Dales never fail to deliver northern hospitality
Yorkshire Dales National Park perks don't come any better than at Aysgarth Lodges.
Imagine a land of 75 hand-picked luxury hot tub hideaways in Â£12 million "new park with new philosophy". Then turn that dream destination into reality by booking yout break.
The life-affirming Leisure Resorts location is best of bucolic boltholes, far from madding crowd of city commutes, surrounded as it is by serene scenery.
Within sheltered secluded vale of rolling hills, this superior site offers welcome warmer than waters of whirlpools, standard with all quality accommodation.
Family friendlier than Ronald McDonald in Mothercare, the Westholme Bank base is perfectly placed to explore God's Own County's heavenly landscape.
Among thousands of square miles of stone-built villages and stunning valleys, this spacious centre nestles in area affording easy access to attractions aplenty.
The picturesque park's Bishopdale Beck banks are within walking distance of amazing Aysgarth Falls while short drive from Richmond Castle, White Scar Caves and Hardraw Force.
Walkers and hikers, cyclists and couples, sightseers and anglers alike can make Yorkshire Dales National Park their playground amid waterfall walks and woodland trails.
Then relax under star-lit skies amid steam of your decking Jacuzzi, troubles bubbling away throughout ultimate in civilised stays, awash with exclusivity and excellence.
One of our country's biggest county's biggest such developments, this pet-friendly park is perfect for those in search of natural paradise without venturing further afield.
Recent report reveals 2019 Yorkshire Dales bookings are already 186% up on this year as we increasingly favour more short stay-cation breaks on our delightful doorstep.
Leisure Resorts MD Gary Molloy agrees: "Enabling singles, couples, families and groups to escape hustle and bustle of everyday life to enjoy quality time together is our ambition.
"With close to full occupancy in our recent opening week, it seems the British public welcome that very much,” added the man whose vision came to fruition a few months ago.
Brits, spurning traditional high spend foreign fortnights, can rest assured they'll lodge no complaints by making this high class holiday haven their hospitable home from home.
Where to go: Stray no further than on-site Molly's Farm, with welcoming children's playground alongside, for conservation-friendly fun for all the family. This ever expanding petting area allows animal magic moments, up close and personal with cute collection of four-legged friends. Must-see creature features include champion bloodline Alpacas, mischievous Toggenburg Goats, rare White Chipmunks and Kune Kunes glorying in porcine names Pepper and George.
A little further afield is three-mendous Aysgarth Falls' trio of steep Limestone stepped descents. Carved out over a mile by raging River Ure, thousands of gallons of swollen water cascade down this magnificence of Mother Nature. Aesthetic admirers Ruskin, Turner and Wordsworth walked these banks, flanked by forest and farmland, more recently dramatic backdrop for Robin Hood Prince of Thieves movie scene. May the Upper, Middle and Lower Force be with you.
Nearby Hawes is home to Wensleydale Creamery, award winning production centre of excellence for eponymous dairy product, exported globally with by-product butter and yoghurt. Contributing annual Â£12m to local economy, tradition and innovation are key ingredients of world renowned independent blender's time-honoured recipe for success, 1,000 years old, now afforded European Protected Geographical Indication status. If, as Python's Life of Brian would have us believe, "blessed are the cheesemakers," this savoury place is simply the blest.
Forbidden Corner is fast becoming firm family favourite, having been labelled foremost European folly (after Brexit, Bremainers would argue) and self-proclaimed "Strangest Place in the World". Tupgill Park's four acre grounds reveal unique labyrinths, tunnels, chambers, galleries and statues, offering catalogue of challenges - equally tricky and trippy, as commended by TripAdvisor - as well as unexpected water features. Imagine Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear production, filmed by Tim Burton. Then some!
Peek into the past at Bolton Castle, among our best persevered medieval strongholds. Completed in 1399, the fortress's scars bear testament to six centuries of entertaining, educational and embattled history including involvement in Pilgrimage of Grace, Mary Queen of Scot’s imprisonment and Civil War siege. Many rooms remaining fully intact, there's authentic taste of what bygone life was really like thanks to provoking sights, sounds and smells. Hawk walks, falconry and photo-opp events take visiting experience to another even more enjoyable level.
Masham is market town as seeped in alcohol as it is steeped in history. Among Britain’s oldest established brewers, Theakston - whose Old Peculiar can make you just that after pair of pots, correctly coined 5.6 ABV Lunatic’s Broth - boasts Black Bull in Paradise Visitor Centre. But, bear with, Black Sheep Brewery is breakaway business on back of family fall-out, just keystone's throw away. Tours offer visitors free bar vouchers so, having enjoyed spare tokens while accompanied by teetotaler and teenager, I next plan to take school trip of abstainers!
'‹Further afield, but well worth rugged road trip climb, is Tan Hill Inn, loftiest British boozer at 1,732 feet ale'‹-'‹titude. Scene of double glazing feather TV ad - as iconically '80s as mulleted Yuppie, sporting shoulder pads, wiedling Walkman. Further Peak viewing came with Agent Cooper's appearance at the paramount Pennine Way pub in commercial that renamed this windswept watering hole Wolf & Whistle'‹, proving - when it comes to "damn fine cup of coffee" - ain't no mountain high enough. The height of remote revelry, not advisable for pub crawl.
Full circle, afore or after adventures around and about, sate your healthy appetite with quality locally sourced ingredients that make on-site Falls End bar and restaurant success on a plate. Home-made classic comfort food, featured on interactive TV menus, comes in generous portions big enough to bully nouvelle cuisine into any kitchen corner. Cosy interior, or attractive terrace, winning ingredient comes in form of friendly staff - among 35 who have found work at newly unveiled hospitality enterprise - whose service makes wining and dining smiles better.
Way to go: Aysgarth Lodges by Leisure Resorts, Westholme Bank, Leyburn, DL8 3SP, 01969 663268, https://leisureresorts.co.uk/parks/aysgarth/