A few weeks ago, Sam planned a secluded escape for us for my birthday. I had a few requests: I wanted to be somewhere reasonably isolated, beautiful with lots of nice walks, near a body of water, and eat my body weight in delicious foods. And like the phenomenal person he is, he planned out a great weekend in Masham (prounounced “Massam” with a silent “h”. English is weird).
Masham is billed as a “quintessential Dales town” which couldn’t fail to make me laugh. I made many jokes about coming home to reclaim my rightful heritage and be Queen Dales of the Dales. It’s a lovely quiet and beautiful market town, and I definitely recommend planning your stay to overlap with the market weekends.
Planning a Rural Weekend Break in Masham
The nearest rail stations are Thirsk and Northallerton, and whilst there are buses, I think a car is really needed to get around.
Go to the Brymor Dairy and buy an ice-cream cone. Buy 12 ice-cream cones because Brymor is some of the best ice-cream I’ve ever had in my life. And long-time readers of my blog will know that I don’t mess around when it comes to the frozen stuff. It was so creamy that it was almost more like gelato!
Go on a Wensleydale cheese tour, as it’s is the major local cheese.
If you’re out in the area, you have to set aside some time to go on some long country walks.
The Druid’s Temple is a replica of Stonehenge built in 1800. If may only be a folly but it definitely has an atmosphere about it! It’s definitely a hidden treasure.
The Forbidden Corner is also just around the corner from Masham. I’ve been bothering Sam about planning a visit to the Forbidden Corner for about 6 years now. It’s one of the largest follies in the world and it’s an absolutely crazy experience. I have a whole blog post planned about it for later on.
Jervaulx Abbey is close to Ripon (about a 15 minute drive from Masham) and is the ruins of a Cisterian abbey on 125 acres of beautiful parkland. The abbey is open from dawn till dusk and there’s no official ticketing office. There’s just an honesty box for park payments, and it’s such a beautiful site that I sincerely hope that people do pay their fee!
There are lots of sweet hotels and B ‘n’ Bs but I highly recommend AirBnb for the area! We were able to find a period converted mill-house cottage from the 1700s right on the River Ure. It was an absolute delight and I couldn’t recommend it more highly! Susan was a lovely host and you can find her page here.
Have you ever explored this part of England before?