MORE than 12,000 visitors are expected to descend upon a Dales town this Bank Holiday weekend for a food and drink festival.

The Dales Festival of Food and Drink, based outside Leyburn, is one of the largest events in the Yorkshire Dales calendar.

The main attraction is the giant Food Hall, which will host more than 80 stalls of local food products, including many new vendors.

On Saturday, writer Neil Hanson, author of The Inn at the Top, recounts tales of life running Tan Hill pub, the highest in Britain.

Gary Verity, of Welcome to Yorkshire, visits on Sunday to explain how the Tour de France Grand Depart came to Yorkshire and on Monday award-winning author Gervase Phinn will reminiscence about his time as a schools inspector.

Also on Monday, Swinton Park’s chef director Stephen Bulmer will host a foraging-themed demonstration and will cook up treats using ingredients from the Swinton Estate.

A beer festival with many small breweries and award-winning beers and wines will be served in the drinks marquee.

Six hours of live music each day from local brass or jazz bands and traditional sword and morris dancers provide additional entertainment. For young people there are a range of rides and attractions.

A farming from food area sees livestock and small animals, along with talks and demonstrations of traditional agricultural skills such as sheep shearing and wood turning.

For details visit or follow @DalesFoodFest on Twitter.

It takes place from 10am until 5pm on Saturday, May 3 until Monday, May 5 on the A684 just outside Leyburn, approaching from the east. Post code DL8 5SG.