Things to Do in Masham:A Local’s Guide to Yorkshire’s Best-Kept Secrets

a month ago   •   7 min read

By More Yorkshire

Things to Do in Masham

Discover the enchanting charm of Masham, a picturesque market town in the heart of North Yorkshire.

Explore its historic market square, dating back to the 13th century, and enjoy the scenic beauty of the River Ure and surrounding woodlands. As the gateway to the breathtaking Yorkshire Dales, Masham offers a rich blend of outdoor adventures, cultural vibrancy, and local culinary delights.

From bustling market days to serene walks in nature and renowned local breweries, Masham is a perfect retreat for history buffs, nature lovers, and culinary enthusiasts alike.


Exploring the Historic Market Town

Masham, a picturesque market town in Yorkshire, is steeped in a rich tapestry of history and boasts one of the oldest markets in England. Visitors are invited to experience the vibrant community spirit and explore landmarks that tell the story of the town's past.

Market Square and Community Life

At the heart of Masham is the Market Square, which has been a focal point of trade and community gatherings since being granted its first market charter in 1250. The square remains a bustling epicentre, especially on market days.

  • Market Days: Every Wednesday and Saturday
  • Farmers' Market: First Sunday of the month during spring and summer

One can witness a variety of stalls offering local produce, crafts, and goods, encapsulating the town's legacy as a historical market town. Visitors are encouraged to engage with the local traders and experience the warmth of the community firsthand.

Notable Landmarks

Masham's historical journey is marked by various landmarks that frame the town's character:

  • The Market Cross: An emblem of Masham's market heritage.
  • St. Mary's Church: A historically significant site, offering insights into the area's ecclesiastical history.

The town's layout, with its independent shops and quaint streets, complements the historical ambiance, conjuring images of Masham's bygone eras. These sites act not only as tourist attractions but also as custodians of Masham's rich historical narrative.


Outdoor Activities in Masham

Masham offers a breadth of outdoor activities, from tranquil walks showcasing the natural beauty of the Yorkshire Dales to unique experiences on local farms. Visitors keen to explore the outdoors will find plenty to do in the verdant landscape surrounding this market town.

Scenic Walks and Wildlife

The town of Masham provides an excellent starting point for scenic walks along the River Ure, with pathways meandering through the rustic beauty of the Yorkshire Dales. These walks offer ample opportunities to spot a diverse array of wildlife in their natural habitats, including the chance to see native birds at the Marfield Wetlands Nature Reserve.

  • Masham Walks: Featuring routes for all abilities, from leisurely strolls to more challenging hikes.
  • Marfield Wetlands: A prime location for bird-watching with several hides available.
  • Ure: The river offers picturesque views and riverside walks.

Local Farm Adventures

For those interested in agritourism, Hill Top Equestrian presents a chance to interact with farm animals and partake in organised outdoor activities. The area is known for its pastoral scenes, dotted with flocks of sheep which are emblematic of the Yorkshire Dales' landscape.

  • Farm Activities: Including corporate events and weddings, in addition to countryside breaks.
  • Sheep Experiences: Get up close with the Dales' famous residents and potentially partake in farm tasks.

Swinton Estate Experience

Nestled in the Yorkshire Dales, the Swinton Estate offers a diverse array of activities and high-end accommodation options, blending outdoor adventures with luxury service.

Swinton Park Hotel

Swinton Park Hotel is a luxury castle hotel set within the 20,000-acre Swinton Estate. Regarded for its opulent rooms and suites, guests can expect a harmonious balance of historic charm and modern amenities. The hotel also takes pride in providing personal service that caters to every guest's needs, ensuring a memorable stay in Yorkshire's timeless countryside.


Brewery and Distillery Tours

Visitors to Masham can engage with the town's rich brewing heritage through insightful brewery tours, and those with a taste for spirits can explore the local gin distilleries that celebrate North Yorkshire's tradition of quality spirit making.

Masham Brewery History

In the heart of Masham, the tradition of brewing beer is woven into the fabric of the community. Iconic breweries like Black Sheep Brewery offer tours that showcase their award-winning ales. The journey ends with a beer tasting session, inviting guests to savour the local goods. To ensure availability, enthusiasts are advised to book in advance due to limited space.


