Discover the magic of Hawes

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Hawes is a pretty market town in the heart of Wensleydale about 15 miles east of Sedbergh. Its winding cobbled streets, quaint shops and old stone properties make it a very popular visitor spot. The name means ‘pass between mountains’ and it stands between the stunning peaks of Buttertubs Pass and Fleet Moss.

You can’t mention Hawes or Wensleydale without mentioning cheese. This is the home of the white, crumbly and delicious Wensleydale cheese, loved by Wallace & Gromit and cheese fans around the world. The surrounding landscape offers ideal grazing conditions for sheep and cattle which makes Hawes an important hub for dairy farming, and cheesemaking. Hence the birth of one of the UK’s most famous cheeses. The original recipe for Wensleydale is thought to come from a group of Cistercian monks who came to Wensleydale in the 12th century.

The Wensleydale Creamery

When visiting Hawes, it’s pretty much essential to call into the creamery in the centre of the town where you can see live demonstrations of cheesemaking and of course sample the product. The visitor centre also takes you back in time to give you a sense of how the cheesemaking industry started in the middle ages and its journey to becoming Yorkshire’s most celebrated cheese. Click here for details

The highest waterfall in England

Just outside Hawes is Hardraw Force, which boasts England’s highest single-drop waterfall at over 100 feet. It’s thought that the waterfall was formed over 15,000 years ago toward the end of the last ice-age. The famous falls were used as a location in the Kevin Costner film, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Click here for more details.

Bolton Castle

If you like visiting castles, Bolton Castle is a must-see. It’s considered to be one of the country’s best-preserved medieval castles, Bolton was originally built, by Sir Richard Le Scrope in 1399. It has been at the heart of 600 years of fascinating history including involvement in the Pilgrimage of Grace (when the North of England revolted against Henry VIII’s reformation), Mary Queen of Scot’s imprisonment and a Civil War siege. As well as seeing the well-preserved interior and living quarters, you can also watch Falconry displays and enjoy local food in the tea rooms. Click here for details.

Dales Countryside of Museum

This is the museum for the Yorkshire Dales National Park, documenting traditional livelihoods like shepherding, dairying and building dry stone walls. A stretch of the railway’s trackbed has been preserved, with a steam locomotive and vintage carriages. You can also see ancient artefacts recovered from the Yorkshire Dales, like a Bronze Age spearhead and a remarkable gold Viking ring. Younger visitors can get hands-on at the Creation Station, while the museum has set up an outdoor trail through woodland. Click here for details.

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