Welcome to mrVisitor!
Leyburn is situated ideally for exploring the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It is the principal market town of the Dales and Friday markets have been held since the charter was granted by Charles II in 1686. The listed Georgian square still provides a great setting for shopping. mrVisitor found warm respite from the rain at the Golden Lion Hotel. Accommodation here is comfortable and wheelchair accessible and children and dogs are welcome. The hotel has been owned by the same family for some 20 years and the majority of the staff are long time local residents so the faces donâ€™t change that often. It is a happy and welcoming environment in which to stay. Owner Anne Wood and manager/barman Ian are a wealth of information on the area and are more than happy to advise you on how to spend your days. mrVisitor enjoyed their company until closing time.
The Golden Lion has 15 en-suite rooms and a restaurant that includes something for the kiddies. There is so much to do in the area; what follows is only a sample of some of the places mrVisitor visited.
Bolton Castle in Wensleydale is relatively unaltered and therefore appears as a medieval castle ought to. It is also rare as you can actually explore most of the building, compared to most castles where much of the space is used as estate offices. Sir Richard, 1st Baron Scrope, began construction of the castle in 1379. It wasnâ€™t completed until 1399. Restoration began in the 1990s. The rooms can be seen almost as they were and the various uses of each room are apparent, such as the threshing floor and horse mill or in the bake and meal houses. The views from the battlements are commanding, with the Ure Valley laid out before you.
The most famous Bolton Castle guest was Mary, Queen of Scots. She had fled to England to seek the help of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth, in quelling the rebellion of her subjects. Elizabeth was suspicious of Mary as she could make claim to the English throne but as she did not want to be seen imprisoning another Queen, she placed her in the care of the Lord Scrope of Bolton in 1568. She was treated as an honoured guest and the family sacrificed its own private chambers to this end.
Middleham Castle in nearby Middleham was originally built in the 12th Century but a Norman fortification existed before that. It was greatly improved in the 15th Century and was the childhood home of Richard III.
Aysgarth Falls are also nearby and have been attracting visitors for hundreds of years. They cover almost a one mile stretch of the River Ure. They are quite spectacular; you may recognize the upper falls from the film Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.
The Wensleydale Creamery is located in the bustling town of Hawes. This is the home of Wensleydale cheese and is a great attraction in the heart of the Dale. This is a working cheese factory with a viewing centre where you can watch the cheese being made, sample some of the award winning products and even buy some to take home. The queue in the shop allows time to try almost every variety on offer and mrV can guarantee youâ€™ll take home more than one souvenir chunk!
Wensleydale has a celebrity fan in the form of Wallace, the cheese loving inventor of Wallace & Gromit fame, whose favourite cheese is Wensleydale! The creamery has now teamed up with the producers of these films and has created some unusual cheese combinations such as Leicester and Leek and the award winning Cheddar with Cherrybell Peppers and Sundried Tomatoes. Visit the museum with all its cheese paraphernalia from days gone by and see one of the recent Wallace and Gromit film sets.
Next week mrVisitor will brave How Stean Gorge!
mrVisitor's Yorkshire trip was made possible by the Yorkshire Tourist Board, The Golden Lion, How Stean Gorge, Eureka! Children's Museum, and The White Swan.