Day out: Wensleydale, North Yorkshire

Discover a stunning part of the Yorkshire Dales, including Britain’s highest waterfall, pretty wildflower meadows and the home of a much-loved cheese

Poll Dorset sheep, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire
Published: January 24th, 2019 at 12:17 pm
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Wensleydale has been home to the favourite delicacy of animated heroes Wallace and Gromit since the 12th century, when monks introduced cheesemaking to the Yorkshire Dales.


Handed down for generations, the tradition continues at the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes, where you can observe the process before dining in the Buttery restaurant. Local farms supply all the milk used and this walk explores the landscape grazed by their cattle. As you’ll see, the cheese isn’t the only moreish part of Wensleydale.

Gordale Scar, Yorkshire Dale

Things to do in Wensleydale

Hawes Creamery

The walk starts at the Wensleydale Creamery, which has a free car park. From the entrance, a field path descends to Hawes’ bustling centre. Turn right through the market place, passing several pubs, tearooms, a sweet shop and a popular chippie.

Hawes Creamery, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire
Hawes Creamery, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire ©Oliver Dixon, Geograph

On the edge of town, just before the rope factory, follow the Pennine Way north along the Hardraw road, crossing the former Wensleydale Railway, which once linked the town to the famous Settle-Carlisle Railway. It closed to passengers in 1954 but volunteers operating services along a 22-mile section hope to fully reopen the line.

Packhorse bridge

Packhorse bridge at Sedbust, North Yorkshire
Packhorse bridge at Sedbust, North Yorkshire ©Geograph

After crossing the River Ure, take a footpath on the right, which leads through meadows and over an arched packhorse bridge to the village of Sedbusk. Opposite the phone box, follow a path through a succession of hay meadows to Simonstone. Head up Simonstone Hall Hotel’s driveway and through a stile just before the courtyard.

Hardraw force

Field paths beyond Simonstone Hall descend to Hardraw, where a visit to Britain’s highest uninterrupted waterfall is a must. A nominal fee paid in the Green Dragon – a cheery pub offering good food and fine ales – grants access to the natural amphitheatre into which Hardraw Force plummets 30m (100ft).r

Hardraw Force, North Yorkshire
Hardraw Force, North Yorkshire ©Graham Hogg

West of the village, an old miners’ track lifts you to Bluebell Hill and views across Wensleydale. From here descend using a path signed ‘New Bridge’ to the junction of the A684 with the Hardraw road.

Railway arches

Cross the River Ure into Appersett and follow Widdale Beck up steep Lanacar Lane, passing beneath Appersett railway viaduct.

At the crest, take a path left, across a moor to a stile near a wall. Beyond, near an old limekiln, a fingerpost directs you through a small quarry to a lane into which you turn left, to the B6255. Take a path that leaves the road for Hawes, then fork left through a succession of meadows to the creamery.

Useful Information

The walk starts at the creamery in the market town of Hawes, which is on the A684, 16 miles east of Sedbergh.


Station Yard, Hawes DL8 3NT
01969 666210


Stone House Hotel
Sedbusk, Hawes DL8 3PT
01969 667571
This family-run country house retreat offers comfort, relaxation and superb meals.


Wensleydale Creamery
Gayle Lane, Hawes DL8 3RN
01969 667664
Visit the museum of cheese making before watching the modern manufacturing process.


Outhwaite Ropemakers
Town Foot, Hawes DL8 3NT
01969 667487
Admission is free to the modern-day factory, where you can learn about Hawes’ centuries-old tradition of rope making.


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