About the Yorkshire Dales
The Yorkshire Dales has outstanding scenery, a diversity
of wildlife habitats, a rich cultural heritage and peacefulness.
In 1954, almost 1,800 square kilometres was designated a national
park in recognition of these most important qualities.
The Dales lie astride the Pennines in the north of England
in the counties of North Yorkshire and Cumbria There are over
20 main dales, differing much from each other in character
and atmosphere. To the south of the area lies a highly populated
industrial area while to the north thinly settled uplands
stretch to the Tees and beyond. About 20,000 people live in
the scattered farms, villages and small market towns of the
have lived in the area for over 10,000 years and have left
their mark on the landscape in the form of ancient settlement
sites, disused mineral workings and the patchwork of dry-stone
walls and barns so typical of the Dales. Early farmers cleared
the woodland and developed the fields.
on the fells, hay meadows in the valley bottoms: this has
long been the way of life for Dales farmers, resulting in
a landscape cherished by residents and visitors alike. However,
both the landscape and traditional farming methods are now
under threat from changing agricultural economics.
Each of the Yorkshire Dales has a different character. The
Southern Dales are less remote, and attract day visitors as
well as staying guests. The Northern Dales provide rugged
scenery for walking and sightseeing. In the West, the villages
and small towns have their own charm. Throughout the Dales
there is a variety of accommodation and attractions which
can keep any visitor fully engaged.
The Yorkshire Dales is worth a visit at any time of year -
try a snug country pub with an open fire in the winter months,
a luxury hotel for a spring break, a cottage for a summer
base, or a bed and breakfast for an autumn weekend. Wherever
you go or stay you will find a fascinating landscape and many
things to see and do.