Bolton Abbey & Appletreewick: Exploring the Yorkshire Dales and its history

The backwaters of Yorkshire hold many beautiful secrets. You can expect ancient architecture, dramatic views of the rolling landscape and plenty of opportunities to uncover tales about the blacksmiths, cobblers and innkeepers that once lived there (and still do!).

In this blog, we delve into the history of Bolton Abbey and its equally famous sister Appletreewick, which together form the entryway to The Yorkshire Dales and our campsite’s home. If you have one or both these destinations on your bucket list, Masons Campsite is your ideal option for a getaway in the dales.

Postcard material

Since the Victorian Era, Bolton Abbey has been a honeypot for tourists. In fact, it’s one of the most popular places to visit in Yorkshire. By taking just one look at the grade one listed priory, eight miles of river, and 80 miles of footpaths, it’s easy to see why.

Meanwhile, just six miles up the River Wharfe, Appletreewick (known as Ap-trick by locals) is a haven for explorers. Homely pubs and inns sit amongst the cottage-lined streets, and each offer delicious refreshments to enjoy in garden or by the crackling fires – ideal for tired legs!

Bolton Priory and Ap-trick: Hallmarks of the Yorkshire Dales

Hospitality has been a part of Appletreewick’s history since the monastic times, when it was originally built as a resting place for monks travelling between Fountains Abbey and Bolton Priory. The village is mentioned in the 1086 Doomesday Book and played a large role in employment thanks to the valuable lead mines that surround the village.

Since the church’s survival of the dissolution in 1539, Bolton Priory remains a popular place of worship for locals and visitors alike. The space has a long history filled with notable figures and associations with national affairs.

Explore Yorkshire’s history from Masons Campsite

You’re never far from history when staying at our campsite. Here are some of our favourite spots that each offer a glimpse into the past.

Embsay & Bolton Abbey steam railway

This heritage railway dates to the 19th century and once connected to the nearby towns of Skipton and Ilkley. In the 1960s, the line was set to close, but thanks to a group of local enthusiasts, the line was saved. Today, you can ride the line in the summer months and enjoy annual events such as Santa specials, a steam gala and vintage weekends.

Follow the monks’ path along the River Wharfe

Bring the dogs, kids and a packed lunch for some of Yorkshire’s finest routes along the picturesque River Wharfe – where a wander in any direction guarantees a fantastic day out. As a starter for ten, take a look at the famous Strid Wood and Valley of Desolation – entryways to the longer trail of Simon’s Seat.

Enjoy Yorkshire’s traditions

Bolton Abbey and Appletreewick offer a unique blend of history and natural beauty that encourages visitors to step in and immerse themselves in the local culture. We hope you enjoy exploring the hidden gems on our doorstep whilst staying at Masons Campsite. Let us know if you already have treasured memories in the Dales by sharing and tagging us on Facebook or Instagram.

Ready to make history?