Cool Places - The best places to stay in the UK

The Best Places to Stay in the UK


Let's be clear – it's not the Cotswolds. You're not going to come back from a trip to the Dales clutching a designer raincoat and an eighteenth-century jug bought from a lovely little man in a thatched-cottage antique shop. You are however going to have a car full of Wensleydale cheeses, cured deli meats and vacuum-packed steaks from Bolton Abbey Estate herds, Dales' smokehouse fish patê and maybe a bottle or two of Copper Dragon beer from Skipton. If you've tracked down some Dales ceramics and a hand-woven picnic rug you can even eat all this stuff in your garden at home. Point is, shopping in the Dales for visitors at least generally means good old country produce, though there is also a thriving local arts and crafts scene. The national park information centres are good places to ask about workshops and galleries – some also display local arts and crafts. For high-street shopping you need to go to Skipton, Richmond or nearby Harrogate. Oldest markets meanwhile are those in Skipton (Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat) – which takes up the whole town centre – and the 300-year-old Tuesday market in Hawes, Wensleydale, the latter billed as Yorkshire's highest (ie, often windy and chilly) market town. There's also a Tuesday market in Settle, and a weekday indoor market in Richmond along with a big outdoor Saturday market that takes place in the traditional market square.

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