Johnnies Cottage is right at the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, surrounded by gorgeous natural beauty and idyllic towns and villages full of hidden gems and unforgettable experiences.
Whether you're here for non-stop adventure, or want to slow down the pace and watch the world go by, The Dales offers something for everyone.
If your dream break is full of walks and exploring, we recommend using the literature provided in the cottage and also visiting www.daleswalks.co.uk.
Your host as Johnnies Cottage, Chantal, has spent lots of time curating the best spots to visit during your stay and you can take a look at her recommendations below:
The village of Bainbridge
During your stay at Johnnies Cottage, you will be calling Bainbridge Village home.
Bainbridge is a sweet little village with a stunning village green at its centre. It's got a real sense of community and helps you take a step into another world from the moment you arrive.
There is a cafe* literally 20 steps away from your front door, serving great beverages, light lunches and a huge selection of incredible cakes. There is also the local butcher literally 50 yards away and Yorebridge House, a 5* hotel and bistro, is a 10 minute walk away.
The gorgeous town of Hawes is 10 minutes up the road, where there’s a host of shops, chemist, supermarket, pubs, cafes*, gift shops, a chip shop and a bakers.
*These small local businesses operate seasonally, so be sure to check opening times before you visit.
The town of Ingleton
Ingleton is a particularly cute little town to the West of the Dales. You can get there in about 25/30 minutes by car from Johnnies Cottage.
A little smaller compared to Hawes, but a great trip if you wish to tie in the stunning waterfalls here. The drive to the location is lovely and worth taking your time over.
The waterfalls are a popular tourist attraction in the area, and there's plenty you can learn about the town and the walks by visiting the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail website here: www.ingletonwaterfallstrail.co.uk
From Johnnies Cottage, head to Hawes, then turn left on the B6255 to reach the town.
The town of Kirkby Lonsdale
My favourite place to visit in the Yorkshire Dales is located between Ingleton and Sedburgh and takes around 40 minutes by car from Johnnies Cottage. Ideally, this is a day out. The town is beautiful, slightly larger than Hawes with gorgeous cobbled streets full of little independent shops. The Royal Hotel does a great meal and for a coffee, cake, lighter lunch; Botanica is a must (tucked down a little alley).
My recommendation would be to park near Devils Bridge (A65 / A683) and walk across Devils Bridge along the river and into town. Have a browse around the shops and pick up some cake.
Walk down Mill Brow to reach the river, turn left and you will reach Ruskins View (pictured). Worth a view minutes taking in the view whilst eating cake. Walk up the Radical Steps to then discover the gorgeous church and surrounding cottages. There is a beautiful walk along the river heading towards Underley Cottages.
The town of Hawes
Great for a half day trip from Johnnies Cottage. It's a perfect spot to browse around the shops and have a gorgeous breakfast or lunch in Cafe Curva - their scones and cakes are amazing!
There is a great little grocery shop called Elijah Allen’s which has a range of cooked meats and cheeses, plus lots of other local produce. There is also a Spar if you need to pick up anything for the duration of your stay at Johnnies Cottage.
There are some great gift shops (Bear Cottage Interiors is my personal favourite), clothes wear shops, Antique shops, cafes and pubs in Hawes. It's an excellent example of what the Yorkshire Dales has to offer.
Of course, we can't forget this is also the home of the Wensleydale Cheese Factory – which is great for a mooch, along with some cheese sampling. The Roast Dinner is amazing too. (you will need to book for the roast and for a tour).If you wish to tag on a walk from Hawes, turn left out of Café Curva and head to Brunt Acres Road. Follow this road as if you are going to Hardraw (google maps/walk is a good guide). You can also walk from Hardraw to Simonstone Hall and across to Burtersett, back down to Hawes.
The town of Sedbergh
Sedburgh is another lovely little town to the West of the Yorkshire Dales. You can get there in about 25/30 minutes by car from Johnnies Cottage.
This is a must visit, even if it is only for the best Cinnamon Swirl you'll ever have at the Three Hares Café. The cafe is also a deli and does great meals to takeaway and heat up, perfect for bringing back to Johnnies Cottage and tucking into as you unwind after a long day of exploring.
Sedburgh is lovely for a mooch around the town and you can tie in a beautiful river walk too.
Usually I pop here on my way to Kirby Lonsdale, it's a great way to fill up a day of exploring by adding these lovely spots into a round trip.
These are general hints and tips for exploring the area, as there are so many gorgeous places to visit and the drives are breathtaking. Reeth is worth a drive to, if only to drive over Cross Tops (one of the best drives in The Dales).
Head to Askrigg in the car and you go through the village and past The Crown Pub, turn left into Moor Road. Just follow the road across Cross Tops onto the B6270. BE CAREFFUL. On a clear day, this route is a stunner.
