The 10 Best Things to Do in the Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales, with its breathtaking landscapes, charming villages, and plenty of outdoor activities, is a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. From scenic waterfall walks to thrilling rock climbing, this picturesque region in northern England offers something for everyone.
Here are the top 10 best things to do in the Yorkshire Dales.

1. Explore scenic waterfalls

The Yorkshire Dales is home to some of England’s most enchanting waterfalls, each offering unique scenic beauty and tranquility. Aysgarth Falls, known for its three-step cascade, is set amidst lush woodland, providing a picturesque picnic spot. Ingleton Waterfalls Trail offers a captivating walk through ancient woodlands and gorges, showcasing a series of spectacular falls like Thornton Force and Beezley Falls. Hardraw Force, England’s highest single-drop waterfall, plunges dramatically into a deep pool, surrounded by verdant landscapes. Janet’s Foss, near Malham, is a small but charming fall, leading to a serene woodland path. These waterfalls, with their varying sizes and surroundings, create an idyllic escape into nature, perfect for hikers, photographers, and nature enthusiasts alike.

2. Hike to Malham Cove

Malham Cove is a magnificent limestone formation that towers over the village of Malham. The hike to the top offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. It’s a moderate climb, but the panoramic vistas at the summit are well worth the effort. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the limestone pavement at the top, a unique geological feature.

3. Rock Climbing at Gordale Scar

For the adventurous, Gordale Scar presents a thrilling rock climbing challenge. This dramatic limestone gorge, with its steep walls and cascading waterfall, is a climber’s paradise. Whether you’re a seasoned climber or a beginner, Gordale Scar offers routes for all skill levels.

4. Horse Riding in the Countryside

Horse riding through the rolling hills and lush valleys of the Yorkshire Dales is an unforgettable experience. Numerous equestrian centers in the region offer guided rides suitable for all abilities. It’s a wonderful way to connect with nature and enjoy the tranquility of the countryside. Kilnsey trekking & riding centre is located in the heart of the Dales and close to Dale House, a group accommodation for 18 people.

5. Cycling the Dales

Cycling is one of the best things to do in the Yorkshire Dales, offering a chance to explore its diverse landscapes. The region boasts an extensive network of cycling routes, from gentle valley trails to challenging hill climbs. The Tour de Yorkshire has popularized many of these routes, attracting cyclists from all over the world.

6. Visit Bolton Abbey

Step back in time with a visit to Bolton Abbey, a well-preserved medieval fortress. This historic site offers a fascinating glimpse into England’s past with its ancient architecture, beautiful gardens, river and interactive exhibits. The castle also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including medieval reenactments and falconry displays.

7. Discover the Wensleydale Creamery

No visit to the Yorkshire Dales is complete without sampling some local cheese. The Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes is the perfect place to do just that. Take a tour of the creamery to learn about the cheese-making process, and don’t forget to visit the shop to taste a variety of delicious cheeses.

8. Stroll Through Grassington

Grassington is one of the most charming villages in the Yorkshire Dales. With its cobbled streets, quaint shops, and traditional pubs, it offers a quintessential Dales experience. The village also hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Grassington Festival and the Dickensian Festival.

9. Explore Ingleborough Cave

For an underground adventure, visit Ingleborough Cave. This show cave, located near the village of Clapham, offers guided tours that take you through its impressive chambers filled with stalactites and stalagmites. The cave is part of the Three Peaks Challenge, a popular hiking route in the Dales.

10. Bird Watching at Garsdale

Garsdale is a birdwatcher’s paradise, home to a variety of bird species including the red kite and peregrine falcon. The area’s diverse habitats, from woodlands to moorlands, make it an ideal spot for observing wildlife. Bring your binoculars and enjoy the serene beauty of nature.

Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure or a peaceful escape, the Yorkshire Dales has it all. From waterfall walks and rock climbing to horse riding and cycling, there are countless activities to enjoy in this stunning region. So pack your bags and discover the best things to do in the Yorkshire Dales.

If you need accommodation for groups, Dale House sleeps up to 18 and is located in the heart of The Yorkshire Dales, in the quaint village of Kettlewell, close to Grassington. It’s a great location base to visit all that the Yorkshire Dales has to offer.

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