Yorkshire Dales Landmarks and Highlights:

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Yorkshire Dales Highlights and Landmarks 

Famous towns, views, trails, mountains, lakes, waterfalls, walks and scenery. A mini-guide to the best, most interesting and well known parts of the yorkshire dales national park

Aysgarth Falls
The River Ure suddenly rushes into a rocky gorge and drops 200ft in a series of magnificent falls over three separate limestone terraces.  It is a magnificent sight!

Buttertubs Pass
This is one of the highest passes in England (1682 ft) and connects Wensleydale with Upper Swaledale.  It climbs steeply from the dale road near Thwaite, then crosses the high land between the two dales before making a sudden descent to terminate at Hardraw.  Along the route there are wide sweeping views of the rolling country, with the Buttertubs on the roadside.  These take their name from the deep potholes which are shaped like buttertubs.  These deep pits (60-100 ft) were caused by rainwater wearing away at the limestone over centuries.  At the bottom of the pass is the famous Hardraw Force , a magnificent 100 ft waterfall which one can walk behind!

Skipton
One of  the most important gateways to the Dales. It is an ideal base for exploring Malham, Wharfedale, North Ribbledale, Howarth (home of the Bronte family) , and the caves at Ingleton. Originally the “sheep town” of the Angles who named it “Sceptone”.  Cattle used to be auctioned in the High Street where there is now a fantastic market.  Skipton is still an important area for sheep and cattle. A very attractive town, Skipton also has excellent shops and eating places.  There is a short spur of the Leeds/Liverpool Canal right in the centre of the town, where there is safe berthing for boats.  From Skipton there is a wonderful railway journey on the Settle to Carlisle line, passing through beautiful scenery.  There is a lot of  history here and the nearby BOLTON ABBEY  is a must.  The remains of this 12th century abbey (in fact a priory) stand on the bank of the River Wharfe against a background of woods, meadows and waterfalls.  There are lovely walks beside the river to the Strid, where the water surges under limestone ledges.  (“Strid” is the old English word for turmoil.)  Further along there is the 15th century Barden Tower which stands above a n attractive humpbacked bridge.

Ilkly
Situated in Wharfedale, the town grew on the reputation of  its medicinal waters and bracing moorland air.  Remains from the Bronze Age, the Iron Age and the Romans can be found in this area.  The Cow and Calf rocks on the moorside are interesting formations and visitors like to climb to the top of them.  Ilkley has many indoor and outdoor recreational facilities and is a very popular town.

Haworth
This small village of slate roofed, grey-stoned houses, on the edge of the Dales’ moorland, is famous because of the Bronte Parsonage, home of the famous writers, Charlotte and Emily Bronte. It is situated at the top of the steep, paved little main street. The railway station at Haworth provided the location for the film, “The Railway Children”.

Ingleton
A small and very pretty village with enchanting scenery of  spectacular waterfalls and deep gorges. A fascinating honeycomb of caves attracts many geologists and potholers.

Gaping Gill
A famous landmark in Yorkshire, on the southern slopes of Ingleborough.  A main shaft descends 105 metres down to a stunning chamber bigger than St. Paul’s Cathedral and it has the tallest unbroken waterfall in England.  It is a favourite with keen potholers.

Hawes
Situated on the River Ure in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, this village is an ideal starting place for exploring the high moors of Wensleydale.   Hardraw Force, the previously mentioned  100ft high waterfall, can be reached by a footpath behind theGreen Dragon Inn.
Horton-In-Ribblesdale
This little moorland village is in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales and is the centre of the “Three Peaks Country”.  It is mainly  associated with Pen-y-Ghent and the track to the summit is part of the Pennine Way.  It is a  popular region for fellwalkers and potholers.  Beneath the huge stone terraces of 2273 ft Pen-y-Ghent lie Hunt Hole and Hull Pot.  Other famous caves and potholes are Alum Pot, Long Churn Hole, Pen-y-Ghent Hole and Gingle Pot. During monastic times the principal landowners in Horton were the monks of  Jervaulx Abbey and in 1315 the Abbot is documented as the lord of the manor.  The bridleway from Horton north of Pen-y-Ghent to Upper Wharfedale was the route the monks travelled between their monastery and their important holdings in Horton.

Malham
This is one of the most popular venues in the Yorkshire Dales, not only because of  the beautiful scenery but also because of  its interesting geology. The Angles settled here and named the area after one of their headmen, known as “Malca”.  This then was ‘the place of Malca’s Clan’, later becoming “Malghum” which later evolved into “Malham”.  Three of Yorkshire’s most famous natural features are within walking distance.  They are as follows:- a) Malham Cove,  a massive 240ft high limestone cliff created by the Craven Fault. It is possible to climb the “staircase” on the left, bearing right along the limestone pavement to enjoy a fantastic view from the top of the Cove, Pendle Hill being a notable landmark.  b) Gordale Scar, a dramatic rock bowl where the water hurls itself down a 25ft ravine, which you can climb up when the water is not  in full spate!
c) Malham Tarn,  A 150 acre moorland lake, Yorkshire’s second largest natural lake, the largest being Hornsea Mere in East Yorkshire. It is held up by a deposit of glacial moraine and a bed of Silurian Rock which has been brought to the surface due to the North Craven Fault. Near Malham is the 250-mile long-distance pathway, the Pennine Way.  The Yorkshire Dales National Park Centre is situated in the village.

Richmond
This lovely old country town is a northern gateway to the Dales.  In the 11th century a splendid castle was built on a hill to guard the entrance to Swaledale.  One of the best views of the town can be had from the top of  the 100ft tower of  the Norman keep.  From here can be seen the large cobbled market square, the River Swale and the moors beyond.  There is a mediaeval church in the square and every evening a curfew bell is rung from the tower.  There is also an exceptionally tall cross in the market place.  The town has several Georgian houses and a splendid restored Georgian theatre which was built in 1788 and reopened in 1962.  According to legend, Richmond is the resting place of  King Arthur and his Knights of  the Round Table!
As well as being historically very interesting, Richmond is an excellent centre for exploring the Yorkshire Dales.

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