England’s Yorkshire Dales are one of the world’s most spectacular natural locations attracting over 12 million visitors a year. The Yorkshire Dales National Park covers 683 square miles of river valleys and rolling hills, with isolated hamlets of stone cottages linked by a network of steep and winding narrow lanes. Wild moorland roads cross the high ground linking the various dales, following ancient routes once travelled by pack horse trains.
I’ve driven all over the world, but the scenery in my home county rivals any that I’ve encountered driving on 6 Continents. And when you get out of your car, the possibilities for hiking in unspoilt countryside are limitless.
There are a number of excellent websites providing information on the Yorkshire Dales (see my links page). There aren’t however, any which provide information on the best drives which can be undertaken in a day, and perhaps be combined with a couple of hours of hiking.
90% of visitors to the Dales arrive in their own vehicle, with many spending a long weekend in the area. Therefore time is precious for most visitors. DriveTheDales.com will help you to plan your trip to get the most out of your time in the Dales.
The site will also guide you on some of the most spectacular routes, and hidden lanes. It will highlight the tourist hot spots, but also take you to quiet backwaters where you may feel time has stood still for hundreds of years.
The drives I’ve detailed are all circular, so you can start and end at any of the locations en-route. Most should take a couple of hours driving. The walks I’ve highlighted should also take 2 to 3 hours so can be combined with a drive in a full day.
Some of the tiny rural roads covered in the drives may not feature on SatNav programmes. Therefore, I recommend a good roadmap. (The Great Britain 5 miles to 1 Inch is a good choice). If you do get lost, the locals are friendly, so don’t hesitate to stop and ask the way!