Take cobbled streets, a tumbling river with a series of small waterfalls, traditional afternoon teas or locally brewed beer, add whitewashed cottages and a spectacular backdrop of fellsides – and you have the delightful village of Dent.
Lying south east of Sedbergh, about a half-hour drive from Kirkby Lonsdale, the village is set in the beautiful and secluded valley of Dentdale, within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It’s thought to have been first settled by Vikings in the 10th Century, with the village name considered a derivative of Celtic for ‘’hill.’’ The long-distance Dales Way path runs along the length of the valley.
Dent is famous for its knitters. In the 18th century, both men and women knitted and their output of hand-knitted gloves and socks was enormous, providing an important supplementary income. It was said the knitters of Dent were more productive than anywhere else in northern England. Knitting schools to teach children were set up in Dent, which led to them being called ‘the terrible knitters of Dent.’
There’s ample parking, so why not relax and enjoy home-made afternoon tea? For something a bit stronger, try a pint of Dent Bitter, brewed locally at The Dent Brewery, or one of the other fine ales at the local pubs.
Dent station, a little way up the valley on the spectacular Settle to Carlisle railway line, is the highest railway station in England, at over 1100 feet above sea level.
The 12th century church of St Andrew is well worth a visit; you can still see Norman features in the tower, the nave and the Norman-arched doorway.
At the Dentdale Heritage Centre, visitors will find a wealth of information on the working lives and social customs of the Dales folk who inhabited this beautiful area in times past.
Did you know that Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873), one of the greatest field geologists of his time and a founder of modern geology, was born in Dent?