Masham, North Yorkshire

Masham is a small market town on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, an area of green rolling hills, dry stone walls and lots of sheep! Masham is a quiet town, with a large market square and an ‘honesty box’ for the car park. It’s the kind of place where one cup of tea can easily turn into three, you just don’t want to leave.


Within the market place many a small shop can be found, Masham has more galleries than anywhere a town this size should have. Upon entry into the first gallery, I immediately fell in love with the local ceramics and just had to take some home with me.



Round the corner is a grocers shop straight out of last century. A stand alone white washed building, selling the sweetest apricots and stone fruits.


Masham is also home to the famous (or locally famous anyway) Black Sheep brewery, which, over the last 20 years, has become an essential in any good pub in the area. Bitters and ales are becoming increasingly fashionable all over the UK nowadays and The Black Sheep brewery is responsible, in part, for the revival. If you are visiting Masham, there are brewery tours which you can join, they will tell you about the long history of brewer uni in the area and why it is so important to the people here.


There is a certain feeling about Masham, things here are done with a slowness and a quality that seems to come with the rural surroundings. When the sun comes out and the ice cream shop opens, there is no sense of urgency. People stop and chat – finding out about the day’s news. These are real people, they farm the land around and keep the town alive. Masham is one of those corners of the world that I hope doesn’t change. If you are in the area, and the sun is out, I wholeheartedly recommend a visit to Masham. Just to walk around the square and admire the beautiful old houses will do your soul some good!


Iona Crawford Topp


Indecisive, do-it-all country girl. Dreams of huge dinner parties and good wine. Favourite pastime: picking windflowers with the dog. Always hungry, eyes bigger than my belly - favourite food: noodles! What do I do in real life? Grower, painter, printer, photo taker. Student when I really have to be. Read more from Iona on her blog

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