Dales

Beauty spots

The stepped Aysgarth Falls and the highest single-drop waterfall in England, Hardraw Force, are well known, but there are many other beauty spots to enjoy. West Burton – in the Walden Valley – has its own spectacular waterfall, Cauldron Falls, made famous by the artist J. M. W. Turner. Mill Gill Falls at Askrigg and Cotter Force to the west with its wheelchair accessible path, are equally magnificent throughout the year. Semer Water is the largest natural lake in the Dales. With its calmer waters, it is perfect for anglers, swimmers, canoeists and sailors.

Hawes

The main town in Upper Wensleydale is Hawes, home to the world-famous Wensleydale Creamery, the Dales Countryside Museum, shops and lots of places to eat. From here you can also embark on a red squirrel trail to see these loveable creatures making a comeback in their natural habitat.

Bainbridge and Askrigg

Further down the valley lies Bainbridge, which has a fascinating history, being the location of the Roman fort of Virosidum. Across the River Ure is the village of Askrigg – the film location for the fictional TV vet James Herriot of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’.

Secret garden

For your very own secret garden experience, visit the wonderful Aysgarth Edwardian Rock Garden, commissioned by local landowner Frank Sayer-Graham. It has such a fascinating story that it is now Grade II listed.

Leyburn and Jervaulx

Beyond the Yorkshire Dales National Park boundary, lower Wensleydale’s main town is Leyburn with its three distinct cobbled squares where a thriving market is held every Friday. Further downstream lies Jervaulx Abbey, on the edge of Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Located in a beautiful, wooded setting by the River Ure, it is privately owned but open to the general public. On your visit, please make a donation in the ‘honesty box’ to help towards its upkeep.

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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