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Things To Do Around Masham

As the gateway to the beautiful Yorkshire Dale of Wensleydale, the market town of Masham has attracted visitors for centuries.

Steeped in history, it boasts one of the oldest markets in the country, first appointed by charter in 1250 and still a bustling community hub every Wednesday and Saturday when it charms visitors and locals alike.

You will be taken aback by the grandeur of the market square.

The elegant Georgian houses date from a time when a booming sheep industry made the area very wealthy.

The industrious monks of the two great Cistercian Monasteries nearby of Jervaulx and Fountains Abbey supplied their flocks to strengthen this trade and boost the importance of the town.

Stretch your legs and try some of the wonderful walks which take in the historic landmarks in and around the area.

There is so much to see and do.

There are several little galleries around the town which are great places for picking up a really unique gift of souvenir.

A must is the fully restored Grade I listed Hackfall Woods, designed by the same John Aislabie who laid out Fountains Abbey and Water Gardens to make 18th century visitors gasp at the grottos, follies and surprise waterfalls.

Similarly sublime, the Druid’s Temple has an air of mysticism and the ancient about it, despite being a 18th century local businessman’s folly – not to be missed!

Masham is just on the edge of Nidderdale (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and is a perfect base for exploring the wider Yorkshire Dales – majestic Wensleydale is on the doorstep with Swaledale just beyond – both easily accessible.

There is wonderful local walking immediately around the town, with plenty to tempt those who are looking for something a bit more challenging further afield!

A prosperous and industrious town led to a thirsty and hungry population and there has always been a rich tradition for producing great food and drink in the area!

The town boasts not just one but two breweries borne of a brewing dynasty which today produces a range of internationally famed craft beers selling across the globe and allowing visitors to slake both their thirst and curiosity.

There is no shortage of great places to eat in and around the town – whether you seek award winning fine dining, a delicious home produced café snack made from local ingredients – or prefer a historic pub at the end of a bracing walk where the dog is also welcome, truly something for everyone!

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Number of items: 11

  1. Swinton Park Country Club and Spa

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    Swinton Park Country Club and Spa



    Swinton Country Club & Spa is one of the leading spa destinations in the UK, that combines contemporary design with a natural aesthetic.

    Situated at the heart of the 20,000 acre Swinton Estate, it draws on the natural elements of light, water and air and the landscape of the surrounding…

  2. Masham Swifts Town Trail

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    Masham Swifts Town Trail


    Town Walk

    Masham’s tall stone buildings have made it a popular town for the swift, a bird which nests in the eves and for many is the soundtrack of summer evenings with its distinctive screeching call. 

    The large open shape of Masham’s Market Place makes the perfect arena for their highspeed frantic…

  3. Jervaulx Abbey to Thornton Steward

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    Jervaulx Abbey to Thornton Steward


    Walking Route


    Starting and finishing at the fascinating ruins of Jervaulx Abbey, this walk takes you through stunning parkland, over lush pasture fields and through the historic village of Thornton Steward.

    Nearest town: Masham.   Length: 7 miles (11km).   Time (approx): 3-4 hours.   Difficulty:…

  4. Swinton Bivouac Family Bike Trails

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    Swinton Bivouac Family Bike Trails


    Cycle Hire

    Enjoy a cross-country lap or two on the mountain bike at Swinton Bivouac.  There are 8km of off-road trails, featuring a number of options for riders to enjoy set among the woodland and countryside of the Swinton Estate.

    The mountain bike trails offer a choice of green, red and black sections…

  5. Courtesy of Jon Vennell

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    Masham Market




    Market Day in Masham is great day to visit the town for some relaxing dales shopping in the beautiful surroundings of the town’s Georgian market place.

    Masham Market takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays, bringing the best of local market traders and local produce together to the centre of…

  6. Colsterdale Towers

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    Colsterdale Towers




    The Colsterdale Towers are a set of three sighting towers in Colsterdale, at the North of the NIdderdale AONB. They were constructued to help engineers cunduct surveys during the construction of the Leighton and Roundhill Reservoirs around the turn of the Century by the Harrogate Water Corporation…

  7. The Druid's Temple

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    The Druid's Temple


    Historic Site


    The Druid’s Temple in Ripon is in fact not a real temple, but a nineteenth century folly.

    Styled after stone circles and well known prehistoric monuments such as Stonehenge.

    The Druids Temple was built to alleviate local unemployment, allowing William Danby, a wealthy landowner of the…

  8. Hackfall Woods

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    Hackfall Woods




    Hackfall is a stunning woodland site near Masham, with lakes, waterfalls, follies and an intricate network of paths to explore stretching along the banks of the River Ure.

    There is something about the wild splendour of Hackfall Woods that simply inspires creativity.

    Nineteenth century writers…

  9. Masham Tourist Information Centre

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    Masham Tourist Information Centre


    The Mashamshire Tourist & Community Office opened in July 2003, the result of a local initiative to convert an unused Police House into a one-stop community facility.

    The Office is in the Little Market Place in front of the imposing Town Hall. The main Market Square with its beautiful Georgian…

  10. Samuel's Restaurant at Swinton Park

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    Samuel's Restaurant at Swinton Park




    Samuel’s Restaurant at Swinton Park is a renowned 2 AA Rosette restaurant, named after Samuel Cunliffe-Lister who purchased the estate in 1880 and built the wing of Swinton Park which is home to Samuel’s Restaurant today.

    Walk into Samuel’s Restaurant and be in awe at the ornate gold leaf…

  11. The Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park

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    The Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park




    Set in the beautiful countryside between Masham and Ripon, Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park is home to over 80 striking contemporary sculptures, situated within 45 acres of stunning woodland and gardens.  The microclimate of the valley makes it fertile ground for the rare blue poppy, alongside…

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