Middleham (4.5 miles) in Wensleydale, is one of Yorkshire's loveliest towns. Famous for its castle (once home to Richard III), it's also home to several racehorse trainers; you will see and hear the horses being led through the village up to the gallops every day. And to top it off, there is a great collection of pubs, cafes, restaurants and shops.
Just 2.5 miles out of the village is the fantastic attraction, The Forbidden Corner. Regularly voted the best family attraction in Yorkshire, it's also well worth a look even if there are no children in your party.
In the opposite direction, you'll find the charming market town of Leyburn (3 miles), with its traditional shops, pubs and cafes all gathered around the handsome town square. As well as a busy market every Friday, the town is also home to the biggest auction centre outside of London. The nearby historic town of Richmond (11 miles) is another great option for a day out with its scenic setting along the River Swale.
There are a wealth of other pretty villages and stunning natural sights all within close range of the cottage including Aysgarth Falls, which were featured in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and Bolton Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was once held prisoner; both are under 8 miles away.
The village of Aysgarth (7.5 miles) is in Wensleydale and boasts many great options to eat, including popular pubs and cute cafes. If you visit in spring, you can’t leave without a visit to Freeholders’ Wood where bluebells, anemones and primroses will be in full bloom.
The stunning landscape of Wensleydale itself includes 25 miles of lush valleys, criss-crossed with the area’s iconic dry-stone walls. If you enjoy walking and countryside views, you will not be short of things to do, with Wensleydale providing delightful moorland, dale-side and valley walks. Wensleydale is also sandwiched between Wharfedale and Swaledale, if you fancy exploring further afield.
If walking is your thing, the surrounding Yorkshire Dales are something of a walker's paradise. And there are plenty of options for cycling too, with a variety of excellent gastropubs to enjoy a well-earned pit-stop along the way.