Middleham holiday cottages are perfect if you’re looking for a tranquil base from which to explore the Yorkshire Dales. This pretty market town nestles between two rivers, in the rugged Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire. It lies in Wensleydale, between the River Ure and River Cover. The surrounding countryside is wonderfully unspoiled, with high, heather moors, ancient woods and windswept hills, crisscrossed by idyllic footpaths. The town has a rich horse-racing heritage and was once known as the ‘Windsor of the North’, thanks to its connections with the Royal Family.

From your holiday cottage in Middleham, the town centre’s cobbled streets and marketplaces will be a stroll away, with independent shops, Victorian tearooms and galleries to explore. There are three cosy pubs where a pint of Yorkshire ale can be enjoyed in front of a roaring fire. You’ll also notice a number of beautiful historic buildings, including St Mary and Alkelda’s Church, with distinctive 14th and 15th century architecture, and the towering gatehouse of a ruined castle.

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Self-catering holidays in Middleham are perfectly located for exploring the Yorkshire Dales. With Grassington, Hardraw, Hawes and Kettlewell all a short drive away, there are plenty of options for day trips. If you fancy a day in the city, Leeds is a little more than an hour away, with brilliant shopping, museums, galleries and a lively nightlife. To the northeast, York is a magnificent city with some of the country’s most beautiful historic architecture to explore.

Racing fans won’t want to miss Middleham Stables, home to 500 flat racing and Grand National race horses. A five-minute drive eastward from Middleham, the Forbidden Corner is a unique, four-acre garden with an enchanting maze of follies and tunnels, and a massive pyramid made of translucent glass.