Immerse yourself in some of the most beautiful wildlife scenery, enjoy a night out at a moorland restaurant and experience the wonders of our guide to some of the best things you can do in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The Yorkshire Dales has many conditions.
Strong and heavy on windy rocky hillsides followed by stone walls; far away and lonely in the vast swamps of nothing but wandering grass; stoic and contemptuous in ancient villages nestled in quiet valleys.
The ten official dales, or valleys, that make up the Yorkshire Dales are more than just geographical wonders that provide karst with large rocks or mysterious rivers that have disappeared. They are the home of fortresses and factories; remnants of the establishment and independence that give this wild place, the most beautiful personality.
With so many outdoor activities, the most authentic restaurants in the country, some beautiful drive and beautiful picnic areas, there are some things to do in the Yorkshire Dales for everyone.
From the high mountains to the depths of the underground caves, here is our guide to the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
VIEWING YOUR TRAVEL / If you find this guide helpful, please book your trip with the links on this page (or on our BOOKS page). This will earn us a small commission – at no extra cost to you – and help us keep track of where we are on the road. Thanks for your support – Paul & Mark.
1 – DISCOVER THE MIRACLES OF THE GEOLOGICAL OPERATION OF MALHAMDALE
The Malham Cove curved stone road has been described as one of the wonders of geography in the UK. Extending the 300-foot [300 m] line, deep cracks sink into the flat limestone, forming a large paved area.
The curve ends abruptly and almost straight down into the valley, 80 feet below. The view from here on a beautiful day is natural with field trunks rising and falling on waterless hills.
The foundation of the paved road also provides a unique view of the geography of the area. A monolithic wall – lined with rock climbers – towers above and an underground river from below the rock.
You can walk to Malham Cove from the village of Malham in just 20 minutes but there is so much to explore in this remarkable place. Janet’s Foss is an excellent waterfall on the head of a magical weed tree; Gordale Scar is a hidden gorge overlooked by large boulders; and Malham Tarn is home to alkaline lakes in the north of unique wildlife. They are all beautiful and well-visited on this beautiful tour of Malham Cove.
2 – LOOK AT SWALEDALE’S VIEW
If we had to choose the best part of Yorkshire Dales National Park, it would be at the top of Swaledale. A visit to the dal, which is the northernmost and smallest, is a subdivision of lush green fields very different from the empty brown moorlands that rise above them.
The Swale River cuts through the valley as it falls over waterfalls and converges into distant lakes. The seemingly endless storage areas of farms are located next to ancient bottles, facing the deserted land of sheep.
In our view, the area around Keld and Muker is the most attractive part of Swaledale. The 2-week-coast-to-coast route runs here and it’s easy to see why. Just drive for 20 minutes between Keld and Muker or pause to walk along the river Swale to see why this is one of the best places to visit in the Yorkshire Dales.
With paint and headband at King’s Head in Gunnerside. They supply Black Sheep Bitter from a local brewery in Masham.
3 – PHOTO AT BOLTON ABBEY ESTATE
There are many valleys and remote places to visit in the Yorkshire Dales, but with a beautiful building with few centers, head to the Bolton Abbey Estate. The heritage is centered on the Bolton Priory with its ruins overlooking the Wharfe River as it flows through a beautiful valley.
Aside from injuring yourself with a picnic towards Jane Eyre’s novel, there are many things you can do. Walk a short loop of the ruins with the Cavendish Pavilion or a half day trek into the surrounding countryside. Take a sensitive photogenic photo or swim from a rocky sea on a riverbank.
There is no entry fee but there is a down payment that you pay if you book before the day you visit. There is a local shop, several tea rooms, a brasserie, a gift shop and a toilet. It’s a popular place so book ahead for the high season.
4 – CHECK THE NETWORK NETWORK
The Yorkshire Dales National Park has more than 2,500 known caves that make up the longest system in Britain. This makes the national park a great place to put cakes. Fortunately, there is a list of options depending on what race you want to be.
The easiest to check them out are “show caves.” This involves group travel – often moved through a metal grid – within large cave systems. The only requirement for the body is to be able to move up and down stairs and bend about the height of the waist. It is less than 10 degrees below that level, so warm clothing is essential. The main cave of the show is the White Scar Cave.
Another way down the winch is to Gaping Gill – a large basement, large enough to fit St Paul’s Cathedral. The victory is planned by the Bradford Club and Craven Pothole, but it is possible one week in May and one week in August, so you need to plan your visit ahead of time.
Finally, if you want to challenge yourself, several companies are planning a hobby for beginners. Experiences include navigating between small spaces, the descent of underground waterfalls with a rope and regular shearing. It’s so much fun to provide that you’re happy to be wet and not tired of the closed spaces. We had a great time with Lost Earth Adventures providing all the equipment and guidance you need.