Once you reach the B6270, turn right heading to Gunnerside (a typical, cute very small village) and keep on this road until you reach Reeth. This is about 20 minutes from Gunnerside.
Reeth is a gorgeous little town (not that large) but has a beautiful village green with a few cafes and pubs dotting around it. Great for a picnic. The Punchbowl Pub (Low Row) is a great pub for a meal if your ideal break in the Yorkshire Dales doesn't include picnic prep!
A drive over Buttertubs is an absolute MUST. You can take the Cross Tops road (vai Askrigg) and instead of turning right on the B6270, turn left towards Muker and Thwaite. Then take a left onto Buttertubs. Not for the fainthearted but you can’t come to The Dales and not drive over Buttertubs.
KettleWell and Grassington are other favourite spots of mine, located south of The Dales. Always lovely to drive to for a piece of cake or lunch. Grassington is a hot spot for All Creatures Great and Small and offers a slightly varied scenic experience to that of Wensleydale, Deepdale and Upper Swaledale (Buttertubs) Cotterdale is worth the 15 minute drive in the hope you will see red squirrels. The views are fantastic and it’s again, slightly different scenery to other Dales. You can park at the foot of the village and walk approx’ 4 miles to the Green Dragon pub in Hardraw.
Thwaite is a 30 minute drive across Cross Tops or Buttertubs and a great start to walk to Muker. This walk has stunning views across Upper Swaledale and you have an opportunity to rest at The Farmers Arms (in Muker) for a spot of lunch and a beer, before you head back. There is a cute little gift shop here too. Best to set aside half a day for this trip.
Semer Water (2nd largest natural lake in North Yorkshire), is a gorgeous 10 minute drive away, just north of Bainbridge. A great place to have an evening picnic, paddleboard, picnic breakfast; or just to chill out.
Malham is in my top 5 places to drive to and walk around. The drive is approx. 45 minutes but worth it. Get here via the road to Ingleton (B6255) then turn left at Ribblehead Viaduct (worth a stop). Turn left at Langliffe and follow the road to Malham (not Malham Tarn). The Buck Inn and The Listers Arms are two great pubs and worth a meal after you have walked to Malham Cove and Janets Foss. There are more details on this website: www.daleswalks.co.uk
Dent has a small population of 700 and is set in Dentdale (near to the gorgeous drive on the way back from Kirby Lonsdale, north of Deepdale). Dent is famous for gorgeous walks and scenery and home to the Dent Village Museum and Heritage Centre. There is a little teashop here and their scones are magical. The little village is super cute with cobbled streets.
For an evening drive and stop off at a pub. Head to Hawes, then drive past the Wensleydale Cheese Factory, through Gayle (over the little bridge) and head up Beggarmans Road. Drive in a loop through Cray, Kidstones, Newbiggin.
Another point of interest that is worth a visit is West Burton - which is a gorgeous village and has a beautiful little walk around a waterfall.
The Cam high road
This is such a beautiful walk, and well worth adding this in to your itinerary while visiting the Yorkshire Dales. The Cam High Road is the highest road in The Dales, and as such offers you the most stunning views in the area.
In the photo you can see the Cam High Road route. There is a spot along the route where you can see all three peaks at the same time, as well as Dodd Fell. It's a real bucket list experience.
For the walk, drive to Hawes, on to Gayle and follow Beggarmans Road. Park on the crossroads at Outershaw Road to follow the walking route there.
The three peaks of the Yorkshire Dales are rather infamous. Whether you're taking the challenge to conquer all three, or would just like to take a look from a distance - they are certainly worth a visit.
The three peaks are Pen Y Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside, which form part of the Pennine range, and encircle the head of the valley of the River Ribble, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The Yorkshire Three Peaks route is 24 miles (38.6km), and includes 1585m (5200ft) of ascent.
There is a map of the three peaks at the cottage for your use if you wish to explore, or you can get a great view by following the driving route mentioned above on the Cam High Road.
The traditional start of the Yorkshire Three Peaks is Horton-in Ribblesdale, which is roughly a hours drive from Johnnies Cottage. You can however start the walk at any point along the circular route and the most popular alternative start point is from Ribblehead, about a half an hours drive away.
Local driving routes
I often just love to go for a drive around the Yorkshire Dales and marvel at the Vistas. This route is my all-time favourite:
Leave Bainbridge and drive to Askrigg (10 minutes). As you drive through and leave Askrigg, bare left - signposted Reeth. After a few hundred yards, bare right (Reeth). Such a gorgeous drive along Low Road. Once you reach the main road B6270, take a left to Gunnerside, then Muker and then take the Buttertubs pass heading back to Hawes (on the A684).
Such a fantastic circular route. Not to mention all the gorgeous little places you can stop at for a short or long walk: Ivelet Bridge, Gunnerside, Muker, Keld.