Usually, when I go on holiday it’s to a city where every day I get up early and try to pack in as much as I can. By the end of the holiday, I find that I’m quite tired. I decided to take a week off and go somewhere where I could actually relax and thought that the ruralness of the Yorkshire Dales would be just the place!
I decided to book a Hoseasons lodge in the Yorkshire Dales, I’d stayed in a Hoseasons lodge before at the Cotswolds and had a really good time there. Hoseasons have different lodges, we stayed in an Autograph lodge, the Daleside Lodge, in a park called Cedar Retreats. I think the Autograph lodges are more for couples or families with grown up kids because the parks are always really peaceful and don’t have any activities for kids (which I liked as it meant we weren’t listening to kids screaming). I booked the lodge when it had a deal on so saved about £150.
The lodge holiday park is outside of a place called West Tanfield, it sits just on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and only took just over 3 hours to drive to from Glasgow. West Tanfield is a lovely little village, it feels a bit like Emmerdale. They have two restaurants, we went to The Bull Inn which was voted Yorkshire’s favourite pub in 2016. They have an amazing beer garden which is huge and looks onto a lovely river. The food I had there was some of the best food I’ve tasted!
The holiday park is lovely, there’s not many lodges and lots of space in between each lodge which gives you privacy. There’s a lovely pond in the middle of the park that’s home to ducks – they have no fear about coming over to your lodge!
Our lodge was big enough for 4 people, so it just being the 2 of us meant we had lots of space. The lodges feel like little homes, there’s nothing flimsy about them. The kitchen and living room in the lodge is open plan with a tv and electric fire. The doors in the living room opened out to a decking area at the front with table and chairs. Our bedroom had an ensuite with a large walk-in shower. From our bedroom, there was another decked area that had our hot tub.
Let’s talk more about the hot tub – if only they weren’t so expensive I’d buy one in a snap. We spent a lot of time in the hot tub, even when it was a little windy it was so nice to be in something so warm. Sitting in the hot tub, we looked out onto a field that was extremely private – it was lovely.
The first town we visited was the lovely quaint Hawes. From our lodge, it took about an hour to get to. Hawes has lots of cute shops and tearooms. It was quite a busy place especially as they had a market on the day we visited. The shop, Elijah Allen and Son is like Yorkshire Dales’ answer to Wholefoods – I picked up some toffee and strawberry vodka. The Wensleydale Creamery is in Hawes is also a gouda place to pick up a present (see what I did there?)
Castle Bolton, Leyburn & Northallerton
Castle Bolton is a tiny place that has, yep you guessed it, a castle. We went to the cafe at Bolton Castle but decided not to pay to go into it as it seemed more like a ruin. Chickens roam the roads at Castle Bolton as it’s such a quiet place, there were only a few houses there that all looked like lovely Lilliput Lane cottages.
We visited Leyburn to have lunch and visit the Chocolate Factory shop. Leyburn has some coffee shops, gift shops and the all-important cash machine (lots of places we went accepted card but it’s always good to have some cash just in case). At the Chocolate Factory shop, you could see the chocolate being made. We bought some of their strawberry milk chocolate. Leyburn also has a cute railway station with a shop that sells books and vinyl too.
If you’ve been to Yorkshire, you should go to Betty’s Tearoom. There’s one in Harrogate but there’s also one in Northallerton which is the whole reason we went there. Northallerton is more of a shopping town, and also had a market. On our way back to the car, I spotted a vinyl shop which had a great collection of vinyl so had to wander in. I picked up an Adam and The Ants vinyl and another case as my collection has now grown!
Knaresborough & Ripon
Knaresborough is where the Mother Shipton tourist attraction lives, and it’s apparently the oldest visitor attraction in England. When I was really wee, I remember being freaked out by it as there’s a well where items hang that slowly turn into stone. If you’re not sure who Mother Shipton is, here’s a quick rundown as it’s quite an interesting story. There’s a magic well that if you touch with your right hand and let it dry naturally your wish is meant to come true. I’ll let you know if it happens!
After being creeped out by Mother Shipton, we explored Knaresborough which is a larger town than I realised. The shops and houses all look lovely and we had lunch at Honeybee’s Tearoom. The Yorkshire Soap Co have a shop there, and they have a soap that smells of a library!
Ripon was the biggest town we visited, we went for the market there but I wasn’t that impressed with it, it was more people selling things you could buy elsewhere. It also didn’t seem as cutesy and quaint as the other places we visited so we made a swift return back to the car and the lodge.
I really enjoyed my week away in the Yorkshire Dales, it was very picturesque and full of lovely little towns and villages. One thing to note is that we had to pay and display at most car parks but there were free public toilets – gotta take the good with the bad. I so wish I still had a hot tub to sink into…