hikes in Yorkshire Dales National Park
Walks in Yorkshire Dales National Park
If exploring the countryside by foot is up there with your favourite pastimes, you don’t want to miss out on the timeless natural and ancient delights spanning England’s Yorkshire Dales National Park. The contrast of verdant valleys lined with stone walls steeped in history and limestone karsts grabbing attention in the southern Dales makes for top-notch walking adventures. Meanwhile, conquering one of the Three Peaks—Ingleborough, Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside—is likely on most avid walker’s adventure list of to-dos when they visit here. The ultimate goal would be to complete all Three Peaks in one go. Unfortunately, this challenging walk usually takes around 12 hours to do! That being said, walking in Yorkshire Dales National Park is a possibility for all ages and abilities—all you need to do is choose which walk suits your style, your mood, and let the outstanding scenery work its charm as you explore.
The Greatest Walks in Yorkshire Dales National Park
Yorkshire Dales National Park is the ultimate walking paradise! You’ll find a range of walks: family-friendly, pushchair and wheelchair-friendly, challenging, relaxed, incredibly scenic (hello: karsts, postcard-perfect villages, rolling countryside), and the list goes on. Take a look at some of the greatest walks in Yorkshire Dales National Park and start compiling your list of must-do adventures:
- Aysgarth Woods Circular Walk - It won’t take much to convince friends and family to join you on the Aysgarth Woods Circular Walk, where an explosion of surprises await! The path winds to cascading waterfalls, secluded woodlands and takes you along River Ure. And the cherry on top is the Bolton Castle, a marvel steeped in history.
- Bucken Pike and Lead Mine Walk - Get ready for a challenge as you ascend the highest peak in the Dales! Expect your lungs to undergo little reprieve as you’ll spend most of this walk travelling uphill. But walks that get your heart usually going always end with stunning views—and this walk is a rewarding one.
- Whernside Circular Walk - Get up close with one of the Yorkshire Peaks on the Whernside Circular Walk. Immerse in countryside scenery and take on Whernside, the first of the Yorkshire Peaks. Enjoy a mirage of cascading waterfalls as you make your way around this 8.0mi loop. Prepare for unpredictable weather at the top!
- Malham Tarn Walk - Discover some of the Yorkshire Dales best features on the moderately challenging 7.6mi Malham Tarn Walk! Walk by a montage of incredible views, including coves, ravines, and waterfalls as you take on heart-pumping undulations. One of the main highlights is Gordale Scar, a stunning ravine!
- Malham Circular Walk - Explore magical scenery on the 6.6mi Malham Circular Walk, where you can immerse in the melting glaciers and mirage of waterfalls brimming with lime and dropping onto the rocks below, resulting in the creation of brown tufa! Plus, the wildflowers sprinkling the path in the warmer months add a layer of beauty to this walk.
- Pen-y-Ghent Circular Walk - The Pen-y-Ghent Circular Walk doesn’t only introduce you to one of the Yorkshire Dales Peaks, but it lets you explore Hull Pot and Hunt Pot, where you can admire the stream dropping 200ft into a cave-like space. Revel in views of the other two peaks—Ingleborough and Whernside—as you take on this 5.9mi loop!
- Grimwith Reservoir Walk - Looking for a family-friendly walk in the Yorkshire Dales? The Grimwith Reservoir Walk winds by waterfront views tucked into rolling countryside hills! The best part is that those needing pushchairs can enjoy this walk.
- Swaledale Meadows to East Gill Force and Kisdon Force Walk - Explore quintessential views of the English countryside elevated by cascading waterfalls on the Swaledale Meadows to East Gill Force and Kisdon Force Walk. You’ll pass by four waterfalls, vistas of Pennine Way, and during the summer, marvel at the wildflowers adding colours to the scenery.
- Ingleton Waterfalls Circular Walk - The Ingleton Waterfalls Circular Walk is another fantastic family-friendly walk that boasts a relaxing path, gentle terrain, and a 4.3mi distance! Discover lovely scenery and sparkling waterfalls as you make your way around the loop.
- Grassington Walk - Wanting to bring your furry friends on a walk? Consider taking on the easy-going 7.3mi Grassington Walk that winds by pastures, meadows, and a river! Expect moderate ascents as well as stiles and steps on this walk.
When Is The Best Time To Walk in Yorkshire Dales National Park?
The best time to walk in the Yorkshire Dales is during the warmer months—June to September—when the paths are dry, and you can catch unobstructed views! However, while the weather is better during the summer, this is also when tourists love to flock here, so make sure you book any accommodations well in advance. On a different note, spring boasts lovely vibrant scenery, making it a great time to visit the Dales. Just be ready for a spectrum of weather possibilities.
Best Regions for Walking in Yorkshire Dales National Park?
You’ll find great walks carved all over the Yorkshire Dales, but if you want to settle in one spot for a few days, Malham is your go-to spot, especially with epic places, such as the Gordale Scar, Malham Cove, and Malham Tarn, nearby. This quaint village is also located along the Pennine Way! To explore the Three Peaks area, which covers 99.4mi, head to the western Dales.
Other Outdoor Activities in Yorkshire Dales National Park?
Other outdoor activities in Yorkshire Dales National Park include exploring the limestone caves and road and mountain biking! Cyclers will love the range of tracks winding throughout the untouched countryside, replete with 559.2mi of Roman roads, bridleways, green lanes, and more. One of the more popular challenging routes is the 210km Yorkshire Dales Cycleway.
Tap into your adventurous side by checking out one or more of the 2500 caves spanning the limestone landscape! First-timers will likely enjoy the beginners' route: Long Churns. If you’re claustrophobic, you’ll be happy to know that caving isn’t all about getting on your hands and knees, as some have massive chambers, such as Gaping Gill.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the prettiest village in the Yorkshire Dales?
Kirkby Lonsdale is not only the biggest village in the Yorkshire Dales, but the surplus of local walks and timeless architecture harking to centuries past make this a great spot to visit! Another great option is Hawes, a lovely village lined with picturesque stone houses. Finally, while also being one of the best places to stay for epic walks, Malham is also a charming village worth visiting.
What are the Yorkshire Dales known for?
Yorkshire Dales boasts rolling countryside views, limestone karsts, caves, ravines, and waterfalls. It’s like exploring a supernatural version of the countryside!
How big is the Yorkshire Dales?
The Yorkshire Dales covers 841 square kilometres, granting a lot of room to find space, even on busier days!
Find more walking regions
- Lake District Walks
- Peak District Walks
- South Downs Walks
- Loch Lomond & The Trossachs Walks
- Chiltern Hills Walks
- Snowdonia Walks
Or use this link to find all walking regions in the UK.Read More
The best hikes in Yorkshire Dales National Park
The Swaledale Meadows to East Gill Force and Kisdon Force Walk is a beautiful rendition… Read More
Yes, there are more than 10
Yorkshire Dales National Park is so beautiful that we can not give you only 10 hikes. So here is a list of bonus hikes in Yorkshire Dales National Park that you should take a look at as well
The Upper Wharfedale: Buckden and Yockenthwaite Walk is a fantastic activity in Yorkshire Dales National… Read More
Walking the Bolton Abbey, River Wharfe, and Hare Head Circular Trail is an amazing adventure… Read More
The Coast to Coast Walk Segment 8: Reeth to Richmond is a beautifully scenic walking… Read More
The Janet’s Foss, Gordale Scar, and Malham Cove Walk is a beautiful excursion in Yorkshire… Read More
The Cautley Spout, Howgill Fells, and the Calf Walk is a rugged, yet stunningly beautiful… Read More
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