Yorkshire Dales National Park: What to look out for

13 September 2018
Yorkshire Dales National Park

Created in 1954, the Yorkshire Dales National Park encompasses much of North Yorkshire as well as parts of Cumbria and a small chunk of Lancashire. Home to 24,000 people, the Yorkshire Dales National Park is mostly privately owned land, with much of the area still looking like it did in the 50s. As a bonus, all 3 of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks are located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The people who live in the park are mostly farmers, volunteers and local business owners. All of them are focused on making sure the Yorkshire Dales gets to keep its unique and rustic culture and preserve it for future generations. Yorkshire has seen a lot of changes in its economy and population since the Industrial Revolution kicked in. From traditional pastoral farming, to long-closed mine systems and quarries, to the quiet villages that dot the Dales, you’ll find something new in every square mile.

Things to see in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

The Yorkshire Dales National Park, alongside its natural scenic beauty, is home to a number of impressive man-made features, like Bolton Castle, an imposing medieval castle that has seen its share of battles. However, most of the buildings in the area are built from the locally-mined stone, making villages in Yorkshire stand out due to their traditional grey-brick building style. Another feature of the area is the dry stone building technique, commonly used for fences.

dry stone wall

While the Yorkshire Dales is mainly defined by acres of wild heather, there are a number of animal and plant species seen rarely outside of the Dales. Birds come in many shapes and sizes on the Dales, going from the small Twite and Yellow Wagtail, game birds like Grouse and majestic birds of prey like the Peregrine Falcon and the Buzzard.

Plants in the Dales make the most out of the peaty soil in the area. Besides the aforementioned wild heather, you can stumble on the carnivorous Sundew, the strange-looking Cottongrass and a number of flowers including the thrift, orchids and ferns. The damp conditions in the Dales also make the area perfect for mushrooms, including the prized oyster mushrooms.

You’ll find all of this hiding in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. While taking on the North Yorkshire Three Parks Challenge, consider taking a moment to stop and take in the sights and sounds that this amazing part of the country has to offer. The North Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge is dedicated to giving both novice and experienced hikers a challenge through the Yorkshire 3 Peaks route: Taking you over 3 of the highest peaks in Yorkshire – Pen-Y-Ghent, Ingleborough & Whernside – in the space of a single day. 24 miles in 12 hours.