Yorkshire Dales National Park Things to Do

  • Farmland around Ribblesdale
    Farmland around Ribblesdale
    by spidermiss
  • Ribblehead Viaduct, Ribblesdale
    Ribblehead Viaduct, Ribblesdale
    by spidermiss
  • A train on the Settle-Carlisle Railway!
    A train on the Settle-Carlisle Railway!
    by spidermiss

Most Recent Things to Do in Yorkshire Dales National Park

  • leafmcgowan's Profile Photo

    Bolton Abbey

    by leafmcgowan Written Apr 17, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A beautiful lush green estate encompassing 30,000 acres in the Yorkshire Dales on the banks of the River Wharfe this historical site offers tourists, patrons, parishoners, and visitors over 80 miles of footpaths and open space. The ruins of the Priory are legendary with much history and lore embedded in the grounds. Cafe's, shops, tea rooms, gifts, and dairy ice cream are a smorgasboard of what you'll find.

    Above the River Wharfe lies the ruins of the 12th century Priory and parish church bringing fame to this place. The Priory was founded in 1120. Originally the land was granted to the Augustinian Canons in 1154 by the Lady Alice de Rumilly, the owner of nearby Skipton Castle. The nave of the Priory came back to life after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 when Henry VIII set out to destroy and remove Catholicism from the land, where it continues as a parish church even today. The Abbey still belongs to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The Church is dedicated to St. Mary and St. Cuthbert.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ben-UK's Profile Photo

    Cautley Spout waterfall

    by Ben-UK Written Oct 30, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cautley Spout waterfall in the Howgill fells is the highest above-ground waterfall in England -- the water falls approximately 600 feet (180m) but the top of the waterfall is approximately 1,800 feet (540m) above sea level, so it's an energetic climb to the top.

    The tiny hamlet of Cautley is just north of Sedburgh and actually lies within Cumbria now after government boundary changes some years ago. A great walk to the top is to start from the Cross Keys inn at Cautley, crossing flat land for a while (see 'more photos') before the steep path rises next to the waterfall -- from the top you can continue to the Calf (the highest of the Howgill fells) and on to Sedburgh if you wish -- on a clear day the views from the top of the falls back down to the valley below are absolutely fantastic (see 'more photos') -- but be careful if the weather is inclement, cloud can descend quickly in these parts, and always take warm clothes, a good map and a compass.

    Cautley Spout Beginning of the walk from Cautley View from the top of Cautley Spout
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    Pateley Bridge

    by Sjalen Updated Sep 8, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pateley Bridge is fairly easy to reach by public transport from Harrogate. This means that many people visit it despite it having less dramatic surroundings than many more desolate places, but it is by no means plain either, as the downhill main road winds its way down the dale. Pateley Bridge is in fact a pleasant village with lots of shops along the main road and with the amazing watermill, today turned into a pub. There is also the popular local Nidderdale Museum. The countryside is also excellent for walking and since it is not that far from Harrogate, it is a good base whichever direction you want to explore.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    Settle

    by Sjalen Written Sep 8, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The small market town of Settle at the end of Ribblesdale is a hub for the south-western corner of the Dales with its many natural features like the famous hill Pen-y-Ghent and the many caves and waterfalls in the area. Tuesday is market day and there has been a market here since the 13th century so this is definately the liveliest day for a visit. The town is otherwise mostly famous for the very scenic Settle-Carlisle Railway which is at its most stunning between Settle and Appleby, including the great Ribblehead viaduct "in the middle of nowhere" which you might want to see from the ground rather than already on the train.

    Ye Old Naked Man Cafe :)
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Trains
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    Keld

    by Sjalen Updated Sep 1, 2006

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the upper end of Swaledale, you find Keld, a place which is more a scattering of houses and a Wesleyan chapel, rather than a village. Set along the beginning of the river Swale, it is known for its waterfalls, but primarily for being a great place to walk in, with paths back to other Swaledale villages such as Muker and Gunnerside. There is no shop here but you will find a hostel where you can also get National park information. If you have your own car rather than rely on the bus, you can drive on to England's highest located pub, the Tan Hill inn, which is three miles up the fellside in the middle of nowhere.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    Askrigg

    by Sjalen Updated Sep 1, 2006

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a village lots of you will have seen without realising it, as it was the main film location for outdoor scenes of "All Creatures...", the TV series about vet Herriot. Set on its own along a fellside where a small forest meets the otherwise open Wensleydale, it is as Yorkshire as it gets with stone houses around a church. Sadly very popular with tourists due to its TV fame, you can still find it relaxing here as the village is hard to reach without your own car (there is a post van now and again) but it is even better to visit out of season.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    Stump Cross Caverns

    by Sjalen Updated Sep 1, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I know my Yorkshire Dales pages are all full of histories of lead mines but well, here I go again: Stump Cross was actually discovered by miners looking for lead :))) This happened in 1860 and they never realised what a treasure they had found but luckily, someone else did, so that we can all enjoy what is today one of the most famous cavern areas in Britain. Carved out in an era when Yorkshire was full of ice age pools, water is still dripping down the limestone even if the pools are long gone. Apart from the caverns themselves which you can visit an exhibition area showing a film about the creation of this special place. With the tea room and stone shop it is all a bit touristy but nevertheless worth a stop for the magic of the underground. It is also known as the place where, in the 1960s, a Mr Geoff Workman completed an experiment on how man copes with lack of day and night changes when he stayed below ground for more than three months.