5 – Hold the FULL ALE IN THE PLACE OF THE COUNTRY
There are few better things you can do in the Yorkshire Dales than to escape the wind and rain in an old English country bar. Serving home-cooked ales or a few local delicacies, here are some of our favorites.
THE RED LION BURNSALL
As we wandered the finish line from our 100-mile relief trip a few years ago, we celebrated (fell) at Red Lion. Adjacent to the old bridge near the beautiful Wharfe River, is a large traditional Yorkshire restaurant. The food menu is constantly changing, and the 16th century bar has a wide selection of real cask ales.
Craving Weapons in APPLETREEWICK
The village of Appletreewick calls itself the “Gateway to the Ales”. To find a bar filled with the land of the old world, take a pint from the wooden bar in Craven Arms. Use a gas-lighted board and select from the list of cask boxes from the Yorkshire Dales Brewery.
THE WRITERS ARE ARMED IN LAMHAM
The town of Malham is beautiful and Lister Arms is home to one of the most beautiful green landscapes. An elephant dress worn on the outside, filled with bunting, surpasses every character you can ask for in a village canteen. An excellent sharing dish goes well with their Freedom Ales or Blonde made at home in Stletle Brewery. There are yards for sunny days.
6 – ACCESS ONE OR ALL THREE CENTRAL YORKSHISTS
The three top national challenges test the conferences of Snowon, Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike in 24 hours. Not to be outdone, Yorkshire has its own version. The Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge 24-mile climb climbs a total of 1585 meters (1585 meters) above the three peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.
There is no driving between the mountains, so it is only a one day trip. The goal is to complete them all in less than 12 hours as part of a formal or private event. But if all that sounds great, just pick one and still have a nice (and maybe even fun) day in the beautiful mountains of Yorkshire.
Our favorite is Pen-y-Ghent. Craggier is also more impressive than the other two, and has the added bonus of a slight drop. Climb from Horton to Ribblesdale and take a beautiful roundabout. It is expected to take about four hours.
7 – PHOTOS OF RIBBLEHEAD VIADUCT
More than 150 years ago, the Midland Railway began construction on the Ribblehead Viaduct. Part of the Settle to Carlisle railway line, it took 5 years to build and more than 100 men lost their lives in the project.
Today the 2nd floor building on the ridge stands firmly on the Ribble River as it winds its way through the three peaks. Twenty-four large terraces are 14 feet [14 m] wide and 18 feet [32 m] above the valley. The gentle curves of the bricks across the valley add grace and grandeur, making it one of the best photography sites in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
In case you have a drone, bring it with you and check the train timetables corresponding to the train traveling on its journey (Tuesdays and Thursdays only).
8 – PASS OVER THE BUTTERF LOW
From the seat of your car, some of the most beautiful places in the Yorkshire Dales take place right before your eyes. Roads disappear in the valleys, passing torrent streams and traversing small towns. The best driving in Yorkshire is more than the landscapes that climb up high falls and connect dales.
The most famous Buttertubs Pass. Climbing a distance of 526 meters, it crosses the wild moors between Swaledale and Wensleydale. It is a beautiful, easy-to-drive road with wide lanes. Most importantly, however, the view is very good. Park in conference to really appreciate this wild, amazing, and remote place.
Another great way to drive from Middleham up Coverdale Valley down to Kettlewell. Wensleydale Clinic Village, not many people come here, so you will have this beautiful corner of the auction all for yourself. Its a route that is part of the route, so take your time.
9 – THE OLD CYCLE
With its windy valleys and high altitudes, the Yorkshire Dales National Park offers the best bikes in the UK. It’s a perfect place for benefits and beginners alike. Highly impressed with the options available, the 2014 Tour de France started in Leeds and continued with the Yorkshire Dales.
There are many lush mountain bikes for experienced cyclists; very high Fleet Moss. Running between the Hawes and Outershaw, the 589-meter pass is the highest in Yorkshire. The circular path rises by 303 meters with gradients of up to 20%.
But if you are a novice like us, Swaledale is a great option. In the north of the dal, the roads are quiet and there are many options. Take the road on the valley road, cross along the 20-kilometer Swale Trail (road junction with unpaved tracks), or exit the valley and head up the corridors.
We rented our bikes at the Dales Bike Center, helping us choose the right trail for us. They donate road bikes, hiking bikes, or e-bikes to help keep you moving forward. Maps are provided for all local tracks.
10 – FOOD AND MUSIC AT REMOTE TAN HILL INN
At 528 meters, the Tan Hill Inn is the highest restaurant in Britain. Stand on top of a beautiful moorland square, nothing but windy grass and a few sheep ready to watch for miles. It feels remote but inviting.
The conversation of the powerful bosses fills the bar with a breath of fresh air. Pedestrians looking for a bed at night, cyclists take a break from steep climbs, lost riders stop for food. Repetition of daily news combined with cracked glass paint is completed. There is live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the food is excellent, and the newly built pods are a fresh start to the old traditional canteen.
