Leyburn is a busy and picturesque market town sitting above the northern bank of the River Ure in Wensleydale. Market day is Friday and there is also a monthly Farmers Market. The town has a wide range of independently owned shops which are situated around a cobbled market square along with a number of pubs, restaurants and teashops. Leyburn is also home to Tennant's auction house which is popular for its regular fine art and antique furniture auctions.
Annually there is a Dales Festival of Food and Drink, held over May Day bank holiday weekend and also an annual Wensleydale agricultural show at the end of August.
Although a small town, Leyburn is home to a railway station on the re-opened Wensleydale Railway which offers tourist rides throughout Wensleydale, mostly on diesel multiple units but occasionally on a steam train.
Leyburn Shawl is a beautiful limestone escarpment just a short walk from the Market Place and which has breathtaking views over Wensleydale towards Pen Hill. The 'Shawl' is thought to be named after Mary Queen of Scots dropped her shawl here when she was escaping from nearby Bolton Castle.
Completed in 1399 by Richard le Scrope, Chancellor of England to Richard II, its scars bear testament to over 600 years of fascinating history including involvement in the Pilgrimage of Grace, Mary Queen of Scots imprisonment and a Civil War siege so a trip to Bolton Castle is worth it for both the myriad of historical tales it can tell, but also to explore what was a major part of ITV1's recent TV show, The Dales.
Middleham nearby with its castle is associated with King Richard lll who used it as his political base. Today the town is a modern centre of horse racing in the UK and the open stables on Good Friday is a fascinating insight into the village and how integral the stables are within it. It is quite normal to see the race horse strings walking though the village on their way to or from Middleham Moor where much of the training takes place.
The Forbidden Corner is hard to explain but take our word for it that you must go and that it will be the most fun you’ve had in ages, whatever your age! It is a unique labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies and surprises created in a four acre garden in the heart of Tupgill Park and the Yorkshire Dales. The temple of the underworld, the eye of the needle, a huge pyramid made of translucent glass, paths and passages that lead nowhere, extraordinary statues - at every turn there are decisions to make and tricks to avoid. This is a day out with a difference which will challenge and delight adults and children of all ages. Advance booking is essential but numbers are limited so it never becomes too crowded.