Middleham is situated at the very beginning of Coverdale, on the edge of Wensleydale. Approaching from Masham (usually pronounced locally as ‘Mazzam’) you can easily see the confluence of the River Cover and the River Ure. One of the best views is probably enjoyed from Ulshaw Bridge. These two rivers define their respective dales.
Being built on a hill, Middleham has breath taking vistas in every direction. It is easy to understand the importance of its position to the builders of the castle, with its outstanding visibility making it easier to defend, with protection from two rivers that approaching enemies would have to cross.
Middleham has a high percentage of listed buildings and much of the Town is now a protected conservation area, including the Busks (the grassed and tree-lined approach along Leyburn Road), the approach from East Witton and the road leading from the Moors, thus ensuring that its architectural and historical heritage is preserved for coming generations.
Although an historic town, Middleham is also a lively modern community. Particularly in the mornings you will become aware of horses from the various trainer’s yards nestled between houses within the town. There are shops, cafes and hotels and businesses supported by and contributing towards the local economy. It has a large community centre, the Middleham Key Centre; the church of St Mary and St Alkelda; the playing fields; its own primary school and local community groups, details of which are shown on this website.
The following three guides can help you explore Middleham and its surrounding area.
- The Town Guide Middleham Town Guide
- Short Walks around Middleham Short Walks Around Middleham
- The Town Trail Middleham Town Trail