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Swaledale Copyright Chris Werrett

Plan your visit

Welcome to the Yorkshire Dales, an outstanding place to explore!

The Yorkshire Dales has many moods; it can be wild and windswept or quietly tranquil with valleys full of hay meadows, drystone walls and barns. There’s always something to do in the Dales. Whether you’re coming for the day or staying longer.

We’ve put this information together to help you get started in planning your visit. We hope you enjoy your time here in the Yorkshire Dales.

You can download a detailed map showing all of the Yorkshire Dales National Park here.

 

Public Transport

Sustainable tourism will only become a reality if we all do our part, and we’re encouraging everyone to travel more sustainably, so why not leave the car behind and explore the Yorkshire Dales by train, bus, bike or foot.

Taking public transport also means you can relax and enjoy the scenery – and see over the top of drystone walls! Many of our recommended walks begin and end at public transport stops, including connections to the Settle-Carlisle railway. Find out more about rail travel into the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Visit our travel information pages here.

The £2 bus fare cap

You should also consider arriving by bus, especially right now. The £2 single fare cap is in place until 31 December 2024, and covers all scheduled bus services in the Yorkshire Dales area every day of the week.

For example, the Craven Connection bus 580 runs every hour all day Monday to Saturdays between Skipton and Settle, with alternate buses continuing on to Clapham, Ingleton and Kirkby Lonsdale, offering the chance to enjoy walks and sightseeing in the Ingleborough area. 

Also, the Wensleydale Flyer service 856 has three return journeys every Sunday linking Northallerton, Bedale, Leyburn, Aysgarth and Hawes, providing a relaxing car free and parking visit to Hawes, home of the Wensleydale Creamery and Dales Countryside Museum.

Both services are operated by DalesBus.

Read more about these services and other services where the £2 single fare cap is applicable here.

You can find out more about public transport options here.

Garsdale Station with a sign for Leeds

Car Parks

Our National Park Authority car parks are located here.

As a rule, our Malham, Horton-in-Ribblesdale and Aysgarth Falls carparks tend to be the busiest. Have a back up plan in case you get there and it’s too busy and you can’t park. Our other car parks are less busy.

EV charging points

All of our car parks now have electric car charge points. Each site has a pod point dual, 7kw rapid charger. We have app-enabled chargers – https://pod-point.com/guides/driver/how-to-access-public-ev-charging. Please note that if using the charge points you must purchase an appropriate parking ticket to cover the time whilst charging. You can find out everything you need to know about EV charging points here.

There are other carparks run by local authorities, see more about other amenities here.

Things to do

We have beautiful valleys, towns and villages. Find attractions, events, places to eat and drink and where to stay along with things to do with the kids in the great outdoors.

Walking in the Yorkshire Dales

Many people come to the Yorkshire Dales to walk. A walk in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is good for both your physical and mental wellbeing. There are walks for all abilities;

  • Great walk ideas – There are around 60 short walk suggestions for people of all ages and ability on our short walks page. Each walk comes with a detailed map and some walks have an audio guide
  • Walks from our car parks – Here are some short walk suggestions leaving and returning to our National Park car parks.
  • Miles without stiles – If you find walking a challenge or your group includes someone who’s using a wheelchair or pushing a push chair then take a look at our ‘Miles Without Stiles Walks‘ here and find out more in our Access for all area.
  • Apps – Download our Yorkshire Dales Walking App which has 35 GPS-enabled walks for you to try, all curated by our Ranger team.

Walking Films

Need some inspiration? You don’t always have to come for a hike, there are many different types of walk to do in the Dales, including landscape walks, waterfall walks, mindfulness walks and even an amble with an alpaca along Semerwater in Wensleydale. Take a look.

Aysgarth Falls walk

https://youtu.be/kd96VAvgpfs

Alpaca walk

https://youtu.be/n1nkmjnOTls

Mindfulness walk

https://youtu.be/N2vKSBtZpgI

Three Peaks walks

https://youtu.be/QEOdmkpkU5M

Walking with dogs

https://youtu.be/0CXVo88V_sk

Water Safety

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.

Read the guidance on our water safety and swimming page here.

Accessibility

Everyone has the right to access to the countryside in the Yorkshire National Park and improving access on appropriate public rights of way and permissive routes in the National Park is one of the objectives agreed by the Authority and a wide range of local partner organisations in the National Park Management Plan 2019-24.

Choose from our Miles without Stiles downloadable routes perfect for wheelchairs, pushchairs and a post-pub-lunch amble. You can also buy route cards at National Park Visitor Centres. To see where the routes can be found in the National Park have a look at the interactive map and check out our access for all page here.

The Countryside Code

The National Park is a place where farmers and landowners work and people live; if you can follow these tips below you’ll stay safe during your visit and the communities of the Dales will stay safe. The Countryside Code has also been translated into various languages:

 

Spring

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

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.

Summer Infographic for use on visitor map sheets through 2022 and 2023

Autumn

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

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.

 

While you’re out and about in the countryside it’s important to respect the Countryside Code. You can download a version of the Countryside Code to take with you.

And wherever you walk or picnic, please take all your litter home with you and no BBQs. Please, leave no trace.

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.

Why don’t you have bins in your car parks?

It’s a question we get asked a lot. So why don’t we have bins in our car parks?

It is our view that bins attract more litter. Think about it, how many times have you visited a high footfall location and seen the bins overflowing? Read more about our bin policy here.

The Three Peaks

Finally, if you’re considering doing the Three Peaks challenge, we have lots of information to help you here. The Three Peaks challenge is a popular activity, and it’s important that social distancing is maintained on the hills. Download our Three Peaks walking app which has a number of GPS-enabled walks for you to try around the Three Peaks area, including the Three Peaks walk itself.

Yorkshire Three Peaks app screenshots with Pen-y-ghent mountain in the background