Things to Do In Hawes: Exploring On & Off The Beaten Path

8 months ago   •   11 min read

By More Yorkshire
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Things To Do In Hawes

Hawes is an enchanting market town perfect for a getaway or a day out. Steeped in history and surrounded by stunning landscapes, it's an ideal destination for those seeking to explore the best that North Yorkshire has to offer. From cultural attractions to natural wonders, there are plenty of things to do in Hawes and the surrounding Wensleydale!

As you wander through the quaint streets of Hawes, don't miss out on the opportunity to visit the famous Wensleydale Creamery, where you can witness the art of cheese-making and sample some of the region's delicious creations.

For history buffs, the area is home to several centuries-old castles and well-preserved villages, showcasing the rich heritage of the Yorkshire Dales.

If you're an outdoor enthusiast, the pristine countryside offers countless walking and cycling trails, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the region.

Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveller, Hawes and the surrounding Wensleydale area provide a perfect canvas to create unforgettable memories.

With its wide range of attractions and activities, there's something for everyone in this charming corner of England.

So gather your sense of adventure and set off to explore the wonders of Hawes and the Yorkshire Dales.

Pit Stops in Town

In Hawes, there are several must-visit attractions to spice up your trip. Embrace the local culture and unique experiences the town has to offer as you stroll through these remarkable stops.

Wensleydale Creamery

At the heart of Hawes, you'll find the famous Wensleydale Creamery, where the exceptionally delicious and famous Wensleydale cheese is crafted.

Here, you can witness cheese making demonstrations and immerse yourself in the history of this iconic local product at their small museum and viewing gallery.

Don't miss the opportunity to taste the wide variety of cheese and indulge in some tasty treats from the cafe.

Dales Countryside Museum

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Take a step back in time at the Dales Countryside Museum.

This wonderful museum offers an insightful look into the history and heritage of the Yorkshire Dales.

Discover the area's rich farming and industrial past, its people, and their stories in this engaging and educational experience.

Hawes Ropemakers

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Witness the traditional art of rope making at the Hawes Ropemakers.

This skilled craft has been maintained throughout generations in this small, bustling workshop.

As you watch the artisans work their magic, you'll have a rare chance to appreciate the time and effort it takes to create bespoke ropes and witness a slice of local history.

Market Town

Hawes is renowned for being a lively market town, teeming with local produce and charming boutiques.

Stroll around the cobbled streets, soak up the atmosphere and explore the unique shops selling everything from traditional sweets to handmade crafts.

The weekly market is a great opportunity to purchase fresh seasonal produce, mingle with friendly locals and truly immerse yourself in the bustling life of this quaint town.

Remember to enjoy each of these pit stops during your visit to Hawes, taking in the history and culture while making unforgettable memories along the way.

Natural Attractions

Hardraw Force

Hardraw Force is an enchanting waterfall located in the small village of Gayle, near Hawes.

This waterfall is England's highest single drop waterfall, boasting an impressive 100-foot plunge.

To reach Hardraw Force, you will need to visit the Green Dragon Inn, a lovely pub where you can enjoy a drink and gain access to the waterfall through the establishment's private land.

Aysgill Force

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Another impressive waterfall in the Hawes area is Aysgill Force.

Located along the River Ure, this waterfall is perfect for those who fancy a striking walk. A stunning 40-foot drop awaits you at the end of the trail, offering a spectacular view for visitors.


Semerwater is the second-largest natural lake in North Yorkshire and a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Enjoy relaxing by the water, picnicking, swimming, or exploring the surrounding countryside. There are also opportunities for kayaking and sailing on the lake.

Cotter Force

Cotter Force is a smaller, tranquil waterfall hidden away in the woods near Hawes. To access the waterfall, there is a gentle walk through the forest, making it perfect for a peaceful escape.

Buttertubs Pass

Buttertubs Pass is a scenic drive connecting Hawes to Swaledale.

The road gets its unique name from the Buttertubs, deep limestone potholes along the route that resemble churns where farmers would store butter.

Enjoy the impressive drive and the remarkable landscape that surrounds you.

Three Peaks


The Three Peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough offer a thrilling challenge for avid hikers.

Located within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, these peaks form a popular circular hike, covering 24 miles in total.

While the terrain is demanding, the views from each summit are truly rewarding.

