After the heatwave we’ve been subjected to this week, there’s only one place we want to be: by the water. And while the Yorkshire coast seems like the obvious option, the county is packed full of scenic destinations sitting right by the riverbanks, providing a slice of solace – without the crazy crowds at the beach. From riverside villages to bustling towns – here’s our guide to the best waterside places to visit this summer.
1. Hebden Bridge
Well we had to start with Hebden Bridge, didn’t we? The waterside destination of Yorkshire, Hebden Bridge is graced by not only the River Calder, but the Rochdale Canal, too – which runs right through the town providing idyllic walkways.
A stunning place to visit whatever the weather (we particularly love it in the rain!), Hebden Bridge is packed full of indie businesses – from wine shops and market stalls, to fantastic independent restaurants serving some of Yorkshire’s best grub. Hebby B has it all.
We’ve fondly described Knaresborough as Yorkshire’s own Venice on many occasions, and for good reason, too. Its star attraction is the River Nidd – which peacefully meanders through the town, passing by the castle, quaint cafes, and flowing beneath the beautiful Knaresborough viaduct.
By the riverside, guests can hop into a rowing boat and enjoy the serenity of the river for themselves, or sit waterside with a Yorkshire brew while taking in the glistening water on a summer’s day.
An underrated area of the Yorkshire Dales, what Burnsall lacks in amenities, it gains in beauty. The idyllic village lies on a bend of the River Wharfe, and is home to a couple of cosy pubs and cafes. Other than that, guests can simply take in the village’s beauty, sit by the river and enjoy being immersed within a rural landscape.
It’s particularly attractive in the summertime, and is just a short walk down the river to nearby Appletreewick – another beautiful rural destination.
Sitting alongside the seemingly-endless River Swale, the historic town of Richmond is a fine example of a traditional market town – offering Georgian architecture by the bucketload.
Visitors can potter along the river towards Easby Abbey, enjoy the views of the glistening water on a summer’s day, or head into town for dinner and drinks – where visitors will find a number of fantastic pubs and restaurants packed full of Yorkshire produce.
The town is also home to its very own castle, so you’re bound to uncover a ton of history during your visit.
5. Pateley Bridge
Lying on the lovely River Nidd, Pateley Bridge is as quaint as Yorkshire towns come – with a number of lovely tearooms, butchers and local pubs to enjoy.
The town mostly consists of just one main street running through the centre of it, but for those looking to take advantage of the nearby nature, you can stroll along the River Nidd just downriver from the town.
Another highlight includes the world’s oldest sweet shop – which still serves traditional English sweets to locals and tourists to this day on Pateley Bridge’s High Street. Not to be missed.
A lovely rural town by the River Ure, Masham is another of Yorkshire’s traditional market towns, with its very own brewery and a number of other fantastic independent businesses within its centre.
Stroll down the riverside with a portion of fish and chips, potter around the quaint streets, or enjoy the lively market every Wednesday and Sunday – where you can get your hands on fantastic local produce that you can’t get anywhere else.
Aysgarth is one of the most famous Dales destinations – and for good reason, too. Sitting by the powerful River Ure, the village is home to some of Yorkshire’s most stunning waterfalls, Aysgarth Falls.
There, guests can enjoy a series of tranquil waterfalls, dig into a picnic, or stroll by the riverbank, before heading back into the village for a cup of tea or a pint at the George & Dragon – a traditional, 17th-century pub serving both food and cold beers.
Grassington may be known as the home to Channel 5’s All Creatures Great and Small, but it’s the nearby Linton Falls that stole our hearts the first time we ever visited. Sitting right by the River Wharfe, the small town makes for an idyllic visit – with stunning river sights, perfect picnic spots and the sweet sound of the trickling river and waterfall to accompany.
If that wasn’t all, the traditional market town is also packed with a number of fantastic pubs, as well as quaint shops that stock specialist wines, books and so much more.
Saltaire is a model village that sits right on the River Aire, known for its Victorian architecture and rich industrial history.
Boasting charming sights and waterside views, today, the village attracts many looking for a peaceful riverside walk, as well as art history fans looking to gain insight into David Hockney’s Yorkshire heritage. In addition to that, visitors can take in the Italian-inspired sandy stone architecture that dominates the village, as well as try out a number of lovely cafes, restaurants and more after a stroll by the water.