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Aysgarth Falls The lower falls at Aysgarth. Credit: Andy Kay

Reasons to live in the Dales

Top 10 reasons to move to the Yorkshire Dales

With funding from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Sustainable Development Fund, Susan Briggs has written about and created an invaluable resource for people considering a move to the Yorkshire Dales, including the top 10 reasons to move to the Yorkshire Dales.

1. Children can a have “proper” childhood. They can play safely outdoors, collect treasures for a nature table. They can make dens and grow strong on fresh food and Yorkshire Dales air. There are spaces in local schools, where year groups tend to be smaller.

2. It’s calming. There’s less noise (unless you count birdsong and babbling brooks), less pollution and more space to think and just be. Stand outside on a cold clear night and look up – the starry skies are really wonderful.

3. People care. When I first moved back to Yorkshire, instead of asking “what do you do for a living” as they did in London, people frequently asked me “are you happy here?”. They rally round when help is needed, and look out for each other. My mum once didn’t show up to an event she’d said she’d be at so the vicar rang her at home to make sure she was OK. She didn’t answer so he rang me and at the same time asked someone to pop round to her house to make sure she was alright.

4. There’s a warm sense of community. People greet and talk to each other, even when they don’t know who they are. As I walk up the little lane from my home I often meet walkers coming down it and within a few seconds can tell whether they are local or visiting from a town. The locals all say hello and pass comments on the weather… The others just look surprised when I greet them and turn to look behind to see who I’m talking to!

5. People are happier. It’s true! This is because we breathe fresh air, can enjoy nature, are kinder to each other… Repeated studies have shown that when people have the chance to exchange even a few words with each other on a regular basis, they are noticeably happier and healthier.

6. You can easily be part of the latest craze – mindfulness. Many city dwellers spend good money to work out how to feel less stressed and more at peace. They go on courses and read books to study mindfulness. In the country, it’s easy to put this into practice. Just stop and listen to the birdsong, smell the fresh hay or just take in the timeless views stretching on for mile after mile.

7. There’s space. Plenty of it. The Yorkshire Dales is MAMBA country (Miles and Miles of Bugger All) It’s hard to convey the sense of freedom you’ll feel when standing on the top of a hill gazing across the landscape towards another dale.

8. You really get things into perspective. Living in the countryside you’re much more conscious of the changing seasons, the cycle of life, how small we are and how huge is the universe.

9. You can get fit without the expense of a gym. Whether you prefer walking, cycling, horse-riding or log chopping, it’s easy to enjoy them all.

10. The countryside feels safe. Crime rates tend to be lower. Not obsessing about closing windows and anti-social behaviour is another reason the Yorkshire Dales feels more relaxing.

Credit: Andy Kay