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Newby Head, Widdale Dawn on a cold January morning


Widdale is perhaps one of the less well-known dales in the National Park, but it is worth making the trip up from Ribblehead or down from Hawes. The B6255 was once an old turnpike road. Here you can experience the feeling of remoteness in amongst the conifer woods or bleak moorland that lie on either side.

Red squirrels

UPDATED 1 December 2021: Please note that there has been severe damage to the woodland at Snaizeholme due to Storm Arwen. There is currently no access by road or any parking. The squirrel trail is closed until further notice. We are accessing the damage and will update this information as soon as we have it. Sorry for any inconvenience.

The conifer woods are one of the last strongholds of our native red squirrel. The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority worked with the local landowners to create a red squirrel viewing area for the public in a remote side valley called Snaizeholme. To reach the viewing area book your place on the Little White Bus and follow the Red Squirrel Trail, a 2.5 mile (4km) circular walk.  The Little White Bus runs from outside the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes to the start of the trail at Snaizeholme.

Food and lodging

Places to eat are few along the dale but the Old Dairy Farm, is worth finding. It offers food and accommodation, and was one of the original homes of the dairy herd used by the Wensleydale Creamery to make its famous Wensleydale cheese.

Hidden treasure

The main watercourse meandering down the dale is Widdale Beck. This runs into the River Ure near Appersett passing under an old railway viaduct. Near here you can find one of our carefully hidden geocaches.