The Yorkshire Dales - TV star
Last updated: November 27, 2021
Few destinations conjure the unadulterated, sentimental brilliance of the British countryside as well as the Yorkshire Dales. This quintessential cliche of patchwork farmlands, thousands of miles of dry stone walls, striking Abbey ruins and natural bucolic beauty has charmed the world for generations… and rightly so.
Covid in the Yorkshire Dales?
You may find that some local businesses still ask you to wear a mask in indoor spaces, and many restaurants and attractions still require pre-booking in order to keep numbers lower than pre-pandemic. You'll find any local updates here.
What to see in the Yorkshire Dales
The Dales is, at its most simplistic, a collection of glacier-carved valleys — indeed the word ‘Dales’ comes from the old Norse word ‘Dalr’ meaning valley — that sweep up, down and along the Pennines from North and West Yorkshire to Cumbria and the bottom of the Lake District.
The villages, such as Wensleydale — famed for the cheese and Creamery (a must for cheese lovers) of the same name — and surprisingly ornate Grassington, make brilliant little hubs to immerse oneself into the locales. And you’ll find yourself sleeping in brass-adorned rooms with countryside vistas, drinking a pint of the landlord’s finest in the local pub with lunch (or a modern vegetarian cafe if you prefer) and indulging in Michelin-starred cuisine by night.
The stunning Ribblehead Viaduct, just south of the Cumbrian border is a must-see, its 12 stone arches forming striking frames for the surrounding hills as a steam train speeds overhead. Walkers should take the route from here to Whernside to see the viaduct and the surrounding valleys from one of the Dales’ highest spots. Nearby Ingleborough Cave is worth a stop to see its stunning fossil gallery filled with striking stalagmitic formations, while forest lovers will likely prefer the calming surrounds of Hackfall Woods on the eastern edge of the Dales.
A delightfully equable way to see some of the Dales is to ride the steam train that runs between Embsay and Bolton Abbey, or jump aboard the Carlisle to Settle railway to zip along the Ribblehead Viaduct, and 20 more viaducts and numerous bridges and tunnels.
Escape the crowds in the Yorkshire Dales
Most of the Yorkshire Dales is made up of sweeping valleys and rustic walking paths, so it generally takes little effort to escape the crowds. Valleys such as Mallerstang and Eden Valley retain their remote, wild atmosphere — with 12th-century castle ruins crowning hilltops, dramatic limestone gorges topped with grassy hats, and plenty of space to maintain social distancing requirements.
Arkengarthdale, the northernmost of the Dales in the national park is a good spot for a mixed itinerary of brisk hilly walks between sparsely populated settlements, visits to pretty villages such as Langthwaite and remote Whaw, and to scout the remains of the lead mining industry that was once so prominent in the area.
Checklist for you trip to the Yorkshire Dales
- Only park in designated parking areas
- Remember to take your litter with you
- Download the What3Words App.
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