Thornton Dale is a picturesque village in North Yorkshire. It lies about three miles outside Pickering on the edge of the North York Moors National Park. It is one of the most photographed villages in Yorkshire and is regularly featured in calendars and on chocolate boxes.
Thornton Dale lies on the A170 which runs from Thirsk to Scarborough. It is easily accessible from other parts of the UK. The village has a small central green, around which is located small local shops and cafes. The village lies very close to Dalby Forest which is well worth a visit, especially if you have a dog.
We stopped off in Thornton Dale recently on our way to the coast. Of course we had George with us so this blog post is the latest in my Walks With George series. We visited in early May and were very lucky with the weather, which was warm and sunny. No need for walking boots and raincoats on this walk with George !
Thornton Dale is a small village so it is easy to walk round it in less than an hour. There are so many lovely independent shops and tea rooms that it is easy to spend an afternoon here. Although the main A170 goes directly through the village, it never feels noisy or full of traffic. There are so many quaint side streets, that it is easy to wander away from the traffic for total peace and quiet.
There is a woodland footpath that runs parallel to the road and this was the walk we did with George. This is not a long walk by any means, but as it was a hot day it was a perfect choice for George to cool off. Along this enchanting footpath there is a small stream. This was ideal for George to dip into to get away from the heat of the sun. If you wish to have a longer walk around the village then there are printed walks for you to follow. These are available online or at the Village Information Point.
The woodland path that we walked with George is reached via a small wooden bridge next to Lavenders Tea Rooms. This is where we had afternoon tea ( but more about that later !) Crossing the bridge you are suddenly in the midst of lush greenery and a central lake teaming with wildlife. There is a pathway all the way round the lake which is circular. Although this walk is not long, it is still a lovely walk and suitable for those not so good at walking. It is also suitable for wheelchair and pushchair users. George thoroughly enjoyed walking round the lake as there were plenty of exciting new smells for him to discover. Please be aware that there is wildlife on the lake including a lot of ducks, so if you think your dog may upset the wildlife, then please keep your dog on a lead.
Leading off the footpath around the lake, next to the main car park, is the footpath that runs alongside the stream. This stream runs through the centre of the village. This is the footpath through pretty woodland that we took George in order for him to get shelter from the sun. The stream is very shallow and fabulous for your dog to paddle in and to cool off. It is also heavily shaded with large mature trees and was a place we enjoyed sitting and resting for a while.
After George had cooled off, we decided to head into the village centre for a look round the shops and also to find a tea room. We opted for Lavenders Tea Rooms located opposite the village green. We have visited Lavenders many times before, so we knew that this was a perfect choice for our afternoon tea.
Dogs are not allowed inside the tea room but as it was so warm, this was not a problem for us. There were plenty of chairs and tables for customers wanting to sit outside and the staff were very attentive and service was quick. There was a water bowl for dogs outside the cafe. We both opted for a cream tea which consisted of scones, cream and jam. The scones were homemade and were extremely delicious and the tea was piping hot and served in a large teapot. George was more than happy to sit under the table, sheltering from the sun with a few treats of his own.
After a pleasant few hours in Thornton Dale, we headed back to the car for the short drive to the Yorkshire Coast. George fell asleep immediately in the car, so I can safely say he really enjoyed his visit to Thornton Dale. Actually, so did we, and we will definitely be returning again very soon.
Until next time dear friends
Susanna & George x
Thornton Dale, Pickering. North Yorkshire. YO18 7SD