The Yorkshire Dales National Park

River Wharfe at Grassington

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is an area of outstanding beauty in the North of England, famous for:

  • Green, hilly pastures dotted with grazing sheep, frisky lambs in the spring
  • Dry-stone walls criss-crossing the landscape
  • ‘U’ shaped valley walls created by ice age glaciers
  • Wonderful areas of limestone pavement
  • Narrow roads and pretty, unspoiled villages
  • Brightly kitted walkers, out in all weathers.

Origin of the word ‘Dale’

The word ‘dale’ comes from the Nordic/Germanic word for valley (dal, tal) and is used across Yorkshire and beyond. The ‘Yorkshire Dales’ describes the area west of the Vale of York and north of the major cities of West Yorkshire.

Most of the dales are named after the river that runs through them (e.g. Wharfedale after the River Wharfe). There are exceptions, though, e.g. Wensleydale is named after the town of Wensley, not the River Ure running through it.

The major Yorkshire Dales:

Other Yorkshire Dales include: