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Which town for a base in Yorkshire dales?

Which town for a base in Yorkshire dales?

Old Feb 2nd, 2008, 07:30 AM
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Which town for a base in Yorkshire dales?

We are planning to rent a house in Yorkshire for a 10 days holiday in April. We plan to visit York, the dales and the moors and would like to see Whitby and then spend 2 days in Durham visiting friends. I've read all there is on this forum about the area but still have a few questions:
- is it realistic to get a sense of the moors and dales in 10 days and still have day trips to Whitby, York and Durham?
-we need a good base where to rent a house in the dales or the moors. Any suggestions of which "dale" is best for touring both areas? Or would it be better to rent a house in the north Yorkshire moors? We prefer quiet areas, and don't mind being a bit far from town.
Thanks for any suggestions. I noticed there are several Yorkshire locals on this board; I hope they see this message.

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Old Feb 2nd, 2008, 10:08 AM
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Yes - totally realistic.

If it were me I might rent somewhere near Thirsk. You could do day trips from there to the moors/Whitby/Ronin Hood's Bay, the Dales, Fountains Abbey, Castle Howard etc. And you could take the train into York for a day trip, and not have to deal w/ the car/parking. There are villages near there w/ rental cottages Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe, and others.

Or you could stay in a town/village near Richmond, which is closer to the Dales - but farther from the moors/coast/York.

Your other option would be two find two short breaks and spend 5 days in two different bases - but me - I'd spend the time in one cottage and tour from there.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 11:13 AM
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Hi
I'm a North Yorkshire local!
Definitely agree with Janis, you have plenty of time to see the area, and April is a nice time of year - lambs in the fields, spring flowers etc and not too many tourists!
Also agree that one cottage for the whole period is best - it's always an upheaval to move so you might as well get settled in one place as your base.
Thirsk is by no means the loveliest of areas (perfectly pleasant but not stunning) but it is the ideal area to base yourself. North Yorkshire covers a huge area, and the Thirsk area is very well placed for you.
www.yorkshirenet.co.uk has some good properties.
If you visit Whitby do go a few miles up the coast and see Staithes - lovely ancient fishing villgae full of twisting, cobbled lanes, and a superb fish restaurant! You have to leave your car at a car park at the top of the hill (as you do at Robin Hood's Bay) and walk down to the village and harbour.
www.staithes-town.info
www.endeavour-restaurant.co.uk
If Thirsk doesn't appeal, or you particularly want to stay in the Dales themselves you might want to consider an eastern dale called Nidderdale. This is definitely a quieter dale but very beautiful - it's close to my house and we frequently walk the hills there without meeting a soul, even in the summer. Pateley Bridge is a nice little village. However, this location, whilst giving you quick access to the rest of the Dales, would mean a long trek to the Moors and coast along not very fast roads.
Give me a yell if you have any questions.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 05:37 PM
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Old Feb 9th, 2008, 11:56 AM
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Thanks for the replies! I did use the yorkshire.net site and booked a cottage in Hunton, a village near Bedale.

Any specific villages near here we shouldn't miss? I especially love farmers markets, real ale and lovely old pubs with really good food. Any places to be avoided ; )
We are happy to go to any excellent restaurants as long as they are cool with well-behaved kids.

Morgan and Janis, thanks so much for your help!
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Old Mar 25th, 2008, 02:30 AM
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We are planning a country holiday and from reading the posts, N. Yorkshire sounds like a perfect location. We are most interested in visiting country manor houses, and antique markets like the ones we see on BBC's "Bargain Hunt" which we get on cable. Would Yorksire neighbourhoods have these attractions?
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Old Mar 25th, 2008, 04:52 AM
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Look out for the A170 heading East. Reaches the North York moors, the NYM railway and Ampleforth (great pub)and a variety of odd little attractions

Try to book on the NYM dining train a unique and typically English experience

Masham (pr Maz ham) has a great square and a visitable brewary and then go south over "little switzerland" or North for austions at Middleham/Leyburn
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Old Mar 25th, 2008, 05:02 AM
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Francesca - apologies, only just seen your post about Hunton. Great location by the way.
Do go to The Forbidden Corner, especially if you have children or anyone young at heart in your party.
Please note you need to buy your tickets before going to the location. It will be quieter during the week than at the weekends.
www.theforbiddencorner.co.uk
Jervaulx Abbey is another must see -free to get in, not over restored like some places and very atmospheric.
www.jervaulxabbey.com
Close to Jervaulx is an excellent ice cream place (on a farm) called Brymor.
www.brymordairy.co.uk
You are also within easy reach of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water gardens (world heritage site) and also the weird formations of Brimham Rocks, the latter being a perfect place for children to let off steam.
Good places to eat in the area are -
The Wensleydale Heifer in West Witton - amazing seafood.
www.wensleydaleheifer.co.uk
Blue Lion at East Witton
www.thebluelion.co.uk
The Black Sheep brewery Visitor Centre sounds as if it might appeal to you! It also has a very good Bistro attached to it.
www.blacksheepbrewery.com
Let me know if I can help further.
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Old Mar 25th, 2008, 05:11 AM
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Eli - Whilst I live in North Yorkshire, love the place and always try and encourage people to visit, when I read your message my immediate thought was you would love Suffolk (where I was born).
Long Melford and Lavenham have the highest concentration of antique shops and centres just about anywhere, and they also happen to be beautiful, picturesque villages in gently rolling countryside. Suffolk is not a tourist hotspot, mainly I think because of its geographical location, but it really is a gorgeous part of the country and also has the Manor Houses you mention. A while back there was a series called Lovejoy about an antiques dealer, and this was filmed in Suffolk, mainly in Lavenham and Bury St Edmunds.
www.lavenham.co.uk/
www.longmelford.co.uk
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/scri...?PROPERTYID=62 - 46k
www.kentwell.co.uk
The area is famous for its wonderful medieval 'wool' churches with even the smallest village having a magnificent church.
Hope this helps.
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Old Mar 25th, 2008, 06:23 AM
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Have a great time in Yorkshire! We were based in Skipton, but it's more of a "gateway" to the dales and not a small village itself.

