Have you ever thought about doing an Arts and Crafts trail in the dales, fancy title I know, you could just say you were going round the galleries, workshops and studios. So many places to visit, all completely individual, these small businesses are a treasure to behold and well worth seeking out. Perhaps start in Masham and visit The Gallery in the market square, always the most interesting things to find here showing the work of some of the very best artists and makers from our region, there’s usually an exhibition running too. A few yards away on the other corner of the market square is Nolon Stacy, if you’re into animals that’s the place to be, original art work, prints, cards, sculptures and pottery.
Coming up into the dale, park in Leyburn and see beautiful enamelled jewellery at the Emma Sedman Gallery and the The Longwool Sheepshop, try the White Rose Candles at Wensley, our grandchildren always love to call. The Cat Pottery in West Burton, with their fabulous range of hand built ceramic cats, they also have a large selection of metallic and stone resin sculptures. Find The Wensleydale Pottery in Hawes and the Hawes Ropemakers, a fascinating visit if they're making the 'long rope' at the time. A little further on you’ll find the Felt Studio/Gallery at Hardraw, original felt artwork, also quality handmade felt gifts and cards by Andrea Hunter. Up the hill to Burtersett to the gallery of Brian Alderman who captures life in Wensleydale so beautifully on canvas. Perhaps a venture to Gayle Mill whilst you’re in Upper Wensleydale too.
Again there will be places I will have missed and I’m sorry but at least this gives you a flavour of the diversity of the talented people who live and work here in the dales, it really never ceases to amaze me. Do hope you enjoy your trip round whilst soaking up the sensational vistas opening up at every turn of the road in this wonderful part of the world. The Yorkshire Dales!