The Yorkshire Dales are always easier to see with your own car, but failing that, it is perfectly possible to go by public transport. You just have to study timetables carefully and be prepared for the fact that some rare journeys can only be made Sundays in summer or Bank Holidays for instance (such as Hawes to Richmond via Swaledale). Leyburn to Hawes via Aysgarth is not that much of a problem if planned and Richmond to Keld, that is along most of Swaledale's villages, is also not hard. The best thing to do if you rely on public transport is to base yourself in a small town which is a bit of a bus junction, such as Ripon or Leyburn, Richmond or Skipton, and make daytrips. You can also buy a "Freedom ticket" for either yourself or the whole family and go for a set price with all buses for a day. A great way to explore for instance Swaledale.
The Yorkshire Coastliner is a great bus for going between Leeds/York and coastal towns like Whitby and Scarborough. Not only are they frequent enough, but the buses to Whitby also go across the North York Moors national park which is great if you want to visit pretty places like Goathlands and Thornton-le-Dale. You can catch the bus from York's railway station, Leeds bus station and Malton to name a few stops.
YOU DONT HAVE TO BE A RAILWAY BUFF TO ENJOY THIS GREAT DAY OUT.
The starting point for your journey is at Pickering station ( parking available -£2 all day if travelling on the railway). The station itself is an attraction, beautifully renovated, its like a trip back in time to the heyday of the steam railways, your ticket can be bought here at the ticket booth on the platform , or it can be bought in advance at pickering tourist office (in the town centre, just before the railay station) £10 per adult return.special rates for family tickets.
The line takes you through 18 miles of scenery with 4 stops en-route-Levisham, Newtondale (walkers request stop), Goathland (Heartbeat country) and Grosemont. Your ticket allows you to get on and off as many times as you like in one day, so you can explore to your hearts content.
The beautifully resored train carriages all have toilets and buffet car or refreshment trolley and both grosemont and goathland have some great little tea shops, so weather you want to explore with your hiking boots on, letting the train transport you to different walking areas, or you just want to sit back enjoy the scenery with a cup of tea and a cake this is for you.
The railway also runs special dining services where you can enjoy a four course meal with linen and silver while the train makes a return journey from/to pickering-enjoying the scenery whilst you dine.
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