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Exploring the Best of North Yorkshire: Unmissable Summer Activities For 2023

Posted: 12th June 2023

Attractions, exploring, summer activities and things to do in North Yorkshire this summer 2023

Welcome to North Yorkshire, a captivating county nestled in the heart of England. Prepare to be enchanted by the breathtaking landscapes, immerse yourself in the rich history and discover a wide variety of activities to suit everyone.

Picture yourself surrounded by stunning natural landscapes providing the perfect backdrop for your summer escapades. Explore fascinating historical sites that transport you back in time, indulge in local culinary delights, and discover a fantastic choice of family-friendly activities to keep the children entertained this summer.

Pack your bags, bring your sense of wonder and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime!

Table Of Contents (Click To Jump)

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Discover the Natural Beauty

When it comes to natural beauty, North Yorkshire is an absolute gem.

Prepare to be awestruck by the region's picturesque landscapes that seem straight out of a postcard. From sweeping moorlands to lush green valleys and serene lakes, the scenery here is nothing short of breathtaking.

One of the best ways to explore the natural wonders of North Yorkshire is by lacing up your hiking boots and hitting the trails. Wharfedale, nestled in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, is a hiker's paradise. With its rolling hills, charming villages, and meandering river, Wharfedale offers a diverse range of hiking trails and walks to suit all levels of experience.

Let's take a look at just a few of our favourite unmissable local walks and hikes in Wharfedale.

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For an exhilarating adventure, embark on the famous Dales Way, a long-distance footpath that spans approximately 80 miles from Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere in the Lake District.

This scenic route takes you through the heart of Wharfedale, offering breathtaking views at every turn. There are many ways to enjoy the Dales Way, with a great choice of recommended walking routes for all abilities, covering beautiful sections of the footpath.

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If you prefer a shorter stroll, consider exploring the Bolton Abbey Estate. This magnificent estate boasts well maintained paths that meander alongside the River Wharfe and through woodlands, providing a perfect setting for a leisurely walk.

Don't forget to visit the iconic ruins of Bolton Priory, a historical gem that adds a touch of intrigue to the natural beauty of the surroundings.

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For more challenging hikes, head to the iconic Three Peaks of Yorkshire: Pen-y-ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside.

These towering peaks offer a thrilling experience for seasoned hikers, rewarding them with panoramic views that stretch for miles.

Whether you're a nature enthusiast, an avid hiker or simply looking to escape into the tranquility of the outdoors, Wharfedale and the Yorkshire Dales offer an abundance of scenic landscapes and hiking trails to explore.

So, put on your walking shoes, breathe in the fresh country air and let the beauty of North Yorkshire's natural wonders leave an indelible mark on your summer adventure.

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Immerse in History and Culture

North Yorkshire is a treasure trove of history and culture, offering a glimpse into the region's fascinating past.

No visit to the area would be complete without exploring its iconic historic sites or its several vibrant market towns.

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York Minster, a magnificent Gothic cathedral located in the heart of the historic city of York, stands as a testament to the architectural brilliance of medieval England.

Marvel at its towering spires and intricate stained glass windows and stone carvings. Step inside to discover the grandeur of the nave and the peaceful beauty of the Chapter House.

York Minster's rich history and captivating architecture make it a must-visit destination for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike.

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For a journey back in time to the medieval era, a visit to Fountains Abbey is highly recommended.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site, located near Ripon, is an awe-inspiring ruin that was once a thriving Cistercian monastery.

Explore the atmospheric ruins, stroll through the peaceful water gardens and admire the impressive abbey structure that has stood for centuries. The combination of natural beauty and historical significance at Fountains Abbey creates a truly enchanting experience.

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Grassington, located in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, is a picturesque market town that has retained its traditional character.

Stroll along the cobbled streets, admire the stone buildings and explore the quaint shops and boutiques.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Grassington Folk Museum, which provides insight into the town's local history and heritage.

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Skipton, known as the "Gateway to the Dales," is another historic market town that is well worth a visit.

Its medieval Skipton Castle is one of the most well preserved castles in England and offers a fascinating look into the region's turbulent past. Explore the castle's imposing towers, wander through the centuries-old halls, and imagine life in medieval times.

Afterwards, meander through the vibrant market in Skipton's town center, where you can find a variety of local produce, crafts and delightful treats.

From majestic cathedrals to atmospheric ruins and charming town centres, North Yorkshire offers a captivating journey through time.