    Craven Moor
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Adventure Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    Middleham

    by Sjalen Updated Sep 1, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Just outside the National Park boundaries, Middleham is still very much a Dales town where it sits just where Wensleydale meets Coverdale, and with Middleham Castle, Richard III's childhood home, overlooking it all. The town is also known as "Newmarket of the North" due to all the race horse stables here. A legacy from the monks at nearby Jervaulx Abbey who bred horses for King Richard and others. Looking towards Leyburn and the Vale of York is not as scenic as further into the Dales, but you need only walk for a few hundred metres along the footpath behind the castle, up towards Coverdale and the Pen Hill moors and it is a different scenery altogether. You can see many more images on my Middleham pages as this is one of those places I could easily live in if I had a job there.

    Middleham Castle
    Related to:
    • Horse Riding
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    Muker

    by Sjalen Updated Sep 1, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the prettiest villages in Swaledale, Muker has few sights as such but a setting so relaxing you need only an hour to feel like you've been on holiday for a month. OK, not in the worst July rush :))) A paradise for walkers and photographers alike...oh and for those who just enjoy life in the village pub. See more images on my Muker page.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Architecture
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    Aysgarth Falls

    by Sjalen Updated Sep 1, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Waterfalls are what Aysgarth is famous for, especially since Kevin Costner filmed here for a fighting scene in "Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves". There are three falls in Aysgarth and you can visit them all. If you visit my Aysgarth page you can see ducks going on a waterslide - children love to watch that and much more here, such as the strange holes created by the water. This picture is from the Upper falls which has an excellent grassy bank to picnic in. There are also the Middle and Lower Falls and you reach those on a short hike from the National Park visitors centre signposted from the Upper Falls. The Lower Fall is furthest away and for that, you need proper footwear as it is more of a forest path than the Upper which is just next to the road.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    Hawes

    by Sjalen Updated Sep 1, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hawes is not a sight but a small town and one of my favourites at that. It's a centre for both Dales agriculture and for walking the Pennines so there is a bustling feeling here in summer which I like, and at the same time the tourists are mainly fell walkers so there is still a calm, even if there are some coach parties here to shop and visit museums too. The main hub of Wensleydale, Hawes is a good base for touring the Dales as it is easy to reach both the castles of the East and the desolate moors of the West. It also has some interesting places to visit such as the Dales Museum and the famous Wensleydale Cheese Creamery, nowadays of Wallace and Gromit fame. Along the main road between Wensleydale and Swaledale nearby, you also find the curious geological feature of Buttertubs Pass and outside Hawes is Hardraw Force, England's highest single drop waterfall. You can read more on my Hawes page.

    Hawes
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    Gunnerside

    by Sjalen Updated Sep 1, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Walk up the Gunnerside Gill for great views, or visit the Old Working Smithy in this lovely former mining village in Swaledale which also has an excellent pub (see restaurant tips). Gunnerside really is one of the prettiest villages I know in England.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    Richmond

    by Sjalen Updated Sep 1, 2006

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not actually within the national park borders, Richmond is still included here because it acts as the Gateway to Swaledale from the east. Easily reached by bus from nearby Darlington along the main railway, Richmond is also a historic place with a lot of it great architecture paid for by money earned from Dales mining. The reasonably intact ruins of a huge Norman castle above the river Swale is the pride of town (and its raison d'etre). It was built by one of William the Conqueror's main men, Alan of Brittany, and is in such a good shape simply because it has never been under siege. You can see much more about this lovely town on my Richmond page.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    Reeth

    by Sjalen Updated Sep 1, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Expanded due to the lead mining in the area, Reeth is today the biggest of the Swaledale villages and where you will find most pubs and accommodation. Set where Swaledale meets Arkengarthdale it is a good place to use for a base to drive around the area and it has good views across the dale. For the days when you want to stay in Reeth, there is the Swaledale Museum which tells stories of mining, farming and more "life in the Dales". There are also several handicraft shops here, selling art, special furniture, photos and decorations en masse. You can see more images on my Reeth page.

    Reeth Green
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    Bolton Castle

    by Sjalen Updated Aug 26, 2006

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bolton Castle sits on its own on a fellside, visible for miles in Wensleydale (click on the picture). The castle was built by one of the Lords of the Scrope family in the 1380s and looks like a fortress but was actually used to live in. Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned here for some months and when she escaped, she lost a scarf which is the reason for the village name Preston-under-Scar nearby. Or so the legend says, since a scar is also a geological feature in the Dales, no one knows for sure I think. What we do know is that when the castle was abandoned after damage in the Civil War, local families settled in it and lived here until 1898! Today, you can visit the castle and its lovely garden. See the website below for current opening hours.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Yorkshire Dales National Park

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

23 travelers online now

Comments

Yorkshire Dales National Park Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Yorkshire Dales National Park things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Yorkshire Dales National Park sightseeing.

View all Yorkshire Dales National Park hotels