Things to do
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The Old Post Office makes a great base and a stunning location for;
All Year Round Walking
For walks in Wensleydale visit
Horse Riding and Trekking
Wensleydale Equestrian Centre, situated at Gill Edge, Wensleydale, offers full equestrian facilities including trekking and tuition.
Telephone 01969 650367.
Cycling is a great way to explore the area using the many cycleways that follow old railway tracks, custom built paths and quiet leafy lanes. And the trails across the dales and moors offer endless cycling possibilities for both novices and the adventurous alike.
Guests can choose from gentler routes along the dale to challenging climbs over expansive moorland and remote rolling farmland to enjoy the amazing scenery and beautiful villages.
If you are a serious cyclist why not try out some of "Le Tour Yorkshire" route. A section of Stage 1 is highlighted below = passing through Bainbridge and the surrounding area..
Bird Watching and Studying Wildlife
Wensleydale has an excellent assortment of large and small birds. Curlews are very common along with the Lapwing, Oyster Catcher, Herons, Buzzards and flocks of Black-headed Gulls.
When there is snow on the ground the tracks of badger, roe deer, fox and rabbit can often be found. Springtime it is worth a visit to the woodlands beside Aysgarth Falls to find carpets of wood anemones and violets. Barracks Wood near West Burton waterfall is a good spot for primroses. In late spring and early summer the pastures and meadows are full of wildflowers - lots of purple orchids, cowslips and blue cranesbill.
Mid to late summer sees yellow water lilies on the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve at Semerwater and the geese and ducks will have their families in tow. A walk around the lake via Stalling Busk and Marsett will pass through marshland where you can hear the snipe calling and enjoy the variety of marsh plants. August is grouse season and the hills are covered in purple heather.
In Autumn you might spot a peregrine falcon, a short-eared owl or a black grouse from Shunner Fell, the highest point in upper Wensleydale
There is a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve at Seata Quarry and Kennel Field, both near Thornton Rust.
The River Ure and River Bain, together with Blackburn Trout Farm offers anglers some great opportunities.
The Hawes & High Abbotside Angling Association welcomes visitors to the dale - Contact: Ms Jennifer Dinsdale, Broughside, Bainbridge, Leyburn DL8 3EG. Tel: 01969 650304
Day tickets can be purchased locally for fishing on the rivers Ure and Bain.
Day tickets to fish on Semmerwater are £5.50, or £9.00 for two rods, £11.00 for three rods a day. Tickets should be purchased prior to fishing from Mr Metcalf at Low Blean Farm, which is next to the lake. Fishing from Dawn until Dusk (no night fishing allowed). Open all year round.
Photography, Drawing and Painting
Bring along your camera, lenses, tripod, easel, sketchbook, pastel, paints and pencils. Bainbridge and the surrounding area is the perfect place for experienced and novice photographers and artists alike to capture the memory of this beautiful village and nearby stunning scenery.
Visit the spectacularAysgarth Falls on the River Ure. Especially stunning after a heavy rainfall!
Hardraw Force is England's largest single drop waterfall. Access is through the historic Green Dragon Inn, which also holds regular music events.
Totally relax with a visit toThe Ginger Tree. Enjoy a luxurious and natural beuty treatment in peaceful, secluded surroundings.
Riding the Railways
The Wensleydale Railway runs steam and diesel hauled trains between Leeming Bar and Redmire, via Bedale, Finghall and Leyburn. Check the Wensleydale Railway website for train times and special events such as the 1940s and Photographer's Weekends, Santa Specials and Murder Mystery evenings.
Meeting the Locals
Always some interesting characters to be found in the local pubs.
Market days are a great way to bump into the locals. Local market days are: Hawes on Tuesday / Leyburn on Friday.
Visit and agricultural show in the area - see our events diary for details
Seeing Local Crafts
The Ropemakers in Hawes - See ropes being made the traditional way and enjoy the facilities on offer, including a well-stocked shop full of gift ideas.
The Cat Pottery - the famous Moorside Cats are designed and sculpted at the pottery in West Burton. A must for any cat lover.
Gayle Mill- a fully restored Victorian woodworking machinery and the oldest working turbine in the UK
Sampling the Local Produce
Wensleydale Creamery - See the famous Wensleydale Cheese being made, enjoy the sampling room and visit their shop, restaurant and café.
The Little Chocolate Shop - buy handmade chocolates and confectionery at the working factory in Leyburn.
Great sausages and bacon from Hammond's the Butcher in the village.
Raydale Preserves- locally made chutney, jams and relishes. Why not take some home to share with family and friends.
If you are visiting in May check when the Dales Festival of Food and Drink is happening in Leyburn - well worth a visit.
The Forbidden Corner - A magical garden of Follies
Hazel Brow Organic Farm and Visitor Centre - Lots to do down on the farm.
History of Bainbridge (click this title for more in depth local history)
Addleborough Fort in Bainbridge: The Roman conquest saw a permanent garrison placed at a fort at a crossing over the River Bain at Bainbridge. The fort has been excavated extensively and lies on Brough Hill, the hog-backed glacial mound seen from the back garden.
The Roman Road in Bainbridge: A very direct and well-preserved Roman Road runs from Ingleton to the Roman Fort at Bainbridge. This particular section is now known as Cam High Road.
The Hornblowers of Bainbridge: Following the Norman Conquest, a large part of the upper dale became hunting forest for the lords of Middleham and was administered from a forest lodge at Bainbridge. One old custom at Bainbridge was that every night at ten o'clock, from the feast of Holy Rood, September 27th to Shrovetide, the forest horn was sounded to guide benighted - travellers who may have lost their way amongst the mountains and forests of Wensleydale. Today the horn hangs in the entrance hall at The Rose and Crown.
The Village Green and Stocks: The green has belonged to the people of Bainbridge since 1663 when they acquired the manorial rights. They still have Lords Trustees of the Manor of Bainbridge. You can see the stocks for unruly villagers from the front window.
Bainbridge Workhouse: The first workhouse in Bainbridge was built in 1740.
The Bainbridge Electric Lighting Company: John Leyland formed the Bainbridge Electric Light Company in 1912 to harness the power of the River Bain to light homes in the village. Recently locals, including relatives of John Leyland, have invested in the community company River Bain Hydro, an innovative new scheme which will again use the river to generate green energy.
History Further Afield:
Bolton Castle in the nearby village Castle Bolton is a Grade I listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The castle was damaged in the English Civil War, but much of it remains. It has never been sold and is still in the ownership of the descendants of the Scrope family, and is now a tourist attraction.
Middleham Castle once home to King Richard III.
Jervaulx Abbey in East Witton was one of the great Cistercian abbeys of Yorkshire, England, founded in 1156.
General Dales Information
The Yorkshire Dales Information from Eagle Intermedia
The Yorkshire Dales The internet Gateway to the Dales - information from Daelnet
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority - Bainbridge is in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty. The National Parks website offers lots of local information.
More details of things to do can be found in our information files at the Old Post Office.