One of the finest advantages of living in the Leeds area, or Yorkshire generally, is being so well situated for its national parks and natural beauty. With some of the most stunning landscapes in the world on our doorstep, do we make the most of our good fortune? We thought we’d look at some ideas for a break to the Yorkshire Dales to provide some inspiration.
Getting to the Dales from Leeds is reasonably straight forward. With trains towards Skipton, known as ‘the Gateway to the Dales’ running from Leeds station every half hour during most of the week and hourly on Sunday, this is a good bet if you’re heading for the Dales but don’t want the hassle of driving. Bear in mind that on weekends, traffic on roads heading into the Dales can build up, particularly with those heading into the Dales for a break on Sundays.
Once there, you can get around to many Dales locations using DalesBus, which run buses most of the week and year round. With the scenery of the Dales being its chief attraction, the bus is an appealing way to get around, with the journey being a chance to take in some of the remarkable vistas the national park has to offer.
Things to do
As well as the stunning scenery that the Dales can boast, there are a few other factors which make it such an attractive destination. With its agricultural background, the Dales is known for its fine produce. As well as a host of real ales, as well as locally supplied farm shops and restaurants. The Lister Arms in Malham and the Aysgarth Falls Hotel at Aysgarth are two of many with national reputations for their food, much of which is locally sourced.
Similarly, Brymor Icecream in the Dales, a previous farm which has diversified to offer a variety of wonderful ice cream flavours and has quickly grown a national reputation.
With kayaking, rock climbing as well as a number of quirky cultural attractions, such as the scarecrow festival at Kettlewell also on offer, there’s a great deal to do beyond taking in the landscapes- although that’s a good place to start.
Where to Stay?
Whilst living so close by can mean that its tempting to make it a day trip, to really get the chance to explore why not make a weekend or a week of your trip? Waking up to the sound of the wildlife in the Dales is a treat, and with considerably less light pollution than its more urban neighbour of West Yorkshire, the night skies of a treat for those who do decide to make it an overnight stay.
With a number of campsites throughout the Dales, as well as a number of reputable hotels such as the Rendezvous, on its doorstep near Skipton, it might well be worth looking at extending that day trip into a longer stay in one of the country’s best loved national parks. Let us know how it goes!