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Rosedale and Rosedale Abbey

Rosedale is one of the prettiest of the dales in the North Yorks Moors, and certainly provides some of the best walking. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if you're a walker and you only ever made one visit to the National Park, this would be the place to stay.

remains of Rosedale abbeyThe main village in the dale is Rosedale Abbey. There was an abbey here in the middle ages, but Henry VIII made short work of it and all that remains nowadays is a column behind the church and a few stones. The village itself is quite unusual in that it dates mainly from the mid to late 19th century and has some splendid Victorian architecture. Not your odd building here and there, but exquisite little terraces and a delightful school and pub. Further up the dale in the middle of nowhere you'll unexpectedly find terraces that wouldn't be out of place in a pit village. Except that here they're in glorious countryside, beautifully kept and evoke instant cries of "oh I'd like to live in one of those". I don't know for sure but they looked as if they're still largely inhabited by local folk too, which is a welcome change. One thing that struck me as peculiar was the large number of yew trees in the churchyard and in the gardens of other houses. As yews are traditionally used to ward off evil spirits I wonder if there's some hidden significance. 

This may seem a bit odd, but it's because Rosedale had its very own mining boom in the 19th century, when it became a little Klondyke with the mines turning out massive quantities of iron ore to feed the industrial behemoth of Teesside. Looking at a census from the period it's fascinating to see the origins of people living there. Cornwall, Teesside, Wales and all the other main mining areas of the UK are represented, showing how the boom here must have pulled people from all over the country. And it's the legacy of this mining that makes Rosedale the fantastic place to visit that it is today.

Running around the top of the dale in a great semi-circle is a disused railway line, which takes in the magnificent ruins of the ore smelting works. It's in great condition all the way round except for some rough bits around the top North-Eastern end of the dale and makes for very good walking and mountain biking. The Eastern side also has a couple of fairly steep ascents, so if you're walking with little kids the Western side has easier access and is even pushchair friendly. It's also a really underused track as it's actually a permissive path so isn't obvious on most maps meaning that lots of visitors never discover it. And just to put the icing on the cake, right at the top of the dale there's a grand old pub, the "Lion Inn", that serves a fine pint of Theakstons and food of epic proportions.

Images of Rosedale

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Comments (2)
lovely article - I've always thought Rosedale is the nicest place in Yorkshire
posted by Debbie H 12/03/2008 18:33:19
thank you for the photos ;)
posted by regina 24/10/2009 12:39:46
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