Top Things To Do in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

Discover the Top Attractions in Yorkshire Dales National Park

Yorkshire Dales National Park is a beautiful, friendly place to visit and explore. It is a dramatic landscape of rolling hills, dales, and romantic expanses of moors. Covering 2,178 square kilometers, the National Park includes natural features like limestone cliffs, caves, glaciations, fells, and waterfalls. 

Whilst here, most people will go for a short walk, or take to two wheels to go cycling or mountain biking. After working up an appetite, why not try some Wensleydale Cheese or go on a sampling tour at one of our breweries?

The villages and towns nestled in Yorkshire Dales National Park are charming reminders of the history of this land. We have a chance to remember the history of these towns, some of which started as settlements as early as 10000 BC. Not only have humans shaped the terrain we now know, but we have geological and natural reminders of history as well. These are seen in the fells, the caves, and the glacial formations. The landscape of Yorkshire Dales National Park is entirely a result of glaciation. 

Together Travel Co has compiled our list of what we consider are the most important things to do when you visit Yorkshire Dales National Park.

yorkshire dales national park

Best Hiking Trails and Scenic Walks:

  • The Three Peaks

Let’s jump in with a challenging walk. This is actually a combination of three hikes, called the Three Peaks. The hike is a little over 2000 meters but comes with breathtaking views.

  1. Pen-Y-Ghent
    The first third of the three peaks is the smallest peak. This one is 694 meters and boasts beautiful views of The Yorkshire Dales. The hiking path is generally pretty easy.
  2. Ingleborough
    At 723 meters, this is the second highest of the three peaks. However, when you conquer this climb you will be richly rewarded with panoramic views.
  3. Whernside
    The tallest of the Three Peaks, Whernside stands at 746 meters. From this peak a hiker can see quite far and on a clear day, maybe spot the Blackpool Tower.
  • Simon’s Seat
    This hike is on the Bolton Abbey Estate. It’s a 485-meter hike but still boasts gorgeous views of the Yorkshire Dales.
  • Malham Cove
    About a million and a half years ago, Malham Cove was covered by a glacier. As you reach the height of this 230-meter hike, you will observe the masterpiece they sculpted as they melted. Truly stunning!
  • Gordale Scar
    A narrow ravine with rock ascending hundreds of feet up, Gordale Scar is a breathtaking sight. It’s one of the most striking views in all of the Yorkshire Dales State Park, but be careful. Some climbs are a little treacherous, so we don’t recommend this one for kids.
  • Scars Haw
    This hike is 350 meters high. It may be a better choice for your younger compatriots and there’s even a bench at the top, so you can have a quick rest before you begin the descent.
  • Buckden Pike
    At a little over 70 feet this is quite a hike. Culminating in a grassy plateau it is well worth the climb. 

three peaks

Now that we’ve located our big walking and climbing opportunities, let’s talk about some of the culture of The Yorkshire Dales State Park.


Cultural and Historical Exploration

The Yorkshire Dales State Park isn’t just a physical fitness course with great views. It’s much more than that. Here is some of what this area has to offer, culturally and historically.

  • Historical Landmarks and Ancient Ruins
    This area of land having been settled over 10,000 years ago, is teeming with historical landmarks and places. The historical landmarks are numerous, but we have chosen our top five.
  1. Bolton Abbey- Fun for the whole family, the Abbey is a huge playground that was formerly a 12th-century monastic estate. It’s been converted but it still contains all of the historic buildings.. Sitting on the edge of the Wharfe, it is a lovely place to sit and have a picnic while appreciating the historic backdrop that was shut down when King Henry XIII dissolved the monasteries. Don’t feel like bringing the picnic? There are several tea rooms in the area.
  2. Dales Countryside Museum and the Yorkshire Dales Center-These two share a building and provide lots of information about the history of The Yorkshire Dales State Park. From the geological features to the historical events, this museum can provide much info about the history of this beautiful region.
  3. Richmond Castle-Located in North Yorkshire, this gorgeously large castle was built in 1070. It is now open to the public for viewing and there is an exhibition inside that provides a brief explanation of the history of the castle. It is 30 meters high and has been remarkably well-preserved; a beautiful historic site.
  4. Skipton Castle-Skipton Castle could be referred to in the category of ancient ruins, as the first foundation of the castle was laid in 1090 A.D. But it’s just so well-preserved that we have to list it as a historical site. If you have any interest in historical preservation, this is a must-see location. It is reputed to be one of the best-preserved ancient buildings in Northern Europe. There is even a yew tree in the courtyard that was planted by Lady Anne Clifford in 1659 when the castle was renovated and restored. It is this iteration of the castle that we see today. Don’t miss it.
  5. Bronte Parsonage Museum-Once the home of the Brontes, this home overlooks a beautiful garden. They lived in this home from 1820-1861 and the museum has been curated to the exact specifications of the Brontes. Every bedroom looks exactly like it did when they lived there. 

