Dales Countryside Museum

museum entrance
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This fascinating museum, managed by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, tells the story of the people and landscape of the Yorkshire Dales past and present. Displays interpret the development of the Dales from prehistoric times to the present day. Themes include: school days, home life, leisure time, religion, transport, communication and tourism, farming, local crafts and industries.

The Museum itself is housed in an exciting and imaginative conversion of the Hawes railway station in Wensleydale in the north of the Park. It is designed to be fully accessible for wheelchair users and a wheelchair can be borrowed on site. The Museum has many interactive and hands-on exhibits and object handling sessions can be arranged for pre-booked groups.

The Research Room is open for local and family history research and volunteers can assist on Mondays and Wednesdays. Base for the Yorkshire Dales branch of Young Archaeologists.

Hawes National Park Centre - a networked tourist information centre - can be found in the same building as the Museum. Shop, Firebox café (opens Easter 2016) Exhibitions, events and demonstrations. Outdoor sculpture and nature trail. Creation station for children on the train.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery, Archive, Industrial heritage site

Opening hours

Daily 10.00-17.00

Closed: 24, 25, 26 December and all of January

Admission charges

Adults: £4.50
Concessions: £4.00
Children: Free
Group rates also available (a group consists of 10 people) £4.00 each
Annual pass £9


  • Museums Association

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Natural Sciences, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Medicine, Music, Coins and Medals, Personalities, Science and Technology, Social History, Land Transport

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Nature, skin and bones

  • 1 October — 31 December 2016 *on now

Exploring our changing and deep-rooted relationship with the natural world, sculptor Sarah Smith's exciting new work includes the use of raw hide and bones. Featuring prehistoric artefacts from Victoria Cave, near Settle.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Adult £4.50, cons £4 annual pass £9
Children free

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
archaeology remains

Animals that bite, lost carnivores of the Yorkshire Dales

  • 25 October 2016 2-4pm

Talk by archaeologist Tom Lord at the Dales Countryside Museum. Find out all about the beasts that would have roamed the Yorkshire Dales in prehistoric times. See and handle prehistoric objects.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly
Bear skull

Victoria cave - a window into the Ice Age

  • 28 October 2016 3-5pm

Join archaeologist Tom Lord for a fascinating insight into the finds from Victoria Cave near Settle, North Yorkshire. Then come with us to Lake Semerwater to learn about finds from the Lake. Free shuttle bus

Suitable for

  • Any age
Semerwater Lake

Prehistoric bulls and Excalibur; glimpses of ancient Semerwater

  • 28 October 2016 5-7pm

Join Archeologist Tom Lord at Lake Semerwater for an exciting opportunity to discover the past of this unique landscape. The chance to handle prehistoric objects and explore the lakeside. A free shuttle bus will transport you from the museum to the Lake.

Suitable for

  • Any age
bronze casting

Bronze Casting demonstration

  • 29 October 2016

Will Lord will be running a bronze casting demonstration and producing a replica spearhead on the shores of Lake Semerwater. Watch him create a replica of the spearhead currently on display at the Dales Countryside Museum.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly


Semerwater near Bainbridge


no charge


Spear for Semerwater

  • 29 October 2016 5-8pm

This project which ties in with Museums at Night, is inspired by Bronze Age rituals and legends like the story of the sunken city. Commissioned by the Dales Countryside Museum and supported by Arts&Heritage, the installation will come alive at dusk with music, fire, food and drink. Park at the Museum and join a shuttle bus to the lake. Marvel at the colossal spear that reaches out over the water.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly



Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Document Library


Downloadable PDF educational files, aimed at different age groups from KS2 - further education. Subjects covered include the Yorkshire Dales National Park; the story of how UK National Parks came about; conserving a changing landscape; geology; wildlife and conserving biodiversity; cultural heritage - lifestyle in the landscape; tourism in the Dales; how the National Park Authority is building sustainability into tourism; access management; a case study of tourism in the Malham area; hill farming in the past, present and future; the quarrying industry in the National Park; and changing rural communities.

Lead Mining in the Yorkshire Dales


A history of lead mining, a major industry in the Northern Pennines 1650 to 1900


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Out of Oblivion: A Landscape Through Time


This website showcases the unique cultural landscape of the Yorkshire Dales.
The Timelines section examines geology, and explains 12,000 years of human history in the Dales. Themed information is arranged under topic headings such as ‘Leisure’ and ‘Agriculture’. There’s a dale-by-dale guide to exploring the historic landscape, a Kids’ Zone section with creative writing and PowerPoint presentations on work done by local ‘Young Archaeologists’, videos and audio trails, and an illustrated database of sites and artefacts based on our much larger Historic Environment Record.

Dales Countryside Museum
Station Yard
North Yorkshire

logo: Heritage Open Days 2014






01969 666210

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.