North Yorkshire

Bedale is a market town in the Hambleton former district of North Yorkshire.

Bedale is a mile from junction 51 of the A1(M) and about 7 miles west-south-west of Northallerton, 10 miles south-east of Richmond and 11 miles north-north-west of Ripon.

The town has held a market since it was granted a charter by King Henry III in 1251. The town's long and wide main street is its Market Place continuing beyond its market cross to North End, while the opposite end is South End. Market day in the town is now Tuesday.

Bedale Hall, at North End, is a grade I listed manor house at the edge of the town. It owes much of its Palladian style to its extension in the early 18th century, although its origins are much earlier. The manor was bought by the Bedale Rural District Council in 1951 and is today operated by a charitable trust as a community hall and venue for business meetings and weddings.

Just across the road is St Gregory's Church. A place of worship since Anglo-Saxon times, it has early carvings on stonework in its crypt. The present grade I listed church was created through building and extensions between the 12th and 15th centuries and it is noted for a fortified tower of 1330 to provide refuge from marauding Scots and a window of 13th century glasswork said to have come from Jervaulx Abbey.

Bedale has a station on the Wensleydale Railway, a former railway now partly restored as a tourist and heritage line to the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. More information about the line can be found below. Bedale station is just across the Bedale Beck, where begins the adjoining village of Aiskew.

In 2019, Bedale was one of the host towns of the Tour de Yorkshire, staging the finish for day two or the four-day event.

 Town features

Bedale has a historic house.
Bedale has an old parish church.
Bedale has a station on one of Yorkshire's heritage railways.
Bedale has a choice of pubs.
Bedale has takeaways and sandwich shops.
A choice of cafes can be found in Bedale.
Restaurant dining can be found in Bedale.
The town has a rich variety of traditional shops.
Bedale holds a traditional outdoor market - (Tuesday MD and Saturday car boot sales).
The town has a Post Office.
Bedale has bank and building society branches.
The town has pharmacies.
Bedale has a community hall - Bedale Hall.
The town has a library.
Bedale has a museum - Bedale Museum.
There are public toilets in the town.
Locations of toilets and opening times can be found at this North Yorkshire Council - Public toilets web page.
Places to stay in Bedale include guest house, inn, holiday home, caravan, camping accommodation.
Bedale has schools.
Places of worship: Anglican, Methodist - Catholic in adjoining village of Aiskew.


Bus travel

The town has buses to neighbouring towns and villages.


Bedale has a station on the Wensleydale Railway, one of Yorkshire's heritage railways.
See 'Places to visit' below.

Road travel

Bedale can be reached via the A1(M) A684 B2285

Places to visit

Leeming Bar station

The Wensleydale Railway

Scruton - Leeming Bar - Bedale - Finghall - Leyburn
A railway service into Wensleydale running from Scruton and Leeming Bar, near the A1(M) , towards Bedale, Finghall, Leyburn and, if reopened, to Redmire at the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It operates a heritage diesel service and steam on some dates. The line was extended eastwards to Northallerton West, but the effects of flooding on a bridge at the end of 2015 resulted in that section of line remaining closed to passenger services. The railway company currently has aims of restoring a section of the track westward from Leyburn into the National Park at Redmire which has also been closed in recent years.

Further information at the  Wensleydale Railway website

Middleham Castle

Middleham Castle

Castle Hill, Middleham, North Yorkshire
Middleham has substantial remains of a castle built in stages between the 12th and 15th centuries, including a late 12th century keep which is one of the largest hall keeps in the country. Ditch and timber defences were not replaced with the low stone curtain wall until the early 14th century. It is notable as the place where, in the 1460s, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who later became King Richard III, spent several years of his youth under the guardianship of his cousin Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. During the War of the Roses, King Edward IV was imprisoned at Middleham Castle for a short time in 1469. The castle is managed by English Heritage.

More information at these  English Heritage - Middleham Castle web pages.
Find on map:  Middleham Castle

Marmion Tower

Marmion Tower

West Tanfield
An impressive stone gatehouse to a lost manor house beside the River Ure which was once the manor of Elizabeth Parr, grandmother of Queen Katherine Parr, the sixth and last wife of King Henry VIII. The manor passed to Elizabeth Parr in 1513, but the gatehouse is now its only significant remains. The gatehouse was originally built during the latter part of the 14th century but has been remodelled several times. Its first floor has a splendid projecting oriel window. The 69 spiral steps of the tower can be climbed during its daily opening times. The tower is managed by English Heritage and there is no admission charge.
More information at the  English Heritage - Marmion Tower website.

Jervaulx Abbey

Jervaulx Abbey

Jervaulx, near East Witton, North Yorkshire
Jervaulx Abbey is the ruins of a Cistercian monastery dedicated in 1156. They are set in tranquil and beautiful parkland in Wensleydale, the valley of the River Ure. The abbey is privately-owned and became a visitor attraction, wedding venue and film and photography location after many years of conservation work at the end of the 20th century. A visitor centre displays a model of the abbey as it would have originally looked and the abbey also offers accommodation. The tea rooms at the venue were recently closed. Jervaulx is located along the A6108 about 5 miles south-east of Leyburn, 3 miles south-east of  Middleham and 5 miles north-west of Masham.

