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.
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:
- Aysgarth Falls – ///acquaint.fairly.qualify
- Buckden – ///inhabited.gullible.trend
- Clapham – ///outnumber.swim.bravest
- Grassington – ///extend.paving.protected
- Hawes (Dales Countryside Museum) – ///bespoke.handrail.gripes
- Horton-in-Ribblesdale – ///chestnuts.jugs.grounded
- Kettlewell – ///control.handed.encodes
- Linton Falls – ///stooping.communal.wide
- Malham – ///strumming.offers.selects
- Stainforth – ///tribes.hardly.pounces
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Spring time is a time of renewal and a magical season to visit the Yorkshire Dales. Fields full of lambs, bluebells in woodlands, and lush green pastures. Find out more about spring in the Dales here. And to make the most of your spring time visit, here are some tips for you keeping you, livestock and wildlife safe.
Summer is the time when birds and animals are hard at work feeding their young. Even night-hunting creatures like owls sometimes have to keep going into the daylight hours to catch enough food. The flowers in the road verges and hay meadows reach their peak and butterflies make the most of the ample supply of nectar. Find out more about summer in the Dales here. And to make the most of your summer visit, here are some tips for you keeping you, livestock and wildlife safe.
Autumn is a time for leaping salmon, spotting squirrels and incredible coloured landscapes. Even a wet and windy day can be enjoyed if you are dressed for the weather, especially if there’s the promise of a wood fire and a pint of local beer at the end of it. Find out more about autumn in the Dales here. And to make the most of your autumn visit, here are some tips for you keeping you, livestock and wildlife safe.
Winter time is an amazing time to visit the Dales, not least to experience the wonder of our dark skies. The Yorkshire Dales is home to some of the darkest skies in the country. We’re proud to have large areas of unpolluted night sky where it’s possible to see the Milky Way, planets, meteors, and even the Northern Lights. Find out more about winter in the Dales here. And to make the most of your winter visit, here are some tips for you keeping you, livestock and wildlife safe.
Finally, if you’re planning to fly a drone for recreation purposes in the Yorkshire Dales National Park you’ll need to be compliant with a number of CAA regulations and secure landowner permission. All the information you need is here about drones is here.
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!
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