Things to Do in Bedale: Exploring North Yorkshire's Hidden Gem

a month ago   •   9 min read

By More Yorkshire

Things to Do in Bedale

Discover Bedale, the quintessential North Yorkshire market town and your gateway to the Yorkshire Dales. Stroll through history with Bedale's Georgian and Victorian architecture and join the lively Tuesday market to immerse yourself in local culture, sample regional delicacies, and shop eclectic goods.

Explore cultural treasures like St. Gregory's Church and Bedale Hall, set in a scenic public park that regularly hosts diverse events and exhibitions. Beyond the town, the great outdoors beckons with breathtaking landscapes perfect for everything from tranquil walks to thrilling adventures.

Don't miss family favorites like the educational Thorp Perrow Arboretum and the Black Sheep Brewery, where you can delve into the art of beer making and enjoy a tasting.

Top Attractions in Bedale

Bedale, a charming market town in North Yorkshire, offers an array of attractions ranging from historical landmarks to picturesque green spaces. Visitors can explore a variety of sites that showcase the natural beauty and heritage of the region.

Thorp Perrow Arboretum

Thorp Perrow Arboretum is renowned for its extensive collection of trees and shrubs, making it a haven for horticulture enthusiasts. The Arboretum encompasses footpaths that meander through the diverse plant life, providing a tranquil retreat for those seeking connection with nature.

Bedale Church

St. Gregory's Church, commonly known as Bedale Church, stands as a significant point of interest with its impressive architecture. The church's history is well-preserved, inviting those interested in ecclesiastical heritage to explore its serene interior and storied past.

Snape Castle

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Snape Castle, once a seat of power, now offers a glimpse into the region's robust history. This partially inhabited castle embodies centuries of architectural evolution and remains a noteworthy landmark for visitors.

Bedale Park

Bedale Park, known for its well-maintained grounds and scenic views, serves as the town's Renaissance Park. The park's lush landscape is ideal for leisurely strolls and family outings, affirming its status as a top attraction.

Wildlife and Nature

Bedale offers an exceptional experience for nature enthusiasts with its unique attractions that centre around wildlife and flora. Visitors are treated to engaging encounters with birds of prey and diverse mammals against a backdrop of scenic woodlands and vibrant gardens.

Birds of Prey Experience

At Thorp Perrow, visitors can marvel at one of the UK's finest Birds of Prey centres. It offers an up-close experience with these magnificent raptors in an environment that highlights both the birds' natural behaviours and the importance of conservation. The centre is home to a variety of species which are displayed during flying demonstrations, allowing spectators to witness these predators in action.

Mammal Area at Thorp Perrow

Thorp Perrow is also celebrated for its Mammal Area, where one encounters a diverse array of native and exotic mammals. Guests can enjoy the sights of animals in settings that mimic their natural habitats. This section of Thorp Perrow is not only about observation but also about education on the lives of these creatures.

The woodland gardens also present a serene setting where one can appreciate a rich tapestry of native trees and seasonal flowers, supporting the local ecology and offering a tranquil retreat for visitors of all ages.

Food and Drink

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Bedale's culinary scene offers a delightful mix of homemade fare and traditional British refreshments. Visitors can indulge in the warmth of fresh biscuits at a local tea room or experience the finest Yorkshire cuisine at renowned restaurants, all while enjoying the town's hospitable charm.

Tea Rooms and Cafes

Bedale is home to numerous tea rooms and cafes that typify the quintessentially British experience of tea drinking. These establishments often serve homemade biscuits and cakes, perfect for pairing with a pot of freshly brewed tea. Many places pride themselves on using locally sourced ingredients, ensuring a true taste of Yorkshire with every bite.

  • Homemade Biscuits: Often found in the display cases of these tea rooms, these treats are a must-try.
  • Traditional Tea: A variety of teas are offered, ranging from classic English Breakfast to fragrant herbal blends.

Local Restaurants

The local restaurants in Bedale are notable for their use of fresh, homemade ingredients, often sourced directly from Yorkshire farms. These establishments usually offer a menu that includes both traditional British dishes and modern interpretations, catering to a range of tastes and preferences.

  • British Fare: Expect to find classic dishes such as roast meats, fish and chips, and hearty pies.
  • Beverages: Local ales and ciders complement the food offerings, providing an authentic dining experience.

Shopping in Bedale

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Bedale offers a satisfying shopping experience, featuring an array of independent shops and traditional market days that cater to the needs of both residents and tourists.

Independent Shops

In the heart of Bedale, one can discover a selection of independent shops that bring a unique charm to the town's retail landscape. Shoppers can explore jewellery stores boasting bespoke pieces that offer both elegance and value for money. Amongst the quaint cobbled streets, collectors and gift-seekers will delight in finding shops that specialise in teddy bears and other collectables. Women's fashion boutiques provide a variety of clothing choices, ensuring a personal touch absent from larger high street names.

Market Days

Bedale's heritage as a market town comes to life during its market days, which are a central aspect of shopping in this town. Stalls and traders offer a varied selection of goods at competitive prices, ensuring value for money for the discerning shopper. From local produce to handicrafts, these market days provide an opportunity to purchase goods directly from the source, supporting the local economy and enjoying the lively atmosphere of a traditional Yorkshire market.

Historical Buildings

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Bedale offers an array of historical buildings that transport visitors back in time. These structures serve as a tangible connection to the town's rich past and Georgian influence, all meticulously maintained to this day.

