Recreation in the Yorkshire Dales

Walking in the Dales

Walking is the best way to experience the scenery and clean air of the Yorkshire Dales. Many footpaths are long established routes having originally been used by pack horses, drovers or as lead and mineral roads. Up hill and down dale, alongside rivers and streams, through stone-built villages, and with the occasional pub to visit, the Yorkshire Dales offers some of the best landscape for walking in the country. The major long-distance walks pass through the Dales, including the Pennine Way, Coast to Coast Walk, the Dales Way and the Ribble Way. Mobile phone reception is rarely available on the hills, so route information should always be left with others.

Cycling in the Dales

The 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart has increased the demand for cycling in the Dales. Particularly on narrow lanes and the winding main roads, individuals and groups of cyclists are encouraged to make allowances for Dales residents and businesses on their daily journeys.

Climbing the Dales

The limestone scars and gritstone crags offer a challenge to climbers of all abilities. Kilnsey Crag is a noted difficult climb with a north face and overhang. Many popular climbs are located on private land.

Potholing in the Dales

Intricate systems of underground caverns and passages permeate the limestone regions of the Yorkshire Dales, with new routes regularly discovered. Many are only accessible to experienced cavers in suitable weather conditions. Non-cavers can experience the wonders of the caverns in the show caves of Ingleborough, White Scar and Stump Cross.

Fishing in the Dales

The Wharfe, Nidd, Swale, Ure and Ribble are just a few of the rivers that provide excellent sport for anglers, with native brown trout offering some challenges. Day and week tickets are available for many stretches of water.

Wildlife in the Dales

From the traditional wild-flower meadows of Swaledale to the windswept moor-tops there is a wide variety of wildlife habitats in the peace and quiet of the Dales. The distinctive cry of the curlew can often be heard. Visitors can adapt to the less hurried pace of country life - and maybe become experts in identifying the many breeds of sheep to be found in the hills and fields.


Local museums throughout the Dales are treasure troves of local information, with fascinating collections about life and history in the area. The National Park Authority operates the Dales Countryside Museum at Hawes.

Walking the Yorkshire Dales Flying the Yorkshire Dales Cycling the Yorkshire Dales
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