Gayle is a small village close to Hawes at the upper end of Wensleydale. It is located at the entrance to Sleddale, just where the Gayle Beck emerges from a steep sided gully at the base of the valley. The beck runs down a series of limestone shelves as it passes through the village, producing a series of small water falls.
Gayle Mill recently featured in the BBC Restoration series. Built around 1776 as a cotton mill, powered by a 22ft water wheel, it changed over to flax and then wool, supporting the local knitting industry. From the middle of the nineteenth century the wool mill became a saw mill. It now contains one of the earliest surviving turbines, installed in 1879. It is hoped to turn the mill into a wood working centre, and install a hydro electrical generator in the mill.
The road south out of Gayle leads along Sleddale to Langstrothdale, across the highest road pass in Yorkshire. Three quarters of a mile south of Gayle you will find Aysgill Force, one of the less well known waterfalls of the Pennines, but well worth a visit.
The Wensleydale Creamery, technically in Hawes, is actually in the gap between Gayle and its neighbour to the north and is well worth a visit.