bolton abbey

Other Cultural Sites in Yorkshire Dales State Park
Here are a couple of cultural events you may want to check out.

  • Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
    Used as the set of the 1970 movie, The Railway Children, this railway is still up and running about every hour of the day. It’s a great place to take the whole family to see a working railway.
  • Yorkshire Sculpture Park
    Located in Bretton Park, this is an extremely impressive collection of very large sculptures. It’s a must-see if you are in the area. Add this one to your list of attractions in Yorkshire Dales State Park.
  • Green Howards Museum
    Military buffs will love this museum that features historical infantry memorabilia. The three floors of this museum showcase Richmond’s Yorkshire infantry regiment and a dazzling medal room.


Wildlife Watching and Nature Exploration
One of the best things about visiting villages that are nestled into a beautiful part of the  countryside is that there is a lot of nature to observe. Here are some places you can go to wildlife watch, paired with the corresponding animal you can watch at each location.

  • Snaizeholme Red Squirrel Trail-red squirrels
  • Grimwith Reservoir-many types of birds
  • Southerscales-various types of plants, especially ferns
  • Lower Grass Wood-various types of wild birds

There are many other places to see wild birds, plants, and other species, but there are almost too many to list here. If you are staying in a certain area and would like advice about where to wildlife watch, ask our concierge at Together Travel Co.

Family Friendly Events

  • Sheepdog Demonstrations
    In a field about 800 meters north of Hawes, a farmer performs Sheepdog Demonstrations every Thursday between May and August. This is something that the kids will love. It’s quite impressive.
  • High Street
    Acclaimed as one of the most bustling shopping streets of Yorkshire, this is a great place to take the family and shop! It is known as the Pride of Skipton.
  • Georgian Theatre Royal
    This theatre was founded in 1788 and repurposed for much of the late nineteenth century and the majority of the twentieth century. It was finally renovated and put back to its original purpose in 1960 and has been a working theatre ever since. Check out their website for information about upcoming performances.

high street

Local Events and Festivals
A few of the local festivals include

  • Settle Stories Storytelling Festival
  • Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival
  • Dentdale Music and Beer Festival
  • Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival
  • Swaledale Festival

Adventure Activities

  • The Forbidden Corner
    This mysterious garden is reminiscent of David Bowie’s Labyrinth. Be careful because if you get stuck in a corner things can get a little scary. Located in Yorkshire, this walled garden is sure to charm, inspire, and provide a little bit of spooky to your visit.
  • Camping or Glamping 
    In the village of Appletreewick, there is ample room for camping or glamping near the water. Contact Masons for more information.
  • Caving
    The Yorkshire Dales State Park is a wonderful place to explore the area's caves. Spelunking is a pastime that is fun for adults and children alike.


Practical Tips and Recommendations
Check out one of the beautiful villages or towns to find luxurious lodging close to where you want to be. For more tips on lodging, contact Together Travel, Co.

Together Travel

The Yorkshire Dales Villages are ready to be explored! When you’re ready to take in the sights, look no further than Together Travel Co. We are your guides for every dale, cave, and waterfall. Whether you’re travelling with family, are on your honeymoon, or just taking a solo tour of the villages, we have the information and connections to make your sightseeing dreams come true.  Find out how we can help you plan the trip of your dreams by contacting our expert concierge team at +44(0)1625 416430 or emailing us for more information.