Bedale Hall

Bedale Hall is a testament to the town's historical wealth. This early 18th-century country house sits at the heart of Bedale, offering a glimpse into the grandeur of its past. Historically, the Hall has served various functions, from a private residence to a school, and it is now a community hub. The Hall is maintained by a dedicated trust, ensuring its conservation and relevance for future generations.

Georgian Architecture

The Georgian era bestowed Bedale with distinctive architecture, characterised by its symmetry and classic proportions. A walk through Bedale reveals well-preserved examples of Georgian style. Many buildings from this period were used medicinally, with apothecaries and physicians operating in the area, highlighting the intersection of architecture and healthcare during the Georgian period.

Scenic Tours and Walks

Bedale is a picturesque market town in North Yorkshire, rich with cultural heritage and natural beauty. Its scenic walks and tours offer visitors a delightful way to experience the area's landscapes and learn about its history.

Guided Tours

Guided tours in Bedale present a fantastic opportunity for tourists to gain an insightful experience, led by knowledgeable guides. Among the popular choices are tours through historical sites and across the diverse countryside. Booking data suggest guided tours are frequently chosen by those seeking a comprehensive understanding of the area's context and history. Tour operators often provide varied itineraries, ensuring scenic page views and enjoyable experiences for all visitors.

Self-Guided Walks

For those preferring a leisurely pace or a more spontaneous adventure, self-guided walks are a great alternative. Detailed maps and information are readily available, allowing tourists to explore at their convenience. The terrain ranges from tranquil woodland walks to strolls by Bedale Beck, with its historical beckside harbour. These walks provide a chance to appreciate the serenity of the area and to engage with the natural environment intimately.

Visitors are encouraged to respect the natural habitats and maintain the cleanliness of the paths to preserve Bedale's scenic beauty for future generations.

Local Events and Community

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Bedale's vibrant local events and community gatherings are a testament to its rich culture and the active participation of its residents. From annual festivals to regular town meetings, these occasions bring together the community and offer a glimpse into the traditions of this North Yorkshire town.


Bedale hosts several festivals throughout the year:

  • Bedale Festival: A key highlight in Bedale's cultural calendar, this festival transforms the town with street entertainment, local food stalls and activities for all ages.
  • Duncombe Park Event: A picturesque two-day celebration in Helmsley, featuring a variety of shows and local crafts, set against the backdrop of the historic Duncombe Park.

Community Gatherings

Community gatherings in Bedale are frequent and deeply rooted in the town's social fabric:

  • Bedale Community Library: A hub for local residents, offering more than just books—the library becomes a space for social events and learning opportunities.
  • Bedale Band: Music brings people together, and the Bedale Band is an excellent example of community-driven cultural enrichment.
  • Weekly Market: Every Tuesday, the town's market offers fresh produce, crafts, and antiques, becoming a staple for both locals and visitors to interact and trade.

Community gatherings in Bedale foster a sense of belonging and provide platforms for residents to contribute to their town's culture and development.

Visitor Information

When planning a visit to Bedale, travellers will find a range of services to enhance their experience. From comprehensive tourist information to savvy travel tips, visitors can navigate and enjoy Bedale with ease.

Tourism Services

Bedale's Tourist Information Centre, located in Bedale Hall at North End, serves as a valuable resource for visitors. Staffed by knowledgeable volunteers, the centre offers brochures, maps, and personalised assistance. Operating hours are seasonally adjusted, with extended service from Easter through to late October.

Tourists can also seek information online, with websites such as Tripadvisor offering valuable reviews and ratings. This allows travellers to determine the popularity of sights based on feedback from other travellers. Providers such as Viator are available for bookings and often feature an automated tracking system to facilitate reservation management.

Travel Tips

For a smoother journey, visitors are encouraged to check opening times and book tickets to attractions in advance, when possible. Carrying a hard copy map or having an offline map application can be helpful as a backup to technology. Visitors should also regularly review online platforms for updated travel tips and reviews on popular attractions.

Photography enthusiasts may want to check for permissions needed at venues. Bedale's picturesque settings are perfect for capturing memories, so ensuring camera equipment is prepared and ready is recommended. Moreover, it's good practice to have essential travel insurance in place and to be aware of local emergency services and contact numbers.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section provides concise answers to some of the most commonly asked questions by visitors, ensuring a more informed and enjoyable trip to Bedale.

What are the top attractions to visit in Bedale?

Visitors should not miss Thorp Perrow Arboretum, St Gregory's Church, or the Big Sheep & Little Cow farm for diverse experiences. Bedale also offers engaging local history at the Bedale Museum and art at The Bridge Gallery.

For a meal, one can visit local favourites that offer British cuisine along with a cosy atmosphere. Traditional pubs and quaint cafes dot the town, with some hosting live music events.

Are there any unique activities for adults in Bedale?

Adults can enjoy a visit to the Black Sheep Brewery for a tour and tasting experience. Other unique activities include Aerial Extreme for some adventure and Thorp Perrow for its seasonal events.

Can you suggest any free activities to do in Bedale?

Bedale offers various free activities including a leisurely walk by Bedale Beck, exploring the town's weekly market, and visiting St Mary's Chapel for its architectural beauty.

Where can one find the best walking routes in Bedale?

One may find picturesque walking routes along Bedale Beck or by visiting the nearby Thorp Perrow Arboretum, which hosts a collection of walks through beautiful woodland and gardens.

Pubs in Bedale serve as cultural hubs where one can enjoy local ale, food, and live entertainment. Two of the most popular include The Green Dragon and The Woodman Inn, known for their friendly atmosphere and traditional British pub fare.

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