So, set off on a historical adventure and let the region's heritage captivate your imagination.

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What to Eat in North Yorkshire

Delve into Yorkshire's culinary delights.

Local Food Specialties

When it comes to culinary delights, North Yorkshire proudly showcases its local specialties that have become beloved across the nation.

Indulge in the mouthwatering goodness of Yorkshire pudding, a traditional accompaniment to a Sunday roast that combines a fluffy, golden brown exterior with a soft and tender centre.

Another culinary gem of North Yorkshire is Wensleydale cheese. This crumbly and creamy cheese, made using traditional methods, carries a rich history and distinctive flavour. Whether enjoyed on a cheeseboard, crumbled into salads or incorporated into savoury dishes, Wensleydale cheese is a treat for the taste buds.

Thriving Food and Drink Scene

North Yorkshire's culinary scene goes beyond traditional favorites, with a thriving food and drink scene that caters to every palate.

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The Gamekeeper's Inn

One standout destination is The Gamekeeper's Inn, nestled in the picturesque Wharfedale valley.

This charming traditional pub offers a warm and inviting atmosphere along with a menu that showcases the best locally sourced ingredients. Delight in hearty Yorkshire dishes, such as slow-cooked meats and freshly caught fish prepared to perfection, or tuck into a speciality dish on Curry Night, Pie Night or Steak Night.

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Woodland Cafe

Surrounded by beautiful scenery, the idyllic Woodland Café in Long Ashes Park provides a tranquil setting to savour delicious meals, great coffee, refreshing smoothies and traditional afternoon tea.

Woodland Cafe offers a delightful escape from the everyday. Catch up over a light lunch, savour some sweet treats or indulge in authentic Italian pizza and pasta with wine.

Popular Food Festivals and Events Happening During the Summer

If you're lucky enough to visit North Yorkshire during the summer, you may have the opportunity to experience some of the region's popular food festivals and events.

From culinary showcases to celebrations of local produce, these events provide a unique way to immerse yourself in the vibrant food culture of the Yorkshire Dales.

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The Yorkshire Dales Food and Drink Festival is held annually every July. This year it takes place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd July at Funkirk Farm, Skipton.

This festival brings together a wide range of local food and drink producers, offering tastings, demonstrations and live entertainment.

Malton food lovers festival

The Malton Food Lovers Festival is held in the charming market town of Malton. This multi-day event features street food stalls, artisan producers, cookery demonstrations and even a food market.

Indulge in delectable treats, meet passionate food enthusiasts and soak in the lively atmosphere on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th August 2023.

From iconic local specialties to thriving food establishments and exciting food events, North Yorkshire offers a gastronomic experience that is not to be missed.

So, get ready to embark on a delicious adventure and discover summer flavours that make this region a true food lover's paradise.

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Enjoy Family-Friendly Activities

North Yorkshire is a haven for family adventures, offering a great choice of attractions that will keep both kids and adults entertained.

Let's take a look at some must-visit family-friendly destinations in North Yorkshire.

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Hesketh Farm Park

Located near Bolton Abbey, Hesketh Farm Park is a delightful farm experience where kids can get up close and personal with a variety of farm animals.

From feeding lambs to grooming ponies, this interactive park provides a memorable hands-on experience for the whole family.

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Billy-Bob's Parlour

Situated in Skipton, Billy-Bob's Parlour is a fantastic destination for a fun-filled day.

Indulge in their mouthwatering American menu including homemade ice cream, and enjoy exciting outdoor play areas. It's a place where the whole family can relax and have a great time.

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Kilnsey Trekking & Riding Centre

If you're looking for an outdoor adventure, head to Kilnsey Trekking & Riding Centre.

Take the family on a horse ride through the breathtaking Yorkshire Dales or enjoy pony trekking suitable for all ages and abilities. It's a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of North Yorkshire while creating unforgettable memories.

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Raven Tree Top Adventure

For an adrenaline-fueled experience, visit Raven Tree Top Adventure in Harrogate.

This thrilling high ropes course will challenge your skills and provide a unique perspective as you navigate through treetop obstacles. With courses suitable for different ages and abilities, it's an exciting activity for the whole family to enjoy.

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Nidderdale Llamas and Alpacas

Delight in a unique and unforgettable experience with Nidderdale Llamas and Alpacas.

