Now in the Yorkshire Museum, the Middleham Jewel was found near Middleham Castle in 1985 by a metal detectorist.
The best things to do in Middleham
1. Watch the racehorses at the gallop
Hidden away in Middleham are many of Yorkshire’s top racing stables and you won’t have long to wait to see some of these majestic horses being led through the market square on their way to the gallops. You can watch them flying through the surrounding Yorkshire Dales countryside – a very impressive sight to behold.
Watch out for the annual Middleham Open Day on Easter Monday when you can take a look around the racing stables too!
2. Explore Wensleydale
Middleham is a great base to explore Wensleydale from – there are just so many lovely towns and villages to visit. Leyburn is a charming market town with lots of shops, cafes and restaurants (there’s also Tennants Auction Room just outside the town). We also love the villages of East and West Witton, both of which have great restaurants to try: The Blue Lion and Wensleydale Heifer as well as the fantastic Aysgarth Falls as featured in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
3. Take in some stunning views
Middleham is pretty much surrounded by beautiful Yorkshire Dales countryside so at either side of the village is picture-postcard scenery. Following one of several walking routes or just having a wander to drink in your surroundings is a fantastic way to spend your time. You’ll find a riverside walk along the River Cover, the remains of Coverham Abbey and of course views of the imposing Middleham Abbey.
4. Have some fun at The Forbidden Corner
Photo credit: Instagram @sfwalking
There’s magical mystery aplenty at The Forbidden Corner and kids of all ages (and adults too) will love a visit there. You’re never quite sure what you’ll find lurking round the next corner and that’s the beauty of this fantastic folly. It’s a great day out for the whole family and definitely one you won’t forget.
5. Enjoy a meal in The Saddle Room
Image courtesy of The Saddle Rooms
Next to The Forbidden Corner you’ll find The Saddle Room, a restaurant converted from horses stables - very fitting for Middleham - that has more than 100 wines housed in the impressive wine cellar. Throughout The Saddle Room you’ll find nods to its racing history along with some rather tasty food.
6. Delve into medieval history at Middleham Castle
Middleham Castle is probably best known as the childhood home of one of England’s most infamous monarchs Richard III. It dates back even further than though – its keep was built in the 12th century and is one of the largest in the country. You can explore the remains, look out over Wensleydale from the viewing platform and learn more about Richard III and the Earl or Warwick (known as the kingmaker) and the various War of the Roses battles during a visit.
7. Go bike riding through the Yorkshire Dales
The quiet roads in the Yorkshire Dales are ideal for cycling – after all Yorkshire has hosted the Tour de France and become well-known for its own Tour de Yorkshire. The Tour de France passed through Middleham in 2014 and you’ll find bike hire nearby in Leyburn or Aysgarth if you don’t want to bring your own.
8. Have a pint in a country pub
You’ll be spoilt for choice of where to enjoy a pint (or glass of wine) on a visit to Middleham. There are no less than four pubs dotted around the market square so you can head to a different one each night if you fancy. Head out the village and you’ll find even more 17th century stone inns like The Blue Lion in East Witton and The Wyvill Arms in Constable Burton.
9. Enjoy a romantic short break in Middleham
You can have a cosy night in a romantic Middleham cottage. Our top choice is Warwick Coach House
Warwick Coach House features a beautiful master bedroom (including a monsoon shower behind a glass wall) and a patio that looks out over Middleham Castle.
10. Or bring the kids for a family cottage holiday
If you are looking for a family getaway to Middleham (well, The Forbidden Corner is just down the road) try the family-friendly End’n or White Cottage.
End’n is a stylish and contemporary two-bedroom cottage with lots of quirky details to look out for. The courtyard garden is ideal and has stunning views of the Dales.
White Cottage is a light, spacious and bright two-bedroom cottage – perfect for a family of four looking to explore Middleham. Take a look at our full range of Middleham Holiday Cottages.
Now you know the best things to do in Middleham, find the best holiday cottage to stay in to better explore this Yorkshire Dales town.