My recent visit to the dales co-incided with a spell of beautiful weather (yes we do get some very occasionally in the north of England!) and showed the beauty and grandeur of the Yorkshire dales.
Often referred to simply as “The Dales” it is an upland area of Northern England dissected by numerous valleys.
The area lies within the county boundaries of historic Yorkshire, though it spans the ceremonial counties of North Yorkshire and Cambria. Most of the area falls within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, created in 1954, but the term also includes areas to the east of the National Park, notably Nidderdale.
The Dales is a collection of river valleys and the hills among them, rising from the Vale of York westwards to the hilltops of the main Penning watershed. In some places the area extends westwards across the watershed, but most of the valleys drain eastwards to the Vale of York, into the River Ouse and then the Humber.
The word “dale” comes from the Nordic / German word for valley (dal, tal), and occurs in valley names across Yorkshire and Northern England, but the name Yorkshire Dales is generally used to refer specifically to the dales west of the Vale of York and north of the West Yorkshire Urban Area.
My trip was for three days so it limited me to how much I could get to see in the time I was there. I managed a visit to Aysgarth Falls in Wensleydale (hoe of the famous cheese made famous by the Wallace and Grommit characters) and the river was in full flow because of the recent rain but most of my time was spent in Swaledale (the most beautiful of the dales in my pinion) visiting such villages as Reeth, Muker and Keld (such wonderful names).
On my last day I went up into the more rugged and bleak Arkengarthdale, pulled over to the side of the road to take photographs and then stood in amazement as a convoy of about fifty motorcyclists went past, all Harley Davidsons………..most of them ridden by middle aged men (mid life crisis?) and looking magnificent.
If you have not explored the Dales then I urge you to do so and if you need a lovely place to stay may I recommend:-
The Old Town Hall Guest House, Redmire.
and no, I am not on commission but was so impressed with the customer service during my stay.