The Yorkshire Dales
Outstanding Natural Beauty

You'll find The Yorkshire Dales National Park in a magical corner of Yorkshire. Its awesome scenery will take your breath away. Relax and enjoy the wide open spaces of the upper fells. The Yorkshire Dales are well known for the rich beauty of their landscapes.

Picture of the green fields and wide open skies of Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales

Dales villages are surrounded by lush, dark green pastures, criss-crossed by limestone dry stone walling and characterised by lonely limestone field barns. The dry stone walls take account of neither gently sloping meadows nor steep valley flanks, bounding ancient fields as they have done for centuries.

Many are the waterfalls cascading over limestone ridges. Countless gallons of water thunder through dramatic gorges. Relentless scouring of the landscape, begun by glaciers and meltwater over a period of one and a half million years continues today as rainwater and winds play their part. Sometimes, in periods of little rainfall, the water's action is gentle and beautiful - a joy to behold. At other times, following a cloudburst or prolonged period of rain, the waterfalls can assume an awesome nature. Senses are assailed by the tumultuous roar, echoing around the steep-sided gullies and scars, as stark white water hurls itself onto the rocks below. Spray is cast high into the air, often forming fantastic rainbows where errant sunlight penetrates deep and darkened ravines.

Caves and potholes abound here. A good many are open for anyone to explore - in the capable hands of an experienced guide. Look out for the fascinating formations created by thousands of years of the drip, drip, drip of the slightly acidic water. A guided tour at, for example, the White Scar Caverns above Ingleton - Britain's longest show cave - will take you deep into the hillside beneath Ingleborough. Thousands of stalactites and stalagmites are cleverly illuminated to show them at their very best. By the way, do you know the difference between the two? When I was a child they told me the ones hanging from the cave roof must 'hang on tite' or they 'mite fall' to the floor! The Dales are riddled with smaller caves that are just as exciting to explore.

Be Happy!

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

Confucius (551 - 479 BC)

Picture of the Aysgarth National Park Centre

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is a great place to spend your leisure time. Since 1954, when the Park was opened, the National Parks Organisation has worked hard to open up the land and educate visitors in the way of the countryside. The Yorkshire Dales National Park operates visitor centres at strategic locations throughout the park. The centres have ample car parking and provide a wealth of information about the surrounding area. Their friendly, helpful staff are happy to help with visitors' questions and operate a service to locate and book accomodation. The ladies at the Aysgarth centre proved to be very helpful to me. When I needed four night's accomodation in Malham over a very busy weekend they pulled out all the stops and quickly had me fixed up! The Parks Authority works with local landowners and farmers, ensuring enjoyment of the dales by as many interested parties as possible. The Yorkshire Dales National Park offers 1,762 square kilometers to explore. A perfect place for hiking, exploring, or just enjoying a leisurely picnic on a day out.

Maps of the Yorkshire Dales
There are two great maps in the excellent Ordnance Survey Explorer range and together they cover the whole of the Yorkshire Dales. Why not buy them now from the manufacturer. The links below will take you directly to the map's page in the Ordnance Survey online shop. The prices are very competitive and you know you're buying the most up to date version!
For Southern and Western areas including Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent (ie the Three Peaks) you'll need Explorer Map Reference number OL2 ...
Click here to buy now
Picture of Ordnance Survey map OL2. Click the picture to visit Ordnance Survey online shop and buy
For Northern and Central areas including Wensleydale and Swaledale you'll need Explorer Map Reference number OL30 ...
Click here to buy now
Picture of Ordnance Survey map OL30. Click the picture to visit Ordnance Survey online shop and buy

Many visitors arrive with tents or caravans, destined to enjoy their holidays on a camping or caravan site. The Dales are blessed with dozens and visitors are spoiled for choice. As a place to enjoy an outdoors holiday adventure the Yorkshire Dales are second to none.

