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Destination of the month

The Destination of the month? Masham!

Located in the breathtakingly beautiful region of Lower Wensleydale, Masham (pronounced 'Massam') is famous for its family-run breweries, steam engines and annual sheep fair. A thriving community of artists, authors and craftsmen highlights the town's creative side and established links to JW Turner and Lewis Carroll.



Masham packs a punch when it comes to quality accommodation. Here's a few highlights:

Swinton Park is a luxury castle hotel set in 200 acres of parkland in the Yorkshire Dales. It has been a family home since the late 1800s and has played host to country house parties of legendary style and grandeur. Swinton Park has received a prestigious César award - the Oscars of the hotel industry - from the Good Hotel Guide, the leading independent guide to hotels of character and quality in Great Britain and Ireland. If you're looking for luxury in Yorkshire, then this is the place to go.

Bank Villa is a Georgian house of historical interest, providing comfort with character and award winning food. Feel at home and relax in the two elegant sitting-rooms, exquisite conservatory and large terraced gardens. Wine and dine in the elegant dining-room where delicious home-cooked meals are served in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

The Bivouac at Druid's Temple is all about accommodation that is rustic, rugged, warm, characterful and sensitive to our natural surroundings. We provided a little luxury mixed in with a lot of attention to detail to create a warm, comfortable and, above all, simple environment for you to enjoy your holiday in. Situated just a few miles from Masham, on the edge of the moors, the Bivouac provides accommodation in luxury Woodland Shacks, Yurts and a Bunk Barn.

The White Bear - This quintessential English Inn, blending a lively public bar, traditional dining and bedrooms of outstanding quality. They have everything to make your visit to us perfect. You may wish to stay overnight or for a few days, dine with us, hold your meeting in purpose-built surroundings, celebrate an important day in your life, or just have a drink with some of the locals in the bar.

Low Sutton B&B is a charming, lovingly restored Yorkshire farmhouse built with local stone set in 6 acres of land within the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the beautiful Lower reaches of Wensleydale just 1.5 miles west of Masham. They provide two en suite double bedrooms, both having beautifully designed king size iron beds with good quality mattresses, goose down duvets, plump pillows, and patchwork quilts to give that homely feel.


Food and Drink

Fancy something to eat and drink in Masham - well there's a couple of great choices, including:

The food at Vennells is as fresh as can be and reflects the changing seasons. It is served simply to bring out its natural flavours, a culinary approach that has been very well received in the eight years it has been wowing customers from far and wide. Jon's scallops, pork confit, whole sole's, steaks and chocolate fondant with caramel ice cream have all become signature dishes that loyal customers come back for time and time again.

The Goods Shed Cafe is set in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, near to Masham. With great traditional fair all sourced locally why not drop in for a treat.

Black Sheep Brewery Baa..r & Bistro - Whether you fancy a quick snack, a leisurely lunch, or a full dinner, step into this warm, welcoming bistro and bar and enjoy a dining experience that's truly "ewe-nique". They really take advantage of the fresh, local produce and meat that's available on their doorstep. A particular highlight has to be their Sunday Lunches which are up there with the best!

Head chef, Simon Crannage, enjoys an enviable reputation for the quality of the food served at Samuel's. Swinton Park's 3 AA rosette Restaurant. The emphasis in the restaurant menu is on seasonal and local produce inspired by the fruit, vegetables and herbs grown in the hotel's four acre walled garden. Dinner in Samuel's Restaurant offers guests a choice of Market Menu, Signature Menu or Tasting Menu and the menus change accordingly.

Brymor Ice Cream Parlour is a family run business located deep in the Yorkshire Dales at High Jervaulx Farm. Their delicious ice cream is produced using milk from the herd of pedigree Guernsey cows that graze the lush pastures. What's more, there's no need to travel all the way to the West Country to enjoy clotted cream, you can get the real thing right here!

Places to visit

Masham is packed full of fun-filled delights, and here are some of the highlights:

Black Sheep Brewery's 'Shepherded' brewery tours take approximately one hour and involve a fascinating trip around our brewhouse and fermenting room. You will experience the Black Sheep brewing process including the aromas of English hops and malted barley, then through the scientific process and finally on to the end product - a glass of our award-winning ales. You can enjoy a meal in the split-level Bistro and Baa...r which serves locally sourced culinary delights. The Sheepy Shop is also available for you to find a 'ewe-nique' gift.

Theakstons - If you've read your history, then you'll know that it all started when Robert Theakston leased the Black Bull Inn and brewhouse in Masham. In 1875 his son, Thomas, built the famous brewery that stands on an area of Masham known as "Paradise Fields". Hence "The Black Bull in Paradise" Visitor Centre. Visit Masham to witness the creation of Ales, first hand - to experience the flavours and aromas of malted barley, hops and yeast for yourself. In fact, with a trained guide, you'll be able to follow the entire brewing process: from blending the ingredients, through to filling the casks, to the craft of the cooper as straight pieces of oak are formed into curved staves to create a perfect cask to hold a precise amount of beer. You can chat to the people behind the beer, ask any questions, or simply soak up the atmosphere of the brewery!