River Ure

The River Ure flows through the idyllic landscape of Wensleydale, offering opportunities for gentle riverside strolls.

Along the river, you can discover gorgeous villages like Bainbridge, Aysgarth, and Middleham, and marvel at the amazing countryside that surrounds you.

Take your time exploring this scenic area and soak in the tranquillity that Wensleydale has to offer.

Outdoor Activities

Snaizeholme Red Squirrel Trail

Discover the allure of nature at the Snaizeholme Red Squirrel Trail located in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.

This trail offers you a chance to spot native red squirrels in their natural habitat as you walk through the alluring woodland.

The trail is relatively easy, making it suitable for all ages and abilities. Don't forget to visit the Snaizeholme viewpoint for breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery.

Pennine Way

Stretching from Edale to the Scottish border, the Pennine Way is a 268-mile long National Trail offering challenging yet rewarding walks suitable for experienced hikers.

You can access this iconic trail from Hawes, where it traverses moorlands, hills and exquisite Yorkshire Dales villages.

Be sure to have your camera ready to capture the stunning landscape and wildlife along the way.

Great Shunner Fell

Great Shunner Fell, standing at 716 metres above sea level, is the third highest peak in the Yorkshire Dales.

Embark on an adventurous hike to its summit and immerse yourself in the superb views of both Hawes and Wensleydale.

The ascent can be demanding, so ensure you are wearing appropriate footwear and clothing. Timing your walk correctly can provide you with an unforgettable sunset view from the summit.

Cycle Hire

Cycling enthusiasts will be pleased to know that there is a Cycle Hire service available in Hawes called Stage 1 Cycles.

They offer a wide variety of bikes to suit your needs, from mountain bikes to e-bikes, perfect for exploring the numerous cycling routes in the Yorkshire Dales.

Discover the spectacular landscapes, quaint villages and historic sites at your own pace - just remember to wear a helmet and follow safe cycling practices.

Facilities and Services


In Hawes, there is a large car park with plenty of space for coaches. This car park is located at the Dales Countryside Museum, Station Yard, Burtersett Road, Hawes, North Yorkshire, DL8 3NT.


Toilet facilities are available at the Dales Countryside Museum, which is also home to the Hawes National Park Centre. These facilities cater to the needs of visitors exploring the area.

National Park Visitor Centre

The Hawes National Park Centre is housed in the Dales Countryside Museum. This visitor centre provides valuable information about the North Yorkshire Dales National Park, local attractions, and walking trails. It is a great starting point for planning excursions into the wonderful Yorkshire Dales.

Little White Bus

The Little White Bus is a community transport service that helps you explore the surrounding areas, especially when public transport options are limited. This service operates in the Upper Wensleydale area and connects Hawes with various popular walking routes and attractions. For more information on the Little White Bus routes and timetable, please visit their official website.

Local Delicacies

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When looking for things to do in Hawes, you'll not only find beautiful landscapes and historical attractions, but also a taste of local delicacies.

In this delightful town, you can discover some of the most delicious and unique dishes of the region, and no culinary tour would be complete without stopping in at some of the local spots to experience the flavours of Hawes.

Firebox Café

One standout spot in Hawes is the Firebox Café. Located within the Wensleydale Creamery, this café offers a chance to fuel up in a relaxed and welcoming environment.

After sampling the cheeses at the Creamery, you can sit down at the Firebox Café and enjoy a meal made from local produce, with an extensive menu catering to various tastes.

Their offerings range from hearty breakfasts to delectable lunch dishes, including sandwiches featuring their famous Wensleydale cheese. As you indulge in your meal, feel free to admire the surrounding countryside views from their spacious outdoor seating area. In addition, the café serves mouth-watering cakes and bakes, which are just waiting to be explored.

You can also find an impressive selection of jams from local producers, perfect for stocking up your pantry or finding a souvenir to remember your visit. These jams, chutneys, and preserves make perfect pairings with the Wensleydale cheeses and add a sweet touch to your experience.

So, when you find yourself in the charming town of Hawes, don't miss the opportunity to try these local delicacies. Whether it's savouring a meal at the Firebox Café or discovering the perfect jam to pair with your cheese, you're sure to enjoy the authentic flavours of the region.

Nearby Towns and Villages


Bainbridge is a picturesque village in the heart of Wensleydale, surrounded by stunning landscapes.

