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The Yorkshire Dales National Park

Established in 1954, The Park has clearly defined purposes, set down by Statute:

  • To conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park
  • To promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the area by the public
  • To seek to foster the economic and social well-being of the local communities within the National Park

The word ‘Park’ is possibly rather misleading; in fact more than 90% of the land within its borders is in private hands. Everyone is keenly aware of their responsibility towards this special region.

We are not a museum – we are a vibrant Community, with our well-developed interests in Arts and Crafts, Music and pastimes. Above all, we are a welcoming ‘family’, always glad to meet and greet both one-another and our visitors. Do not be surprised to be addressed with a cheery “Hello” as you walk our remote footpaths. It’s natural, sincere and ‘our’ way of life. Do join in!

Thanks to the National Park – and especially our local farmers – traditional skills thrive. You cannot be but impressed by the wealth of dry stone walls that often climb the steepest of fells, or the quality of the natural stone-built houses and field barns. Similarly, the intensity of wild flowers in the hay meadows, the water quality of the rivers and the rich diversity of wildlife – largely due to their dedicated stewardship of the local environment.

“So, what’s to do then?” Well, there is a danger of producing a near endless list – you can find that in the Information Folder within each cottage – but perhaps we could mention just a few ideas:

So, try not to leave Wharfedale until you’ve ….

  • Caught a river trout or fished at Kilnsey Park
  • Gone to the Burnsall Feast, Kilnsey or Buckden Shows and watched a classic fell race
  • Seen the Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival
  • Watched spring lambs being born
  • Witnessed the activities of Herons, Kingfishers and Dippers
  • Spot wild deer and red squirrels
  • Ride a steam railway
  • Marvel at Malham Cove, home to Peregrine Falcons (Britain’s fastest bird)
  • Clamber above or below ground
  • Eaten at one of the many local gastro pubs in the area
  • Sampled the local brews – or visited the non-alcoholic pub at Starbotton!
  • Seen the Landlet candle at The George, Hubberholme, frequented by J B Priestley
  • Visited Buckden’s Church at Hubberholme, where “J.B” now resides, to wonder at the historic ‘Rood’ loft or count the “Mouseman” mice
  • Discover the Yockenthwaite Stone Circle near Buckden
  • Use your National Trust, English Heritage or RHS cards

Whether your wish is to amble and ramble, stride or ride, or simply relax amidst the glorious scenery and just ‘chill out’, the National Park offers a wealth of opportunities.

The Dales