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Journey on the Embsay Railway Copyright Paul Harris

Travel information

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is in the north of England. It is nestled between four other National Parks – Northumberland National Park (north), North York Moors National Park (east), Peak District National Park (south) and Lake District National Park (west). It is an excellent central point from which to explore England’s most spectacular landscapes.

Cities close to the National Park include York, Harrogate, Bradford and Leeds in the south, Lancaster, Preston and Carlisle to the west and Darlington and Middlesbrough to the north-east. All these cities are well-linked for national and international travel including bus, rail and air.


The two National Rail services covering the Yorkshire Dales area are the Leeds-Morecambe line and the famous Leeds-Settle-Carlisle line. This gives fantastic access to the Dales on one of the most spectacular train journeys in England. After Settle, the train stops in the National Park at Horton-in-Ribblesdale (perfect access for the Yorkshire Three Peaks), Ribblehead (to explore the iconic viaduct), Dent (the highest main-line station), Garsdale (to connect to Hawes) and Kirkby Stephen.

There is also the heritage Wensleydale Railway which runs from Northallerton to the edge of the National Park at Redmire.

Other local stations providing access in to the Dales are Darlington, Northallerton, Ilkley, Skipton, Penrith and Oxenholme. See National Rail Enquiries or the Trainline websites to plan your journey.

A new service was launched in June 2024 – The Yorkshire Dales Explorer

The Northern Service return service will run from Rochdale to Ribblehead twice a day on Saturdays. It will call at stations including Manchester Victoria, Salford Crescent, Bolton, Blackburn, Clitheroe, Hellifield and Settle. Northern is offering adult return tickets from Manchester Victoria to Ribblehead for £25. 

Coach and bus

Nearby towns such as Lancaster, Penrith, Skipton, Leeds, Harrogate, York, Ripon, Northallerton and Darlington are served by National Express or Megabus coaches, and a range of local bus services.

Bus services within the National Park run throughout the year linking the main towns, villages, and popular attractions, with additional services running during the summer months mainly on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Using the bus is an excellent way to enjoy the spectacular scenery without having to worry about keeping your eyes on the road. It also helps reduce congestion and parking problems, and opens up the possibility of some fantastic linear walks, allowing you to walk back to your car.

Full details of services, timetables, and ticket offers operating in the Dales can be found on the Dales Bus website.

Please note that some services are infrequent so you may find it helpful to use a journey planner such as those on either Traveline website or West Yorkshire Metro website to plan your day. National Park Centre or Tourist Information Centre staff may also be able to offer assistance and advice.

We have also written a Coach Driver’s Guide to help those bringing excursions into the Dales.

By bike

The trains to Skipton and Ilkley and on the Settle to Carlisle line all carry bikes. No booking is required and space can be limited, so rush hour services are best avoided.

Many people ride into the National Park from surrounding towns or by following recognised cycle routes such as the Way of the Roses. There is a wealth of information available on our dedicated cycling website.

Ferry ports



The Yorkshire Dales National Park is very accessible by road. We are bordered by major trunk roads. The M6 skirts the west, the A66 to the north, the A1 to the east and the A65 and A59 to the south.