Find the best guide for the Yorkshire Dales at Visiting North Yorkshire
Looking for things to do in the Yorkshire Dales? Walk among patchwork green valleys, craggy cliff faces, and farmland laced with limestone walls. It’s not tough to work out why the Yorkshire Dales feature so much on the big screen, appearing in Calendar Girls and the Harry Potter series. The hills are alive with the sound of wildlife – woodpeckers, cuckoos, and wood warblers. And as of late, they’ve been joined by the world’s biggest cycling event, the Tour de France. In August heather covers the moorland like a purple carpet. Follow the footsteps of Georgian gentry to spa towns like Harrogate to discover the pump rooms, manicured flower gardens, and quaint tearooms.
Welcome to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Visit the website here
Things to see and do, stories, advice, and information from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.
Yorkshire Dales Accommodation Visit the website here
Tourism is a key industry in the Yorkshire Dales and you will understand why once you have visited this scenic part of Yorkshire. The dales has something to offer all tastes; whether you want peace and solitude, invigorating adventure or merely the chance to relax and explore charming dales Towns, Villages and beautiful countryside.
The Yorkshire Dales has accommodation for all budgets, from stunning Caravan Parks, Campsites, & Glampsites to five star country Hotels, village Guest Houses, traditional dales Bed & Breakfast. Bunk Barns, and a vast selection of fantastic Yorkshire Dales Holiday Cottages to choose from, making your stay in the dales a real home from home experience.
Glamping in the Yorkshire Dales is now extremely popular and there are a wide range of luxury Glampsites to choose from in and around the dales, for more information or to book a glamping holiday please visit Glampsites.com
Yorkshire is one of the most desirable areas in the UK to live with many people choosing Yorkshire & the dales to buy homes and also holiday homes, for a fabulous selection of holiday homes for sale in stunning locations, please visit our main featured business (York House Leisure-please click here) who have magnificent parks located throughout Yorkshire.
Visiting the Yorkshire Dales will also give you the chance to explore other stunning nearby areas such as the historical City of York, the scenic Yorkshire Coast with it’s many towns and villages, or maybe the delightful Ribble Valley on the Yorkshire Lancashire border.
You can find some incredible deals on holiday cottages in the Yorkshire Dales by clicking this link to our Holiday Cottage Deals.
For detailed information on a specific area in the Yorkshire Dales please click here for Towns & Villages Yorkshire Dales
There is also an eclectic range of activities and entertainment to keep you busy while staying in the Yorkshire Dales, whether you are looking to book a family activity holiday, escape the big city, or simply looking for a romantic weekend getaway, we are sure you will find everything you need to plan your stay right here. Also, whilst navigating our website why not check out the FREE to enter competitions section, and you could be in with a chance of winning some fantastic prizes, including breaks in the Yorkshire Dales, meals at some of the area’s finest restaurants, tickets to various Yorkshire family attractions and much more. GOOD LUCK!
York House Leisure
York House Leisure, Boroughbridge
York House Leisure’s immaculately maintained holiday parks in North Yorkshire offer the ideal place to relax and unwind in the heart of some of the region’s most spectacular scenery. Our well-appointed holiday caravans and luxury lodges, thoughtfully designed sites and friendly park managers help to create memorable holidays for our guests. Whether you buy your own special spot to come back and enjoy on our owner-only holiday parks in North Yorkshire, or visit us for a break in one of our select holiday homes for hire, you will find your perfect escape with us.
Little Seed Field
Little Seed Field, Ripon
Wild Glamping and Bespoke Outdoor Event Venue in the Yorkshire Dales
Welcome to Little Seed Field, a unique glamping site established on a working dairy farm perched on the wild heather moorlands of Nidderdale in Yorkshire. Our octagonal cabins offer a unique accommodation experience. Stay with us for a cosy night by the camp fire and retire to your memory foam bed, feather duvets and panoramic views of the dales. Situated between Pateley Bridge and Ripon, the farm land boasts dramatic views over the surrounding valley and heather moorland. Our remote location allows you to host a genuinely private event and provides a stunning, wild backdrop for a truly bespoke wedding and entertainment venue.
