Aysgarth has a network of public footpaths criss-crossing close to the village, all of which can be reached directly from Wensleydale Farmhouse. This allows visitors the freedom to choose short, medium or longer walks, or even change their route or distance during a walk.
Sheila and Bruce have extensive knowledge of the Aysgarth area, and Wensleydale in general, and are always happy to assist or advise guests on walking routes. There are walking maps available for guests to borrow. For more detailed, up-to-date information, guests can visit the nearby Aysgarth Falls National Park Centre.
Popular walks take in the Upper, Middle and Lower Aysgarth Falls, the nearby villages of Carperby and West Burton, and the historic Bolton Castle.
The pretty village of Askrigg, made famous by the TV series ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ is about 5 miles away. There are plenty of places to enjoy lunch, and walkers can vary their routes there and back to make a circular walk. There are also some great walks in the vicinity of Askrigg, taking in the waterfalls of Mill Gill and Whitfield Gill, and ascending to Askrigg Common with its spectacular views along Wensleydale and across to the peak of Addleborough.
Semer Water and the Roman road can be accessed from Bainbridge, or by parking on the shore of Semer Water. There is a circular walk around the lake, with the option of including the path up to Wether Fell, where you can view the northern side of the dale and look down the valley to Hawes.
Swaledale, running parallel to Wensleydale, offers a wide range of walking routes, including the beautiful walk along the river from Muker to Ivelet Bridge. Keep an eye out for the electric blue flash of kingfishers along the river.
For energetic guests, the Ingleton Waterfalls trail is less than an hour’s drive from Wensleydale Farmhouse. The circular 4.5 mile walk takes in several waterfalls. You can visit the nearby White Scar Caves too.
The circular walk at Malham, taking in Malham Cove, Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss starts and ends in Malhalm, which is famous for the limestone escarpment above the village. Visitors who make it to the top of the 412 steps (77 m or 253 ft) are rewarded by magnificent views across the valley.
The Herriot Way: many guests stay at Wensleydale Farmhouse at the start and end of the Herriot Way, a circular walk which takes 4-5 days. This is a great way to see the countryside in Wensleydale and Swaledale.
Aysgarth lies on the route of the Inn Way: 76 miles, 6 days, 26 pubs!
Wensleydale offers tremendous scope for cyclists, with many exhilarating rides along quiet roads. More adventurous cyclists may want to have a go at the route of the Tour de France over Buttertubs Pass to Swaledale. There is secure, indoor storage for guests’ cycles available at Wensleydale Farmhouse.
Many visitors new to the area combine walking with driving tours, gaining a wider appreciation of the landscape. Bruce and Sheila are happy to offer suggestions for driving tours.
The nearby village of Bainbridge boasts a lovely village green and an Archimedes screw which is turned by the waters of the River Bain to generate electricity.
The world-famous Wensleydale Creamery is situated above the town of Hawes; there, you can see how the cheese is made, and taste samples before buying some to take home with you. Don’t forget to drop in at Outhwaite the Ropemakers whilst you’re in Hawes! You can watch rope being made in the traditional way.
The Dales Countryside Museum is located in Hawes. Exhibitions vary but there are always Dales-related produce, maps and gifts/souvenirs available in their shop.
Ribblehead railway viaduct is only 20 miles from Wensleydale Farmhouse, and can be reached along the A684 through Hawes and onto the B6255 towards Ingleton.
Bolton Castle commands great views along Wensleydale and has a fascinating history, spanning the last 600 years. One of the castle’s residents was Mary, Queen of Scots, who resided there briefly en route to the Tower of London. There are regular bird of prey demonstrations which offer a fantastic way to get close to these magnificent birds.
Middleham Castle, managed by English Heritage, was the childhood home of Richard III.
Richmond Castle is a magnificent building enjoying breathtaking views of the Eastern end of Wensleydale. Managed by English Heritage, it houses the Conscientious objectors exhibition.
Aysgarth village is located half way between the towns of Hawes and Leyburn. Both are typical Dales market towns and still hold regular livestock auctions. Hawes and Leyburn have supermarkets, cafes, and bakeries in addition to more specialist shops.
Richmond is often described as the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales. It boasts a formidable Norman castle and Georgian architecture., with a cobbled market square at the centre of the town.
Wensleydale possesses a varied landscape, offering a habitat for a large number of plant and animal species. In addition to the domestic cattle and sheep there are many wild animals. The iconic dipper can be seen all year round in fast-flowing water, with grey wagtails on the river banks, and in the breeding season curlews, lapwings and oystercatchers nest in open fields. In the garden at Wensleydale Farmhouse, you may see woodland birds such as tree creepers, nuthatches and greater spotted woodpeckers as well as more common species like blue tits, chiff-chaffs and blackbirds.
Rarer species like the dormouse, and red squirrel, also live in parts of Wensleydale.