Best Things to do in Hawes

If you’re looking for things to do in Hawes, there are plenty of fun activities available to you in this small market town. You could visit the Wensleydale Creamery, which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area. If you’re feeling adventurous, go mountain biking or hiking in the surrounding countryside. No matter what you choose to do, you’re sure to have a great time in Hawes.

Hawes is a small town in the Yorkshire Dales, in North Yorkshire, and at 551 metres above sea level, it is often said to be the highest town in England. Hawes does hold the title of the highest market town in England, as well as being one of the prettiest towns in Yorkshire. With its quaint stone buildings, picturesque market square and stunning views of the surrounding countryside, it’s easy to see why Hawes is such a popular destination.


Wensleydale is a picturesque valley in the North of England. The valley is home to the town of Hawes, as well as the magnificent Bolton Castle.

The River Ure flows through the valley, and the surrounding hills are dotted with quaint villages. Visitors to Wensleydale can enjoy walking and cycling along the scenic routes, or simply relax and take in the stunning views.

There is also a range of shops and cafes in Hawes, as well as a variety of attractions, including the Wensleydale Creamery and the Dales Countryside Museum.

Wensleydale Valley near Hawes

Wensleydale Creamery

If you’re visiting Hawes, a trip to the Wensleydale creamery is a must. The famous Wensleydale cheese is made in the Wensleydale Valley in Yorkshire.

Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese, which achieved PGI status (Protected Geographical Indication) in December 2013, has been produced in the dale in much the same way since the 12th century. You can tour the creamery and see how the cheese is made, and then sample some delicious Wensleydale cheese for yourself. The creamery also has a cheese shop where you can buy Wensleydale cheese to take home with you. So whether you’re a fan of cheese or just want to learn more about how it’s made, a visit to the Wensleydale cream.

Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes

Buttertubs Passage

Buttertubs Passage is a must-see for anyone visiting Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales National Park located just 5 miles between Hawes and Thwaite. There are places to pull in at the summit, and you can visit the limestone potholes which give the pass its name.

This dramatic Dales as they are today were primarily formed by glaciation and the natural weathering of the carboniferous limestone. At its highest point, it’s 1,726 feet above sea level.

Visitors can enjoy walks through the passage and take in the stunning views of Haweswater Reservoir. Buttertubs Passage is also a popular spot for rock climbers, so whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or an afternoon of climbing, this is the place for you.

Buttertubs Passage in Hawes

St Oswald’s Church, Askrigg

Visitors to Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales National Park will find plenty of things to see and do. One of the most popular attractions is St. Oswald’s Church, which dates back to the 12th century. The church is known for its beautiful stained-glass windows, which tell the story of the saint who gave his name to the town.

Perpendicular Gothic in style, Grade I listed Oswald’s Church was consecrated in 1448. It is located in the picturesque village of Askrigg in the Yorkshire Dales, England. The original building dates back to the 12th century when a Norman chapel was built on the site.

In the 14th century, this was replaced by a larger chapel and then, finally, the Perpendicular Gothic church we see today was constructed in the 15th century. The exterior of the church is constructed of sandstone ashlar and has a west tower with seven bells. The interior of the church is notable for its ornate carved woodwork, including the pulpit and choir stalls which date back to 1640.

St Oswalds Church in Askrigg in Hawes

CC BY-SA 4.0 Chris06

Dales Countryside Museum

Hawes’ old railway station is now home to Dales Countryside Museum, a treasure trove of local history and culture. Visitors can explore three floors of exhibitions, including a gold Viking ring found in a nearby field and a reconstruction of a traditional Yorkshire farmhouse.

The museum also hosts regular events, such as talks on local wildlife and craft workshops for children. Whether you’re a lifelong resident or just passing through, Dales Countryside Museum is well worth a visit.

Former Hawes railway station now the Dales country museum

Russel Wills / Former Hawes Railway Station / CC BY-SA 2.0

Aysgill Force

Aysgill Force is a spectacular waterfall located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The falls are formed by the River Ayr, which tumbles over a series of rocky ledges before plunging into a deep pool below. Visitors can view the falls from a number of vantage points.

The falls are especially impressive after periods of heavy rainfall, when the river is swollen with water and the force of the cascade is at its strongest. Aysgill Force is just one of many natural wonders to be found in the Yorkshire Dales, and it is well worth a visit when visiting Hawes.

Aysgill Force Waterfall in Hawes in North Yorkshire


Wensleydale is a picturesque valley in the Yorkshire Dales, renowned for its dramatic scenery and tranquil atmosphere. At the heart of the valley is Semerwater, a beautiful lake that is popular with walkers and nature lovers alike. The lake is fed by three rivers, and its clear waters are home to an abundance of fish and wildlife.

In addition to being a haven for wildlife, Semerwater is also an important site for geology and archaeology. The lake has yielded many fossils, including remains of prehistoric animals and plants. And there have been several important archaeological finds in the area around the lake, including Roman coins and pottery shards.

Semerwater is a truly special place, steeped in history. The lake was famously sketched by J. M. W. Turner in 1816, and has been immortalised in a number of his paintings. Today, Semerwater is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Yorkshire Dales, and attracts visitors from all over the world.

Beautiful Semerwater in the countryside - Things to do in Hawes

Cotter Force

Cotter Force is a small waterfall located in the village of Hawes. The waterfall is formed by the River Ure, which flows over a shelf of limestone.

There is a path that leads from the village to the base of the waterfall, and it is a popular spot for picnics and hiking. The Cotter Force waterfall is one of many attractions in the Yorkshire Dales, and it is a great place to visit if you are searching for a relaxing place in the countryside.