Glampsites.com – Book your next glamping holiday
Find and book your perfect glamping holiday in Yorkshire with Glampsites.
Welcome to Glampsites! Want to sleep amongst the treetops, stargaze from your bed or spend a cosy night in front of a wood burning stove in a Mongolian yurt? At Glampsites we have glamping in Yorkshire covered! We invite you into our world of luxury glamping, where you can experience glamping breaks in Yorkshire.
Harefield Hall, Pateley Bridge Harefield Hall Ripon Road Pateley Bridge Harrogate HG3 5QE
For best prices please book direct, you will not find us on any booking websites. Please note we are an over 16’s venue only.
Ideally located on the Way of the Roses cycle route this 15th Century former manor house is situated in 28 acres of woodlands overlooking the river Nidd. A 10 minute stroll takes you to the heart of Nidderdale, the bustling Market Town of Pateley Bridge. The family staff team offer a warm welcome to visitors and invite you to enjoy their personal service, homely comfortable accommodation and relaxed, elegant surroundings.
Yorkshire Dales History Visit the website here
The History below is that I have researched on the internet and in libraries and hopefully correct, however, history sometimes differs in the views of different historians. Should you find any errors, anything I might have missed or indeed anything I can include or research please email info@harrogate guide.co.uk
The Yorkshire Dales is an upland area of the Pennines in the historic county of Yorkshire, England, most of it in the Yorkshire Dales National Park created in 1954.
The Dales comprise river valleys and the hills rising from the Vale of York westwards to the hilltops of the Pennine watershed. In Ribblesdale, Dentdale and Garsdale, the area extends westwards across the watershed, but most of the valleys drain eastwards to the Vale of York, into the Ouse and the Humber. The extensive limestone cave systems are a major area for caving in the UK and numerous walking trails run through the hills and dales.
The Yorkshire Dales are surrounded by the North Pennines and Orton Fells in the north, the Vales of York and Mowbray in the east, the South Pennines in the south, and the Lake District and Howgill Fells to the west. They spread to the north from the market and spa towns of Settle, Skipton, and Harrogate in North Yorkshire, to the southern boundary in Wharfedale and Airedale. Natural England define the area as most of the Yorkshire Dales National Park with fringes of the Nidderdale AONB, but without the towns listed above apart from Settle
The lower reaches of Airedale and Wharfedale are not usually included in the area, and Calderdale, south of Airedale and in the South Pennines, is not often considered part of the Dales even though it is a dale, is in Yorkshire, and its upper reaches are as scenic and rural as many further north. Additionally, although the National Park includes the Howgill Fells and Orton Fells, they are not usually considered part of the Dales.
Most of the larger southern dales, Ribblesdale, Malhamdale and Airedale, Wharfedale and Nidderdale, run roughly parallel from north to south. The more northerly dales, Wensleydale and Swaledale run generally from west to east. There are many other smaller or lesser known dales such as Arkengarthdale, Bishopdale, Clapdale, Coverdale, Kingsdale, Littondale, Langstrothdale, Raydale, Waldendale and the Washburn Valley whose tributary streams and rivers feed into the larger valleys, and Barbondale, Dentdale, Deepdale and Garsdale which feed west to the River Lune.
The characteristic scenery of the Dales is green upland pastures separated by dry-stone walls and grazed by sheep and cattle. A survey carried out in 1988, estimated that there were just over 4,971 miles (8,000 km) of dry-stone walling in the Yorkshire Dales. Many upland areas consist of heather moorland, used for grouse shooting from 12 August (the Glorious Twelfth).
Much of the rural area is used for agriculture, with residents living in small villages and hamlets or in farmsteads. Miles of dry stone walls and much of the traditional architecture has remained, including some field barns, though many are no longer in active use. Breeding of sheep and rearing of cattle remains common. To supplement their incomes, many farmers have diversified, with some providing accommodations for tourists. A number of agricultural shows are held each year.
