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~ Around Us ~

Try one of more than 140 guided walks;

Those planning a walking holiday will be spoilt for choice, as there are more than 140 guided walks to enjoy in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Up for a challenge? Then you may want to try tackling one (or all) of the Three Peaks: Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough or Whernside. Of course, there's lots more to do and see in the National Park. Hundreds of events run throughout the year, ranging from traditional farming shows and beer festivals, to bat walks and stream dipping. There's something for all the family to enjoy.

Immerse yourself in nature and local history;

There's another National Park Centre at Aysgarth Falls, less than five miles east of Askrigg. This impressive series of waterfalls, on the headwaters of the River Ure near the villages of Aysgarth and West Burton, have been attracting visitors for over 200 years. Ruskin, Turner and Wordsworth all visited and enthused at their outstanding beauty.

Just a few miles from Aysgarth is the well-preserved Bolton Castle, a massive 14th-century medieval fortress. Its oak beams were raised more than six centuries ago, but still support the great halls and galleries whose nine-feet thick walls soar upwards to the Civil War battlements. Built by Sir Richard Le Scrope, Lord Chancellor of England, it has never been sold and is privately owned by Lord Bolton, a direct descendant.

Hazel Brow Farm, a 15-minute drive north of Askrigg, is a 200-acre, family-run organic farm. Set in the heart of Swaledale, it has activities for all ages, from a nature trail challenge to some lovely self-guided walks starting at the farm.

Go shopping in Harrogate;

Shopaholics will love Harrogate, which has a wide selection of boutique and designer stores, as well as the usual high street favourites. Recover from all that retail therapy at the famous Bettys Café, which serves delicious Swiss confectionery and a huge range of teas and coffees. If you have time, the Royal Pump Room Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into this spa town's past, and is well worth a visit.

Birdwatching in Wensleydale;

It may be most well-known for its cheese, but Wensleydale is also home to many species of birds. In particular, look out for some impressive birds of prey, including the kestrel and peregrine falcon. We recommend picking up one of the Yorkshire Dales Bird Guides, which share some great suggestions for birdwatching activities.

Enjoy a day out in Hawes;

This bustling market town has lots to offer, including the Dales Countryside Museum and that scrumptious Wensleydale cheese we mentioned earlier. We recommend you visit on a Tuesday, as that's market day. If you fancy stretching your legs, go for a stroll around the Hawes Town Trail or Millennium Way. Afterwards, relax in one of the many delightful restaurants, cafés or pubs.

Visit Richmond, then meet some birds of prey;

Spend a day in Richmond, just 20 miles north east of Lodge Yard. Start at the museum, which tells the story of the town and its people. Based in a former joiner's workshop, it opened in 1978 and now has seven galleries.

Then why not head to the award-winning Green Howards Regimental Museum? Richmond is at the heart of the regiment's recruiting area and the museum charts its history to the present day, taking in the Crimean War, the North-West Frontier of India, the Boer War and World War I.

Enjoy a production at the Georgian Theatre Royal, the UK's most complete Georgian playhouse. Built by Samuel Butler in 1788, he also managed the theatre along with those at Beverley, Harrogate, Kendal, Northallerton, Ulverston and Whitby. There's something for everyone, from music and comedy to drama and dance.

Alternatively, head 25 miles east to Thorp Perrow Arboretum and its Bird of Prey and Mammal Centre. A great family day out, learn more about these spectacular birds and associated wildlife with a hands-on experience. The centre's flying demonstrations and informative commentary teach about eagles, falcons, hawks, vultures and owls from all five continents of the world.

See the beautiful Aysgarth Falls;

Film fans may recognise Aysgarth Falls from the motion picture Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. This beautiful stretch of water is known for its triple flight of waterfalls. On a warm, sunny day, the riverside walk which takes you past all three waterfalls, is an absolute pleasure. The most impressive, though, is Hardraw Force, the highest single-drop waterfall in England.

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