5 Exciting reasons to visit the Yorkshire Dales
Voted one of the top 5 national parks* in the UK, and situated in the largest county in England, our home in the Yorkshire Dales has plenty of wonderful activities for a fun-filled staycation – giving you a taste of God’s Own County at its best.
Known for its unique and stunning scenery, with iconic drystone walls and field barns, pretty villages, and an abundance of walks, the Yorkshire Dales is the perfect location for lovers of the outdoors and foodies alike.
Here are just a few of the highlights:
Looking for the ultimate foodie experience? The Wensleydale Creamery, in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, is the home of our famous original creamy, crumbly Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese. Steeped in heritage and provenance, we use traditional methods to handcraft our cheese to time-honoured recipes, using milk from local farms, as well as being innovative with the development of new recipes.
An unmissable attraction for those looking for a taste of Yorkshire, our Visitor Centre welcomes over 300,000 visitors each year and includes the Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese Experience with a Cheesemaking Viewing Gallery, Tasting Area and Demonstration Room, which hosts cheese and butter making demonstrations along with cheese & accompaniment tastings. Our much-loved Cheese Shop with over 20 cheese varieties offers complimentary sampling and is stocked with local artisan produce.
Come and dine in Calvert’s Restaurant or our 1897 Coffee Shop, and take in the stunning panoramic views of Wensleydale. With menus designed to champion cheese in all its forms – from mouth-watering cheese toasties and cheese scones to grazing boards and three-course meals – the food offers amazing quality and great value. There are also special offers running throughout the summer with two courses for £14.95 and three courses for £19.95.
Even better, you can take some of the Yorkshire Dales home with you, with a range of handcrafted cheese and unique gifts to choose from in our Gift Shop!
Take a look behind the scenes of the Black Sheep Brewery based in Masham. The tour takes you on a journey from the start of Black Sheep’s story to the present day and gives you a full insight into the processes for how the perfect pint is made. With original equipment still used to this day and the unique Yorkshire Square Fermenting system, the tour guides will tell you everything you could wish to know about the Yorkshire-based brewery. You’ll even be able to sample a range of the delicious Black Sheep beers, with the tour drawing to a close at the bar.
Walks & Countryside
Home to the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks of Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent, the peaks provide the ultimate challenge for avid walkers – and it’s a great way to be at one with nature. Just make sure you’ve packed your walking boots!
Named after author James Herriot, famous for his memoirs All Creatures Great and Small, the Herriot Way stretches for 52 miles taking you through some of the best scenery the Yorkshire Dales has to offer, including the region’s world-famous Wensleydale and picturesque Swaledale.
You can also enjoy a stretch of England’s most iconic National Trail – the Pennine Way – which stretches the length of the Dales.
Caves and Waterfalls
The natural wonders don’t stop at the rolling hills, with the Dales awash with waterfalls – from Janet’s Foss to Aysgarth Falls. Nestled in the magical woodland from Malham Village, Janet’s Foss waterfall and pool is perfect for a quick dip on a warm summer’s day, whilst Aysgarth Falls offers a picture-perfect picnic spot. Hardraw Force, located across the river from Hawes, is also England’s largest single drop waterfall, with a 100-foot drop set within the grounds of the historic Green Dragon Inn.
The region is just as impressive underground, with the longest cave system in the country, including White Scar Caves, the longest show cave in England. Home to over 2,500 caves, Gaping Gill is a must-visit, with a main chamber that is more than 30 metres high!
Heritage and Attractions
If you’re in search of something more activity-based, visitors can enjoy a trip to Bolton Castle – a well preserved Medieval castle. Visitors can marvel at the falconry displays, try their hand at archery and even wild boar feeding – perfect for keeping the kids and big kids alike entertained!
Just north-west of Ripon is one of the great Cistercian abbeys of Yorkshire – Jervaulx Abbey; where the French Cistercian monks settled in the 1100s bringing their cheesemaking recipes to the dales. Awash with flourishing wildflowers, shrubs and trees, the grounds of the abbey are perfect for a tranquil visit.
Ideal for adventurers and those who are young at heart, The Forbidden Corner offers a day out with a difference. Journey through the labyrinth of tunnels and chambers and avoid the tricks that are thrown your way as you go.