I’ve always wanted to visit Masham in Yorkshire and I finally managed to spend a short afternoon here recently. I loved visiting this quaint market town and so I’ve put together this super speedy guide to Masham to help others to plan their visit!
On the banks of the River Ure lies Masham, both a market and brewery town within the Harrogate district of Yorkshire. I’ve always planned on visiting Masham (pronounced Massem) after only hearing good things and I finally visited recently before staying at the nearby Swinton Estate.
I’m sure that many will have heard of Masham given that it is home to not one but two very famous breweries; The Black Sheep Brewery & Theakston’s. Interestingly, both breweries are owned by the same Theakston’s family (having brewed here since 1827) and Black Sheep was formed in 1992 after one of the family walked away to set up his own brewery following the sale of Theakston’s to a brewery giant.
With Masham situated only a short distance from the A1 motorway (and less than an hour from my home), it’s a perfect destination for those wanting to experience life in Yorkshire.
MY GUIDE TO MASHAM
The Market Square is the beating heart of Masham. You’ll find cafes, pubs and independent shops around the edges with markets held every Wednesday and Saturday in the centre of the square. Apparently, markets have been held here in Masham since 1250 which shows just how important they are to the town.
Johnny Baghdad’s Cafe on the Square
One of the aforementioned cafes that adorn the perimeter of the Market Square is Johnny Baghdad’s Cafe on the Square. Firstly, I have to say how surprised I was to see such a cafe in the town; I had thought the range of food on offer may have been limited to more classic British than Middle Eastern. How wrong I was.
Whilst this cafe definitely covers all of the usual suspects in terms of British cuisine, you’ll find some excellent food choices from further afield. I went for the chicken shawarma flatbread which was incredible though I did nearly opt for the vegetarian option with roasted cauliflower! I would come back to Masham solely to eat here again.
The Curious Merchant
We stumbled upon this lovely little store, The Curious Merchant, in a Georgian building and immediately had to make some purchases! Alison’s shop is full of all manner of homewares; one-off pieces, decorative antiques, candles, rugs and mugs. Basically, if you want beautiful items for your home, this is the shop for you.
Black Sheep Brewery
Black Sheep beer is very well-known and available in many, many pubs across the country. If you do visit Masham, then you have to visit the Black Sheep Brewery. We didn’t have time unfortunately, but the brewery tour is highly recommended otherwise you can enjoy the beer and good food (I’m told the pizza’s are excellent) in the on-site bar before stocking up in the Sheepy Shop.
Where There’s Smoke
Whilst wandering Masham’s main street, we stumbled upon Where There’s Smoke which intrigued me immediately. This restaurant, as probably expected by the name, serves up local produce expertly cooked over coals and embers. On offer is a seasonal set menu, around £50 per person, with six courses including venison, roasted shallots and parsnip puree, pumpkin cake with mascarpone ice cream and smoked fudge with tea/coffee.
I’ve now immediately put Masham right to the top of list as one of the ultimate foodie destinations here in the North of England.
The main reason we were in the Masham area was due to a press trip with Visit Harrogate where we were able to experience the relaxing outdoors at Swinton Estate’s Spa Garden, the Woodland Wellness Space & an ‘off-grid’ stay in a Yurt at Swinton Bivouac.
Any visit to Masham would not be complete without setting foot in the grounds of Swinton Estate (the ancestral home of the Lord and Lady of Masham). The parkland is a must-see with the wild deer and plenty of walks to stretch your legs. You can read more about my trip to the Harrogate district and how to feel good here.
Hopefully I will be able to update this post in the near future with more recommendations and more photos but, for now at least, I hope you’ve enjoyed this super speedy guide to Masham.