Take a gentle walk through the stunning Nidderdale countryside accompanied by these friendly and fascinating animals. It's an amazing opportunity to learn about these curious creatures while enjoying the picturesque surroundings.

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Thornton Hall Country Park

Located near Skipton, Thornton Hall Country Park offers a fantastic day out for families.

From animal encounters to tractor rides and outdoor play areas, this farm park provides endless entertainment. Kids can also learn about farm life through interactive experiences and enjoy the thrill of indoor and outdoor slides.

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Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

Step aboard the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway for a nostalgic journey through the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.

Enjoy the scenic views as the vintage steam locomotive chugs along the tracks, creating a magical experience for children and adults alike.

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Skipton Boat Hire

With Skipton Boat Hire, you can embark on a leisurely narrowboat cruise from Skipton and navigate the picturesque Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

Take in the tranquil surroundings, pass through charming villages, and enjoy the leisurely pace of life on the water. It's a unique and relaxing family experience that offers a different perspective on North Yorkshire's beauty.

North Yorkshire is blessed with an abundance of scenic parks and gardens that provide the perfect backdrop for family outings.

Why not get outside and enjoy activities such as cycling, walking, camping and picnicking while surrounded by natural beauty?

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Summer Festivals and Events

North Yorkshire comes alive with a vibrant lineup of festivals and events during the summer.

Great Yorkshire Show

Held annually in Harrogate, the Great Yorkshire Show is an agricultural extravaganza showcases the best of rural life and attracts visitors from far and wide. Experience the excitement of livestock competitions, marvel at impressive equestrian displays, sample delicious local produce and explore a wide range of trade stands.

The Great Yorkshire Show is a celebration of Yorkshire's rich agricultural heritage and offers a fun-filled day out for the whole family. Come and see us at the Great Yorkshire Show from Tuesday 11th to Friday 14th July!

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Leeds Festival

One of the most anticipated music festivals in the UK, Leeds Festival is a haven for music lovers of all genres.

Held annually at Bramham Park, this three day extravaganza showcases an impressive lineup of local and international artists across multiple stages.

Get ready to dance, sing along, and immerse yourself in the electrifying atmosphere of this iconic event from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th August 2023.

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Deer Shed Festival

For families seeking a music festival that caters to all ages, Deer Shed Festival in North Yorkshire is the perfect choice. Set in the stunning grounds of Baldersby Park, this family-friendly event offers a delightful combination of live music, arts, and entertainment. From music performances by renowned artists to engaging workshops, comedy shows and immersive art installations, this festival celebrates creativity in all its forms.

The Deer Shed Festival starts Friday 28th July until Monday 31st July 2023.

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Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park offers a unique outdoor gallery experience where you can admire magnificent sculptures set amidst breathtaking landscapes.

The park offers a unique and immersive experience, allowing visitors to engage with contemporary and modern art from across the globe in a natural and picturesque setting. With changing exhibitions, stunning sculptures and diverse programming, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

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Outdoor Performances

Outdoor performances are also a highlight of Yorkshire's cultural calendar, with stunning venues providing the backdrop for captivating shows.

From open-air theatres to botanical gardens, you can witness theatrical performances, dance shows and concerts that make the most of the region's natural beauty. Imagine watching a Shakespearean play in the enchanting gardens of Harewood House or enjoying a live orchestra performance under the stars at Castle Howard.

Yorkshire's music festivals, art exhibitions and outdoor performances bring people together, fostering a spirit of shared enjoyment and appreciation for the arts.

So, whether you're a music aficionado, an art enthusiast, or simply seeking a memorable experience, immerse yourself in Yorkshire's rich cultural tapestry and let the magic of these events transport you to a world of creativity and inspiration.

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Explore Unique Shopping Experiences

Don't miss the unique and vibrant shopping experiences North Yorkshire has to offer.

Shambles market

Vibrant Markets in North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire is home to a variety of vibrant markets that offer a unique shopping experience. One of the most famous markets is York's Shambles Market, located in the heart of the historic city.

Here, you can browse through an array of stalls selling everything from fresh produce and artisanal food to handmade crafts and vintage treasures. The lively atmosphere and charming surroundings make it a delightful place to explore.

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Grassington Market is another must-visit destination. Held on select dates throughout the year, this market transforms the picturesque village into a bustling hub of activity.

Experience the lively ambiance as you wander among the stalls, offering a range of goods including local produce, crafts, and unique gifts.

