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Yorkshire Dales

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Yorkshire Dales

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Yorkshire Dales [2] are in the county of North Yorkshire, UK. They are world famous for their picturesque combination of rolling hills, woodland, wild moorland, dramatic landscapes and gentle valleys that create unique and beautiful vistas. There are many opportunities for great walks and the lovely little dales towns and villages provide a glimpse into traditional old-fashioned Yorkshire life.




Flora and fauna


As with the rest of the UK, winter (Oct-Mar) can be wet, cold (-5°C-15°C) and windy, and summer (Jun-Aug) can be warm and sunny (18°C-28°C). However there are no guarantees so it is quite possible for rainy weather in summer and moderate weather in winter.

Get in

Driving remains unfortunately the easiest way to access most of the countryside destinations.

By plane

  • Leeds-Bradford International Airport [3] - the closest airport offering a huge range of flights from Europe including links to the major hubs of London Gatwick and Amsterdam.

By rail

There is England's most scenic railway, the famous Settle-Carlisle [4] railway, which can be most easily accessed from Leeds station, with stops throughout the Dales including Skipton - Settle - Horton - Ribblehead - Dent and Garsdale.

By bus

There are regular bus routes through the dales but due to the country roads these can take a while.

  • DalesBus [5]
  • Postbus [6] - this still exists!


There are no fees to pay except usual entry to attractions and campsite fees etc. Permits are required (as across the UK) for fishing/hunting etc. Fishing licenses are available at Post Offices.

Get around


  • Aysgarth Falls - a set of unique waterfalls and rock formations in lush woodland
  • Bolton Abbey - beautiful river-side abbey in picturesque location at the foot of the Dales' hills
  • Grassington - thriving little market town and great base for walks
  • Hawes - another pretty, small and historic market town
  • Ingleborough - one of the highest peaks in the Dales, offering stunning views and great walking opportunities
  • Malham Cove - Stunning rock formation crowned with the famous 'limestone pavements'
  • Masham - on the edge of the Dales, lovely little town with large market place and a few interesting shops and cafés
  • Pen-y-Ghent - dramatic hill, a favourite with walkers
  • Richmond - beautiful town perched on a cliff overlooking the river, with a lovely old centre and dramatic castle
  • Settle - pretty little market town in the Dales with a traditional atmosphere
  • Skipton - attractive historic market town with one of England's largest and best preserved castles


  • Go for a walk in the hills and you can feel like you are miles away from any other human being, surrounded by the beautiful and seemingly endless landscape of green fields and jagged peaks.



Largest of the Dales, certainly the widest and less steep-sided than most. From Hardrow Force (waterfall} above Hawes, through that very pleasant town to Askrigg (noted for the TV series, 'All Creatures Great and Small,' and on to Aysgarth (major waterfalls), to Wensley and Leyburn. From here the dale's river, the Ure, flows on to York. Still in Wensleydale, the ruins of Jervaulx Abbey provide a very peaceful setting.


This is many people's favourite dale and would be the longest, if the top part were not called Lansstrothdale. It contains the fine villages (ordered up the river) of Bo;ton Abbey, Burnsall, Grassington, Conistone, Kettlewell, Starbotton and Buckden. As well as the old Bolton Priory, the nave of which survived the dissolution of the monasteries because it served as the parish church, there is Clifford's Tower and the Cavendish memorial. The Strid, a very narrow and potentially dangerous stretch of the Wharfe, lies a short way above Bolton Priory.


The name given to the Wharfe above Buckden. Hubberholme with its delightful church is the only place of note but the riverbed makes for an easily accessed Paradise for children with polished smooth limestone on each side. By following the road beyond Langstrothdale, Wensleydale can be reached near Hawes after a very scenic drive.


Mainly a north-south dale, Ribblesdale runs through fine limestone scenery with plentiful caves in the near vicinity, including the extensive Alum's Pot system. The area immediately around Horton in Ribblesdale is much marred by quarrying but beauty is restored at Stainforth and Settle.


A beautiful east-west dale north of Wensleydale and connected with it by some scenically fine unclassified roads, including the 'Buttertubs Pass,' named after the shape of impressive potholes beside the road. Keld, Thwaite, Gunnerside and Reeth are the main villages with the market town of Richmond and easby Abey at the lower end of the dale.







The Dales is not known as a major shopping destination, but many of the towns and villages have a range of small tourist and craft shops as well as local ameneties. The markets can be treaure troves of local produce. The nearest major shopping city is Leeds, but nearer-by Skipton and Harrogate have a selection of shops.

  • Hawes. Market, rope-maker's shop and a few good antique shops.


Find a traditional Yorkshire pub in any of the numerous villages, for a fair value hearty meal. Traditional favourite is Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding.


There are a variety of local beers to try in any local pub. Just a short journey westwards from the A1, main arterial road north,lies the village of Wensley. This village gives its name to the local dale and is a favourite spot in the whole of the Dales. Whilst here, drop into the local pub (there is only one) to sample the brews from the local Wensleydale Brewery, particularly the "Poacher" and "Gamekeeper". These are drinks to die for! But, take it easy if you want to be able to enjoy the scenery afterwards! These are brews of around 5 per cent. You can sit outside if the weather is good or sit inside and enjoy a pub interior that owes nothing to modern `drink-factory` design.



Many pubs offer B&B (bed and breakfast), there are also B&B guesthouses, though these can be pricey, and hard to book in summer.

  • Hostels, [1]. Available throughout the park.


There are numerous campsites available throughout the Dales, the cheapest way to see the Dales, though in winter weather (Oct-Mar) can be too cold, windy and wet.

Stay safe

There is little crime in the Dales except for petty theft from cars so leave valuables hidden. Take precautions against the weather if going out walking etc.

Get out

  • Leeds - the biggest city in Yorkshire and is easily accessible, by road or rail.
  • York - historic and is easily accessible, by road or rail.
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