Cotter Force waterfall in Hawes in North Yorkshire

Great Shunner fell

Great Shunner fell is a mountain in the Yorkshire Dales, England. It is the third-highest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales, after Pendle Hill and Whernside. The summit of Great Shunner fell is 716 metres (2,352 feet) above sea level. The mountain is situated 15 kilometres (9 miles) west of Hawes, on the Pennine Way long-distance footpath.

Great Shunner fell is a popular destination for hillwalkers and climbers. There are several tarns on the slopes of the mountain, including Birkdale Tarn.

There are several trails that lead up to the top of the fell, so there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a leisurely walk, Great Shunner Fell is sure to delight.

Great Sunner Fell in Hawes - Pennine Way

Hawes Market Place

Hawes Market Place is a quaint shopping area located in the heart of the picturesque town of Hawes, Yorkshire. The cobbled streets are lined with local businesses, cafes, inns, and amenities, making it the perfect place to spend a leisurely day exploring. This makes it the perfect place to start exploring Hawes and its rich history.

One of the highlights of the Market Place is the Gayle Beck waterfall, located east of the Market Place. The waterfall is particularly stunning after a rainfall, when the water is rushing down in full force. Visitors can also take a stroll along the River Ure, which flows through the town. With its charming atmosphere and array of local businesses, Hawes Market Place is well worth a visit.

Pennine Way

Hiking the Pennine Way is an experience that everyone should have at least once in their life. The path runs for nearly 500 miles through some of England’s most beautiful countryside, from the Derbyshire Peak District to the Scottish Borders. Along the way, hikers will pass through quaint villages, fields of wildflowers, and towering mountains.

And while the hike can be challenging at times, the stunning views are more than worth the effort. For those looking to embark on this adventure, there is no better place to start than Hawes. This picturesque town is located in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, making it the perfect base for exploring the Pennine Way.

Hawes Ropemakers

Hawes Ropemakers is a family-run business that has been making ropes for over 200 years. Based in the small town of Hawes in North Yorkshire, the company makes all sorts of ropes, from traditional hemp ropes to modern synthetic ones. The company prides itself on its heritage and craftsmanship, and all of its ropes are made by hand using traditional methods. The company also offers a bespoke rope-making service, where customers can choose the materials, colours and sizes of their rope.

Hawes Ropemakers in Yorkshire Dales

Hawes National Park Centre

The Hawes National Park Centre is the perfect place to start your exploration of the Yorkshire Dales. Located in the heart of the park, the Centre has a wide range of information and resources to help you make the most of your visit.

The friendly staff are on hand to offer advice and answer any questions you may have, and there is also a small shop selling maps and guidebooks. There is also a café where you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee after a day out in the fresh air. The Centre is open all year round, so whether you’re planning a summer hike or a winter walk, you’ll find everything you need to make the most of your time in the Yorkshire Dales.

Hawes National Park Centre

Hardraw Force Waterfall

Hardraw Force is a stunning waterfall located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park in England. At over 100 feet tall, it is one of the tallest waterfalls in the country. The force of the water as it tumbles over the edge is truly breathtaking. In addition to its natural beauty, Hardraw Force is also steeped in history. It is said that William Wallace, the Scottish freedom fighter, hid behind the falls to escape his English pursuers. Today, visitors can enjoy the waterfall from a viewing platform at the top or take a stroll along the footpath that winds its way down to the bottom. Whether you’re admiring its majesty from above or marveling at its power from below, Hardraw Force is sure to take your breath

Get fish and chip from The Chippie

Feeling hungry after all your epic adventures around Hawes? Fish and chips are a classic British dish, and there’s no better place to enjoy them than in Hawes. The local fish and chips shop has been serving up this delicious meal for years, using only the freshest ingredients. The fish is fried to perfection, and the chips are crispy and golden. Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or a hearty meal, the fish and chips shop in Hawes is sure to satisfy your appetite. So next time you’re in town, be sure to stop by and enjoy a taste of British history.

Epic fish and chips from Hawes The chippie

What is around Hawes?

There’s plenty to see and do around Hawes. The town is situated in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, so there are plenty of opportunities for walks and hikes. There are also a number of historic buildings in the town, including the Market Hall and the Georgian House Museum.

If you’re a fan of cheese, then you’ll be in for a treat as Hawes is home to Wensleydale Creamery, where you can buy all sorts of delicious cheeses. And if you’re looking for a place to stay, there are a number of B&Bs and hotels in the town. So whether you’re looking for a relaxing break or an active holiday, Hawes is the perfect place to visit.

Is Hawes the highest town in England?

The town is located at the confluence of two rivers, the River Ure and the River Clough. Hawes is surrounded by hills, and several of these hills are over 2000 feet tall. As a result, Hawes is often said to be the highest town in England. However, this claim is disputed by some people, who point to towns such as Alston in Cumbria or Buxton in Derbyshire, which are also located in hilly areas. Ultimately, the answer may depend on how you define “highest.” If you’re looking for the town with the highest elevation above sea level, then Hawes is certainly a contender.

Love the Yorkshire Dales? Check our the best things to do in Harrogate, the best things to do in Knaresborough, the best things to do in Hebden Bridge and how to enjoy the Malham Tarn.

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Cory from You Could Travel entering Senso-ji in Tokyo, Japan

Cory Varga – Cory is a published travel writer and award-winning photographer. She travels full time with her husband and is passionate about creating in-depth travel guides. Cory published her first book on Japanese customs and manners because she’s obsessed with everything Japan. She has visited hundreds of destinations and has lived in 7 different countries. Cory is multilingual and an alumna from The University of Manchester.


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