After you have arrived in Bank Newton, why not leave the car behind?
There are many walks and cycle rides that you can follow from the doorstep of our holiday cottages.
You could follow the Pennine Way national trail north in the direction of Gargrave and Malhamdale, and discover the limestone scenery around Malham Cove and the dry valley beyond. There are bus services back to Gargrave from Malham and the Dales Bus Service website can tell you more about the timings.
Following the towpath of the Leeds Liverpool Canal, either in the direction of Liverpool or Leeds will take you to some interesting places and has the benefit of level walking. Some of the towpath in our immediate vicinity is very much in its natural form - grass, mud and tree roots abound. Further along, from the village of Gargrave the towpath's surface has been upgraded in the direction of Skipton and makes for an even surface which is easily navigable on foot or by bike.
Gargrave also has a quirky tea room - the Dalesman Cafe - which occupies a central position in the middle of the village along the A65 and next to the bus stop.
Walking along the towpath opens up wide ranging views of the Yorkshire landscapes that surround us, and there is a sense of tranquillity that descends when walking next to water. It is also a brilliant route to connect with sections of the Pennine Way to make a circular walk. There is even a section of the towpath that forms part of the Pennine Way national trail in East Marton.
For the cyclists amongst you, the Sustrans National Route 68 (otherwise known as the Pennine Cycleway) goes through the hamlet of Bank Newton, just half a mile down the lane from us.
In the direction of Lancashire the route follows a tranquil section of road encased by the rolling drumlin hills.
In the opposite direction you reach the village of Gargrave and cross the village to follow Dales roads and lanes. Cycling is a wonderful way to explore, and if you fancy a cafe-stop on the way, we'd recommend calling by Town End Farm Shop in Airton (which is en route). There is an enticing farm shop with 'grab to go' provisions, but also a well appointed and spacious cafe with indoor and outdoor seating, that caters for cyclists so you can enjoy a hot drink whilst knowing your bicycle is safe. There are hearty portions and wonderful home-made cakes, as well as meals to sustain you for the cycle ride ahead.
In addition to these popular long distance trails that circumvent our farm, there are a myriad of inter-connecting bridleways and footpaths. The public highway finishes in front of Newton Grange Farmhouse.
The lane beyond it offers a section of bridleway/quiet public road all the way to East Marton where you can enjoy refreshments at Abbot's Harbour Tea Rooms. To make a circuit you can follow through the village to join Ingthorpe Lane, which eventually reaches the road, from where you can follow to the bridleway in front of Stainton Cotes, returning over the fields from Coniston Cold.
Gargrave itself has a train station, with free parking. There are trains in to the city of Leeds (which take approximately 45-50 minutes). You could get off the train in Keighley to take another train along the Worth Valley Railway towards Haworth and Oxenhope (where the Railway Children was filmed recently). In the opposite direction trains travel north towards Settle (a lovely little town) and across the Ribblehead Viaduct in front of Whernside to Dentdale and north towards Carlisle. There is also a train route to the coast (Morecambe Bay) and towards Lancaster too.
Newton Grange Farm is 1.5 miles away from Gargrave Train Station (when following the Pennine Way footpath across the fields) or 2 miles by road/canal towpaths.
Food deliveries can also be provided direct to your cottage by a variety of local suppliers and nationals too. Skipton has a fabulous farm shop on the outskirts of town called Keelham Farm Shop, and it showcases local producers and things that are made and produced in the Yorkshire Dales.
Thinking more adventurously and simply often helps us to slow down and reconnect with a natural rhythm of life. Deciding to leave our car at home - or in the visitor car park here - for a few days may take a little more effort, but can ignite a new sense of achievement and discovery when you find there are many things you could enjoy by doing so.