Skipton market

Skipton Market, held every Monday, is also worth a visit, known for its bustling atmosphere and diverse range of vendors selling everything from clothing and homeware to fresh produce.

Boutique Shops, Antique Stores and Local Artisans

North Yorkshire towns are treasure troves of boutique shops, antique stores and local artisans. Stroll along the charming streets and discover unique finds that reflect the town's character and creativity. From stylish fashion boutiques and home décor stores to antique shops brimming with vintage treasures, there's something to suit every taste and style.

Harrogate town centre

Harrogate, in particular, is renowned for its eclectic mix of independent retailers and local artisans. Explore the town's galleries and art studios to find one-of-a-kind artworks created by talented local artists.

Uncover handmade jewelry, ceramics, textiles, and other crafts that showcase the region's artistic flair.

Locally-Produced Goods and Souvenirs

One of the highlights of shopping in North Yorkshire is the opportunity to buy locally-produced goods and souvenirs. Whether it's a jar of delicious artisanal jam, a bottle of locally brewed beer or a piece of handmade pottery, you'll find a wide range of products that showcase the region's rich heritage and craftsmanship.

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Supporting local businesses and artisans not only allows you to take home a unique and meaningful souvenir but also contributes to the local economy and sustains the community's creative spirit. From farm shops and food markets offering fresh local produce to specialty stores selling handmade crafts and souvenirs, North Yorkshire offers plenty of opportunities to find that perfect memento of your visit.

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Outdoor Adventures and Sports

North Yorkshire is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wealth of opportunities for adventurous outdoor sports amidst its breathtaking landscapes.

Hiking, Cycling, and Walking in North Yorkshire

Lace up your hiking boots and explore the vast network of trails that wind through the county's picturesque countryside, rugged moorlands and stunning national parks.

From the iconic Yorkshire Dales to the North York Moors, there are endless routes to discover, each offering its own unique charm and stunning vistas.

Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a leisurely stroller, North Yorkshire's trails cater to all levels of experience.

Read our 14 Best Hikes & Walks In The Yorkshire Dales

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For cycling enthusiasts, the Yorkshire Dales boast a variety of scenic cycling routes, from challenging off-road trails to peaceful routes for all abilities.

Explore the Wharfedale Valley and pedal along the picturesque country roads and cycle paths, where you'll be rewarded with beautiful scenery and a sense of freedom on two wheels.

Read our 17 Top Bike Rides & Cycling Routes In The Yorkshire Dales

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Walking is another popular activity in North Yorkshire, and you'll find an abundance of trails suitable for all ages.

Meander through enchanting woodlands, explore nature reserves or embark on a historical walking tour in one of the region's many historic towns. There's no shortage of opportunities to connect with nature and enjoy the great outdoors in North Yorkshire.

Read our 14 Best Walks & Hikes In The Yorkshire Dales

Rock Climbing, Caving, and Abseiling in North Yorkshire

For thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies, North Yorkshire offers exhilarating opportunities for rock climbing, caving, and abseiling.

The county is blessed with rugged cliffs, limestone caves and dramatic landscapes that provide the perfect playground for these adventure sports.

Rock climbing

If you're an experienced climber or looking to learn the ropes, the limestone crags in the Yorkshire Dales offer a challenging and rewarding climbing experience. Test your skills on the vertical faces, traverse exposed ridges and enjoy the stunning views from the top.

With qualified instructors and outdoor adventure centres offering guidance and equipment, you can safely immerse yourself in these thrilling outdoor pursuits and create lasting memories.

Caving

North Yorkshire is also known for its impressive cave systems, offering the chance to explore fascinating underground worlds.

Embark on a caving adventure and navigate through winding tunnels, squeeze through narrow passages and marvel at stunning rock formations that have been millions of years in the making.

Abseiling

Abseiling enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to test their nerve as they descend from towering cliffs and rock faces.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced abseiler, North Yorkshire's varied terrain provides a thrilling backdrop for this adrenaline pumping activity.

So, whether you're seeking the tranquillity of a peaceful hike, the exhilaration of rock climbing or the exploration of underground caves, North Yorkshire offers a playground of outdoor adventures and sports.

Embrace the natural beauty of the region, challenge yourself with thrilling activities and create unforgettable experiences in the great outdoors.

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Relaxation and Well Being in North Yorkshire

Long Ashes Pure Spa, Threshfield

Nestled in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, just a stone's throw from Grassington, Long Ashes Pure Spa is a haven of relaxation and rejuvenation. You can indulge in a range of spa treatments and therapies designed to enhance your well being and restore your mind, body and spirit.

