Ever wanted to explore the Yorkshire Dales but didn’t know where to start? Well, now is the time to delve into the culture, history and fabulous food that the area has to offer, using this top 5 to get you started.
Festival of food
One of the most famous things to come out of the Yorkshire Dales is Wensleydale cheese, and there will be plenty of this and other Dales delicatessens at the Dales Festival of Food & Drink. Taking place in Leyburn in May, this is a showcase of what farming in the Dales has to offer. Enjoy homemade and locally reared produce washed down with real ales brewed in the area. Surplus funds raised go to local community causes.
Tour de France
Yorkshire is hosting the greatest cycle race in the world this year, and cyclists will certainly be put through their paces as they tackle some of the steepest hills and climbs the race has to offer in our little corner of the world. Stage 1 kicks off in the beginning of and passes through Aysgarth, Reeth, Middleham, West Tanfield, Harrogate, Harewood, Ilkley, Kettlewell, Kidstones, Hawes, Leyburn, Masham and Ripon.
The Great Yorkshire Show
Possibly the most famous agricultural show in the country with over 134,000 visitors passing through the gates in 2013, not to mention the thousands of exhibitors and stall holders who show off their best cattle and produce at the Showground in Harrogate. From show jumping to showing rabbits and the best beef cattle to homemade bread, all that is great about farming in Yorkshire is celebrated here.
There is much more to Yorkshire than fields and farming and you need look no further than Grassington Festival to prove it. It started in 1981 when a local couple wanted to blend their love of living in Yorkshire with their love of classical music and literature, and it grew from there. Topping the bill this year will be The Boomtown Rats who enjoyed fame in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as Heather Small from MPeople.
Because The Lonely Planet travel guide says so
In 2014, Yorkshire was named in the top three places in the world by Lonely Planet, behind Sikkim in India and The Kimberly in Australia. It cited rugged moorland, heritage homes and cosy pubs for putting it in the top three adding: “It’s only a matter of time before this rough-around-the-edges gentleman of the north gets the traveller attention it deserves.”
There is so much to do and see in the Yorkshire Dales, it is well worth making a weekend or even longer of it.