Yorkshire Dales

The Backbone of Britain

 Designated as a National Park in 1954, the Yorkshire Dales is one of two National Parks which
are found mainly in Yorkshire.  A part of the Dalesalso lie in Cumbria and a few square miles
occupy the far north-eastern tip of Lancashire.  More relaxed than the neighbouring Lake
District, the Yorkshire Dales offers plenty of walking, caving, mine exploration and rock climbing
opportunities.  Some of Britain's best caves are to be found here and the Pennine Way and Coast
to Coast Paths pass through the Dales, intersecting in Keld, Swaledale.  Also featured here are
the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Forest of Bowland and Nidderdale.

The Northern Dales

Yorkshire Dales - North
     For the purpose of this site I have divided the
     Yorkshire Dales section into three parts.  In this
     section I feature Wensleydale, a broad majestic dale
     and the narrower, more remote Swaledale, both
     running in an east - west direction through the
     northern part of the National Park.  Also included
     here are Bishopdale and Arkengarthdale along with
     some caves, mines and the highest pub in Britain.

The Three Peaks Area & Settle

Yorkshire Dales - West
     Dominated by the Three Peaks of Yorkshire, Pen-
     y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, the western
     part of the Yorkshire Dales also contains some of
     the finest and most extensive cave systems in the
     United Kingdom.  The Settle & Carlisle Railway
     passes through this area on the impressive
     Ribblehead Viaduct.  Ingleton, Clapham, White Scar
     Caves and Ingleborough Cave are well worth a visit.

The Westmorland Dales

    The Cumbrian Dales
     The town of Sedbergh was historically in the West
     Riding of Yorkshire until the county boundary
     re-organisation of 1974 when it was transferred to
     the new county of Cumbria along with part of the
     Yorkshire Dales National Park.  The Park was extended
     further into Cumbria in 2016 and now incudes
     Casterton Fell with it's extensive network of caves.
     along with much of the area to the east of the M6.

Wharfedale & The East

    Yorkshire Dales - East
     The eastern part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park
     is dominated by Upper Wharfedale and the several
     dales that branch off it.  To the west of Upper
     Wharfedale is Malhamdale, at the head of which is the
     impressive Malham Cove.  This area is home to some
     of the most challenging and notorious caves and
     potholes in the country.  For the less energetic Stump
     Cross Caverns is visitable by the tourist.
Skipton, Ilkley & The South

Skipton, Ilkley and the South
     The town of Skipton on the southern edge of the
     Yorkshire Dales is the gateway to the National Park.
     Worthy of inclusion here is Ilkley with it's famous
     moor and part of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal between
     Foulridge and Bingley.  Also mentioned here is the
     friendly town of Barnoldswick.  

     Although outside the national park, Nidderdale is
     worthy of inclusion in the Yorkshire Dales with it's
     reservoirs, picturesque villages, interesting geology
     and selection of caves and mines.  Brimham Rocks,
     How Stean Gorge and Pateley Bridge are all worth
     a visit here.  Nidderdale has several interesting
     caves as well as some mines.  

Forest of Bowland

Forest of Bowland

     Again not part of the Yorkshire Dales but well worth a
     mention here is the Forest of Bowland, an area of
     upland moorland situated mainly in Lancashire.
     Historically much of the area was in the West Riding
     of Yorkshire before the county boundary changes of
     1974 so it will be an injustice to omit the quaint
     villages, pubs and other attractions of the Forest of
     Bowland from the Yorkshire Dales site.

Pennine Way & Coast To Coast

Pennine Way and Coast to Coast Paths

     Two of England's classic long-distance walks pass
     through the Yorkshire Dales and connects the Dales
     with four other National Parks, the Peak District, the
     Lake District, the North York Moors and
     Northumberland National Park.  The Pennine Way
     also passes through the industrial landscapes of the
     South Pennines and the remote North Pennines
     before ending just inside Scotland.

Caving in the Yorkshire Dales

Caving in the Dales

     The Yorkshire Dales is home to some of Great Britain's
     classic caves including the longest cave system in the
     British Isles.  Several of them are open to the public as
     show caves.  There are also a number of mines that can
     be explored here.
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