Best Things to Do in the Yorkshire Dales

11 May 2021

The Yorkshire Dales is an area of the Pennines overflowing with valleys, hills and bodies of water. This place of natural beauty is highly sought after by those seeking relaxation, peace and quiet and fantastic walks in the many trails and routes therein.

There is so much to see and do here that we’re confident you’ll want to come back again and again! From historical sights to family activities, we’re taking a closer look at some of the things you can get up to in this stunning area.

What's more, our luxury holiday cottages in the Yorkshire Dales are the perfect base for you to explore the Dales in comfort and style, so check them out and our luxury holiday cottages in Lake District.

Go Hiking

If you’re going to the Dales, either as a day trip or to stay for a few nights, you can’t miss out on a good hike. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there are many routes to choose from that appeal to everyone.

For example, why not hike to Aysgarth Falls for the dramatic waterfalls surrounded by beautiful greenery? You can even bring some food and have a picnic with your family. If you’re looking for something a little more difficult, there are many long walks that are sure to challenge you.

The Three Peaks, for instance, will have you walk 24 miles and reach the three summits of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. You may also do the Dales Way if you want an even longer walk, since this one covers around 80 to 100 miles. Other famous long hikes include the Pennine Way, the Coast to Coast and the Lady Anne’s Way, so you’ll be spoilt for choice.

The one thing all these walks have in common? Stunning sights and wonderful wildlife that you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else!

Yorkshire DalesVisit Skipton Castle

One particular landmark you may be interested in visiting when in the Dales is Skipton Castle. Located in Skipton, North Yorkshire, this medieval building is one of the most well-preserved in England, so you'll have the chance to admire features that date back to Tudor times.

The timber foundations were built in 1090, while Lady Anne Clifford planted a yew tree in 1659 that still stands today – in fact, much of what you’ll see was restored in the 17th century, meaning the castle is a combination of different eras and building techniques.

There's also a picnic area and a tearoom here as well so, when you’re done exploring the courtyard and the many rooms of the castle, you can enjoy brunch while taking in the sights.

Cycle with the Whole Family

Bicycling is a great way to spend time with your loved ones while benefiting from all the fresh air in the Yorkshire Dales. Cycling or mountain biking, take your pick and enjoy the vast kilometres of gorgeous landscapes, lanes and trails. You'll likely go by many small villages and towns, so you can even stop there for a coffee or cake at the cafés or for an evening meal in the pubs.

For those who aren’t content with just a bit of cycling, why not take the opportunity to bike from Coast to Coast, a 236km route that starts in Whitehaven, goes through the Lake District and ends in Whitby? If you feel like staying in the Lakes for a while, we also provide luxury holiday cottages in the Lake District, whether you’re alone, with friends or family, or even with your four-legged companions, since many of our accommodations are dog-friendly.

Explore Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey is another unmissable spot, especially for those interested in history and architecture. You can find this estate in the southern area of the Yorkshire Dales, where you can visit the ruins of an Augustinian abbey and church founded in the 12th century.

Here, you’ll also find the famous 60 skipping stones that both adults and children love using to cross the river, as well as many scenic sights you’ll get lost in. You can easily spend a few hours in Bolton Abbey, so account for that when heading over.

Bolton AbbeySeek Out Dramatic Scenery Underground

While the nature of the Dales is truly inspiring, you can head underground for something different – and special. There are many caves in the area, including in Ingleton, where you can explore the fascinating limestone chambers and appreciate the many stalactites and stalagmites.

We're confident your kids will love getting up close to the beautiful rock formations of the caves and enjoy a day out exploring a unique world.

Malham Cove

Nothing like a few days in the countryside to recharge your batteries and feel at one with nature... and Malham Cove is a great place for this. The large curving cliff is around 80 metres high and 300 metres wide, and the top has been eroded over time, creating a flat area of limestone.

This stunning landmark attracts visitors from all over the world, who come to bask in the lovely views down the dale. Famously, Harry and his friends camped in the cove in the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, so this is also an area of interest for movie buffs.

Malham CoveSate Your Sweet Tooth

And, if you’re craving something sweet after so much exploring and walking, England’s Oldest Sweet Shop has got you covered. Found in Harrogate, this old shop has been offering sweets of all types for more than 200 years, and its antique, vintage appeal will make you feel like you’re back in the past.

There are many treats to enjoy here, such as jellybeans and sherbet lemons, so don’t miss this quaint shop when you visit the Yorkshire Dales.

We hope this list inspires you! There’s so much to see and do in the Yorkshire Dales that we couldn’t mention every single thing, so why not book a stay in one of our self-catered holiday cottages to explore this amazing area and see it all for yourself? You could enjoy a weekend in our Cottages with Hot Tubs, or enjoy a golf break in the Yorkshire Dales with our selection.

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