As my one-day Yorkshire Dales tour came to an end on a beautiful day in August, I kept wondering why this stunning area still remained relatively unpopular with foreign tourists, compared to places such as London and its surrounding areas.
While many might have heard about the Yorkshire Dales National Park, only a few consider squeezing this gorgeous region into their UK travel itinerary. Well, if you’re one of these people, read on! I hope I can change your mind with these 5 reasons why a Yorkshire Dales tour should be on your bucket list.
All these photos were taken from my excellent one-day Yorkshire Dales tour with BOBHolidays. In fact, my experience in the Yorkshire Dales would not have been as amazing had it not been for the tour guide, who was highly knowledgeable and accommodating. You can read more about the tour at the end of this article. For now, let’s check out the 5 reasons why you certainly should visit the Yorkshire Dales.
1. Its brilliant scenery will take your breath away
The Yorkshire Dales’ limestone scenery is simply spectacular! Its vast heather moorland, lovely waterfalls and grand hay meadows make up a wonderfully diverse landscape of each dale (i.e. valley) in this area. During our Yorkshire Dales tour, the tour guide also explained in detail how geographical events in the past contributed to shaping the unique landscape here.
There are sheep roaming around on these meadows and sometimes (when their gates are left unlocked) abruptly crossing the road, which gives some entertaining moments to those driving by.
2. So many charming villages to wander around
During this Yorkshire Dales tour, we drove past many stone-built villages and small towns which, except from the cars, gave an impression that we were somehow momentarily transferred back to the 19th century. The tour guide let us stop a bit longer at Hawes, Arncliffe and Pateley Bridge, all of which were attractive in different ways.
We had a 1.5-hour lunch stop at Hawes – a charming market town, where I got myself a delicious plate of chicken coronation sandwich with mango chutney at a lovely cafe. I also had the chance to fill my stomach with lots of (free) cheese. (Read number 3 below to find out about my cheese-tasting experience in Hawes).
Other things to do in Hawes include visiting the Dales Countryside Museum, checking out the Hawes Ropemakers or just walking around the beautiful valleys and hills around the town center.
On the way back from the Yorkshire Dales, we also stopped at Arncliffe – a quaint peaceful village in Littondale. We then followed the tour guide for a short walk around. What attracted me most were the stone-built houses with dry stone walls, the closed-down beautifully-designed local school and the imposing church with an age-old “punishment tool” in front of its gate.
Our last stop before getting back to York is Pateley Bridge – a charismatic market town in Nidderdale. Pateley Bridge looked so pretty that I felt instantly in love with it! Those with a sweet tooth can also pick some mouth-watering chocolate at the oldest sweet shop in the world right here.
3. It’s perfect for cheese lovers <3
A highlight of my Yorkshire Dales tour is the visit at Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre. As a cheese-lover, I was over the moon to get to taste more than 20 different types of cheese produced right there in Wensleydale. I’d wanted to buy them all and ended up buying the Blueberry and Pineapple cheese after thinking so hard as to which ones to pick. A good news was our tour’s van also had a fridge to store the cheese we had bought!
There’s also a cafe, a restaurant and a souvenir shop at Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre. For a small fee, you can also take a 40-minute tour of the centre and observe how cheese is made!
4. Castles and abbeys here are no less stunning
In addition to its gorgeous natural landscape, the Yorkshire Dales are also home to well-preserved medieval castles and abbeys.
During our Yorkshire Dales tour, we visited the magnificent Bolton Castle where Mary Queen of Scots was once imprisoned for a month. The castle features a pretty garden of flowers and herbs and a dazzling maze. There are also lots of exciting activities here, such as archery demonstration, birds of prey display and wild boar feeding.
(Note: These activities are organised at certain times during the day. Check out their website for a full timetable of activities!)
5. Filming locations for movie enthusiasts
Movie enthusiasts will love this Yorkshire Dales Tour, as the tour drives past many famous filming locations such as Aysgarth Fall (in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves), the Falcon Inn (in the TV series Emmerdale Farm) and Askrigg (in the James Herriot All Creatures Great and Small TV series).
Choosing a Yorkshire Dales Tour
Has this list convinced you to consider Yorkshire Dales as your next holiday destination?
If you only have one day to spare, I’d highly recommend booking a Yorkshire Dales tour. My Yorkshire Dales tour with BOBH gave me a hassle-free travel experience and plenty of interesting knowledge about the region which I wouldn’t have known otherwise. BOBH is also highly ranked on Tripadvisor with very positive reviews, which are evidence for their great service. The tour departs at 9am from York and returns at around 6.30pm. They also run tours to Whitby and other places in Yorkshire. You can check out their full list of tours in Yorkshire here.
I’ve also made a short video of this Yorkshire Dales Tour with BOBH. (It looks nicer when being viewed on laptop than on mobile).
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Note: I was sponsored for this tour by BOBH, but of course all opinions here are my own.