The rugged county of Yorkshire in northern England is a playground for people who like their outdoor activities mixed with a healthy dose of history. Spend days wandering the breathtaking landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and North York Moors National Park, where verdant hills, endless valleys, mystical geological formations, and unending drystone walls create amazing adventures and stunning views, then retreat to a holiday cottage set in that same landscape or in one of the many historic towns and villages.
Yorkshire Dales National Park sees its best weather from May to September, but wintertime visitors will still find beauty in the stark landscape (just bring the right clothing). Here, you can hike the legendary Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, cycle the testing Trans Pennine Trail, or walk for hours on end along the many public walkways and long-distance paths.
Once you’ve made it back to civilization, it's time to surround yourself with the characters of Yorkshire in any of the historic villages and towns like Hawes, Leyburn, Richmond, or Leeds, the closest city. See Roman structures still standing, stay in medieval buildings, and see how the Industrial Revolution shaped the area. Cottages are at the heart of these places, coming in all shapes and sizes and each with its own distinct history—many of them are available for rent, and during a stay there you’ll be a part of it all.
The 10 Best Yorkshire Dales Cottages to Rent
Vibe: Flower Power
A stone cottage covered in wisteria in an idyllic Yorkshire village is your home for a picture-perfect stay in Ripon. When the sun is shining and the flowers are in bloom, it’s hard to pull yourself away from the enclosed garden, but if you manage to do so, Studley Park and the medieval Fountains Abbey are nearby. A little bit further afield are long walks through Nidderdale and by the Gouthwaite Reservoir. Inside Duxey Cottage, exposed wooden beams and a stone fireplace with wood-burning stoves plus a small kitchen for self-catering make this spot ideal for restful evenings and revitalizing winter getaways.
Rate: £595/seven nights
Vibe: Living History
In Yorkshire, they’ve mastered the art of restoring historic homes back to their former glory, and in the sleepy village of Hebden, not far from Grassington and Skipton, this rural retreat is an incredible example. Scala Glen Cottage, overlooking a peaceful canal, is over 200 years old but has all the benefits of a modern stay including wifi, a woodburner, and en-suite bathroom off the primary bedroom. Seeing as Yorkshire is a brilliant spot for a walking holiday there are plenty of routes on your doorstep and in the Dales, but for something different, make your way to Stump Cross Caverns. This prehistoric underground network has over a mile’s worth of caves that the public can explore.
Rate: £595/seven nights
Vibe: Contemporary Cottage
Billed as a modern Yorkshire Dales cottage, this holiday home by the water is immersed in nature and close by to plenty of walks in the hills. Surrounded by trees, the modern design contrasts the outdoors, making this property pop in the landscape and there’s no better way to enjoy the views than from the sunken outdoor hot tub. The market town of Skipton is five miles away where you can spend the day at Skipton Castle and walk the Skipton Castle Woods. Don’t miss out on the local craft beer scene either, which you’ll find in the town’s micropubs.
Rate: £875/seven nights
Vibe: How the Other Half Lives
A stay in this cozy corner cottage on the grounds of a Palladian-style manor will make you feel like royalty. The inside is modern, supplying a high standard of living in a small space that includes a kitchen for self-catering. The formal, manicured gardens, outdoor hot tub, and impressive surroundings are perfect for relaxing and unwinding after a day spent out walking the moorlands. And there’s plenty of walking in Bedale. With the Yorkshire Dales National Park to the west and the North York Moors National Park to the east, there are enough trails to walk and mountains to hike to last a lifetime. Don’t forget to drop by the family-run café in the village afterwards for a healthy post-hike lunch.
Rate: £390/two nights
Vibe: Wooden Beam Dreams
Some holiday cottages in Yorkshire are so uniquely brilliant that your entire stay might revolve around exploring the architectural oddities and charms. The Old Gatehouse is a hideaway packed full of hand-carved details, exposed wooden beams in the walls and ceilings, and metalworks that’ll transport you back to the Middle Ages. If you do manage to get beyond the large oak gate at the property, there are tea rooms and a pub a short walk away, and the historic Yorkshire city of Leeds is a 30-minute drive away.
Rate: £594/seven nights
Vibe: XL Cottage
Holiday cottage stays don’t have to be cramped; there are some pretty spacious ones out there like Fountains Cottage in Yorkshire that are great for a family-friendly holiday (you can even bring the dog). This ivy-clad cottage has four bedrooms spread over three floors and you’ll enjoy your morning coffee by the edge of the River Nidd (don't miss the nearby waterfalls). Live the simple life here in Lofthouse: explore the fells and moorland of the Upper Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, visit the shops and pub in nearby Pateley Bridge, or explore farther afield to Fountains Abbey, Wharfedale, and beyond.
Rate: £715/two nights
Vibe: A Divine Stay
Taking a liberal interpretation of what a holiday cottage is, Wesleyan Chapel is too good to leave off this list. The Gothic-style chapel on the grounds of Bolton Abbey Estate is guaranteed to be one of the most memorable places you’ll ever stay. The spacious and airy open-plan ground floor design fills the chapel with natural light through the stained glass windows. With four bedrooms split over two floors, a full kitchen, woodburner, and up to two dogs welcome, Wesleyan Chapel is a great spot for a group holiday. Once settled in, enjoy a slice of Yorkshire bliss with a soak in the on-site hot tub surrounded by rolling hills.
Rate: £2,823/seven nights
Taking an old coastguard station from the 1600s and renovating it to become The Boatman’s Loft, the owners have created a stunning holiday home by the sea for last-minute short breaks and longer coastal escapes. The windows of this one-bedroom loft open out to Robin Hood’s Bay with endless views of the North Sea, perfect for watching storms roll in during winter and spotting birds nesting in the cliffs during summer. The space is small but cozy, and from here you can hop on The Cleveland Way (a 109-mile epic route along the coast) and walk the eight-mile route into Whitby. Or just go downstairs to the ice cream shop.
Rate: £329/two nights
Vibe: Coastal Isolation
Walk an hour south of Robin Hood’s Bay along the seaside path and find yourself in a remote part of the North Yorkshire coastline. Book a stay at Low Peak and get away from everything in a brilliant sandstone cottage by the water. The interior leans into traditional cottage styling with four poster beds, large sash windows, and plush armchairs. But in a location like this, the outdoors is what makes a stay here worthwhile. Stroll down the path to the ruins of a 17th-century alum works, explore the sandy rambling cliffs, and look for sea creatures in the rockpools at low tide.
Rate: £439/two nights
Vibe: Cottage In The City
Find a brilliant cottage getaway in the middle of a city with Minstergate in York. Overhanging a street in the city’s medieval quarter, this inviting property has all the benefits of a comfy cottage combined with the charm of a historic city. The cottage shows its age with uneven floors, imperfect beams, and low ceilings, but that’s what makes it so special. York dates back to Roman times, so this spot is a must if you like to mix outdoor activities with history. Take an hour to walk the city walls and wile away an afternoon on York’s Snickelways, a network of over 50 alleyways that crisscross the city. Then get warm by the open fire woodburner when you return.