In desperate need of a bit of Yorkshire scenery after Lockdown 2.0? We know we are. And to kick off life-after-lockdown again, we’re looking to some of Yorkshire’s best hidden gems for our first opportunity to leave the house. From completely abandoned villages, to hidden waterfalls tucked away in caves and glorious countryside – here’s ten of the very best hidden gems in Yorkshire.
1. Janet’s Foss, Malham
Tucked away down an unsuspecting path in Malham, Janet’s Foss is a sight to behold – flowing with tons of water on most days, and it glistens in the sunshine that sneaks through the trees that provide it refuge. There’s a pool below it, too, which wild swimmers usually can’t resist a dip in. You can find it on the circular waterfall walk through Malham, which also includes Gordale Scar, but you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for it – as blink and you’ll miss it!
2. Gaping Gill, Yorkshire Dales
Home to the tallest waterfall in England, Gaping Gill is a natural cave – which sees Fall Beck flowing through it, before hitting the ground inside the cave. It’s beautiful to see and a pretty unique experience, too, with many taking the winch down some 365ft to check out the cave’s beauty.
3. Ingleborough Cave, Yorkshire Dales
Which brings me onto Ingleborough Cave. Sitting 0.3 miles underground, the cave is just adjacent to where the water leaves Gaping Gill and features some fantastic stalagmitic formations. If you’ve never been caving before, this is a great place to start – with guides on hand to show you the sights.
4. Gallery on the Green, Settle
Ok, it may be small – but it sure is brilliant. There’s something about the idea of using retired phone boxes as mini libraries and galleries that has me craving community spirit, and Gallery on the Green provides just that. Operating a constantly evolving exhibition programme, the gallery features local, national and international artists alike.
5. Chapel of Our Lady of the Crag, Knaresborough
A tiny Catholic chapel hidden away by the River Nidd, Chapel of Our Lady of the Crag features a quirky exterior, carved from a cliff face. The wayside chapel is still visited by many – and even includes a replica statue of Madonna and Child, which resembles the previous statue that dated back to 1919.
6. Yordas Cave, Yorkshire Dales
Situated near Ingleton, Yordas Cave is a mystical find in the Yorkshire Dales – hidden within a small plantation. It holds quite a myth, too, with many claiming that Yordas was a giant during the Viking times who had a penchant for eating little boys. Specific taste, we know. Regardless of the potential monster within the cave, the hidden spot is suitable for everyone to enjoy thanks to the easy access – and even has a beautiful waterfall hidden within what’s known as the ‘Chapter House’ inside the cave.
7. Grimwith Reservoir, Grassington
Tucked away between Grassington and Pateley Bridge, Grimwith Reservoir is a pleasant surprise for passersby, providing stunning views of the nearby moors and distant Dales. It’s a gorgeous spot for budding photographers and those looking for an easy walk, but it’s easy to drive past without even noticing.
8. Coldstones Cut, Nidderdale
Another little gem just outside of Pateley Bridge, the Coldstones Cut is a hidden piece of public art, which can be found at the Coldstones Quarry in Bewerley. Created by artist Andrew Sabin, the sculptural piece overlooks the quarry, boasting spectacular views of surrounding Nidderdale. If you own a drone (and are allowed to fly it in the area), it’s well worth flying it over to see just how impressive it is from a bird’s eye view.
9. Old Gang Ruins, Swaledale
Situated in North Yorkshire, the ruins of the Old Gang Smelt Mill still remain – taking us back to the days of lead mining in the 18th and 19th centuries. Considered the best preserved in the country, the Mill is pretty tucked away by Leyburn and Gunnerside (DL11 6PS) – with Hatter’s Sike running nearby and the stunning moors surrounding.
10. Wharram Percy
A deserted medieval village near Malton, North Yorkshire, Wharram Percy is actually one of Britain’s best preserved abandoned vilages – with many buildings still standing today. The Yorkshire Wolds trail runs through the village, too, so it’s a great spot for making a day of it if you enjoy walking.