Pocket Britain

The home of Wensleydale cheese

The name "Hawes" comes from an ancient Norse word meaning "neck", or "pass between mountains". Surely enough, the town does sit between two hills, nestled in the centre of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This location makes it a perfect base for exploring the area. There are an almost unlimited number of places to see, and walks to go on.
The most well-known destination is probably Hardraw Force, which claims to be the highest unbroken waterfall in the UK. To see it, you have to pass through the nearby Green Dragon Inn, and pay a toll at the bar. Here, within a wooded glen, the waters of Hardraw Beck drop for over 30 metres, before going on to join the River Ure. To tell the truth, England has several taller waterfalls - it's just that they're all hidden deep underground. These are completely inaccessible to anybody who isn't an extremely determined cave explorer. Hardraw Force remains the tallest waterfall that anyone is likely to see without leaving the country.

Hardraw Force
Photo Andy Hawkins
Other walkable destinations from Hawes include the waterfall Aysgill Force, and the Buttertubs Pass, with its panoramic views. More ambitious walkers may want to see how far they can get on the Pennine Way. This long-distance footpath was the first National Trail in England. It begins in Derbyshire, passes through Hawes, and ends 429 kilometres further on, all the way up in Scotland.

Pennine Way
Photo OnTheRocks76
On the other hand, Hawes itself has plenty of sights of its own worth visiting. The town is easily one of Dales' prettiest settlements, with its stone houses and cobbled streets. The most attractive building is probably the former railway station. This was closed for business in 1959, and now forms part of the Dales Countryside Museum. As well as the various historical exhibits, you can also see an old steam train, still out on the tracks.
Elsewhere in Hawes you'll find dozens of interesting shops, selling gifts, antiques and local crafts. If you've got money burning a hole in your pocket then Tuesday is the time to aim for, as this is market day. Nearly everyone in town turns up to investigate the shops, stalls and auctions.

Hawes Market
Photo Carl Bendelow
There's one product in particular that's definitely worth buying. This is the eternally-popular Wensleydale cheese, which is produced right here in Hawes. The town's grassy hills are perfect for dairy farming, so it's no surprise that cheese has always been made here. Wensleydale was first invented by local monks, way back in the 12th century. Today, it's still produced using the exact same method, with milk taken from local farms.

Wensleydale Cheese
Photo Haydn Blackey
The Wensleydale Creamery contains a visitor centre, which explains how the cheese is made. You can then go and see the procedure itself via the viewing gallery. Of course, there's also a shop, stocked to bursting with cheeses of every form and flavour. If you just can't wait to get stuck in, there there's also a restaurant next door. The menu uses Wensleydale cheese in just about every way imaginable.

Back ~ Top ~ Home ~ Index

Pocket Britain is optimised for use on a smartphone or tablet with internet access. All content is subject to copyright. All reasonable methods have been used to ensure information supplied is accurate at the time of publication. However, it is advisable to check information before relying on it. Privacy Policy