Masham (pronounced as Mass’em) has so much to offer. Located in the rolling countryside of Lower Wensleydale, it provides a perfect base to explore the rest of the Yorkshire Dales and Moors. The towns and cities of Ripon, Harrogate, Thirsk, Skipton, York, Leeds and Richmond with all their attractions are only 20-60 minutes drive. The buzz of Hull City of Culture, the magic of Durham or the excitement of the Lake District are all within 90 minutes drive. But there’s plenty to keep the visitor occupied in Masham town itself….
A Vibrant Community
Masham today is a vibrant community of around 1,400 people with much of its population living and working locally. As well as agriculture and tourism, we have several successful manufacturing businesses – two mills and two internationally renowned breweries – Theakstons and Black Sheep. The businesses create jobs for local people and this helps the small town of Masham to offer everything you’ll need! Our lively and friendly community is centred around the historic Georgian Market Place and the lively programme at Masham Town Hall where there’s always something going on from comedy and music or films and yoga! We have:
a grocer and a green grocer
a fine wine shop
a Co-op Supermarket
a petrol station
a market twice a week
Plus there are no less than five galleries, gift shops, sweet shops, clothes and outdoor shops and hair and beauty salons. You’ll find great food and drink too – from great cafes to traditional fish & chips, from pub grub to fine dining, from great coffee to unbeatable beers!
Masham’s Annual Highlights
Masham hosts some unmissable highlights throughout the year. Here are some highlights but check What’s On listings for latest information.
Masham Steam Engine and Fair Organ Rally has been taking place in Masham for over 50 years. Usually the third full weekend of July it is a traditional Steam Rally celebrating the finest of this country’s engineering and agricultural heritage. Traction engines, showman’s engines, general purpose engines, steam wagons, rollers, tractors, heavy haulage locos, miniature steam engines and fair organs, include the famous Munich Octoberfest Concert Organ – the world’s largest travelling organ. Click here to see the Steam Rally website.
Annual beer festivals – The White Bear Midsummer Beer Festival (usually mid June) and
Black Swan, Fearby’s Yorkshire Festival of Ales (usually end of July). The White Bear in the heart of Masham and the Black Swan less than 2 miles from Masham, both hold annual Festivals celebrating a huge range of British ales with food and live entertainment. Festivals growing with every year and not to be missed by beer lovers!
The Burn Valley Run is a one of the most scenic and demanding half marathons in England. The course starts in Masham Market Place, goes through the grounds of Swinton Park then follows the picturesque Burn Valley, past Leeds Pals war memorial and returns via Colsterdale and the villages of Healey and Fearby. It returns to Swinton before finishing at Masham School. For more information about tjhis year’s race, click here.
Masham Sheep Fair weekend at the end of September celebrates Masham’s sheep trading heritage, whist at the same time raising money for charity and filling the town with sheepy fun and entertainment. The weekend events include an action packed programme with a Sheep Show, Sheep Racing, Craft Market, Bishop Blaize Procession, Fleece Stalls, Wool Competition, Sheepdog Demonstrations, Hand Bell Ringers, Morris Dancers, Art Exhibition and Tours of Theakstons & Black Sheep Breweries, a small Children’s Fair and a flower display in St. Mary’s Church.Click here for the Masham Sheep Fair website
The Dales Most Creative Corner
Whether it’s the beer, the stirring scenery or something in the water, Masham is an unusually creative corner of North Yorkshire. Cuit, Ibbotson and Turner painted here and today Masham’s creative heartbeat is still strong. One of Britain’s leading contemporary watercolour painters, Simon Palmer lives just outside Masham and the local area features in much of his work. Indeed it’s very “Masham” that his work can be enjoyed in top galleries in London AND over egg and chips in Bordar House Teas!
Many other professional artists and printmakers live or are connected to Masham:
Ian Scott Massie
Glass makers and ceramicists:
Tim, Maureen and Zoe Simon
Look out for their work in one of the five galleries, Uredale Glassblowers – a working studio where you can also try your hand, there are changing art exhibitions in the galleries and Masham Town Hall hosts an annual summer art exhibition.
Creativity came to the rescue when Masham’s A1 exit road and sign were unceremoniously removed by the authorities in 2011. The sudden reduction in visitors hit us hard and after a fruitless battle with the authorities, Masham came up with a its own creative solution. In 2013 an unofficial alternative sign designed by artist Rob Blades and handmade and painted by volunteers, was erected on the side of the A1. A media campaign ensued featuring the our lovely sign and after 3 years and much publicity, Masham officially went back on the map in 2016. A triumph of creativity over bureaucracy we think!
The good signposting now means anyone interested in feeling Masham’s creative pulse can now easily find us! The bi-annual high quality contemporary art and craft show, “Crafted by Hand” attracts over 1,500 visitors. Taking place in Masham Town Hall, there are over 40 exhibitors selected for this great event. Watch demonstrations and even have a go yourself. Perhaps you’ll get a taste for creative adventure…
There are Lots of creative adventures to be had in Masham. Just outside Masham, ArtisOn is a vibrant and friendly art centre which brings together over 50 artists and makers to teach 180 courses and day workshops a year. Over 1,400 people are drawn to Masham every year to get their creative juices flowing! Masham also boasts lots of local groups for sharing sewing, embroidery, felt making, knitting, flower arranging, journaling and crafting skills of all sorts in this highly creative corner of the Dales…