Farm Adventures - ideal for kids, their farm style team building activities are awesome - quite simply, absolute fun! Have you ever wanted to drive a tractor? Have you ever tried to coax a pig through some obstacles, or gather a flock of sheep? Well now you can - with your team of stags, hens, colleagues, classmates, or simply friends, see how good you really are as a farmer for a day!

Swinton Park has plenty of things to do as well as it's award winning accommodation and restaurant. These include a Birds of Prey Centre and a cookery school. The Swinton Park Bird of Prey Centre opened an aviary in the hotel grounds in 2008. The aviary is the restored orangery and is a very short walk from the hotel, adjacent to the four acre walled garden and children's play area. The Cookery School is housed in the former Georgian stables with a wide range of half-day, one and two day courses designed to suit all levels of experience and ages. It is run by Chef Director, Stephen Bulmer (formerly Chef Director at the Raymond Blanc Cookery School) and is widely acknowledged to be one of the leading cookery school tutors in the UK.

Masham Gallery - Run by artist Josie Beszant, the gallery is a magnet for visitors to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales market town of Masham. Informal and inviting, the gallery sells work by around 50 artists and craftspeople including Ian Scott Massie, Hester Cox and Janis Goodman. You'll find high quality individual pieces often unavailable anywhere else.


There are plenty of treats you can pick up in and around Masham.

Bah Humbugs is a fabulous Retro Sweets Shop based in Masham with over 400 different Sweets, Sweet Hampers and Sweet Gifts to tempt your tastebuds. For those of you unable to make it to Masham, all of the sweets are also available via the online shop. Bah Humbugs was opened in May 2004 by Lucy Scott Paul who saw a gap in the market for proper English sweets. Rhubarb and Custards for me please!

Keeping on the sweet theme, Joneva stocks over four thousand delicious products from there own sixteen varieties of Fudge, "handmade on the premises". Flavours include, Vanilla, caramel, Liqourice and many more! With Gift Hampers made up in the shop to your requirements, you can pull together excellent gifts here for loved ones.

ArtisOn's peaceful location, inspirational tutors, deliciously nourishing lunches and innovative workshop programme are just the thing to ignite your creative spark! Once lit, they'll feed the flames with new skills to learn and new directions to travel. Join the many customers who return again and again to try something new, move to more challenging or specialist workshop levels and get feedback from the tutors.

Nikky Corker Gallery is a sweet little gallery in Masham where you can buy a range of gifts like cards, coasters, place mats and weekly planners all designed by Nikky herself. On top of this you can see Nikki's original work, all in her trademark style, which are all really eye-catching.


Just outside of Masham are some amazing things to see and do. Two highlights are:

Founded in 1156, Jervaulx Abbey was once a great Cistercian monastery. Plundered and pillaged during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century, the Abbey now stands as an enchanting, charming and atmospheric ruin, allowed to flourish by its private owners with wild flowers and plants freely exploring its many nooks and crannies. Set in the midst of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, Jervaulx Abbey's dramatic and yet tranquil ambience has won the hearts of many of its visitors. We hope that this website presents a flavour of the Abbey's special qualities and acts as a source of inspiration for past and future visitors.

Lightwater Valley is simply bursting with 175 acres of action-packed adventures, from the dark and a mysterious subterranean world of Raptor Attack to the dizzying heights of Whirlwind, a typhoon of screams that twist even the bravest of souls. With over 40 rides and attractions for thrill seekers of all ages, the excitement never stops as you bravely take on the challenge of Europe's longest roller coaster - The Ultimate, get swept high into the air by the powerful grip of the Eagle's Claw and ‘feel the force' as you shoot the raging water of the Wild River Rapids.

Tanfield Lodge Lake boasts a huge variety of wildlife, from the signal crayfish in its depths to the visiting ospreys on their migratory journeys. A profusion of wild flowers adorn the surrounding area violets, cowslips and three different orchids amongst them, making this a mecca for nature lovers.

Thorp Perrow Arboretum - 100 acres of beautiful woodland to explore with nature and tree trails. Lakes, picnic areas, children's adventure play area and licensed tearoom. Lots of events throughout the year - Thousands of scented spring flowers, guided spring walks, bring a picnic and try our summer trail, enjoy the acres of spectacular autumn colours, join in with a Fungus Foray and our Halloween activities then bring the little ones to Santa's Magical Grotto!! There is something for everyone.

Main Event

Here's two big events for your calendar:

Le Grand Party, Masham - 4-6th July 2014

Visit Masham for a weekend of family-friendly fun. Soak up the atmosphere as the world's most spectacular bike race passes through Masham this summer. There will be big screens, cold beers, live music, fireworks and the perfect view from the spectator hub. It's also the first event that Masham's two great breweries have worked together on.

Masham Sheep Fair - 27th & 28th September 2014

Masham Sheep Fair takes places on Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th September in Masham, near Ripon in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Masham boasts one of the largest and finest market squares in England, famous for its sheep sales where in the past as many as 70,000 sheep were sold each year. The popular Masham Sheep Fair commemorates these times, raising much money for charity, and filling the town with sheepy fun and entertainment.