Lead mining was common in some areas of the Dales in the 19th century, particularly during 1821 to 1861, and some industrial remains can still be found, such as the Grassington miners’ cottages. Certain former mining sites are maintained by . The Grassington Moor Lead Mining Trail, with its many remaining structures, has received funding from a variety of sources. The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority provides an app for those who wish to explore the relevant areas.
In this primarily agricultural area, tourism has become an important contributor to the economy. In 2016, there were 3.8 million visits to the Yorkshire Dales National Park including 0.48 million who stayed at least one night. The park authority estimates that this contributed £252 million to the economy and provided 3,583 full-time equivalent jobs. The wider Yorkshire Dales area received 9.7 million visitors who contributed £644 million to the economy.
Visitors are often attracted by the hiking trails, including some that lead to beautiful waterfalls and by the picturesque villages and small towns. These include Kirkby Lonsdale (just outside the area), Hawes, Appletreewick, Masham, Clapham, Long Preston and Malham
The 73 mile-long Settle–Carlisle line railway, operated by Network Rail, runs through the National Park using tunnels and viaducts, including Ribblehead.
The top-rated attractions according to travellers using the Trip Advisor site include Aysgarth Falls, Malham Cove (scenic walking areas), Ingleborough (hiking trails) and Ribblehead Viaduct
Your guide to the Yorkshire Dales Visit the website here
North Yorkshire is a non-metropolitan county and the largest ceremonial county in England by area. It is located primarily in the region of Yorkshire and the Humber, but partly in the region of North East England. Area: 8,654 km²
The Yorkshire Dales has some of the UK’s most handsome countryside, from rolling emerald hills crisscrossed by higgledy-piggledy dry-stone walls and wild moors where your only company is grazing livestock, to crashing waterfalls. Days walking and cycling here can be punctuated by stops in pretty villages for meals in front of roaring fires, or castle visits learning more about the area’s history.
Situated in the northeast of the Yorkshire Dales, this good-looking market town is home to an impressive and well-preserved Norman castle, where conscientious objectors were held during the First World War.
You can admire the town from the top of the castle keep before heading to Richmond’s cobbled marketplace – one of the largest in England. There are also winding lanes to explore and tours of its Georgian Theatre Royal.
Meaning ‘pass between mountains’, Hawes is a central Yorkshire Dales market town situated between the famous Buttertubs Pass and Fleet Moss roads, popular with cyclists. There’s plenty to do here, whatever the weather, from the Dales Countryside Museum to the Wensleydale Creamery.
Grassington the south of the National Park, and close to climbers’ favourite Kilnsey Crag, Grassington will charm you with its cobbled market square, arty shops and varied events – such as the Dickensian Festival in December.
J. Jackson UK/Shutterstock
Here, plan a walk, perhaps a gentle stroll next to the River Wharfe, or a longer hike to Linton Falls and Kilnsey Crag.
Five top things to do
Step back in time in a castle
The Yorkshire Dales has an impressive clutch of castles. Richmond Castle is the best-preserved early Norman castle in England, Middleham Castle was one of the childhood homes of Richard III, while the medieval Bolton Castle is famous for being a place where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned.
Explore the Forbidden Corner
Expect the unexpected in this four-acre garden that proudly calls itself “the strangest place in the world”. Navigate around a labyrinth of paths, tunnels and sculptures, being careful not to take a wrong turn as surprises are lurking. There’s plenty to do in the surrounding Tupgill Park too.
The Forbidden Corner – Official/Facebook
Twinkling rivers and waterfalls are common features of the Dales’ landscape and the areas’ dramatic waterfalls have been used as settings for films including Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. A must-see is Aysgarth Falls, three stepped waterfalls in the River Ure. Hardraw Force, England’s largest single-drop waterfall, is also worth visiting.
Plan a walk with a view
There are walking opportunities all over the Yorkshire Dales but one stand-out option is a walk from Malham to Malham Cove, Gordale Scar and the Janet’s Foss waterfall (see a route here). Malham Cove is a huge curved limestone cliff formation with extensive views from its limestone pavement at the top.