If the weather is bad enough, we recommend taking a pint of their royal make-up, getting a seat outside, and watching the endless vista of absence.
11 – VISIT AMAZING DISASTERS TO ABBEY AREAS
In 1132, exiled nuns from York came to the fortified village of the Skell River. Here they joined Cistercian’s order and built a small church next to their wooden houses. Over the next hundred years, the church would be greatly expanded into Fountains Abbey. Its end was to rise and fall for a few hundred years until it reached its climax in 1540 when Henry VIII broke with the Catholic Church and usurped the throne.
Today these tall UNESCO ruins are one of the most beautiful in the UK. Hosted by the National Trust, it is located within Studley Royal Park in a magnificent valley. You can easily spend half a day hiking under rough arches, strolling along a riverbank or in the mud of a game reserve. It’s perfect for a picnic and the view across the green fields to the ruined abbey deserves a proper photo.
Access to the magnificent water garden is included in the entry price and like most National Trusted sites there is a good cafe, more information on the site, toilets and playground.
12 – CLAMBER UP BRIMHAM ROCKS
There is a magnificent collection of geological treasures along the eastern edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Built over 325 million years ago, the transformed Brimham Rocks have been transformed into a complex and fascinating structure. It is usually smooth and round, rising like a skyscraper.
This world scene creates the most beautiful day in Yorkshire. Take the easy walk between the rocks, try to climb them, or walk over the nearby moorlands. It is all under the National Trust who have installed coffee and toilets on site. Admission is free, but there is a parking fee (£ 6 for up to 4 hours, £ 9 a day or free for members)
Come from mid-August to late September and the gray / black rocks stand out in stark contrast to the purple leather. Avoid wet days if possible because the grip is not smooth and dangerous.
OTHER VISITORS YORKSHIRE DALES
If you are a regular reader of Anywhere We Roam, you may have noticed that we like to choose what we recommend, choosing the best things for you to have a good experience. However, there are many more things to do in the Yorkshire Dales that we could not list. If you have more time, here are some suggestions.
ISEDBERGH BOOK TOWN
Since 2003, Sedbergh has been the official state of England. The small town has several bookstores on a variety of subjects. Be sure to check out Westwood Books. Based on a previous movie, it moved here from Hay on Wye in 2005 and has about 70,000 degrees.
The Yorkshire Dales has many waterfalls, but many are privately run and there is a charge to see them. Ingleton Waterfall is an amazing £ 8 per person, Hardraw Force is £ 4. Both are good enough, but it is probably best to go to Aysgarth where the only charge is parking (National Trust). It’s best to make a trip to Malham Cove and see the beautiful waterfall of Janet’s Foss for free.
Skipton & RICHMOND CASTLE
There are a few dots with dots around the edge of Dales. The construction of the Richmond Castle began in 1071, making it one of Britain’s oldest fortifications. A well-maintained store sits 100 meters above the market town. Skipton Castle is one of the most complete castles of the past in the country and is one of the few that will be fully covered. Highlights include its towers, Tudor’s courtyard, and a large gate.
Wensleydale is known for its cheese and their local cream is based in the Hawes. Sadly, they have chosen to focus on knick-knacks and the tourist route rather than their delicious cheese. The coffee shop is in a state of disrepair, but there is a cheese room where you can pick up sharp cheddar given indifference. Take the cheese, go in and out.
Kids will love the Forbidden Corner; many unusual and strange objects are still distributed in a four-hectare garden. There is a labyrinth of tunnels, carved wood carvings, dead ends and avoidance techniques. Nearby is the Druid Temple, a 19th-century folly style in Stonehenge. Sit in a circle of stones and pretend to call out mystics.
SETTLE TO CARLISLE STEAM RAILWAY
It didn’t work on our trip, but the Settle to Carlisle train line looked really good. The trains that run during the Golden Train period, and featured in Harry Potter movies, travel the highlight of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. For part of the trip they were driven by a diesel engine, but in the best category (from Hellifield to Carlisle) steam engine is used. Pride your way over the Ribblesdale Viaduct should be a good one. This service is currently only valid on Tuesdays or Thursdays so book a resume.
If walking, cutting, rowing, and cycling is not enough adventure for you then try your hand at climbing. Beginners go to Twistleton Scar before moving on to more challenging ones like Malham Cove, Gordale Scar or Almscliff Crag. See Lost Earth Adventure for guided mountains.
HERE TO STAY IN YORKSHIRE DALES
Yorkshire Dales National Park is huge, taking two hours to drive from north to south. It is important to stay close to the things you want to do (see map above).
Like the rugged mountains surrounding the three peaks live near Ribblesdale, because the wonders of the landscape try Malhamdale and the small villages, the ruined ruins and the fine restaurants Wharfedale is a good way. If you want to leave the crowds behind go straight north. Wensleydale is beautiful but the best is Swaledale, a remote and stunning piece of British countryside.