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Bolton Abbey – Embsay Railway Copyright Paul Harris

What to do on rainy days

When you see the wonderful green colour of our hills and all those rivers and waterfalls it will come as no surprise to learn that we do have the odd rainy day. But this shouldn’t dampen your enjoyment!

Explore castles, stately homes and museums

Not all castles are ruins! In fact we have some of the best preserved medieval castles in Britain. Bolton Castle in Wensleydale gives a real flavour of how things would have been, and Skipton Castle is a joy to explore. Nearby stately homes give a great indoor option: Newby Hall near Ripon was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Kiplin Hall near Richmond is an intriguing Jacobean house. East Riddlesden Hall near Keighley is owned by the National Trust where friendly room guides share fascinating stories.

Homespun inside fun

There are many places in the Dales where you can watch things being made. Farfield Mill on the edge of Sedbergh has exhibits, craftspeople and galleries plus the delicious Weavers Cafe. In Hawes take in the Dales Countryside Museum, or watch cheese being produced at the famous Wensleydale Creamery.

Down the road in Richmond you can watch cheese makers, bakers and brewers at the Station, where you can also see a film, enjoy an art exhibition, a meal in the café or an ice cream from Archers.

At the Inspired Chocolate in Leyburn (signposted Chocolate Factory) you will see chocolates being made, a film about chocolate and then have the chance to buy some chocolate stilettos! In nearby Wensley, the White Rose Candles workshop shows off what goes into candle production – plus you can view the amazing variety of candles for sale.

Yet more chocolate action can be found in Orton at Kennedy’s Chocolate Factory.

Masham has not one, but two famous breweries where you can learn how to make beer from the experts. Take a tour of Black Sheep Brewery or Theakstons Breweries.

Wellies and waterproofs

Heading out in the rain can be spectacular. Waterfalls are at their most dramatic and there’s a real feeling of adventure.

Haven’t brought the right kit with you? Pop in to an outdoor shop to pick up some essentials. Our National Park Visitor Centres in Grassington, Malham, Hawes, Aysgarth and Reeth stock a wide range of clothing. In Ingleton there is Inglesports and Bernie’s. In Settle you will find Castlebergh Sports, whilst in Grassington there is The Mountaineer and in Hawes is Cunninghams.

Cafes and pubs

After being out and about you can’t beat a steaming mug of tea and slab of cake, or a pint in front of a real fire. Take a look at where to find a great café or pub in the Dales.

Take the train

A train journey is the perfect way to see the Dales without getting wet. Sit back on the world famous journey from Settle to Carlisle as it finds its ways through the Dales using tunnels and viaducts. You could journey back in time on the Embsay to Bolton Abbey steam railway, Wensleydale line or the Stainmore Railway at Kirkby Stephen.