The NY3P’s: 6 Reasons To Visit The Yorkshire Dales National Park in 2019.

09 May 2019

YOU KNOW IT FOR THE NORTH YORKSHIRE 3 PEAKS CHALLENGE.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is home to Yorkshire’s three highest peaks: Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, and sees visitors flock to the area to complete the NY3P challenge. Whether you’re completing the challenge for charity, fun or for the experience, could the North Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge be the next thing for you to tick off on your bucket list?  

Outside of the challenge itself, there are many more reasons why you should visit the area. From historic sights to beautiful wildlife and landscapes, the Yorkshire Dales National Park has something for everyone…

North Yorkshire Dales landscape showing hills against the sky and sheep grazing.

1. ADRENALINE FILLED ACTIVITIES.

Pete’s insight:

“Walking there is only the tip of the iceberg!”

If you consider yourself an adrenaline junkie there are an abundance of activities you can do in the area that could be right up your street. Caving, climbing, ghyll scrambling and gorge walking are just a few examples that may take your fancy…

Caving: Due to the geological history of the area, much of the Yorkshire Dales National Park is underlain with limestone which has subsequently formed many caves and potholes over time. In fact, the longest cave system in Britain can be found in this area: Easegill. Gaping Gill is one of the most infamous caves in the Dales with its main chamber reaching 129m in length and the fell beck pours in through its opening for a dramatic greeting. Other caves in the Dales worth exploring include the Great Douk Cave, Hull Pot, Ingleborough Cave and the Victoria Cave to name a few.  

Climbing: Limestone rocks grace the Dales and offer climbing opportunities galore! For those who enjoy the thrill of heights the ‘big three’ cliffs of Kilnsey, Gordale Scar and Malham Cove are popular choices. Make sure you’re prepared with the necessary equipment and have practised climbing prior to tackling any of the big cliffs in the area!

Ghyll scrambling & Gorge walking: If you’d like to try a new exciting activity that allows you to take in the beautiful scenes of the Yorkshire Dales along the way, this could be the one for you. Hop, jump and walk your way through the beautiful streams found in the area as well as taking in some of the best scenery that the U.K has to offer. The ancient gorges in the area have been formed over millions of years and the water that runs through them varies from quick rapids to clear and calm. Don’t get too wet!

As well as the above activities there are a number of exhilarating sports such as canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, cycling, mountain biking and more that you can participate in all set within the stunning landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales.

2. FLORA AND FAUNA.

Pete’s insight:

“It’s a great place to spot rare wildlife.”

Graced with an abundance of wildlife, the Yorkshire Dales National Park is a prime spot for nature fans. Due to its diverse landscape, you’ll find all sorts of animals, critters and plant species here. Look up, look down and all around, wildlife can be found in all corners. Let’s take a look at some of the flora and fauna you’re likely to find in the area:

Native Red Squirrels: You can find plenty of these beautiful mammals along the Snaizeholme viewing area which is located in the Widdale Red Squirrel reserve in Wensleydale. Both the squirrels and woodland are worth adding to your itinerary if you’re in the area!

Bird watching: The Yorkshire Dales National Park is home to a wide range of birds, from petite Wood-Warblers to impressive birds of prey such as the Goshawk. Keep an eye out for the ground nesting birds too.  Altogether there are 29 bird species that sprawl the area, a perfect day out for any avid bird watcher…

Invertebrates: Throughout the warmer season you’ll be treated to a variety of butterflies and other insects that grace the area. Northern Brown Argus Butterflies, Violet Oil Beetles and Cinnabar Moths are just a few of them. Keep your eyes peeled and see what critters you can spot whilst out on a walk in the National Park.

Plants: There are over 70 different plant species found throughout the Yorkshire Dales National Park and you’re likely to spot a selection of them whether out hiking, taking part in the NY3P Challenge or just out for a wander.

Native red squirrel pictured in woodland setting near moss-covered tree roots.

3. SOME OF THE BEST LANDSCAPE THAT THE COUNTRY HAS TO OFFER.

Pete’s insight:

“The landscape here is truly magical.”

