
West Burton is a ideal base to immerse yourself in everything the Dales has to offer. Here are a few ideas to get you started…