Corner House is located in the charming North Yorkshire village of Grinton. Opposite the cottage is Grinton’s parish church - and across the road in the other direction is the village pub, the Bridge Inn, which also has a restaurant. There are many riverside and hillside walks to suit all tastes that are accessible straight from the cottage. If you prefer to drive, head south from the cottage and an uphill climb will take you into Wensleydale via the town of Leyburn. Heading north takes you into Arkengarthdale - and further on is the highest pub in England, the Tan Hill Inn!
Swaledale borders Durham to the north-east and Cumbria to the north-west and is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. Famous for its wildflower meadows, heather moors and waterfalls, the region is also home to some of Yorkshire's best walking and cycling. With miles of hills, moorland and mountain to explore - and few modern distractions - you can walk, cycle or ride to your heart’s content.
When it comes to peace, tranquillity and natural beauty, few locations offer more and it's very easy to leave the pressures of everyday life behind. Stroll in any direction and you'll find fields of native wild flowers, waterfalls, grouse, hare, curlews and lapwings, along with the stone hay barns that are unique to Swaledale. As the day draws to a close, head for the scenic villages of Reeth, Low Row and Gunnerside, or venture further up the dale to Muker, Thwaite or Keld and spend a relaxing hour in a traditional tearoom or a quiet country pub. Perfect places for relaxation!
Eight miles to the east of Grinton is the market town of Richmond and some seven miles to the south is the market town of Leyburn. York and Durham are about 50 miles away - and the seaside resorts of Scarborough and Whitby are a 90-minute drive away. To the west, spectacular passes lead over into Wensleydale and the Lake District.
A drive across the Buttertubs Pass near Hawes is a never-to-be-forgotten experience! The Buttertubs are deep fissures in the rock - a group of fluted limestone potholes. One theory holds that the buttertubs were where travellers over the pass lowered butter churns down into them to keep their produce cool while travelling to market. It is, however, possible that the fluted potholes were called buttertubs simply because they look like - er - buttertubs!
Keen cyclists will have noted that the 2014 Tour-de-France entered Swaledale via the Buttertubs Pass from Wensleydale on the first day of the ‘Grand Depart’ from Leeds. It went all the way down the dale through Grinton, past Corner House, and up the hill towards Leyburn, before finishing the day in Harrogate. Since the event, the area has become increasingly popular for road cycling, as well as for off-road mountain biking. Playing its part in providing support for participants in these leisure activities is the Dales Bike Centre, which is just five minutes away from Corner House. It hires out bikes by the day or by the week – and also boasts a well-named "cakery".
The village of Reeth is within easy walking distance of Grinton and its huge village green is a contender for the largest in the country. Reeth has a fully-staffed medical centre and a few shops, including a wonderful post office/supermarket/gift shop and a newsagent/gift shop, as well as the Swaledale Museum. There are also several good pubs and tearooms, a couple of nice restaurants, a bakery and a photograph gallery/shop. A lively food market takes place on the village green every Friday morning.
Heading up the dale from Grinton, and leaving Reeth behind, the road passes through a succession of lovely villages. All of them offer opportunities for walking - and most have traditional pubs serving different beers and pub grub. Healaugh is followed by Low Row, where the Punch Bowl Inn enjoys a wonderful setting. Next comes Gunnerside - named after a Viking chief - with another good pub and a steep walk up Gunnerside Gill for the energetic. A little further on is the tiny hamlet of Ivelet. This is one of our favourite family picnic spots, where a magnificent mediaeval bridge crosses the river Swale. Drive over it very slowly if you are in your car! As well as a delightful picnic spot, you can paddle and build dams in the river. On the north side of the bridge, set into the verge, is a "coffin stone" where pallbearers rested with the coffin on their journey from Muker down to the church at Grinton. You can walk back through the meadows to Gunnerside from here.
In the next village, Muker, there is a meadowland walk down to the river from the village. Also, The Farmer’s Arms serves wonderful pub food to walkers and dogs alike! Not to be missed in Muker is the famous Swaledale Woollens shop, where you can buy all sorts of hand knitted garments which will probably outlast you! Once through Thwaite and Keld, you are almost at the top of the Dale. Keld is the home of the Swaledale Shepherdess, who has recently become a best-selling author, writing about the delights of being a hill farmer. According to the books, most of her nine children were born in lay-bys along the road you have just travelled on!
In the 1970s, the whole area around Grinton was used as a location for making the films and TV series of "All Creatures Great and Small" about the Yorkshire vet, James Heriot. Notably, the quaint village of Langthwaite and its ford were featured - and you can still drive through it between there and Low Row. Langthwaite has a tiny pub, The Red Lion, which is well worth a visit. You would miss it if you blinked! Crossing over the river between Low Row and Healaugh, you can walk or drive along Harkerside, where the(views over Swaledale are breathtaking.
Although York, Durham, the Yorkshire coast and the Lake District are all easily accessible from Grinton, our local towns have much to offer to keep you occupied during your stay at Corner House. Leyburn, just over the hill into Wensleydale, and 7 miles to the south of Grinton, is a busy little market town with a Friday market. There are several pubs, a wonderful grocery store called "Campbells of Leyburn" which is a foodies’ delight, a small department store ("Milners") and a number of antiques shops and boutiques. Just outside the town you will find "Tennants Auction House", with a good restaurant. The nearest veterinary practice ("Linscott and Best") is also located on the edge of the town, on the small trading estate near the Tennants Auction House. From the marketplace in Leyburn, there is a lovely 6-mile walk along what is known as the "Shawl", a reasonably flat path which goes all the way to Castle Bolton. Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in Castle Bolton before her execution in 1568. An information board about the walk can be found on the side of the bus shelter in Leyburn marketplace.
Bedale is another market town, which has a Tuesday market, a pretty church, a supermarket, several pubs and a couple of restaurants. The old railway station here houses craft shops and a community bakery. Next door is the "Big Sheep and Little Cow Farm", which is an ideal attraction for small children. Richmond, another small market town, is 8 miles to the east of Grinton. There is a small indoor market from Monday to Saturday, as well as an open-air market on Friday. The town has a range of shops and pubs - and the old church in the market square now houses the museum of the Yorkshire Green Howards Regiment. What was once Richmond railway station now houses the Station Cinema, with three small screens showing up-to-date films most days of the week. In addition to the cinema, there is a micro-brewery, a bakery, a restaurant and an ice cream parlour. Opposite the cinema is a fully equipped gym and indoor swimming pool. There is also a delightful circular walk, which is accessible from the station car park where the rail tracks once were.
A day out in Ripon, a lovely small city, might include a visit to its cathedral, Fountains Abbey, Studley Royal Water Garden & deer park or Newby Hall and gardens nearby. If you happen to be in Ripon at 9pm, you will be able to listen to the Hornblower blowing his horn in the marketplace, as he has done for over 300 years. Not far away, between Bedale and Ripon, is the Lightwater Valley Theme Park, with rides for all the family (including Europe’s longest roller coaster and four others), a falconry centre, a shopping village and a restaurant. The recently constructed Empire Cinema, which has several screens, is about 8 miles away from Grinton at Catterick Garrison, where you'll also find a branch of Tesco, our nearest large supermarket.
There are so many places to visit and things to do in the local area, your stay at Corner House may not be long enough! Some of the events are covered in more detail elsewhere on our site, but one large local event not to be missed is the two-week Swaledale Music Festival in May/June. We also have a variety of countryside shows during the summer - in particular, the Reeth Show, which takes place at the end of August.
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