A small linear village sitting along side the A684 midway between Hawes and Leyburn. The village may be small but well worth a visit as there are the magnificent Aysgarth Falls to see, a stroll round the majestic church of St Andrews, an Edwardian Rock Garden and various cafes and pubs. Now this might sound as if Aysgarth is much larger than the first impression given and I suppose the main village is separate to the falls area but well within walking distance to one another. Park your car in the village or in one the two car parks near to the falls and be entranced for a few hours.
A truly must see is the Edwardian Rock Garden, built in 1906 by the Backhouse firm of York, a rare surviving example of their work, restored in 2002/2003 by Angela and Peter Jauneika it is now a Grade II listed building. No entrance fee but donations are very welcome, enjoy exploring this ‘walk through grotto’. In need of a ‘cuppa’ afterwards? Try Hamilton’s, closed on Tuesdays though.
Wander to the falls via the church yard and visit St Andrews’s. The church is medieval but was substantially rebuilt in 1535 and then again in 1866 by James Green of Todmordon at a cost of £3,600. We feel it is the cathedral of the dales and other churchs seem quite small in comparison, again well worth a visit and open most days.
Then down to the falls, if in need of refreshment by now call in at the Mill Race Tea Room, always excellent or a little further over the river to the Coppice Coffee Shop in the National Park Centre, again excellent. You can walk along the river bank and experience the true force of the water, when the water is low you can enjoy a dip, but be careful, wear something on your feet as the rocks can be very sharp and slippery. Make your way into Freeholder’s Wood, shhhhh, if you’re really, really quiet you might even see a dormouse, but lots of wildlife to look out for in here so quietly does it everytime. Lovely walks from here too in all directions, time to get the old map out maybe!
Perhaps that’s enough for now, enjoy your visit. We do have cottages nearby, check out availability and we’ll see you very soon!
Written By Nadine Bell