Farm Adventure for Groups

Farm Adventure provides an engaging setting for groups seeking a hands-on farm experience. It is an ideal destination for diverse occasions, be it stag and hen dos, birthday parties, or corporate events.

Activities for All Ages

Farm Adventure offers a variety of activities that cater to all ages. This ensures that every member of the group, be they children or grown-ups, can participate and have a delightful time.

The experiments often include tractor driving, which gives guests a taste of true farm life. It also challenges their skills in a fun and exciting environment.

  • Children's activities: Specially tailored games that are safe yet engaging for young adventurers.
  • Stag and hen activities: Dynamic challenges that add a spirited and memorable element to pre-wedding festivities.
  • Farmers Hunt: A scavenger hunt that combines teamwork with the exploration of the farm.

Staying in Masham

When visiting Masham, travellers have a variety of accommodation options to choose from, catering to different budgets and preferences. The town presents a charming opportunity to experience local hospitality, from cosy B&Bs to luxurious hotels.

Accommodations for Every Budget

Masham accommodates a range of budgets, assuring visitors can find suitable lodgings. Options include:

  • Budget: For travellers looking to save money, affordable guesthouses and inns offer comfortable rooms without frills.
  • Mid-range: Mid-priced hotels and bed & breakfasts provide good value with added amenities such as en-suite bathrooms and breakfast.
  • Luxury: At the higher end, establishments like the Swinton Park Hotel offer upscale experiences with more extensive facilities, such as spas and gourmet dining.

A Guide to the Wildlife

The flourishing wildlife of Masham offers a serene backdrop for nature enthusiasts. One can witness a spectrum of native species amid the picturesque Dales and by the River Ure.

Wildlife Hides and Viewing

In the surroundings of Masham, wildlife hides are strategically located to afford visitors the best view without disturbing the natural habitats.

The Marfield Wetlands Nature Reserve is one such place where individuals can quietly observe a variety of birds. This includes especially game birds that thrive in this habitat.

Key Viewing Points:

  • Marfield Wetlands: Ideal for bird watching, these hides offer views of the reserve's birds of prey and waterfowl.
  • Riverside by the Ure: Sightings of otters and water birds are common along the riverbanks.

Exploring Beyond Masham

Masham serves as an ideal base for venturing into the heart of North Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Dales. Here, a variety of day trips and extended tours are readily accessible to the eager traveller.

Day Trips and Extended Tours

Visitors can easily extend their adventures beyond the charming streets of Masham to the sweeping landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Here, opportunities for hiking, cycling, and photography abound amid the rugged hills and serene valleys.

Notably, a day trip to Wensleydale reveals not only stunning scenery but also the famous Wensleydale Creamery. Here, guests can sample and learn about the region's acclaimed cheese.

A recommended itinerary includes a visit to the nearby Ripon Cathedral with its stunning gothic architecture, or to the imposing façade of the Richmond Town Hall, which offers insights into local governance across the centuries.


Frequently Asked Questions

Masham offers a diversity of activities suited for families, nature enthusiasts, and food lovers, and hosts a vibrant market with unique attractions.

What family-friendly activities are available in Masham?

Families in Masham can enjoy creative groups like the Photographic Society and the Masham Players.

The town also offers interactive experiences at Theakston and Black Sheep breweries.

Where are the nearest waterfalls to Masham for a day trip?

The nearest waterfalls to Masham for a day trip include Aysgarth Falls and Hardraw Force. Both are located in the scenic Yorkshire Dales and reachable within an hour's drive.

What dining options can one find in Masham?

Masham boasts a selection of dining options ranging from traditional pubs offering local ale and hearty meals to quaint cafes serving homemade cakes and sandwiches.

On which days can one visit the Masham market, and what are its main attractions?

The Masham market operates on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

It features stalls with regional produce, crafts, and often live music, creating a bustling atmosphere in the town's square.

Could you suggest some outdoor activities accessible in the vicinity of Masham?

Outdoor activities near Masham include fishing on the River Ure, golfing at local courses, and hot air balloon rides giving panoramic views of the Yorkshire Dales.

Popular walks around Masham include trails through Hackfall Wood. There are also trails along the Ripon Rowel. Both offer a mix of woodland scenery and open countryside with historic sites en route.

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