It's an ideal spot for exploring the Yorkshire Dales National Park. With its ancient Roman fort and charming stone cottages, Bainbridge offers a glimpse into the area's history.

Enjoy a leisurely walk along the River Bain or visit the village's local pub for a taste of traditional Yorkshire fare.


Askrigg is a quaint village located just a short drive from Hawes.

It features attractive cobbled streets, stone-built houses, and a welcoming atmosphere. Askrigg was once the filming location for the popular British TV series, "All Creatures Great and Small", giving visitors a sense of nostalgia.

Have fun walking around the village and take in its idyllic beauty, including the charming St Oswald's Church and the scenic Mill Gill waterfall.


Ribblesdale, situated in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, offers breathtaking scenery and opportunities for outdoor exploration.

Renowned for its picturesque landscapes, Ribblesdale is famous for the iconic Three Peaks challenge that attracts hikers from all over the world.

The area provides a diverse range of walking trails and cycling routes to suit every skill level. Ribblesdale is also home to the historic Ribblehead Viaduct, an impressive engineering feat worth a visit.


Located in Wensleydale, Middleham boasts historic charm with its impressive Middleham Castle, once the childhood home of King Richard III.

The village offers a great base for exploring the Yorkshire Dales, with several attractive walking trails and bridleways to wander.

Middleham also has a thriving equestrian scene, making it a popular destination for horse enthusiasts.


Leyburn is a lively market town, with a bustling market square and a variety of independent shops, cafes, and pubs.

Rich in history, Leyburn offers plenty of attractions, including the attractive Leyburn Shawl, a fabulous limestone terrace with panoramic views over Wensleydale.

The town also hosts various events throughout the year, such as the annual Leyburn 1940s weekend and the popular Dales Festival of Food and Drink, making it a vibrant place to visit and explore.

Accommodation Options


During your visit to Hawes, you have a variety of hotels to choose from. Many hotels offer free Wi-Fi, breakfast included, and parking to make your stay more comfortable and convenient. Some popular hotels in the area include:

Simonstone Hall Hotel: This hotel offers stunning views and is located near a 7-mile circular walk to Hardraw Force. Rooms are immaculately clean, but keep in mind that some have limited bathroom storage.

The Fox and Hounds Country Inn: A charming inn located in a scenic Yorkshire village, featuring a restaurant serving dishes made from locally sourced ingredients.

Remember to book your hotel in advance to secure the best prices and availability for your preferred dates.

Green Dragon Inn

Another wonderful accommodation option in Hawes is the historic Green Dragon Inn. This traditional Yorkshire dales pub offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere, where you can indulge in local ales and hearty meals after a day exploring the surrounding countryside.

The Green Dragon Inn has comfortable guest rooms with modern amenities, providing a cosy base for your adventures in the Yorkshire Dales. As this inn is a popular choice, it's recommended that you book your stay well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Noteworthy Points

Nearby Bolton Castle

While exploring Hawes, don't miss the opportunity to visit the famous Wensleydale Creamery, home to Wensleydale cheese. You might recognise the name, as Wallace and Gromit loved this cheese, helping boost its popularity and production. Treat yourself to cheese-making demonstrations, a small museum, and a viewing gallery during your visit.

Another must-visit near Hawes is the impressive Bolton Castle, a medieval fortress nestled in the lovely Wensleydale valley. Featuring classic Perpendicular Gothic architecture, this castle offers a fascinating glimpse into the past and makes for some fantastic photo opportunities.

From the main street in Hawes, take a stroll up Burtersett Road and you'll find yourself in the heart of the charming Raydale valley. This lesser-known gem offers delightful countryside views, picture-perfect walking routes, and a sense of serene tranquillity.

When you find yourself in need of a break, why not pop into a local workshop where you can learn about traditional crafts, like ropemaking at Hawes Ropemakers? These workshops often provide informative displays and interactive sessions, allowing you to get hands-on with local history and culture.

Hawes has a long history in dairying, which you can explore at the Dales Countryside Museum. Housed in a former railway station, this engaging museum showcases local farming heritage, wildlife, and the area's cultural history. Make sure you pick up some guidebooks and leaflets to help plan your adventure.

There are plenty of things to do in Hawes and its surrounding area. You'll be immersed in its heritage, scenery, and delightful local experiences, making your visit truly memorable.

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