Red squirrels

The conifer woods are one of the last strongholds of our native red squirrel. The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority worked with the local landowners to create a red squirrel viewing area for the public in a remote side valley called Snaizeholme. To reach the viewing area book your place on the Little White Bus and follow the Red Squirrel Trail, a 2.5 mile (4km) circular walk.  The Little White Bus runs from outside the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes to the start of the trail at Snaizeholme.

Food and lodging

Places to eat are few along the dale but the Old Dairy Farm, is worth finding. It offers food and accommodation, and was one of the original homes of the dairy herd used by the Wensleydale Creamery to make its famous Wensleydale cheese.

Hidden treasure

The main watercourse meandering down the dale is Widdale Beck. This runs into the River Ure near Appersett passing under an old railway viaduct. Near here you can find one of our carefully hidden geocaches.


Widdale is perhaps one of the less well-known dales in the National Park, but it is worth making the trip up from Ribblehead or down from Hawes. The B6255 was once an old turnpike road. Here you can experience the feeling of remoteness in amongst the conifer woods or bleak moorland that lie on either side.



Littondale is a quiet little dale off Upper Wharfedale. The shallow River Skirfare meanders across the farmed valley floor. It disappears below ground for much of the year north of the hamlet of Litton. This exposes a dry, rocky bed, one of the unusual features of limestone landscapes.


Rawthey Valley

The Rawthey Valley is located in the north-west corner of the National Park. This broad, u-shaped valley has a hummocky, undulating valley floor. It is dominated by the overwhelming presence of the Howgill Fells.


Ingleton Glens

The Ingleton Glens form the lower part of Chapel-le-Dale at its junction with Kingsdale, extending down to the National Park boundary immediately north of Ingleton.



The most northerly of the dales within the National Park is home to the wonderfully named Booze and Whaw – two of the small communities in the valley. The largest village, Langthwaite, is famous for being used in the title shots for the iconic series 'All Creatures Great and Small' in particular the Red Lion pub.



The River Aire begins its life just south of Malham at a spring known as Aire Head. As it flows downstream below Airton, the River Aire crosses the southernmost of the Craven Fault lines. Here the narrow valley known as Malhamdale widens to become Airedale.



Coverdale is a side valley of Wensleydale. Starting close to East Witton it runs in a south-westerly direction with its major settlement being Carlton-in-Coverdale. Beyond Carlton a narrow singletrack road ascends the valley, eventually climbing over Park Rash from where it descends steeply to Kettlewell.


Mallerstang and Eden Valley

The River Eden starts its journey to the sea high in the Mallerstang valley. It crashes down through Hell Gill – a narrow, steep-sided limestone gorge – into the main valley at Aisgill. Legend has it that the highwayman Dick Turpin once leapt over the gorge on his horse to escape pursuing lawmen - crossing is now much easier thanks to a lovely stone bridge.


Lune Valley

The River Lune begins its journey on the northern slopes of the Howgills, then flows west to Tebay before doing a sharp left near Junction 38 of the M6. It then journeys south along the western slopes of the Howgills before the valley opens out as it flows towards Kirkby Lonsdale.



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.