Hiking in Yorkshire Dales National Park

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Experience a vast landscape of iconic hills, tumbling waterfalls, spectacular limestone geology and sensational Victorian architecture. Walks in the Yorkshire Dales rank amongst the best in the UK. They don’t call this region ‘God’s own country’ for nothing.

841 square miles (2,178 km2) of this wonderful countryside awaits exploration. There’s an abundant variety of landscape, from the beautiful walled fields, barns and meadows of Swaledale in the north to the glorious heights of Ribblesdale in the west. The national park even takes a delectable bite out of Cumbria in the form of the Howgill Fells, where verdant hills take on a little bit of the character of nearby Lakeland.

There is every kind of walk, hike or ramble imaginable here. On a short walk you can access some truly stunning sights, such as the dramatic Malham Cove. For more strenuous excursions, there’s the 24-hour challenge of the Yorkshire Three Peaks. There’s no doubt about it, hikes in the Yorkshire Dales offer something for everyone.

Difficult
03:31
7.69 mi
Difficult
02:10
4.71 mi
Difficult
03:31
7.53 mi
Intermediate
03:06
5.82 mi
Difficult
04:17
9.35 mi
Intermediate
03:40
7.22 mi
Intermediate
03:47
7.33 mi
Intermediate
04:07
8.47 mi
Intermediate
03:36
7.03 mi
Intermediate
03:10
7.44 mi
Intermediate
03:48
8.77 mi
Intermediate
04:37
9.11 mi
Intermediate
02:34
5.99 mi
Intermediate
02:53
6.62 mi
Difficult
05:23
11.0 mi
Difficult
05:09
11.2 mi
Intermediate
04:27
8.76 mi
Difficult
02:44
5.63 mi
Difficult
03:16
6.62 mi
Intermediate
04:34
9.26 mi

Top 20 best walks and hikes in Yorkshire Dales National Park

    1
    Difficult
    03:31
    7.69 mi
    2.2 mph
    900 ft
    900 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.
    2
    Difficult
    02:10
    4.71 mi
    2.2 mph
    600 ft
    600 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.
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  • 3
    Difficult
    03:31
    7.53 mi
    2.1 mph
    700 ft
    675 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.
    4
    Intermediate
    03:06
    5.82 mi
    1.9 mph
    1,450 ft
    1,450 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    5
    Difficult
    04:17
    9.35 mi
    2.2 mph
    775 ft
    775 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.
    6
    Intermediate
    03:40
    7.22 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,500 ft
    1,500 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    7
    Intermediate
    03:47
    7.33 mi
    1.9 mph
    1,600 ft
    1,600 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    8
    Intermediate
    04:07
    8.47 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,425 ft
    1,425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    9
    Intermediate
    03:36
    7.03 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,475 ft
    1,475 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    10
    Intermediate
    03:10
    7.44 mi
    2.3 mph
    375 ft
    375 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    11
    Intermediate
    03:48
    8.77 mi
    2.3 mph
    600 ft
    600 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    12
    Intermediate
    04:37
    9.11 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,825 ft
    1,825 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    13
    Intermediate
    02:34
    5.99 mi
    2.3 mph
    325 ft
    325 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    14
    Intermediate
    02:53
    6.62 mi
    2.3 mph
    450 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    15
    Difficult
    05:23
    11.0 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,875 ft
    1,875 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    16
    Difficult
    05:09
    11.2 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,375 ft
    1,375 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    17
    Intermediate
    04:27
    8.76 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,875 ft
    1,875 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    18
    Difficult
    02:44
    5.63 mi
    2.1 mph
    700 ft
    675 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.
    19
    Difficult
    03:16
    6.62 mi
    2.0 mph
    900 ft
    900 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.
    20
    Intermediate
    04:34
    9.26 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,675 ft
    1,675 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

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Exploring the character of the Dales

There is so much to experience on your walks in theYorkshire Dales. In spring, discover the bright wildflowers and riverside walks of Swaledale or head for the 30,000 acres (12,141 ha) of delightful countryside on the Bolton Abbey estate in Wharfedale. In the west, where the boundaries of the Dales and the Lakes meet, are the Howgill Fells. On a clear day, these rounded hills offer staggering views across the entire Lake District skyline and the vast sprawl of Yorkshire’s highest hills.

Meanwhile, Ribblesdale hosts the most spectacular section of the famous Carlisle to Settle railway line. You can add its most iconic moment, the scenic beauty of Ribblehead Viaduct’s 24 Victorian stone arches, to your itinerary. There are few sights in the British countryside more evocative.

Feeling peaky in Ribblesdale

Ribblesdale is also home to the Yorkshire Three Peaks: Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent and county high point Whernside at 2,415 feet (736 m). For some of the most adventurous hikes in the Yorkshire Dales, this is the place to be.

Whale-backed Whernside may be the highest, but Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent are the most adored by hikers. Ingleborough’s alternating layers of limestone, sandstone and shale create a distinctive wedge-shaped profile, whilst its summit was once the site of a Neolithic fortress. Not to be outdone, Pen-y-ghent takes on the visage of a giant, crouching lion surveying its kingdom.

The famous challenge of summiting all three peaks in 24 hours is deservedly popular. Part of the key to success is route planning, as there is no set way to complete the round. However you decided to tackle them, they are richly rewarding hikes with fantastic views.

The limestone splendour of Malhamdale

Some of the best hiking trails in the Yorkshire Dales explore the many delights to be found around the village of Malham. Chief among them is Malham Cove, a gently curving 230-foot (70 m) white limestone cliff that is popular all year round. The limestone pavement that tops the cove is also a great place to explore.


Gordale Scar, a sensational hidden limestone gorge carved out by torrents of ancient glacial meltwater, is a magical place. As it narrows and steepens dramatically, two waterfalls crash down. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even ascend out of the gorge via a rock scramble by the cascading falls.


Yorkshire Dales National Park's best walks and hikes on the map

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