There are plenty of indoor attractions in the Dales too. Visit gorgeous castles and Abbeys. Bolton Abbey is an old monastery, and considered by many to be the very heart of the Dales. Inside you will take a step back in time, relishing the history that is alive here. There are 80 miles of paths for you to take wonderful walks around the area. The area is also known for its amazing shops and restaurants.

While you surely won’t be spending much time in your accommodation during your visit to the area, you will find them to be very unique. Places to stay include comfortable bed and breakfast homes and self catering cottages. Choose vintage hotels or even an old farmhouse with wonderful views over the land. Take a look at the various options on the internet. Some of them simply have pictures of the outside while others have pictures of both the inside and the outside. Our Premium Partners at have holiday cottages throughout the Dales . Click the link to visit - but do be prepared to have a hard time choosing only one place to stay.

You'll also find a great range of holiday cottages in the Yorkshire Dales at Sykes Cottages. Use this link to start your search. Sykes Cottages

Here is just a small selection of places to visit and things to see while you're here in the dales...

Skipton - famously known as The Gateway to the Dales
Why are so many thousands of visitors drawn to the cobblestones and castle walls of this ancient market town?...

Malham - A tiny village nestling in a mighty limestone ampitheatre
Malham is a Yorkshire Dales village nestling in the folds of a massive limestone ampitheatre...

Ribblehead - Bleak, open moorland with a stark beauty
In a bleak, wide open natural landscape, the 24 arches of the Ribblehead Viaduct are a stark testament to the hundreds of men ...

Settle - Historic Dales Market Town
Settle is a thriving Dales market town with scenery that looks like something out of the movies. Gateway to the Three Peaks...

Kettlewell - tiny, tranquil Dales village
There are many well marked paths in and around Kettlewell that you can explore on foot or on a bike. Many of them are located right next to the river ...

Aysgarth - Sleepy village in the heart of Wensleydale
Aysgarth is a very small, delightful village located between Leyburn and Hawes in Wensleydale. Aysgarth Falls features in many movies...

Clapham - rugged Dales village loved by outdoor folk
Clapham village nestles in tiny Clapdale in the shadow of Ingleborough - one of the Three Peaks. Today this Yorkshire Dales village is a sleepy backwater ...

Grassington - lively Wharfedale village with a past!
The popular Wharfedale village of Grassington has quaint, cobblestoned streets and nature trails. Crowning an outcrop of limestone, the village overlooks a majestic curve of the River Wharfe ...

Bolton Abbey and the Strid Wood Walk - A great place for a day out!
Technically a priory, Bolton Abbey was established in 1154 by Augustinian friars on sheltered land beside the River Wharfe between Ilkley and Burnsall. Considered by many to be “the heart of Yorkshire” the romantic ruins sit well by the river...

The Yorkshire Dales is an absolutely gorgeous place to visit. You will find wonderful things to see and do - both indoors and out. The scenery is something you don’t see everyday and you'll love walking around and exploring the caves and the outdoors. The historic buildings will transform the world around you. Even your sleeping accommodation will be something out of a fairytale.

So next time you find yourself with a weekend to spare, make sure you visit the Yorkshire Dales and book into a Yorkshire hotel in the centre of the Dales where you can fully relax in the beautiful surroundings of the National Park.

Holiday Ideas

Take a look at our dedicated page on ‘Holiday Ideas’ , featuring romantic breaks in the Yorkshire Dales – just one of the many ways to experience this beautiful corner of Yorkshire – along with some other suggestions to help you plan your ideal holiday to Yorkshire.

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At you'll find an exceptional range of self catering holiday cottages. From the Peak District in Derbyshire through the Yorkshire Dales, Moors and Coast, Lancashire, Durham, the Lake District and Cumbria we have some of the most magnificent scenery, the prettiest villages and the most stunning stately homes in the country. In amongst all this are our holiday properties, from rustic farmhouses through to luxury apartments we have a range to suit both your taste and your pocket.

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Dales places to visit...

Picture of a cafe in Settle

Picture of colourful Moris Dancers in Malham


Picture of barges at Skipton
Picture of the bridge and pub at Kettlewell
Picture of the Upper Falls at Aysgarth