Places to see and things to do - near ......
Gunnerside is the ideal location for both recreation and relaxation and to discover Upper Swaledale, the most Northerly Dale in the National Park.
The village has a fascinating history and has a small museum well worth a visit. Good fresh food is available at Mary Shaw's cafe and the Ghyllfoot Tearooms and bistro. Ramsey’s mobile Fish & Chip van arrives Friday evenings and is fresh and delicious. Two miles away in the village of Low Row Is the award winning gastro pub the Punch Bowl.
Starting from Briar Mede’s front door, a variety of routes will lead you to our neighbouring villages with exciting places to explore en route. Strike west to Muker, Thwaite and Keld or north up Gunnerside Ghyll to Arkengarthdale. To the east you can discover Low Row, Reeth and Grinton.
Muker: The Farmers Arms, Swaledale Woollens and the Old Schoolhouse art gallery and shop. Victorian Literary Institute now home to the Muker Silver Band who practice there two nights a week.
Thwaite: The birthplace of Richard and Cherry Kearton, who produced the first nature book to be illustrated entirely with photographs. The Kearton Hotel named after them with its restaurant and tearoom provide a place to relax and admire the views towards Kisdon Hill.
Keld: Named from the Viking word Kelda, meaning spring, which explains the many water falls in the area, Angram Force is particularly spectacular and worth the effort to see. Though there no shops actually in the village, Keld Lodge provides and ideal venue for food and drink.
Gunnerside Ghyll: When lead mining was at its height, Gunnerside Ghyll was the daily route to work for hundreds of local mine workers. Before making your way onward to Arkengarthdale, visit the Old Gang Mine and the remains of the largest lead smelting complex in the Dales, now a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Arkengarthdale: The CB Inn, a sister to the Punch Bowl offers fine food. The Red Lion is a typical Dales Pub in the village of Langthwaite, featured in the iconic series ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ which also included The ‘Water Splash’ a ‘ford’ on the road back to Low Row.
Low Row: The ‘Punch Bowl’ is open all day and serves lunch, tea and dinner at prescribed times though the day.
Reeth: A former Saxon Settlement and the largest village in Upper Swaledale has a wide variety of cafés and pubs serving food. The village Green is surrounded with Art and craft shops, a pottery, post office, village stores, three pubs and the Reeth Museum which is certainly worth a visit. Every Friday a local market every sets up on the ‘Cobbles’
Grinton: St Andrew's Church 'the Cathedral of the Dales' and the end of the ancient 'Corpse Way', from Grinton to Keld, at the head of the Dale. The Bridge Inn is open all day and welcomes walkers. The ‘Maiden Castle’ is a fascinating archaeological site lying high on the moor above Grinton and is probably prehistoric.
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Gunnerside is also the ideal location to adventure further afield to discover a wide variety of places to visit and things to see.
To the North, the nearby Durham market town of Barnard Castle, houses the Bowes Museum with its famous Silver Swan ‘automaton’ performing daily at 2pm.
Bolton Castle, a short ride away, was ‘home’ to Mary Queen of Scots at the ‘invitation’ of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth 1.
Aysgarth Falls in Wensleydale are well known to movie lovers for its many film appearances including ‘Robin Prince of Thieves’ fight between Robin and Friar Tuck. The Aysgarth Falls Hotel on the road to Bainbridge and Hawes serves good food for lunch.
Hawes itself is a fascinating and busy market town with many quaint and interesting shops. The Wensleydale Cheese Company, home of Wallace and Grommet will take you to a better understanding of the special cheeses created there.
The Buttertubs Pass on the road from Simondstone to Muker and Thwaite, links Upper Swaledale with Wensleydale and created the first ‘king of the mountains’ test for the Tour de France riders in June 2014. The ‘buttertubs’ themselves are 20 meter deep limestone potholes which were used to keep butter and produce fresh on the journey to Hawes market.
If you are interested in horseracing, a trip to Middleham with over 14 local racing stables using the gallops to exercise the horses is a must. At Easter each year a tour of the stables is available to see ‘behind the scenes’. Middleham Castle, once the childhood home of Richard III looms over the town. Although roofless, extensive remains of the fortified palace still survive, making it a fascinating castle to explore.
Close by to Middleham ‘The Forbidden Corner’ is a unique and quirky experience for adults and children alike.
Richmond, the Capital of Richmondshire, also sports an Historic Castle which dominates the skyline as you approach the town and walk round the cobbled market square. Richmond is also home to the Green Howards Museum and the unique ‘Georgean Theatre Royal’ painstakingly restored to its original glory and now fully functioning with regular performances. It also boasts a youth theatre company. ‘The Station’ has regular art exhibitions in the Gallery, a cinema and excellent café restaurant.