The four-and-a-half-mile Ingleton Waterfalls Trail (see a route here) is another memorable route.
Yorkshire is home to the largest caving area in the UK and the Yorkshire Dales has an otherworldly underworld to explore. The three main show caves of Ingleborough Cave, White Scar Cave and Stump Cross Caverns are great family days out to spot limestone formations in fantastical shapes.
Top places to stay
From self-catering cottages and glamping sites to luxurious country house hotels, there’s plenty to choose from in the Yorkshire Dales.
For luxury, treat yourself to a country house stay in Simonstone Hall near Hawes with knockout valley views, resident peacocks and classy public areas.
For couples, with a daily cocktail hour, rooms named after the artwork in them and sweeping views, Stow House is a stylish B&B in a former vicarage just outside Aysgarth. There are plenty of places to relax after a day walking, from roll-top baths in rooms to a purple library with log burner.
Families can spread out in their own cottage in Tupgill Park and you’ll be next door to the Forbidden Corner attraction. For ease, there’s also the Saddle Room restaurant on-site and the Tupgill Park grounds to explore.
Best places to eat and drink
One of the Yorkshire Dales’ most famous exports is Wensleydale cheese – the popularity of which was boosted in the 1990s by Wallace & Gromit. Learn all about its history, which dates back to French Cistercian monks, and stock up in the Wensleydale Creamery.
For special occasion meals, good bets include the Wensleydale Heifer, which is known for its fish; The Blue Lion which has excellent seasonal dishes made from local ingredients; and the Michelin-starred The Angel at Hetton.
The Wensleydale Heifer/Facebook
Check-in to: the Stow House B&B, which feels remote but is just a two-minute drive from Aysgarth and a 15-minute drive from the shops and pubs in Leyburn.
Walk to: Aysgarth Falls to admire the spectacular three-tiered waterfalls – you can walk right to the water’s edge and plan hikes nearby.
Lunch at: the Wensleydale Heifer (a 10-minute drive from Aysgarth Falls) to try its renowned fish and chips, or to take advantage of the fixed-price lunch menu.
Admire the view of Wensleydale from: the viewing tower at the top of Middleham Castle. Despite being open to the elements without a roof, there are impressive ruins to explore.
The Blue Lion Hotel Inn & Restaurant/Facebook
Acquaint yourself with Hawes: in the Dales Countryside Museum. As well as learning about the people and industries that have shaped the area, there’s a tourist information centre inside.
Lunch at: the Wensleydale Creamery restaurant or coffee shop for a cheese-inspired meal before going on the Wensleydale Cheese Experience. You can watch cheesemakers at work in the creamery and take part in cheese-making demonstrations.
Go for a walk next to: Hardraw Force. This spectacular single-drop waterfall is in the grounds of the Green Dragon Inn, a five-minute drive from Hawes.
Dine with a view at: Simonstone Hall, either in the upmarket Stag’s Fell Restaurant or order from the less formal lunch and bar menu.
Set off early: to drive an hour south to the village of Malham – the remote drive will be part of the fun – and walk around a mile from here to see the impressive limestone Malham Cove.
Lunch at: in good weather, take a picnic and extend your walk to take in Janet’s Foss and Gordale Scar. For a treat when it’s chilly, book at table at the Angel at Hetton, which is often referred to as the UK’s first gastropub.
Go caving: in Stump Cross Caverns which were discovered in 1860 by lead miners. While exploring you’ll spot fantastic formations such as the ‘Wedding Cake’ and children will love the legend of its Fairy Palace.
Relax: over dinner after your drive home in Aysgarth Falls Hotel, just down the road from Stow House.
How to get to the Yorkshire Dales
If you don’t have your own car, there are rail and bus services running to many of the main towns and villages. The Settle-Carlisle railway stops include Ribblehead and Garsdale, while there’s a station in Skipton and nearby Northallerton. Find out more on the Yorkshire Dales National Park website.