Skip to main content
Bolton Abbey Priory and stepping stones Copyright Moira Smith

Top 10 things to do

The Dales is crammed full of incredible places to see and compiling a Top 10 list of places you really should visit is a tough task, but here is ours:

  • Malham Cove, Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss: A stunning cliff, awesome gorge and delightful waterfall, all linked together by a relatively easy walk.
  • Aysgarth Falls: The Dales is awash with waterfalls, but Aysgarth Falls is probably the best known. Not the highest, but really dramatic especially after heavy rain.
  • Our show caves: No visit to the Dales would be complete without getting underground. After all we are home to the longest cave system in the country, massive chambers like Gaping Gill and over 2500 caves.
  • Ingleton Waterfalls Walk: The famous trail wends its way up one river gorge and back down another. A classic walk.
  • Ribblehead Viaduct: The Settle to Carlisle railway is one of our great journeys, in part because of the dramatic viaducts that were necessary to build it.
  • Bolton Abbey: Beautiful riverside, woodland and moorland trails, picnicking by the River Wharfe, the stepping stones, cafes, abbey ruins – a fantastic day out.
  • Bolton Castle: No where near Bolton Abbey! Stunning, well preserved Medieval castle in Wensleydale with loads of activities – falconry displays, archery and wild boar feeding.
  • Fountains Abbey: Owned by the National Trust, this inspiring World Heritage Site includes the abbey and beautiful gardens of Studley Royal.
  • Buttertubs Pass: Ok, it is just a road, but what a road. Now famous as one of the most dramatic moments of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart, but read on to find out how it got its name.
  • Pendragon Castle: This atmospheric ruin is set in a dramatic location in the Mallerstang Valley. Its connection to King Arthur is a bit doubtful, but other parts of its history are much better known.

There is, of course, much more to see. Why not have a look at our Top Attractions to find out more.