Geology of the Southern Yorkshire Dales

Limestone cliffs of Malham Cove in North Yorkshire, England on sunny day.
Duration: 5 nights
Interests: Explore Nature

This holiday will examine two very ancient rock sequences, one dominated by limestone deposited in a warm tropical sea about 330 million years ago, and a much older, underlying series of deep-sea sediments that are now folded and faulted. The meeting of these two rock sequences at an ‘unconformity’ is one of the most spectacular geological features in England. You’ll see geological evidence that our tectonic plate was once close to the South Pole and a world-class area of limestone pavement. Discover how Ice Age waterfalls once cascaded over Malham Cove and find out how Gordale Scar was formed. The Craven faults are evidence that the area was once in a major earthquake zone – although there was a powerful quake as recently as 1944.

Holiday Highlights

  • Spend your days with like-minded geology enthusiasts
  • Gain an understanding of the region through its rock formations and features
  • Explore the area with your expert HF Holidays Leader

What’s included

  • High-quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our country house
  • Guidance from a knowledgeable HF Holidays Leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
  • All essential transport on a comfortable, good-quality mini-coach or other mode of transport, e.g. boat
  • Entrance fees to venues included as part of your holiday’s itinerary

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.


On this Explore Nature holiday, you will be visiting a range of locations which illustrate the best of the geology. With your knowledgeable Leader in tow, you will explore the local area, stopping along the way to spot interesting rock formations and features, often unique to the area. The full day will be spent outdoors so be sure to bring your sturdy shoes! 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


Newfield Hall

Situated close to Malham in South Yorkshire’s portion of the famous Dales, Newfield Hall offers country-pile atmosphere amid beautiful rural surroundings. A grand country house, this stately, storied property retains many of its original nineteenth century features, from the grand entrance to the sweeping staircase inside. The Hall has 48 bedrooms, as well as two cosy lounges and an elegant bar, providing guests with a laid-back and unstuffy retreat with a generous sprinkling of style. The Dales and countryside on the doorstep are a rambler’s paradise, with easy access to Malham Cove and its deeply indented limestone pavement, Gordale Scar and Pen y Ghent as well as the pretty villages of Grassington and Kettlewell.

 

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the main building’s beautifully presented rooms or in the tastefully converted Courtyard rooms, which have been reimagined as pretty bedrooms, where pops of mustard contrast with the blue and teal furnishings. With 48 bright and well-appointed rooms, Newfield Hall is one of our largest properties and there’s a range of Good, Better and Best rooms to choose from: we love rooms 3 and 6, both of which are large corner rooms containing original features, with large bay windows overlooking the gardens and beyond the pristine farmland, hills, and yes, dales, of this picturesque pocket of Yorkshire: make use of the telescope trained through the window of Room 6 to scour the countryside for trails to explore.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, walled garden, putting green, heated indoor swimming pool, multi-purpose activity room, ballroom, library and board games to borrow

After a day exploring, return to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Once settled, stroll the large gardens and gaze out over the Yorkshire Dales, or try your hand on the putting green. Slip in to the heated indoor swimming pool to soak while still being able to look out over the gardens. Make use of the activity room or simply retreat to one of the lounges: grab a book and curl up in the stylish Ingleborough Lounge or pull up a chair and challenge someone to cards and board games in the smart Pen-y-Ghent Lounge. Stop in the Heritage Room for inspiration at our helpful Discovery Point and look out for our founder T A Leonard’s boots, long since retired and sat on the mantlepiece. Pop in to the stylish bar before dinner for a pint of excellent local ale or a favourite gin, pausing to admire the maps set into the bar itself, and retire there later to strike up conversation with other guests and swap stories of your adventures in the Dales.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Newfield Hall is varied and eclectic but has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might tuck in to locally sourced river trout, served with wild garlic oil and sautéed samphire, enjoy Yorkshire lamb three ways or try the Yorkshire tea and smoked Wensleydale souffle with wild mushrooms. Cap it all with a trio of Yorkshire parkin, Yorkshire pudding and Yorvdale dairy ice cream for a feast of regional flavours.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

10692_0009 - Newfield Hall - Exterior

Getting to Newfield Hall

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

What to Bring

On Explore Nature holidays, you will be outdoors for the full day, so be sure to bring outdoor clothing appropriate to the season, including waterproofs. You will also need strong and comfortable footwear with good tread. If there's warm weather, a sun hat, suncream and sunglasses may be useful.

You may also wish to bring a camera, water bottle or a thermos flask.

Martin Whiteley

Martin has been exploring the landscapes of Britain for the last 50 years, combining his interests in geology, climbing and challenge walks. His passion for geology began when he discovered chunks of a peculiar type of rock called Dolomitic Conglomerate in the garden, proudly showed them to his Primary School teacher and was promptly told to go away and find out how to spell it!

Martin has been fortunate enough to combine geology with careers in both the oil industry and academia. Now recently retired from Derby University he spends a good deal of time in the Peak District trying to improve the public understanding and appreciation of rocks, landforms and natural processes.

Guest Reviews

Duration:
5 nights
Interests:
Explore Nature

5 nights from 0pp

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