The Yorkshire Dales is an area of outstanding natural beauty in England. Certainly it may have changed in more recent years but on the whole it is still fairly unspoilt. In fact it is the perfect destination for those wanting to explore the English countryside and its pretty villages.
For walkers there are miles of countryside to explore. Dotted around the area are farms, English pubs, cafes, Tea Rooms, restaurants, towns and more.
As children we would visit distant relatives of my Mum who lived in a small village a few miles outside of Skipton. Skipton is a busy market town and used to hold the bus station with all the linked services around The Dales.
We would take a train to Leeds where we would change trains hopping aboard the Trans-Pennine express which would take us on to Skipton. From here we would take a bus to the small village of Hetton.
Skipton is often called the Gateway to the Dales as it is on the Dales boundary. The bus stopped at the road, at the edge of the village of Hetton meaning that a steep walk was needed to get to our destination. The small village had a few houses, a farm, a pub that doubled as a shop selling almost everything and some beautiful countryside.
Even back then the village was becoming a little more built up as retired mill owners from Bradford began building beautiful homes in the village.
A fish and chip van would visit the village a couple of times a week and, barring the pub, there was no place to eat out. Of course, I am talking about more than 50 years ago and so this will have changed no doubt. However, the area was green, peaceful, pretty and a great place to base yourself for touring The Dales.
The house where we stayed had fields at both the back and the front of the house. At the back these steadily climbed upwards. There were sheep and cows in the field in the day-time and as Townies we loved to play in these fields. The fields at the front sloped down to a valley. In the distance though was Cracoe Fell rising high above the area. We could just see the cross at its summit.
Fairy Walk, as my distant cousin called it, was a pretty little round trip walking through the village. There was a little bridge over the brook and some beautiful countryside.
The Yorkshire Dales has been a designated a National Park for more than 50 years. In 2009 there were 60th celebrations as National Parks had been established since 1949.
The Dales is a perfect destination for walkers, cyclists, horse-riders, caravaners, campers and those who simply want to enjoy rural England. As primarily farming country the Yorkshire Dales epitomises a rural England almost of the past.
For bird watchers and photographers the area is also perfect.
You will discover pretty villages, museums, towns, cities, history and much more. There is the Dales countryside museum which is in the old railway station at Hawes which is in Wensleydale. Wensleydale also produces its own cheese of the same name that is Wensleydale. This of course has been immortalised by the animation Wallace and Gromit.
Touring the countryside you may meet traditional Yorkshire folk some of whom may still speak with a broad Yorkshire accent.
Towns such as Harrogate, Grassington, Settle, Malham and Kettlewell all nestle in the Yorkshire Dales. These are just a few of the places to see though. The choice is vast.
No matter which season you choose to visit the Yorkshire Dales there will be plenty to entertain visitors.
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