From soothing massages and invigorating facials to luxurious body treatments, the skilled therapists at Long Ashes Pure Spa will ensure you leave feeling refreshed and renewed.

Unwind in the serene spa facilities including a steam room, sauna, hot tub and swimming pool and let the stresses of everyday life melt away in this serene oasis.

Treat yourself to one of many luxurious and rejuvenating Spa Days & Experiences at Long Ashes Pure Spa.

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Where To Stay in North Yorkshire

LUXURY LODGES AT LONG ASHES PARK

In the heart of the Wharfedale valley, Long Ashes Park is home to several stylish woodland lodges each with their own unique character, perfect for relaxing breaks with friends and family.

Each lodge features a fully equipped kitchen, comfortable bedrooms and living spaces, and a private outdoor decking to enjoy the summer weather.

Your stay includes full complimentary use of the on site Leisure Club which boasts a heated swimming pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, air-conditioned gym and the Woodland Cafe. Breakfast at Woodland Cafe is available as an add-on to your stay.

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STYLISH EN-SUITE BEDROOMS AT THE GAMEKEEPER'S INN

Traditional Yorkshire pub The Gamekeeper's Inn in Threshfield offers cosy corners, the best local ales and hearty homemade food, prepared with locally sourced ingredients prepared fresh by a talented team of chefs. Highlights include Alternative Afternoon Tea, their famous Sunday Lunch and Pie Night.

The Gamekeeper's Inn is also home to 11 beautifully designed en suite bedrooms, perfect for couples, friends and families to escape to the Yorkshire Dales. Full complimentary use of the on-site Leisure Club is included with your stay, so you can relax and unwind in the sauna, work out in the gym or go for a dip in the pool for no extra cost.

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Camping In The Yorkshire Dales

Immerse yourself in the Yorkshire Dales this summer and embark on an unforgettable camping adventure. Long Ashes Park offers the perfect backdrop for a memorable summer getaway.

In addition to our lodges, en suite rooms and permanent holiday homes, we also welcome campers at Long Ashes Park, with a range of excellent on-site facilities to make your stay more enjoyable.

You couldn’t be better placed for exploring everything that the Yorkshire Dales has to offer, including wonderful walks, quaint villages and breathtaking views. Visitors can enjoy use of our luxury spa and leisure club, grab a pizza from Woodland Cafe or enjoy a hearty meal in our traditional pub, The Gamekeeper's Inn, with great food and real ales.

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WOODLAND GLAMPING PODS

The Woodland Glamping Pods at Long Ashes Park are just perfect for a romantic escape to Yorkshire Dales.

These completely self contained, cleverly designed camping pod includes a comfy double bed, bathroom, sofa, high table and kitchen. If you don't fancy cooking for yourself though, just around the corner you'll find The Gamekeeper's Inn, a welcoming Yorkshire pub serving hearty homemade food, or Woodland Cafe where you'll find delicious authentic pizza, pasta, light bites and sweet treats. Breakfast at Woodland Cafe is available as an add on, and full use of the on site Leisure Club facilities is included with your stay.

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NETHERSIDE BARN - LUXURY COTTAGE IN THE YORKSHIRE DALES

Netherside Barn is a quaint and traditional three-bedroom house with stunning private surroundings. The house has three stylish double bedrooms, two bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a spacious living area and a large outside private patio, making this the perfect getaway for friends and families.

Make your stay even more luxurious and enjoy full use of the Leisure Club facilities on-site included with your stay. And when you don't fancy cooking, you're just a minute's walk from delicious local pub grub at The Gamekeeper's Inn or pizza, pasta and light bites at the Woodland Cafe. Breakfast at the Woodland Cafe is available as an add on.

Time to Plan Your Visit

From its captivating natural beauty and rich history to its vibrant festivals, culinary delights and family friendly activities, North Yorkshire promises an unforgettable summer experience. Whether you're seeking adventure in the great outdoors, relaxation and well being, cultural immersion or simply a delightful shopping spree, this county has it all.

So, pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and embark on a journey to North Yorkshire this summer. Uncover hidden gems, embrace new experiences, and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. This captivating county is ready to welcome you with open arms and show you a summer you'll never forget.

Discover Long Ashes Park in The Yorkshire Dales

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