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Just a 1h45 minute drive from Leeds, Hawes is the perfect place for a weekend getaway. Located right in the heart of the Dales, Hawes has all the appeal of a typically charming Yorkshire village. Wander the winding streets of the town centre and sip a Yorkshire tea in an independent coffee shop or go on the hunt for a bargain in the antiques cellars.
If you’re looking for an outdoor escape, Hawes is only a short drive from some of best scenery in the Dales. With Whernside, the highest of the Yorkshire three peaks, and Aysgarth Falls just around the corner, there’s plenty to do if you’re a keen hiker, cyclist or simply there to explore the countryside.
GOAT Roadtrip Leeds Depot (58 Commercial Road, LS5 3AQ)
Pick-up in the afternoon on the first day and drop-off in the morning on the last day (specific timings depend on the vehicle – see here). To extend your stay by adding more nights, please specify in your enquiry.
Situated along the River Ure is Aysgarth Falls, famous for featuring in the film ‘Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves’. This sequence of three waterfalls hosts an array of wildlife, ranging from deer and dormice which can often be spotted along the woodland trails. Just a short walk from the falls is the quaint village of Aysgarth. Among the range of charming independent shops, you’ll find a selection of artisan craft shops, jewellers, bakers and sweetshops.
Just a short drive away from Hawes is Ribblehead viaduct, a huge 24 arch structure towering 32 metres high that forms part of the Settle-Carlisle Railway. If you’re a keen walker, try out the Chapel le Dale Circuit, a 7-mile round trip that passes the Ribblehead Quarry Nature Reserve and Great Douk Cave before taking you through the tiny village of Chapel-le Dale.
The highest of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, Whernside, stands at 736m tall. Begin the circular walk at Ribblehead Viaduct and follow the ‘Three Peaks walk’ path along the railway line before taking the track up to the summit. Although Whernside isn’t the most popular of the peaks, the views from the top are well worth the trek. After a long climb, sit back and relax while enjoying the views of Dentdale, Kingsdale and Morecambe Bay.
The Wensleydale Creamery is an award-winning independent cheesemaker with a history stretching back over 1000 years. The centre includes a gift shop, restaurant and café where you can sample some of the dishes made from the region’s signature cheese. There’s even the Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese Experience, an interactive exhibit that explores the art of cheese-making. Why not take part in a cookery demonstration and learn to cook a local delicacy?
For something a little bit more unusual, visit Raydaleside, just a 20-minute drive from Hawes. Here you’ll find the Wooly Wander Experience, an alpaca farm in the middle of the Yorkshire countryside. Admire the view of Lake Semerwater, the second largest natural lake in the Dales, while walking with your new furry friends. There’s even the opportunity to get involved in some crafts using the alpaca wool at the Dales Countryside Museum and Textile Gallery.
Step back in time at Bolton Castle and explore the history of this medieval fortress. The kitchen, dungeons, nursery, Great Chamber and even Mary Queen of Scot’s bedroom are all beautifully preserved so it’s not difficult to picture the lives of the former residents. Wander the rose gardens and get lost in the maze before taking part in a falconry experience or hawk walk.
If you’re an experienced cyclist looking for a challenge, head to Fleet Moss. Just south of Hawes, this infamous cycling route takes you along Yorkshire’s highest road. With steep climbs and sharp corners, this is not for the amateur cyclist. For a slightly shorter, more gradual climb, check out Buttertubs Pass. As one of the most famous cycling routes in the region, it has featured in the Yorkshire stage of the Tour de France. The climb from Hawes is slightly easier than the ascent from Thwaites offering incredible views across Wensleydale.