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Fields in Wensleydale in summer Copyright Wendy McDonnell Photography

Information for new visitors

If you’re thinking of visiting the Yorkshire Dales National Park for the first time, we hope you’ll find this information useful. We want everyone to enjoy their visit and to stay safe.

So there are a few things you’ll need to consider before setting off…

  • Where to go
  • What to do while you’re here
  • How to stay safe
  • When you leave

Don’t worry, it’s not complicated and long-winded. Just some simple advice and tips to help you make the most of your day in the National Park.

Finally, you should check the latest Covid-19 guidance before planning any journey into the National Park.

Where to go

If you’re arriving by car there are a number of Local Authority – and our own National Park Authority – car parks you can use. Our car parks have toilet facilities, and there are some great walks you can do that start and finish here. They’re located at:

To help plan your visit you can download a detailed map here.

Our car parks in the south of the National Park – especially Malham and Horton-in-Ribblesdale – fill up early and quickly. We would recommend you also consider using car parks and walks in other parts of the National Park. For example our Hawes car park at the Dales Countryside Museum will often have space available and there are some great walks you can do from there.

If you find that a car park is full, please DO NOT park in village centres or on grass verges on the side of the road. Parking on the roadside risks preventing emergency services from gaining access to where they urgently need to be.


If you’re thinking of visiting Malham you can download this map and useful information here.

Aysgarth Falls

If you’re thinking of visiting Aysgarth Falls you can download this map and useful information here.

Grassington & Linton Falls

If you’re thinking of visiting Grassington and Linton Falls you can download this map and useful information here.


If you’re thinking of visiting Hawes you can download this map and useful information here.


If you’re thinking of visiting Reeth you can download this map and useful information here.

What to do while you’re here

You might want to come and just sit with family and friends, you might want to come for a walk. Whatever the reason, we want you to stay safe and enjoy your day.


Want to walk? Check out this list of 60 great walks you can do in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Each one comes with detailed route instructions and a map. Some are short 2-3 mile walks, some are longer 3-5 mile walks.

And here’s a list of short walks you can actually do from our Authority car parks. They start and finish here… perfect to do in a day.

Photography showing a person walking through a stile in a meadow.
Photo – Paul Harris

While you’re out in the countryside it’s important to respect the land, respect the community, and respect each other.

  • Respect the land – Remember much of the land is privately owned. Respect the life and work of people who live and work here.
  • Respect the community – Remember to keep to rights of way, especially through fields and meadows. Please keep your dog on a lead, unless you are threatened by cattle. And pick up poo.
  • Respect each other – Remember to social distance. Stay two metres apart.

And strictly no BBQs or open fires.

Finally, leave no trace. Take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints. Take all your litter home.

A poster saying to enjoy your day but to follow the rules like respect the land, walk dogs safely, be water aware, respect the community, and take your litter home
by Nic Draper Design


Want to come for a picnic? You’ll need to bring everything with you and take everything away with you again.

Please don’t bring disposable BBQs. You must leave these at home as pose a major fire risk. Both litter and BBQs are a danger to our wildlife and landscape.

Infographic image asking people to not bring bbqs to the countryside and take litter home with them.

The Dales is a great place to get outdoors! For more ideas you can visit our get outdoors pages.

Water Safety & Swimming

Waterfalls, rivers and lakes in the Yorkshire Dales National Park are popular places for people to picnic beside, to paddle in and to swim. They’re popular venues for a variety of watersports including kayaking, canoeing, sailing and windsurfing.

If you’re planning to spend time by water or in the water it’s important to understand how quickly water conditions can change, how cold our water can be and the dangers of unseen hazards and fast flowing currents.

Read our latest guidance on water safety and swimming here.

The Countryside Code

This is a really useful guide to read before you come to the National Park. The Countryside Code applies to all parts of the countryside in England and Wales. It aims to help everyone respect, protect and enjoy the outdoors. You can download it here.

Rebecca Carpenter, one of our Dales Volunteers, surveying rights of way

When you leave

When it’s time to leave… PLEASE take everything you brought back home with you – including ALL your litter. This is really important, thank you!

Any questions?

Email us