Find out more at the  Jervaulx Abbey website.
Find on map:  Jervaulx Abbey

Thorp Perrow

Kings Keld Bank, near Snape, 2 miles south of Bedale
Thorp Perrow Arboretum has one of the UK's finest collection of trees, including rare trees and shrubs. Located alongside the woodlands is a Bird of Prey and Mammal Centre with birds from around the world. There are regular flying demonstations when the weather is good. The mammals include meerkats, wallabies, goats and rare breed sheep. Thorp Perrow also has a children's playground and tea room. In addition to its regular opening times, Thorp Perrow has a programme of special events and experience days.

More information at the  Thorp Perrow website.
Locate on map:  Thorp Perrow

Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

From just beyond the south-west edge of the Hambleton district there extends the 232 square miles (603 sq km) of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Beauty. At its centre is the small town of Pateley Bridge. The area has a beautiful and varied landscape including rolling heather-topped moorland, stone-walled agricultural fields and farms, small villages, lake-like reservoirs and some outstanding geological features, the best known of which are Brimham Rocks. For more details see our Nidderdale page.

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Just a few miles to the west of the Hambleton district is the Yorkshire Dales National Park. A drive or ride of around 13 miles from Bedale or a trip by train on the Wensleydale Railway will take you to the edge of the Wensleydale area of the National Park, the wide and beautiful upper valley of the River Ure into which many tributaries flow. Find out more on our Yorkshire Dales National Park page.

Sutton Bank National Park Visitor Centre and Kilburn White Horse

Top of Sutton Bank (A170)
While the full figure of the Kilburn White Horse stands out from afar, it can also be reached by a 3-mile loop walk from the North York Moors National Park Visitor Centre at the top of Sutton Bank. The most northerly such figure in Britain, the horse was first created in 1857 when it was marked out by the Kilburn village schoolmaster and his pupils before the turf was cut from the limestone, now brightened with added chalk. The National Park centre also offers plenty of other walking and cycling opportunities, a fantastic viewpoint and is also a Dark Sky Discovery site.
Further information at this  North York Moors National Park - Sutton Bank webpage

North York Moors National Park

Beyond the visitor centre are 554 square miles (1,435 square kilometres) of National Park with features including moorland and coast, historic stateley homes, remains of castles and abbeys, attractive villages and market towns and a historic railway. For more information see our page dedicated to the North York Moors

The World of James Herriot, Thirsk

The World of James Herriot

23 Kirkgate, Thirsk
This museum paying tribute to vet and author James Herriot offers a wealth of things to see at his original practice surgery. The writer, whose real name was James Alfred Wight, wrote a series of semi-autobiographical books through the 1970s which were adapted for two films and a popular BBC TV series. Alf Wight continued to write through the 1980s and early 1990s, focusing more on children's books later in his life. The museum presents the house as it would have been in the 1940s and has an air-raid shelter in the cellar. There is a big display of veterinary instruments from the past to the modern day, a farrier's workshop, a massive collection of James Herriot memorabilia and a behind the scenes look at TV's 'All Creatures Great and Small' including a restored vintage car used in the series.

Further information at  The World of James Herriot website. More about Thirsk  Find Thirsk on map

Emergency services

North Yorkshire Police  North Yorkshire Police website.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service  North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

Local government

Civil parish council

Bedale Town Council
Provides some local services in the area.
Link to council website:  Bedale Town Council

Unitary authority

North Yorkshire Council

The North Yorkshire Council is a new unitary authority formed from the previous County Council from April 1, 2023. It covers the existing county duties including highways, schools, libraries and transport planning over an area of 3,109 square miles while also taking over the responsibilities of the seven huge district authorities also created in 1974 — Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby — these including local planning, waste collection, street cleaning, parks and car parks, housing and markets serving a population of around 615,500*.

Councillors were elected to the County Council in 2022 and continue as councillors of the new North Yorkshire Council unitary authority. There have been a few by-elections to fill councillor vacancies since then.

Places in  North Yorkshire
Link to council website:  North Yorkshire Council

^ Area figure from ONS Standard Area Measurements 2022 (converted from hectares).
* Population figure from Census 2021 (combined total of former districts).
Contains public sector information licensed under the  Open Government Licence v3.0.

Political composition:

453CI 1311 NY Ind92 LC421
90 members

CI = Conservative & Independent    NY Ind = North Yorkshire Independents group   LC = Labour & Cooperative
Composition and groupings - source North Yorkshire Council (February 2024)

Strategic authority

York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority
The York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority was created in December 2023 combining the unitary authority of York and the unitary authority of North Yorkshire — that created in April 2023 after the abolition of the county authority and its seven district authorities. The combined authority will run some functions under a mayor to be elected in May 2024 as part of the government's so-called "Devolution deal" which ties the availablity of funding to the new governance arrangements. As well as having powers over housing development, transport and boosting skills and education across the 3,214 square miles of York and North Yorkshire, the elected mayor will also take on the role and functions of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner across the area.
 York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority website.

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire
Covers the county of North Yorkshire and  City of York.
 Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire website.

National government region

Yorkshire and the Humber

Ceremonial county

North Yorkshire


- 1974: Within the North Riding of Yorkshire.
1974 - 2023: In the Hambleton shire district of the North Yorkshire county.

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