Yorkshire Dales guide to Upper Wharfedale

Upper Wharfedale area of the Yorkshire Dales

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Upper Wharfedale’s scenery is dominated by the Great Scar Limestone of the Craven Pennines, and throughout the valley white scars of rock mark the hillsides, sometimes forming spectacular outcrops such as Kilnsey Crag. Never far from the river, the B6160 road gives dramatic views of Wharfedale from Bolton Abbey up to the River Wharfe’s source over twenty miles away on Cam Fell above Beckermonds.

Anglian pioneers moving up the valley from the east during the 6th and 7th centuries established today’s village settlements - Bolton Abbey, Appletreewick, Hebden, Burnsall, Thorpe, Linton, Threshfield, Grassington, Conistone and Kettlewell. Tenth-century Norse settlers created the farm-hamlets of the upper dale beyond Buckden, itself a village on the edge of a Norman hunting forest. In medieval times Fountains Abbey and Bolton Priory owned great estates in Wharfedale and their monks evolved the pattern of roads and green lanes on the surrounding limestone uplands, with drove roads such as Mastiles Lane above Kilnsey.

Above Burnsall, Wharfedale’s distinctive landscape shows how the Enclosure Acts, mainly between 1780 and 1820, divided the old common fields in the valley bottom and on the lower slopes of the hills into rectangular pastures enclosed by hundreds of miles of limestone walls.

The ruins of Barden Tower recall the great Cliffords, whilst following the Dissolution the area around Bolton Abbey became the property of the Dukes of Devonshire, who planted trees to develop a parkland character in this part of the valley. Bolton Abbey with its riverside setting, nature trails and the famous Strid is a popular picnic and recreation venue.

Every village has its own distinctive appeal, with Burnsall often thought of as the prettiest village in England, and Linton notable for its green with beck flowing down the centre. Grassington is the centre of the dale, with the charm of a village and the facilities of a town. June’s Grassington Festival is a major arts and music event, with renowned contributors, and its Dickensian Festival held on three Saturdays in December attracts visitors from miles around. Grassington has good car parking at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Centre.

Beyond Grassington, on the eastern side of the dale, Grass Wood is an important Nature Reserve, and at Kilnsey there is the famous crag. The Kilnsey Show is a leading northern agricultural show held on the Tuesday after the August Bank Holiday in the shadow of the crag. The Fell Race up and down the crag is a show highlight.

After Kilnsey, the Kettlewell road has a branch off to Littondale, with links to Malham and Ribblesdale. Kettlewell’s village Scarecrow Festival is a leading attraction in mid-August.

The next village up the dale is Kettlewell, where much of the 2003 film Calendar Girls was filmed. During one week in August, creative villagers put on the hugely popular Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival with a trail to follow around this idyllic Yorkshire village, riddles to solve and prizes to be won!

From Kettlewell a wild upland road crosses to Coverdale and Wensleydale, whilst Wharfedale continues via Starbotton to Buckden. Here the B6160 diverges through Bishopdale to Aysgarth in Wensleydale whilst Wharfedale itself narrows, changes its name to Langstrothdale, and passes Hubberholme’s ancient pub and church. The dale and road continue together, the river tumbling over limestone ledges, past Yockenthwaite to the Wharfe’s source above Beckermonds and Oughtershaw.

Bolton Abbey Yockenthwaite Kilnsey Show Hubber Holme
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Grassington , Wharfedale
4 Rooms

A short walk from picturesque Grassington, this elegant Edwardian house offers all the modern conveniences of a 4 star B&B, as well as off-road parking, secure cycle storage and free Wi-Fi internet access in all the rooms. Free guest tickets are available for local trout fishing on a private stretch of the river Wharfe.

Craiglands Guest House
Grassington , Wharfedale
Sleeps 2 to 6

Sunnyside Cottage is a beautiful barn conversion with enclosed garden. Quiet location with lovely south facing garden yet only a minutes walk from Grassington village in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, close to Le Tour de France Route. Suitable for couples and can sleep 5/6 when required. Dogs are welcome.

Cosy Cottages - Sunnyside
Grassington , Wharfedale
5 Rooms

Bridge End Farm offers delightful B&B accommodation at a traditional riverside cottage just below the bridge by the popular Dales village of Grassington. Cosy lounge with log fire. Guests can enjoy private trout fishing with boating for children.

Bridge End Farm
Oughtershaw near Buckden , Wharfedale
Sleeps 40

Situated on the Dales Way near Buckden, this self catering group accommodation offers excellent facilities including large kitchen/dining area, lounge with pool table, TV/Sky. Range of team building and other activities available. Great BBQ area. Ample parking. Central heating throughout.

Swarthghyll Farm Bunk Barn
Grassington , Wharfedale
Sleeps 34

Ideally situated for exploring Grassington and the Yorkshire Dales and with spectacular panoramic views of the Wharfedale, Grassington Bunk Barn is a splendid spot offering comfortable budget accommodation for groups of up to 34 people.

Grassington Bunk Barn
Buckden , Wharfedale
3 Rooms

Find stylish farmhouse rooms and full english breakfast at Redmire Farm, a family run traditional working hill farm set in 1,600 acres of stunning countryside. Comfortable en-suite accommodation with glorious walking straight from the door. Idyllic secluded position, yet just 5 minutes away from picturesque Buckden.

