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Things to do in the Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales is more than just a national park, it is a beautiful area of rolling hills, dramatic scenery and a rich and vibrant culture that is ripe for exploring and experiencing.

Adventure in the Dales

Challenge yourself to something new and get hands on with stunning and dramatic landscape.  Dangle, climb, scramble or ride your way through the Yorkshire Dales and get the pulse racing as only Yorkshire can. 

Enjoy the deep texture of this landscape up close with a host of activities and adventures that will give a physical experience like no other, dangle from a gorge, slip through a ravine, squeeze through a cave and more with adventure activities that will forge wonderful memories to last a lifetime.

Nature in the Dales

The Yorkshire Dales is home to some amazing wildlife, including some species making a welcome return after years of absence.  Red Kites are now common place in the skies over the Dales, and Buzzards are also making a comeback.  The rivers which give so many of the valleys in the Dales their name are seeing otters a return to their banks.

Heritage in the Dales

Once the working land of the Monasteries, the Yorkshire Dales still contains several stunning and breath taking Abbey ruins that evoke the times when the church was the main landowner in the area.

Castles built on solid vantage points have stood the test of time and still command an imposing view on the skyline.  Explore their secret tunnels, imaging what life was like being locked up in the dangerous or play king and queen as you venture around the ramparts.

Food and Drink in the Dales

Yorkshire is synonymous with real ale and great food and the industries behind both have a rich history in the Dales.

There are plenty of opportunities to see craftsmen at work producing everything from cheese to ice-cream to beer, with many more chances to taste the final produce.

Some of the techniques and processes haven't changed for centuries and have been handed down from generation to generation along with the tools of their trade.

Walking in the Dales

Put one foot in front of the other and stride out across the fells, explore the course of a river, or set out to conquer one of the immense peaks for which the Yorkshire Dales are so well known.  Then look out from your vantage point across the valleys and moors that make this amazing landscape.  The Yorkshire Dales are one of the most popular locations for walkers, so come along and discover why.

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  1. Swinton Park Country Club and Spa

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    Swinton Park Country Club and Spa



    Swinton Country Club & Spa is one of the leading spa destinations in the UK, that combines contemporary design with a natural aesthetic.

    Situated at the heart of the 20,000 acre Swinton Estate, it draws on the natural elements of light, water and air and the landscape of the surrounding…

  2. How Stean Gorge

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    How Stean Gorge


    Natural Feature

    Pateley Bridge

    A Natural Wonder. Carved out over thousands of years by waterflow, the Gorge is a spectacular limestone ravine in the Yorkshire Dales.  Now with a stunning new glass floored building that hangs out over the gorge.  Experience the hieght, and the beauty of this place as has never been possible…

  3. The Coldstones Cut

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    The Coldstones Cut



    Pateley Bridge

    The sculpture functions as an array of platforms from which visitors can view both the spectacular quarry hole and limestone quarrying operation, and the landscape of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Beauty and beyond.

    The sculpture also functions as an interpretive medium for the…

  4. Scar House Cycle Route

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    Scar House Cycle Route


    Walking Route

    Pateley Bridge

    Scar House Walking & Cycle Routes are a permissive bridleway loop around Yorkshire Water’s Scar House Reservoir which comes to 4 miles and crosses both dams at the top of the valley.

    For walkers it can be extended with a further loop of rough yomping around Angram Reservoir to the remote top of…

  5. Nidderdale Museum

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    Nidderdale Museum




    This museum in Pateley Bridge in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales has eleven rooms covering all aspects of Nidderdale life in the past.

    The Nidderdale Museum displays include a complete cobbler's shop, Victorian sitting-room and kitchen, school room, general store, joiner's shop and solicitor's…

  6. Samuel's Restaurant at Swinton Park

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    Samuel's Restaurant at Swinton Park




    Samuel’s Restaurant at Swinton Park is a renowned 2 AA Rosette restaurant, named after Samuel Cunliffe-Lister who purchased the estate in 1880 and built the wing of Swinton Park which is home to Samuel’s Restaurant today.

    Walk into Samuel’s Restaurant and be in awe at the ornate gold leaf…

  7. Way of the Roses - Coast to Coast Cycle Route

    Way of the Roses - Coast to Coast Cycle Route


    Cycling - Road


    The Way of the Roses is the most stunning and also the newest of the 8 Sustrans Coast to Coast cycle routes.

    Beginning in Morecombe the route passes through two of the North’s great National Parks and two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.   The route takes in some of great northern cities…

  8. The Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park

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    The Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park




    Set in the beautiful countryside between Masham and Ripon, Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park is home to over 80 striking contemporary sculptures, situated within 45 acres of stunning woodland and gardens.  The microclimate of the valley makes it fertile ground for the rare blue poppy, alongside…

  9. The Druid's Temple

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    The Druid's Temple


    Historic Site


    The Druid’s Temple in Ripon is in fact not a real temple, but a nineteenth century folly.

