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A market town since 1251, it has the only listed Leech House in the country and a harbour 70 miles from the sea!
The Tourist Information Centre is at Bedale Hall (DL8 1AA) and is well stocked with leaflets on local and regional attractions.
Bedale is a traditional Yorkshire market town mentioned in the Domesday Book. Its Georgian heyday is reflected in the elegant buildings lining the historic market square. The 12th century church, St Gregory’s, has been named as one of Britain’s best.
Today’s Bedale still has a market, unique shops, scenic local walks and attractions for all the family, making it an ideal day out. There is 2 hours free parking in the Market Place, using a disc obtainable from local shops and the Tourist Information Centre. The car parks are only £1 per day. (DL8 2AD)
The gateway to Wensleydale, Bedale nestles in some of Yorkshire’s finest scenery. From the town’s station, the Wensleydale Railway can take you to the heart of the dale.
The heritage trail is one of the best ways to understand the town’s history, taking in all the historic buildings including the Palladian Bedale Hall, the noted church and many of Bedale’s elegant Georgian buildings.
More rural walks display the area’s natural beauty. One of the most popular is the Bedale Beckside Footpath which follows the beck past the weir to what is known locally as the harbour. Originally built as a canal basin, it is a wildlife haven.
On the way, don’t miss the Leech House. The only one of its kind, this Georgian building was used by the local apothecary for storing leeches for medical use. None remain and the surrounding garden is a popular picnic spot.