The Yorkshire Dales has many moods; it can be wild and windswept or quietly tranquil with valleys full of hay meadows, dry stone walls and barns.
Spectacular waterfalls and ancient woodlands contrast with the scattered remains of rural industries. Together, nature and people create a special landscape of immense beauty and character – one of the most picturesque places in the country.
The Three Peaks Walk
The ultimate walk in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is the iconic Three Peaks. It is a staggering 25-mile trek that scales three of the highest peaks in Yorkshire. You start at Pen-y-ghent, which reaches a height of 2,277 feet, before weaving your way across the Dales, past landmarks like Hull Pot and Ling Gill to reach Ingleborough, which is the second-highest of the three at 2,372 feet. Finally you arrive at Whernside, the highest peak which stands at 2,415 feet. Complete the challenge in less than 12 hours to join the Three Peaks of Yorkshire Club!
Ilkley Moor Circular
There’s no doubt about it – Ilkley Moor is home to one of the best walks in the Yorkshire Dales. On a 6.3-mile circular route you can soak up the glorious views across the rolling moorlands and continue on to a host of must-see landmarks. From the Twelve Apostles to The Tarn, Ilkley Crags and the Cow and Calf, this is the best way to see all the wonders of Ilkley Moor.
Ingleton Waterfalls Trail
Straddling the border between Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales, the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail is less than 5 miles but it will take you to six falls, a gorge and a glen as well as glorious walks through an ancient woodland of ash, oak and birch. You can enjoy Pecca Falls and Hollybush Spout, or perhaps take a picnic to the beautiful Thornton Force, before you make your way to Beezley Falls, Rival Falls and Baxenghyll Gorge.
Ribblehead Viaduct Circular
Up for a challenge? This 9-mile circular route around Whernside is one of the best walks you can do in the Yorkshire Dales. Start at the village of Cowgill and soak up the incredible views across Dentdale along the Dales Way then join Hagg Worm Haw up to the top of Whernside, where you’ll want to pause to take in views of the impressive Ribblehead Viaduct.
Malham Cove and Goredale Scar
This 7.5-mile trek around Malham is one of the most popular walking routes in the Yorkshire Dales. You’ll pass through Wedber Wood as you walk along Gordale Beck on your way to the picturesque Janet’s Foss waterfall. Next up, the imposing sight of Gordale Scar will appear before you as you take the path over to Malham Tarn and on to the majestic Malham Cove. Walk up to the top of the limestone pavement, where you can sit and absorb the breathtaking views around you, before you enjoy a gentle stroll back to the village.
Aysgarth Falls and Bolton Castle
This beautiful circular walk takes in many of the highlights of mid-Wensleydale while offering quiet, peaceful paths away from the crowds. Aysgarth Falls is a triple flight of waterfalls surrounded by woodland and farmland and is especially spectacular after heavy rainfall as thousands of gallons of water cascade over the series of broad limestone steps. From here there is a lovely walk through classic Dales’ pastures leading up to the impressive Bolton Castle which was built in the 14th century.
The Valley of Desolation Walk
Don’t let the name put you off: The Valley of Desolation is an incredible walk. Start at the historic ruins of Bolton Abbey before you take on a calf-stretching climb of 350 metres and head through the valley on your way to Posforth Gill Waterfall and Barden Fell. From here, go on to Simon's Seat, where you can enjoy views in every direction and visit the unusual rock formations at the top. Then it’s downhill to Parcevall Hall, Troller’s Gill and the village of Appletreewick, before the River Wharfe leads you home through Strid Wood.