Perched on the banks of the river Ure, Masham is a thriving and dynamic community steeped in interesting history. Rivers, reservoirs and pastures, woodlands, ancient monuments and breathtaking moorland are right here on our doorstep. Dales and Moors National Parks, cathedral cities and sophisticated spa towns are all in easy reach too. But you won’t run out of things to do in Masham! Here’s a brief summary of things to do in town and very close by…
Enjoy Masham Outdoors…
Walk around town and look for the Masham Bones – the site of 58 skeletons dating from pre-Norman times and find their final resting place in the churchyard. Visit Marfield Wetlands Nature Reserve on the outskirts of town and enjoy some fine bird-watching from one of the hides. Alternatively just chill out with a picnic while you watch a game of cricket, bowls or tennis at Masham Sports Association. Enjoy the idyllic location next to the river with the Masham skyline as a backdrop. Hire a tennis racket from the Community Office if you have the energy!
Pick up a walking map from the Community Office and take a relaxed walk along the River Ure following the Masham Leaves Trail or how about a steady mooch around Masham looking for the Masham Swift Sculptures? For more challenging walks you can strike out to the stunning Hackfall Woods and enjoy its stunning location and follies. Or, there are unlimited day-walks through woodland, pastures and stunning grouse moors – from rolling hills to more challenging treks. Maps available at the Community Office. If two wheels are more your thing, get on your bike or hire one from Cycopath Cycles – ride the country lanes and bridleways or complete a section of the route of the Tour de France.
Or a few minutes drive from Masham…
Take a walk around Druid’s Temple and Swinton Bivouac, meet the Swinton Birds of Prey and take in the spectacle of Leighton Reservoir and the grouse moors beyond. Or How about trying your hand at fly fishing on the River Ure or Leighton Reservoir? Or a round of golf at Masham Golf Club? Visitors always welcome!
Want more action? – Try your hand at tractor driving – a proper Yorkshire farm experience at Farm Adventures. Or grab your climbing gear – head to the Crags just up the road in Colsterdale or try the high ropes course and zip wires at Aerial Extreme. You could always save your legs and enjoy the scenery with a pony trek from the Masham Riding and Trekking Centre. Or get your eye in for another country pursuit, try clay pigeon shooting at Warren Gill Shooting Ground a few minutes from Masham.
Relax in Masham…
Relax and sip local beer outside one of the four Masham pubs – The Bay Horse, The Bruce Arms and its beer garden with a view, The Kings Head or The White Bear with its sun soaked terrace pictured here. Or sit in the sun with tea and cakes outside Bordar House Teas or take in the unique atmosphere and great coffee at Johnny Bagdad’s Café on the Square. Alternatively, grab a takeaway from The Lunch Box, or a traditional fish and chips from Harry’s followed by a local ice cream, and just enjoy watching Masham go by.
For more activity, take a brewery tour or two! Theakston Brewery Visitor Centre and Black Sheep Brewery Visitor Centre both offer great insights into the production of their beautiful beers plus a great selection of beers to sample. If you prefer wine, you’ll love a visit to Corks and Cases independent wine merchant where you’ll find over 300 wines to choose from plus their brand new “Spirit of Masham” handcrafted gin. In fact you could also try their unique Gin Experience that includes a tour the Distillery and the chance to distil your own perfect gin.
If hand crafting appeals why not switch off, relax and learn a new creative skill – check out over 250 creative workshops per year that are available at ArtisOn just outside Masham. Beware though – workshops are very popular so book your place early!
If you prefer to mooch around town, you’ll find something unique and beautiful in one of our five art and craft galleries – Masham Gallery, The Nolon Stacey Gallery, Uredale Glass Gallery Albion Silversmith & Lapiderist or The Blue Light Gallery. Or discover a special gift at The Curious Merchant.
If the weather takes a turn for the worse, upgrade your outdoor gear at Bentley’s and come rain or shine, no shopping trip is complete with a browse around Masham’s bi weekly Market.
After all that, you’ll have earned a pampering treat at the new multi-million pound Swinton Country Club & Spa, opening summer 2017. Tucked away just outside Masham, the experience promises be world class!
Finally, you can top off your day with a pleasant evening at Masham Town Hall – there’s a regular film programme, great music, comedy and theatre. Tickets available from Mashamshire Community Office.
Feast on Masham Food
You’ll get some great pub food in Masham – sample the unique beer bread at The White Bear or find something to celebrate with a fantastic meal at the acclaimed Vennell’s Restaurant that won’t break the bank! We’ve got a new pop-up restaurant too – Number Thirteen at Bordar House Teas. So keep an eye out for their regular themed restaurant nights.
If you’re self catering, we’ve got two family butchers in Masham – Rogers and Beavers. Both offering a wide range of locally sourced meats and homemade products like pies and famous Masham sausages. There’s a wide selection of fresh fruit and veg are also on offer at No.15 Greengrocer and a range of breads and bakery goods at Masham Bakery . You can then choose be spoiled for a choice of sweet treats or ice cream from Bah Humbugs or Joneva.
Or a few minutes drive from Masham…
A few minutes out of Masham try the food at the newly refurbished Black Swan at Fearby – now dog friendly too! Or head to The Crown at Grewelthorpe after a stroll in Hackfall Woods. Or why not walk through Hackfall and beyond to West Tanfield and have lunch at the Bull Inn or the Bruce Arms? The lovely café at the Swinton Bivouac (pictured) is also a great spot for a drink and a snack with fabulous walks and stunning views – all just a few minutes from Masham.
For a really indulgent special dining experience explore what’s on offer at Swinton Park – from fine dining at Samuel’s Restaurant, to afternoon tea, there are many treats available. Alternatively, if you love food, you can hone your own gastronomic skills at Swinton Park too – the extensive programme at the Cookery School has an array of delicious courses available!
Activities for Children
There’s lots of space for running off some energy in Masham. There’s a great play area and Multi Use Games Area on the recreation ground. Pony trekking is available at Swinton. Plus more entertainment within easy reach. Check out some of the following ideas:
– Ride on the Wensleydale Railway or the Vintage Bus
– A day out at The Forbidden Corner
– Thorp Perrow gardens, falcons and meerkats
– Thrills and spills Lightwater Valley
– Family fun at Studfold Adventure Trail
– More adventures at Aerial Extreme or Camp Hill Woodland Kingdom adventure park
– Castles to explore at Middleham, Richmond and Knareborough
– Llama trekking for young and older
– A bit of history at Ripon Workhouse and Prison Museums
– How Stean Gorge for rock climbing, Via Ferrata, abseiling, canoeing and more
For a quirky perspective and great information about what’s on offer in the rest of the Yorkshire Dales check out www.dalesdiscoveries.com