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Although not quite as famous as the Lake District or the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales still attract hordes of hikers, climbers, cavers, mountain bikers and other lovers of the great outdoors. Covering 1769 square kilometers (683 square miles) of rugged moorland, exposed escarpments and rolling limestone valleys, this is one of England's finest national parks, and thousands of walkers pass through on the Pennine Way, which runs from the Peak District all the way to the Scottish border. Walkers also mob the 130km Dales Way, from Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere, but away from these trekking trunk routes, the Dales offer a level of ...

Although not quite as famous as the Lake District or the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales still attract hordes of hikers, climbers, cavers, mountain bikers and other lovers of the great outdoors. Covering 1769 square kilometers (683 square miles) of rugged moorland, exposed escarpments and rolling limestone valleys, this is one of England's finest national parks, and thousands of walkers pass through on the Pennine Way, which runs from the Peak District all the way to the Scottish border. Walkers also mob the 130km Dales Way, from Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere, but away from these trekking trunk routes, the Dales offer a level of serenity that is often missing from the Peaks and Lakes. The most famous of the dales is Wensleydale, the home of Wallace and Grommit's favorite cheese, but the main gateways for visitors are Richmond and Skipton on the fringes of the park. Although the Dales are rich in history, from ruined castles and abandoned mines to iron-age earthworks, the main appeal is the scenery, though there are plenty of quaint stone villages where walkers can stock up on provisions and real ale.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    April to October, though expect plenty of company on the Penine Way and Dales Way from June to September.