Car is the best means for getting around the Dales but failing that, there are more buses than you think, especially summertime. Hubs outside the park like Richmond, Harrogate, Ripon and Skipton have buses to interesting places, sometimes involving just a corresponding change somewhere like Leyburn. The website below will give you all the times you need, including those for the Royal Mail postbuses that complement some runs in the timetables. The postbus is a van for around nine passengers and this system was set up as the Royal Mail thought they might as well make a profit on those small village runs in the middle of nowhere that they have to do to deliver mail. When the vans are full, they are full, so make sure to catch those sort of connections at a major hub or risk a wait in the middle of the countryside for the next bus. Especially during market days in Hawes and such. It is a fun way to get around, especially if you can talk to the postman who knows his region, but depending on your seat, you might not see that much in the van as it is designed for mail and not for passengers. The ordinary Dalesbuses are small "hoppa" buses that fit the narrow Dales roads but still hold up to 28 and are rarely full. For them, you can buy a "Freedom ticket" which allows you all the travel you want in a day.
The best way to see the Yorkshire Dales is by car, but you can get to places of interest by bus or train -- the following information is taken from the official Yorkshire Dales website :-
Leeds, York, Darlington and Lancaster/Oxenholme on the edges of the Dales are all served by frequent express train services from all parts of the UK, linking with good train/bus services into the Dales:
National rail enquiries:
0845 7484950 www.nationalrail.co.uk
Telephone / online ticket purchase:
0845 7222333 www.thetrainline.com
By Bus and Coach
Lancaster, Skipton, Leeds, Harrogate, York, Ripon, Thirsk and Darlington are served by National Express coaches and have links to local bus services. Coaches also run from Heathrow and Manchester airports to Leeds coach station, with frequent buses on to Skipton, Ilkley, Harrogate and Ripon.
Travel planner and on-line ticket sales, including Eurolines services: www.nationalexpress.com
The Dales area is surrounded by major roads, with the M6 skirting the west, the A66 to the north, the A1 to the east and the A65, A59, A629, M62 and M65 to the south.
The nearest airports to the Yorkshire Dales are Leeds/Bradford and Manchester.
This 22 mile stretch of railway has recently been re-opened by the local community. 18 miles of it are by train, from Redmire to Leeming Bar and the last few (or first ,depending which way you take the journey) are by bus to Northallerton which joins the main East Coast line.
The first train ran in July 2003, some 50 years after the line had originally closed. Today, trains run daily, from Leeming Bar, calling at Leyburn, Finghall and Bedale before arriving at Redmire. Redmire station is a short walk from Castle Bolton village with it's pub and famous castle.
While we were staying on the caravan site, the train would pass us frequently, usually nearly empty. I hope this wasn't due to lack of support, more down to the weather and time of year. Of course, we always waved to the trains. I felt a bit like I was in a scene from The Railway Children!!