    Styled after stone circles and well known prehistoric monuments such as Stonehenge.

    The Druids Temple was built to alleviate local unemployment, allowing William Danby, a wealthy landowner of the…

  10. Hackfall Woods

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    Hackfall Woods




    Hackfall is a stunning woodland site near Masham, with lakes, waterfalls, follies and an intricate network of paths to explore stretching along the banks of the River Ure.

    There is something about the wild splendour of Hackfall Woods that simply inspires creativity.

    Nineteenth century writers…

  11. YorTours



    Guided Tour

    Discover the delights of Yorkshire with Nick Smith, accredited top guide and true Yorkshireman with TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award four years running and featured on BBC1 documentary.

    “Born in Harrogate, Nick is not only an ambassador for Yorkshire but also an Accredited Guide…

  12. Stunning Views from Brimham Rocks in Nidderdale

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    Brimham Rocks


    Natural Feature

    Pateley Bridge

    The Wonder of Nidderdale

    Brimham Rocks is an amazing collection of weird and wonderful rock formations, sculpted over centuries by ice, wind and rain. It makes a great day out for families, climbers, walkers and those wanting to enjoy the simple pleasures of fresh air and magnificent views.…

  13. Lost Earth Adventures

    Lost Earth Adventures


    Outdoor Activity/Pursuit Centre


    Come abseiling, rock climbing, gorge walking, ghyll scrambling, mountain biking, caving and hiking across Yorkshire and the Peak District with our friendly, enthusiastic and highly qualified guides. Perfect for families, corporate groups, charity fundraisers, school and activity groups,…

  14. Yorke's Folly (Two Stoops) & Crocodile Rock

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    Yorke's Folly (Two Stoops) & Crocodile Rock



    Pateley Bridge

    Yorke's Folly & Crocodile Rock are a popular pair of landmarks for short walks on the hill above Bewerley nr. Pateley Bridge.

    Yorke's Folly, now known locally as 'Two Stoops' is a pair of stone pillars styled to appear as if part of a ruined arch, though in truth they remain almost fully intact…

  15. Scar House Reservoir

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    Scar House Reservoir


    Dark Sky Site

    Pateley Bridge

    This stunning reservoir built in the 1930 from over 1 million tons of masonry stands 55 metres tall above the River Nidd and is a popular spot for walkers, cyclists and sightseers.

    Building the reservoir in such a remote spot necessitated not only the building a railway up the valley, but also…

  16. Skipton Castle

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    Skipton Castle


    Castle / Fort


    The remarkable 900 year old Skipton Castle became a major stronghold by the late C13th.

    Owned by the powerful Clifford Lords, it saw them participating in all the major battles, from Bannockburn to Crecy; Agincourt to the Wars of the Roses.

    The Tudor Wing was added in 1536, when Eleanor Brandon,…

  17. Six Dales Trail

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    Six Dales Trail


    Walking Route

    Pateley Bridge

    This 38 mile route takes in the entire length of the Nidderdale AONB from Otley in Wharfedale to Middleham in Wensleydale and showcases some of the remarkably beautiful dales in our area.

    The route features great contrasts of high heather moorland, stone wall enclosed pastures and parkland of…

  18. Studfold Adventure Trails

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    Studfold Adventure Trails


    Nature Trail

    Pateley Bridge

    A Magical Family Countryside Experience - The fairy village of 'Two Stone Wishes' has magically appeared! Discover the hidden code to unlock the gateway to reveal Studfold's magical wood and the secret hidden treasure box! 

    Studfold Adventure Trails are reopening for 2020, entry will be by…

  19. Vern Overton Cycling

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    Vern Overton Cycling


    Cycle Hire



    We are a cycle-hire and guided tour company based in the scenic Nidderdale valley.  We provide road bikes, mountain-bikes, e-bikes and hybrids for personal hire and also offer a fully qualified bike guiding service.  We can also deliver bikes to your accommodation or to an area where…

  20. Gouthwaite Circular MTB Route

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    Gouthwaite Circular MTB Route


    Cycle Route

    Pateley Bridge

    A good introductory route to the great mountain biking around Pateley Bridge & Nidderdale, this follows a track alongside Gouthwaite reservoir, back down the other side on tarmac before a more technical climbing section through old mine workings.

    Start: Pateley Bridge. Length: 12 miles (21km).…

  21. The Nidderdale Way

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    The Nidderdale Way


    Walking Route

    Pateley Bridge

    The Nidderdale Way is a 53 mile circular walk beginning and ending in Pateley Bridge in the heart of Nidderdale.

    The walk travels the length of the valley, and then back again on the other side, at times following the River Nidd, but often detouring away to include as many points of interest…

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