The Yorkshire Dales is home to outstanding scenery, great castles, abbeys and a breathtakingly peaceful atmosphere. At its heart are two very special protected areas – Yorkshire Dales National Park and Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) – as well as it having the Forest of Bowland AONB and North Pennines AONB as its close neighbours. These protected areas are truly not to be missed.
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Discover The Yorkshire Dales – Peaceful, tranquil, beautiful
Each of the Yorkshire Dales has a different character. The Southern Dales are less remote, yet still wildly beautiful. The Northern Dales provide wild heather moorland and valleys full of hay meadows, dry stone walls and barns. And in the West, the pretty villages and small towns each have their own charm.
The Dales are worth a visit at any time of year – whether it’s to visit a snug country pub with an open fire in the winter months, or stay in a rambling riverside cottage for a summer break. The possibilities are endless!
Towns & Villages of the Dales
Yorkshire Dales Pictures
Yorkshire Dales National Park Essentials
Escape the hustle and bustle
With 840 square miles of outstanding scenery, protected wildlife and rich heritage, the rolling Dales have an unrivalled sense of tranquility. Stroll beside its rivers, hike over its moorlands, cycle its bridleways and climb its limestone pavements. Or follow in the wheels of the Tour de France and explore the area by bike along meandering valley roads or take on the stunning climbs between the dales. However you discover the area, you’ll feel the rest of the world just melt away.
Secrets of the past
Don’t let the uninterrupted views fool you. Yorkshire Dales National Park is a living, working landscape inhabited by charming market towns and picture postcard villages, each with their own unique character and charm. Steeped in heritage, the region boasts historic castles, country houses and old mills all whispering stories about people past who have helped shape the National Park you see today.
Something for everyone
You won’t be short of things to do as you journey across the Dales. Steam trains beckon, traditional food and ales tempt and lively festivals invite each and every visitor to sample the different sights and sounds that make this area so unique.
Dales past, present and future
The chances are your Dales accommodation is an attraction in itself – waking up in a stone cottage or converted stable is a wonderful way to get into the mood for a day’s exploring. A great place to start is with a visit to the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes which tells the story of the people who have lived there before. This converted railway station also has a tourist information centre; historic and informative all at the same time!
The Dales offer a great opportunity to get back to nature. They also hold some unique geological spectacles. Discover the huge, curved limestone cliff at Malham Cove and enjoy the natural playground of weird and wonderful rock formations at Brimham Rocks. And what a refreshing sight to see Britain’s highest unbroken waterfall, Hardraw Force.
Halls that steal your heart
As well as being an attractive market town, Leyburn is also a wonderful base for exploring historic countryside halls and gardens. Constable Burton Hall has romantic gardens filled with roses, tulips and reflection ponds, whilst you’ll fall in love with the carved staircases in Braithwaite Hall’s 17th Century interior.
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Yorkshire Dales FAQ’s
Which is the prettiest of the Yorkshire Dales?
Malhamdale has been suggested as one of the most spectacular dales, boasting dramatic limestone scenery just a stone’s throw from the village of Malham. The area featured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Which is the best part of Yorkshire Dales?
Visitors will find welcoming attractions and accommodation in Wensleydale, Swaledale, Ribblesdale, Malhamdale and Wharfedale. The Dales is a popular destination for families, nature lovers, hikers and cyclists plus day trippers from nearby Yorkshire cities like York and Leeds.
What is the Yorkshire Dales known for?
The Yorkshire Dales has some of the most spectacular peaks in England, and the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks of Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent are amongst the highest in the county, providing an inspiring challenge to walkers from around the world.
Also check out the other regions of Yorkshire, including, but not by any means limited to, the Yorkshire Coast, East Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, & North Yorkshire.