The History of Low Mill

Water WheelNot everyone can say “come and have a look at my waterwheel” but in our new life in the Dales we can! In fact Neil is still often to be found admiring it in quieter moments of the day. Like the house, the wheel was in need of some repair work when we moved in. After a couple of months work we are glad to say the wheel is now in full working order once more. All the spokes have been replaced and 95% of the backboards. The wheel has been given a new coat of paint (sadly claret and blue) and is once more turning beautifully. Below is a brief history of Low Mill.

Low Mill was built in the 1780’s and was used to grind corn. The building has undergone many transformations and uses in its past. It is believed that milling ceased around 1907.

As with many flour mills fire was always a problem. There was a major fire in 1830 and a slightly less devastating one in 1848. It is still possible to see charred roof timbers in the ceiling of the Store room.

Following the great fire of 1830 some alterations were made to the building. The East end of the building was added creating more storage and this is where the dining room and kiln room are now sited. This extension enclosed the water wheel and a new kiln was built – the original kiln being in the cellar below what is now the garage floor. The height of the building was raised and the roof was replaced. It is believed a new, larger water wheel was also installed at this time.

After milling ceased the building was used as a dairy from 1920 – 1929 and then as an army cook house and feeding station during World War II. After the end of the war the building was mainly used for storage and animal housing, until in 1973 it was purchased in a semi derelict state by Dr Christopher Cole. He undertook a massive refurbishment of the old building including restoring the wheel and mill machinery. Dr Cole also used the mill as a workshop and dolls house museum. Sadly following his death the mill remained empty for a number of years and once more the condition of the building began to decline.

Then in June 2010 Neil and Jane McNair purchased it and a new chapter in the life of Low Mill began …..

Local Interest & Additional sevices


Ancient market town (market day Tuesday) with a wide range of shops cafes and bars. Home of the world famous Wensleydale Creamery. Also worth a visit are The Dales Countryside Museum and The Rope Makers.


Just outside Hawes, visit Gayle Mill, a restored, working Victorian saw mill.


Lovely stone village, a former market town with two tea rooms, a delicatessen, excellent village shop, three pubs and beautiful walks in the surrounding area. Filming for the BBC TV series “All Creatures Great and Small” took place here.


Holds a large market on Fridays. Many cafes, pubs and intersting shops. Visit the nearby Forbidden Corner an amazing labyrinth of tunnels, follies and the bizarre.


Beautiful old Dales town, famous for its racing stables and the fascinating ruins of its 12th century castle.

Aysgarth Falls

A lovely riverside walk allows you to view the River Ure tumbling over the limestone steps that create the falls. The falls have appeared in Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood Prince of Thieves! Slightly further afield are the historic towns of Masham(where you will find the the Black Sheep Brewery), Skipton, Grassington, Richmond and Ripon.

Bolton Castle

As seen in the recent series The Dales – Near Leyburn, a medieval castle in the heart of the Dales, falconry and wild boar and an amazing building to visit. Nice tea shop too!


The World of James Herriot – brings the books and tv series to life in the town where James Herriot practised.



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Photography workshops

Experience nature  photography with award winning professional wildlife photographer Simon Philpotts ,he has a private hide overlooking the red squirrels at Snaizeholme and he offers workshops or one to one tuition on numerous birds and Dales wildlife ,please ask or visit his website www.wilddales,co,uk

Cycle hire

We are now able to arrange cycle hire from Stage 1 cycles in Askrigg who have hybrid bikes for hire and also offer group tours ,please ask for details or look on their website

Massages and holistic treatments

If you would like to treat yourself to a massage or treatment in your room during your stay please ask and we can advise you on the services offered by Sharon our travelling therapist.


Picnics using local produce from Yorkshire Dales Picnics. Please ask us or go to


Wensleydale Equestrian Centre is just out of the village.

Yorkshire Trike Tours

Amazing chauffeur driven trike tours in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. See the beautiful Dales sitting on the back of a fantastic Boom Trike ,a unique and wonderful experience


Bespoke, driver guided tour of Yorkshire by a knowledgeable and experienced guide.

Red Squirrel Trail.

Visit the Red Squirrel viewing area in the heart of Widdale, outside Hawes. Truly amazing experience best done in the morning as the squirrels don’t come our so much after lunch (really!). We have trail maps and the Little White Bus can be arranged to take  and collect you.


We are situated in the heart of Wensleydale and whether on our doorstep or further afield there can be no better place to walk. We have walking cards to suit all abilities.

Our Awards & Press Coverage

Find below some of the awards we’ve received and our coverage in the press.

The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Gold Award

We are proud to have been awarded the trip advisor greenleaders gold standard award –
read our reviews »

We are pleased to be invited into the Good Hotel Guide 2017

The Good Hotel Guide is an invitation only entry onto an independent guide to the best places to stay in the UK.
See the review at the Good Hotel Guide »

Yorkshire Dales Society Business Member

The YDS are an independent charity which campaigns for the communities and landscapes of the Dales and is actively involved with the sustainability of this important area We are proud supporters of this charity

We are Finalists in the 2016 White Rose awards

The 2016 White Rose Awards will take place in Harrogate on the 21st of November This is our 4th consecutive year as a finalist

Trip advisor Certificate of excellence

Trip Advisor certificate of excellence 4 years running 2013/2014/2015/2016        

Silver award at the Visit England Awards for Excellence 2016

We were delighted to receive a Silver Award at the Visit England Awards for Excellence 2016 held at Blackpools Winter Gardens We had a great time at the seaside !

Winners of the White Rose Awards Guest Accomadation 2016

Highly Commended at the Visit England Awards for Excellence 2014

We have received a Silver Award after our 1st assessment by GTBS

Winners of the White Rose Awards Guest Accommodation of the Year 2013


Low Mill Guesthouse on Sawdays

A review in The Guardian

Low Mill Guesthouse was reviewed in The Guardian

Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2012/2013/2014/2015

Food & Drink Award 2012

Small but Special Accomodation of the Year 2012/13

In The Yorkshire Dales

Breakfast & Dinner Award 2013/2014/2015

Welcome to Yorkshire Member

Gold Award 2012/2013/2014/2015

Breakfast Award 2012/2013/2014/2015

Bed & Breakfast 5 Star Award 2012/2013/2014/2015

AA Gold Star Award 2013/2014/2015

Guest Accommodation of the Year 2013

More information

Please visit the Yorkshire Tourist Board at for further information.