The secret of Dentdale

When our friends Philip and Christine Ayers found themselves a holiday hideaway in beautiful Cumbria, they bought a couple of cottages there. Now they are available to other visitors on a self-catering basis, and if you want to learn more about the attractions of the area….read on.

One summer during the mid-1980s we were exasperated by queues of cars in the ‘hot spots’ of the Lake District, writes Christine Ayers. All the most popular places seemed to be turning into vast car parks, and in order to get a quiet walk you had to climb higher and higher up into the fells.

Enough! We went exploring in that other part of Cumbria that’s not known as the Lake District. That’s when we found Dentdale, a beautiful, quiet Dale with Dent Town as its hub. This is Cumbria but within the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Western Dales. Midway between Hawes and Kendal you have the best of many worlds: walking, cycling, fell climbing, shopping or just chilling out in a lovely area. The Dale provides many paths linking riverside walks to the hillsides, giving a wide variety of delightful routes from Dale foot to Dale head.

The ‘Dales Way’ provides an excellent through route for walkers and cyclists alike. And for the really energetic there is the challenge of climbing the ‘Three Peaks’: Whernside, Pen y Ghent and Ingleborough.

Also within the Dale is Dent station, on the famous Settle-Carlisle line, it’s the highest station in England and some four miles from the village. There is a good rail service for day trips to Carlisle, Skipton, Leeds or any other station along the line. People do utilise it for walking as well – the train makes a welcome bit of relaxation at the end of a walk over the fells.

In springtime the fields and hedgerows in the Dale become a riot of wild flowers, and in summer there is the entrancing sight of young ‘hooligan’ swifts screaming their way between the buildings.

Dent Town is a bit of a misnomer these days as it is much reduced from Napoleonic times when it was well known for its ‘terrible knitters of Dent’ who provided thousands of pairs of gloves and socks for the army. (Terrible meant ‘busy’ rather than awful!). Over the years Dent has become more of a large village surrounded by houses on the fellside and in the hamlets of Gawthrop, Stonehouses and Cowgill.

We enjoyed several holidays in the area, came to love it, and thought others might love it too. So in 1988 and 1989 we acquired Middleton’s and Fountain cottages to provide some more self-catering in the area. Both cottages sleep up to four people, are modernised to a high standard, and make a cosy base for an enjoyable holiday. They are within the village centre, close to the two pubs and village store. During the summer there are other eating places. which may have restricted opening times in the winter months. There is also a local brewery in the Dale which supplies the hotel with fine ales.

Hopefully this will interest you in considering a relaxing break in one of our cottages. Please see our website for much more detail and availability, or email Telephone: 01323 870032

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