You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing which spot of lush landscape you want to visit in the Dales. Formed over millennia by ice, the landscape offers everything from stunning waterfalls to the North Yorkshire Three Peaks. Let’s take a look at the highlights, shall we?

Malham Cove: The dominant limestone formation stretches over 0.6 miles and is a landscape hotspot having amazed visitors for centuries. Glaciers have eroded the rock over the past 1.5 million years and many climbers scale the face of the rock. It’s also home to a pair of nesting Peregrine Falcons too!

Hardraw Force: As England’s largest single drop waterfall cascading 100ft and set within the historic grounds of the famous Green Dragon Inn, this highlight is a must-visit for anyone who enjoys the natural energy and beauty of flowing water.

Malham Tarn: A popular Dales beauty spot offering characteristic moorlands contrasted with rolling hills as well as the centrepiece: a tranquil glacial lake.

Limestone causeway in Yorkshire Dales National Park.

4. GOING BACK IN TIME.

Pete’s insight:

“A rich history makes the Yorkshire Dales a must-visit for anyone interested in the country’s heritage.”

History fanatics travel to the area to relish in some of the most iconic historical sites that the U.K has to offer. From prehistoric rock formations to recent relics of history such as abbeys and castles telling the story of the 12,000 years that humans have inhabited the area; there is an endless list of attractions to visit. The Yorkshire Dales National Park also has a long mining history with evidence showing that the use of lead in the area dates back to the Roman Emperor Trajan (117-138 CE) period.

Fountains Abbey: As part of the National Trust, Fountains Abbey is one of the most spectacular historical spots in Yorkshire. Impressively preserved and spanning a staggering 3 miles, the ruined Cistercian Monastery is a popular spot especially throughout the summer months.

Skipton Castle: This castle is considered to be one of the best-preserved castles in the country. Dating back to the medieval period, on-site you’ll find both ancient woods and reenactments taking place in the castle grounds.

Georgian Theatre Royal: Located in the idyllic market town of Richmond, the playhouse is the U.K’s oldest theatre and still hosts live performances to this day!

Dales Countryside Museum: The museum tells the story of the people who settled here over thousands of years, shaping both the area’s history and landscape.

Fountains Abbey located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

5. AND, AFTER ALL THE ACTIVITIES AND SIGHTSEEING IT’S TIME FOR FOOD & DRINK.

Pete’s insight:

“You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to good pub grub and of course, there is the famous Pen-Y-Ghent Cafe…”

After all the activity, sightseeing and nature you’ll likely be in need of a stop-off point to fill up on delicious food and recuperation. The good news is that there are endless eating pitstops to choose from, our favourite picks include the following:

Tan Hill Inn: Dating back to the 17th Century, the Tan Hill Inn is an icon in its own right as Britain’s highest pub standing 1,732 feet above sea level. People from all corners of the globe visit the pub to enjoy a warm meal, a pint and a good old natter.

Courtyard Dairy: The award-winning dairy is a must-visit for anyone interested in trying a range of moreish cheeses that have been produced in the area.

Wensleydale Creamery: As the only maker of the infamous Wensleydale cheese, this creamery is worth a visit. Learn about how the cheese is made and have a taste for yourself!

Bizzie Lizzies: Fish and chips, us Brits love it. Bizzie Lizzies boasts some of the best fish and chips found in Yorkshire.

Pen-Y-Ghent Cafe: As a popular starting point for the North Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge the cafe is an ideal spot for a warming brew before getting going…

The Tan Hill Inn pub pictured with visitors and lamb outside the main entrance.

6. FINALLY, A LITTLE BIT OF BRITISH CULTURE…

Pete’s insight:

“Get yourself there if you’re a Harry Potter fan.”

And, if all of the above isn’t enough to tempt you into exploring the Yorkshire Dales National Park there is, of course, the Ribblehead Viaduct which was featured in ‘Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets’.

Ribblehead Viaduct pictured with train passing over.