One area in particular that I loved was the Malham cove. If you can do the short hike to the top (80 meters up, not too hard) the view is spectacular.
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Old Mar 25th, 2008, 11:28 AM
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I know this is very late having just read the original post date but Alan's mention of Malham Cove got me interested.

We often spend long days at Whitby just walking around and enjoying the relaxing feel to the town. Unfortunately I'm normally that busy enjoying myself the outcome is sunburn on my bald patch as the wind deceives me of the strength of the sun. (Oh the painful memories)

There is a very small car park at Robin Hoods Bay so you need to get there early to get a spot and the same applies to Whitby although their is a large carpark at the harbour.

I prefer to get to these places early and in fact anywhere early (09:00ish) so we can enjoy them before the late arrivals (those that wake and think oh its sunny where can we go)

Back to Malham Cove - what a wonderful place. I first went here as part of a geography field trip and have returned most years since.
The village is very small but there's a wonderful walk to the base of the cove before a steep climb (steps) to the top of the Limestone Cove and the amazing views.

When we went last year (or was it the year before) there were lots of photographers waiting to snap the
Peregrine Falcons feeding on the cliffs.
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 01:11 PM
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saving for me
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 11:43 AM
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Morgana, thanks so much. I just saw your post and we are leaving tomorrow! I will try to post a trip report when we return. Thank you so much for all the advice--so valuable to get the real scoop from local people.

Francesca
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 11:46 AM
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Harrogate advertises itself as the place where it's Off to the Dales

(or maybe that's not the Yolkshire Dales?)
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 12:49 PM
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Question for Morgana, if she's still reading: do you have to book weeks in advance for lunch at the Yorke Arms and could you take well behaved kids? The web site doesn't answer either question...thanks!

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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 11:12 PM
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Hi
It's normally Skipton advertised as the Gateway to the Dales.
I live in Harrogate and we are obviously close to the eastern Dales area - Nidderdale is just a few minutes drive.
The Yorke Arms is increasingly popular - Good Food readership nominated it as its restaurant of the year as well. I am always amazed how many cars are parked outside, bearing in mind it is so remote. And it obviously gets busier in the warmer months.
It isn't stuffy at all, so kids would be fine, but obviously the food is pretty grown up.
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 02:48 AM
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You might also try the old smoke house at blubberhouses (i kid you not) which is proving popular
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Old Apr 20th, 2008, 05:56 AM
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We are back from Yorkshire and here are my comments, for anyone who is considering a trip: although I agree that moving from one b&b/house to another is a drag, I almost wish we'd rented two places, one in the dales, one in the moors, because we spent a LOT of time driving back and forth between the two. We had pretty awful weather (sadly, the norm in England--after nearly three years here, I have to say it). The scenery in the dales is gorgeous. We especially enjoyed Nidderdale and Swaledale and I would have rented here had I to do it again. We found some excellent food (the Malt Shovel near Ripley and Fountains Abbey was a good example). Our whole family loved The Countryman, which is a friendly pub in Hunton, the town near Bedale where we rented a nice little cottage. The abbeys were a big hit, especially with the kids, who loved runnning under the arches and around the stones. I agree with Morgana that Jervaulx is just beautiful, and very atmospheric. We missed the terraces of Rievaulx as we didn't have the time, we just visited the abbey itself--not sure if this was the right choice! Fountains was gorgeous. The biggest hit with the family was the North York Railways, a steam train through the moors country. Sadly, it poured icy rain all day but the train itself was fabulous--a must. We also visited Whitby, Robin's Hood Bay and Staithes, all on advice for Yorkshire locals on Fodors--all lovely places. Thanks so much for the good steers! I am happy to provide any specifics if asked.
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Old Apr 20th, 2008, 09:11 AM
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I, too, would recommend different bases in the Moors and the Dales. We did that last year and found it to work very well for us. Our favourite dales were Wharfedale, Nidderdale, Dentdale (where we based) and Swaledale. An incredibly pretty area.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 03:47 AM
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Glad to hear you enjoyed most of your trip even though the weather was horrible.

I've forgotten what the sun looks like so far this year.

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