Micky Hamond Racing is based in Middleham; a beautiful, small market town in North Yorkshire. Situated in Wensleydale, between the River Cover and the River Ure, horse racing has been linked to the town for over 250 years. The first racehorse trainer in Middleham was Isaac Cape in 1765, and today the area is still a thriving northern training centre.
The picturesque town, overlooked by its imposing castle which was once home to Richard III, is filled with history, and the charming cobbled market square and a collection of Georgian and Victorian tearooms all help to make Middleham such a great place to visit.
A trip to Middleham is an essential part of having a horse in training with us, and here we’ve provided some hotels, guest houses and restaurants to help you make the most out of your stay.
Richard III Hotel, Middleham
The Richard III Hotel lies in the centre of Middleham overlooking the little market square, with the castle behind and the clip-clopping of the horses going past the front door every morning. With views over the dale, it's a lovely place to spend a night or a few days. With real fires, great food, a warm welcome, well kept ales and cosy rooms, you really must pay them a visit soon!
Blue Lion Hotel, East Witton
Nestled in the heart of iconic Wensleydale, the historic 18th century Blue Lion Inn encapsulates the finest elements of traditional rural England. Paul and Helen Klein have run the Blue Lion Inn for over 20 years, creating a blend of quintessential English coaching inn with modern comfort to relax and recharge. Be it real ale and food at the bar or candlelit fine dining and beautiful accommodation, you can be sure that your stay will be homely, welcoming and full of friendly character.
The Saddle Room Restaurant, Tupgill Park, Coverham
A truly unique dining experience, with sumptuous food, handpicked wine and a relaxing atmosphere, the Saddle Room is a restaurant that features a fabulous, award winning wine cellar and bar area. The restaurant was converted from racehorse stables and is split into 5 sections, offering the same quality menus throughout. They offer 5* bed and breakfast units along with longer breaks in spacious converted stable accommodation, plus cottages and bed and breakfast rooms.
The Wensleydale Heifer, West Witton
Situated in one of the most beautiful areas of the country, between Leyburn and Hawes, in the stunning Yorkshire Dales National Park, the Wensleydale Heifer offers high quality award winning dining, as well as luxury award winning accommodation. They have a wide range of high quality themed en-suite accommodation, including four poster rooms, champagne, true romantics, chocolate heaven and many more…
The White Swan Hotel, Middleham
The White Swan Hotel, one of Middleham’s most popular and attractive inns, has recently been extended and refurbished. The purchase of the town’s old Post Office means that the White Swan can now boast a 60-cover brasserie and five new bedrooms, making 17 in all. Overlooking the town’s picturesque market square and boasting lovely rural views, the White Swan is now a premier town house hotel with superb facilities including free wireless internet for all residents.
Thirteen Restaurant, Leyborn
Situated in the picturesque market town of Leyburn and nestling on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Thirteen brings to the table great seasonal, freshly cooked food, with an unashamedly British bias, at reasonable prices in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
The Bruce Arms, Masham
The Bruce Arms sits just off the main market square in nearby Masham and boasts the best and largest beer garden in the town, with views over the river and dale beyond. It's a cosy little pub, with friendly staff and locals plus a real fire, real ales and real food and of course real chips! In the summer months ,weather permitting, there's live music in the beer garden plus a childrens play area and ice cream shed. There are two rooms, with a shared bathroom, available to let.
And if you're doing a bit of sightseeing, you might find this helpful....
Just up the road from our yard and dominating the town’s skyline is the imposing Middleham Castle, built in the 12th century by Robert Fitzrandolph. A ruin since the 1700s, the castle is best known for being the main home of Richard III, the last king of the House of York, in the latter part of the 15th century. Richard’s son Edward was born in the castle in 1473 and died there aged ten while Richard himself was killed at the Battle of Bosworth, the last major battle of the Wars of the Roses, in 1485.
The castle is now in the hands of English Heritage and is open to the public daily from 10am until 6pm in the summer and at weekends through the winter, admission costs around £5 for adults and £3 for children (free for English Heritage members) with concessions and family tickets available.
The High Moor and the Rubbing Houses
Middleham’s High Moor is one of Britain’s ‘lost’ racecourses. Racing was held there from 1739 until 1873, when a dispute between trainers and local landowners forced its closure. Since then, the High Moor has been used solely for training purposes, but on a beautiful summer morning it’s not difficult to imagine what this most stunning location would have looked like in its eighteenth century heyday.
The sweeping, beautifully-maintained gallops follow the old racecourse layout and the early nineteenth century ‘rubbing houses’, which were used to keep horses warm between their races, are still standing. The views over Wensleydale and the meandering River Ure are breathtaking and wildlife enthusiasts will love the curlews, lapwings and grouse.
The Forbidden Corner
The Forbidden Corner is a unique labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies and surprises created within a four acre garden in the heart of Tupgill Park and the Yorkshire Dales. A tourist visitor attraction unlike anywhere that you have been before, ideal for the adventurers and those young at heart!