Redmire Farm
Kilnsey near Grassington , Wharfedale
Sleeps 20

Sleeping up to 20 people in 10 twin bedrooms with 2 lounges, games room, individual bathrooms, fully equipped kitchen and extensive grounds. Located in the heart of the Dales between the pretty villages of Grassington and Kettlewell

Wharfedale Lodge
Buckden , Wharfedale
Sleeps 18

This former stables and coach house of the old Vicarage at Hubberholme near Buckden offers self-catering bunkhouse accommodation for 18 people in four bedrooms. Central heating with radiators, and open all year.

Grange Farm Barn
Upper Langstrothdale , Wharfedale
Sleeps 4 to 6

Situated near the Dales Way, Nethergill Farm offers luxurious barn conversion self-catering cottages, each sleeping between 4 and 6 people. Nethergill is a 388-acre hill farm working in partnership with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and also practical countryside workshops.

Nethergill Farm
Grassington , Wharfedale
Sleeps 2 to 6

Cottages in 2 of the best loved villages of Wharfedale - Manna Cottage, sleeping 2, lies in the historic village of Grassington with The Sycamores, sleeping 6, in the quaint riverside village of Burnsall.

Wharfedale Cottages
Grassington , Wharfedale
Sleeps 3

A few minutes walk from the main street and market square of the picturesque Dales town of Grassington, the cottage sleeps 3 and is ideal for couples holidays. It has a beamed sitting room with wood burning stove and views across Wharfedale. Free Wi-fi

Oak Cottage
Barden near Skipton , Wharfedale
Sleeps 24

Barden Bunk Barn lies a stonesthrow from the River Wharfe, and is adjacent to the 12th century ruin of Barden Tower. The Bunk Barn offers simple hostel style accommodation in these scenic and historic surroundings

Barden Bunk Barn
Grassington , Wharfedale
2 Rooms

North Barn B&B is located in the village Hebden, a centre for walking and cycling in Upper Wharfedale. The Dales Way passes Hebden along the banks of the River Wharfe offering you a chance to visit some of the beautiful Dales villages like Appletreewick, Burnsall, Thorpe, Linton and Grassington which are all within walking distance.

North Barn Hebden
Kettlewell , Wharfedale
Sleeps 15 to 30

Wharfeside House provides self-catering accommodation in picturesque Wharfedale for groups of 15 to 30 with exclusive use for your group. Wharfeside offers fully equipped kitchen with aga. There is a drying area and large indoor bike storage. Live in Warden for daily support.

Wharfeside House
Embsay near Skipton , Wharfedale
2 Rooms

A warm welcome awaits you at The Dalesman Guest House situated in Embsay on the outskirts of Skipton within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Embsay is known for its steam railway, reservoir with sailing club and beautiful walks. Skipton is known for its medieval castle, bustling market and colourful canal basin.

Dalesman Guest House
Kettlewell , Wharfedale
Sleeps 24

With spectacular view of Upper Wharfedale, Dale House offers good value, large cottage, self catering accommodation for group activity holidays, friends and family reunions and corporate teambuilding breaks throughout the year. 8 parking permits are included and catering can be provided.

Dale House
Threshfield near Grassington , Wharfedale

A small secluded caravan park in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales just two miles from the picturesque village of Grassington. An ideal base for walking and touring the dales.

Wood Nook Caravan Park
Grassington , Wharfedale
8 Rooms

Luxury Grassington Guest House just a few yards from the cobbled village square of Grassington. This secluded seventeenth-century family owned and run hotel makes an excellent holiday base from which to explore the Dales, whether by walking, cycling or touring.

Ashfield House Hotel
Threshfield near Grassington , Wharfedale
1 Rooms

Former station house offering bed and breakfast accommodation in 1 twin room. The room has its own entrance and from the window there are views of the fells and Grass Wood.

Station House
Oughtershaw near Buckden , Wharfedale
Sleeps 2 to 5

Situated conveniently on the Dales Way near Buckden in Upper Wharfedale, Swarthghyll is a working sheep farm set in a thousand acres of beautiful scenery. Self catering accommodation is offered in Courtyard Cottage, sleeping 4/5 and 3 apartments, each sleeping 2 people.

Swarthghyll Farm Cottages
Threshfield near Grassington , Wharfedale
Sleeps 3

Lavender Cottage is a cosy woodbeamed cottage just 10 minutes walk from the popular Dales village of Grassington. There is a wood burner with logs freely supplied. An outside seating area overlooks the village green and an outhouse provides secure bike storage. Short breaks available.

Lavender Cottage
Skipton, North Yorkshire

Kilnsey Park offers fly fishing in spectacular surroundings near Grassington in Wharfedale. 2 lakes are well stocked with hard fighting Rainbow, Blue, Brown and Golden trout from 2lb to 20lb+. There is also a Farm Shop, a Nature Trail, Fun for the Kids and Red Squirrel enclosures.

Kilnsey Park
Pool in Wharfedale, North Yorkshire

Arthington Agricultural Show in the showfield by the Bridge in Pool-Wharfedale. Come for a fabulous family day out and see show jumping, sheep and cattle showing, country crafts and plenty more! Held annually in July.

Arthington Agricultural Show
Kilnsey, North Yorkshire

Held under the famous Kilnsey Crag, Kilnsey agricultural show offers dry stone walling, produce, handicrafts, horticulture, equestrian events, fell races and harness racing. Kilnsey is close to Grassington in Upper Wharfedale and the agricultural show is held every year at the end of August.

Kilnsey Show
Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire

Bolton Abbey is on the banks of the River Wharfe in acres of beautiful countryside. Explore the ruins of the Priory, wander along the woodland nature trails, stroll beside the river, visit the tea rooms and cafes, look around the village shops, or just relax in this romantic location.

Bolton Abbey
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