Dales

Wensleydale

Famous for its cheese, historic villages, traditional markets and crafts, Wensleydale provides an excellent holiday base from which to explore the National Park. Its wide open valley, dotted with softly rounded hillocks left by retreating glaciers, gives it a very distinctive appearance. Water is an important feature of the landscape, the River Ure that once gave the valley its old name 'Yoredale' runs broad and deep through lush pastures perfect for raising milk cows.

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Lower Wensleydale

In Lower Wensleydale the countryside becomes more pastoral than it is higher up, with gently rolling fields, woodland and picturesque villages. The areas within and surrounding the market towns of Masham and Bedale are home to a wide variety of food and drink producers. There are high quality arts and crafts people who you can watch at work, or join them on a workshop to learn a new skill and produce your own gift.

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Wharfedale

The River Wharfe gathers the waters of Langstrothdale and the becks above Cray and runs south through the National Park to Bolton Abbey down a classic u-shaped glacial valley. The dale is criss-crossed with miles of drystone walls running up sometimes impossible-looking slopes to the limestone scars above with picturesque villages strung out along the valley bottom below.

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Swaledale

Along with Arkengarthdale, Swaledale is one of the most northerly of the dales and it has perhaps the wildest, most unspoilt scenery in the National Park. Many of the villages and tiny hamlets - such as Gunnerside (from 'Gunnar's saetr') - still carry the names given to them by Viking farmers who settled here over a thousand years ago.

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Malhamdale

Malhamdale is one of the most visited areas in the Yorkshire Dales. This isn't surprising because it has some of the most spectacular examples of limestone scenery in the whole of the National Park and beyond, including Malham Cove, Gordale Scar and Janet's Foss.

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Ribblesdale

The River Ribble starts at a spot called Gavel Gap high on the moor above Newby Head. It is a famous salmon river and watching salmon leaping up the various waterfalls along its course in the Autumn is one of nature's wonders.

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Dentdale

Dentdale is at the western end of the National Park. The dale's steep-sided valley contrasts beautiful flower-filled meadows and lush riverside pastures with the sparser grassy upland of the fells.

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