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Family playing among limestone rocks in Malhamdale Copyright Paul Harris

What to do to keep the kids happy

Have a look here for some great ideas to wear out the kids this holiday.

Head down to the farm

There are some great open farms in the Dales with activities for kids. At Hesketh Farm Park near Bolton Abbey you can feed the animals, play inside, go in the giant sandpit or the straw maze.

In the heart of spectacular Wharfedale, Kilnsey Park Estate offers fishing, kids’ activities, friendly farm animals and the best of local food.

Water, water everywhere

There is something magical about water. Why not have a riverside picnic or head to one of the lakes or reservoirs? There is England’s highest lake at Malham Tarn and Yorkshire’s largest natural lake at Semerwater hidden away above Hawes and Grimwith Reservoir close to Grassington. Then there is the picnic area by the River Lune at Devil’s Bridge or by the River Wharfe at Bolton Abbey and Grassington. If waterfalls are your thing then there are lots to visit including Aysgarth, Hardraw and Ingleton .

Get active

We have great short walks taking in woods, spectacular sights, beautiful rivers or even a first hill top. Try a family cycle ride along some of our quiet country roads. You could visit a show cave at Stump CrossIngleborough or White Scar.  To explore more caves or try climbing or abseiling contact a guide, such as Yorkshire Dales Guides or Alfresco Adventures. For more relaxed activities check out the Dales Countryside Museum, or during the summer holidays go to a Go Wild!

Be a big kid!

The unique Forbidden Corner near Leyburn has chambers, tunnels and labyrinths to explore. For a roller coaster fix head to nearby Lightwater Valley with Europe’s longest roller coaster and other rides suitable for all ages. Are heights your thing? Close to Bedale Aerial Extreme has a rope course and zip wires.

Our horrible history

We have some places that really bring history alive. Bolton Castle in Wensleydale is a great for a family day out – you may even catch a falconry display or try out some archery. Another castle with plenty to do is the intriguing Skipton Castle. Another key part of Dales history is the rise and fall of its monasteries. Explore the evocative ruins at the World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey near Ripon, Bolton Abbey and Jervaulx Abbey

Take a train trip

The Embsay to Bolton Abbey steam railway has a year round series of events from Thomas the tank engine to Santa specials. The Wensleydale Railway runs between Leeming Bar and Redmire. There is also the Stainmore Railway at Kirkby Stephen East station which has steam and heritage diesel trains and footplate experiences. Even the normal mainline service is a spectacular trip through the Dales between Settle and Carlisle.