Find your escape: Rural retreats around the Dales

Blog posted:

11 June 2024

Take time out this summer and escape to the breathtaking gardens and outdoor spaces of the Yorkshire Dales and surrounding areas. You’ll be spoiled for choice as you discover an abundance of gardens, hidden gems, and the outdoor playgrounds of the Nidderdale National Landscape and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. To help plan your trip, we’ve gathered some ideas for your escape to nature around the Yorkshire Dales.

Exploring the Yorkshire coast

Picturesque picnics

What better way to spend a sunny day than heading to a picturesque spot and enjoying delicious food in beautiful surroundings? You’ll be hard pushed to find a better picnic spot than the glorious Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Gardens. Marvel at the abbey ruins or settle down in the tranquillity of the picturesque Water Gardens. There is also an on-site café and shop to enjoy, and dogs are welcome so your four-legged friend can enjoy a picnic too.

Wonderous waterfalls

Wensleydale is well known for its rolling hills, ancient drystone walls, and beautiful waterfalls just waiting to be explored. Why not head to the small village of Aysgarth in Upper Wensleydale and enjoy a short walk around the three-step cascade waterfall of Asygarth Falls?

Wonder around Freeholders’ Wood which gives wonderful views, before heading towards the Lower Falls to marvel at the cascading waterfall. After seeing the spectacle for yourself, indulge in a tasty treat in the Visitor Centre café.

Doing your own thing, in North Yorkshire
New Adventures in North Yorkshire

Spectacular sculptures

Home to one of the largest collections of rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias, enjoy an escape to the beautiful Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park, near Ripon. Stroll through 45 acres of woodlands, gardens, and an arboretum. In addition to beautiful gardens, discover an impressive collection of contemporary sculptures by local and international artists, and new for 2024, discover 60 newly installed sculptures as part of the “Landscape Exhibition”, exploring artistry in nature.

Amazing audio trails

On the border of North Yorkshire and Cumbria sits Ribblehead Viaduct, one of the most impressive structures of the industrial era, providing a breathtaking view as the Settle-Carlisle Railway winds its way through our beautiful hills and valleys. Explore the stunning viaduct as you listen to an audio trail that takes you through the history and construction of this magnificent structure.

New ways to relax at North Yorkshire outdoor Spas
Curious art, in North Yorkshire

Glorious gardens

Escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the 200 acres of heritage parkland and gardens on the Swinton Estate. Wander around the walled garden, one of the largest in England and make a stop at the working kitchen garden that serves the restaurant kitchens on the estate.

“Earth your wellness” and walk on the barefoot path in the spa gardens or unwind and relax in the Woodland Wellbeing Space where you can relax in the hammocks in the trees. For the more adventurous visitor, go wild swimming in the pond on the grounds of the Swinton Estate.

With so many places to discover you are sure to find the perfect rural retreat around the Yorkshire Dales. Go to our Find Your Escape page and start planning your visit.