We love nothing more than packing up the car and heading out on an adventure. Having driven the Great Ocean Road and up (and back down) the Sunshine Coast in Australia, the Ring Road in Iceland and even through the Devil’s Beef Tub in Scotland (yes, it’s an actual place) we have certainly seen some beautiful sights and hidden gems. However, and maybe I am biased, I think some of the most breath-taking scenery can be found in my home county of Yorkshire, England especially The Yorkshire Dales. Mr ESLT and I often venture out in the car with no planned destination and are never disappointed with what we find. Now spring has finally sprung we are eager to hit the road again and see what new places we can find.
We love driving on the open country lanes, admiring our surroundings and pulling over when something peaks our interest. A lot of the roads through the Yorkshire Dales are single carriageway, many with a number of twists and turns, some of which can be quite hair rising if taken to fast. The roads in The Yorkshire Dales can get quite busy, especially during the summer months. Also, watch out for tractors, we always seem to get stuck behind one on every journey into the countryside we take. If you are not familiar with country lane driving ensure you have clear sight of the road in front of you, ensure there are no hidden dips and leave plenty of space if you decide to overtake. As with any journey there is always the possibility of an accident so ensure you have the correct motor insurance in place and check out www.chill.ie/car-insurance before heading out on your adventure.
So with years of exploring our local area under our belts, we have discovered thousands of hidden gems and here are 5 we recommend you visit if taking a break in ‘God’s Own Country’ – Yorkshire:-
We love Jervaulx Abbey. It is now just ruins, however, if like me you have an (over)active mind, it’s easy to imagine how grand the 12th century Cistercian monastery was back in the day. We’ve always been lucky that on the days that we’ve visited there’s only been a handful of people there, on one occasion we even got it all to ourselves, well apart from the sheep that live in the field next to it, meaning we could explore to our hearts content. There’s also an on site tea rooms which serves amazing cake, if wandering around gives you an appetite.
Fountains Abbey is fabulous; it was a serious contender when deciding where we wanted to get married. The only thing that stopped us was the guilt of people having to travel there, especially elder members of our families. It really is an amazing place to visit, both for the ruins of the 10th century abbey and the surrounding gardens. It is a Grade 1 listed building and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The history the site oozes is palpable. It truly is a gem and on a clear, bright day Mr ESLT has to drag me away from it.
Black Sheep Brewery
We love a brewery and The Black Sheep Brewery is one of our favourites and one we certainly recommend visiting if in North Yorkshire. With a tour of the brewery available and a bar where you try what you have just seen made, what’s not to love. Even if you are the designated driver, you can still sample some of the great Yorkshire fare on offer in the restaurant, especially the sausage and mash with rich Black Sheep gravy – yummy! You can also pick up some bottles at the gift shop to drink when you get home.
Something you will find in abundance in North Yorkshire are places of natural beauty and Aysgarth Falls in definitely one of them. We love just standing and watching the falls, which is actually the River Ure tumbling over a series of broad limestone steps, it is simply mesmerising. It’s a great place to get away from it all for a few hours or so. There are also a number of walks in and around the surrounding nature reserve from gentle strolls to strenuous hikes, a perfect place to stretch your legs whilst submerging yourself in nature.
The Wensleydale Creamery is a the famous Yorkshire Dales cheese maker and I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve visited over the years. Whenever we are close, something inside me is activated and I am drawn to ALL the cheese on offer at the creamery. There is a room within the creamery where you can sample one or two (or all 20) of the cheeses which are made there. There is also a viewing area when you can see the cheese being made and we always leave with at least half a dozen chunks to enjoy when we get home.
Are you from Yorkshire too or have you ever been? If so, have you uncovered any hidden gems of your own? Let us know as we are always on the look out for amazing and beautiful places to visit in Yorkshire!
- This post has been written in collaboration with chill.ie #hiddendrives. Opinions are of course our own – we love Yorkshire!