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Where to Stay in the Yorkshire Dales

Escaping to the countryside? Take a look at some of the best places to stay in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

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Sheep grazing on large green fields on a foggy morning, Yorkshire Dales, England, UK

The Yorkshire Dales is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes, with magnificent limestone valleys, dramatic waterfalls, and rolling green hills wherever you look. You'll never find yourself struggling to find ways to spend your time, with the great outdoors and countless memorable experiences at your fingertips. With picture postcard villages and towns dotted around the national park, there is a fantastic choice of places to stay that will put you right in the heart of the action, but numerous options can make for a tricky decision. Well, that's exactly where we come in. Here at Plum Guide, we're the experts in all things travel, and we've put our experts heads together to curate this guide just for you. All you have to do is sit back and heed our advice on where to stay in the Yorkshire Dales, and you're guaranteed a trip to remember for all the right reasons.

Malham

Green fields and mountains in Malham, Yorkshire Dales, England, UK

Green fields and mountains in Malham, Yorkshire Dales, England, UK

Kicking off this guide, we have Malham - one of the most popular villages in the Yorkshire Dales. With its dramatic limestone landscapes, Malham boasts an abundance of nature to explore, preferably on foot. Take a gentle stroll from the village to Malham Cove, a huge limestone crescent-shaped cliff that has proven very popular with rock climbers in recent years. Climb up the steps beside it to a large area of limestone pavement with fantastic views of the surrounding countryside - you did pack your camera, right? On a sunny day (yes, they have those up north), this makes for the perfect picnic spot. Continue your walk to Gordale Scar, an impressive limestone gorge with two (yes, two) waterfalls. This place has wowed visitors for hundreds of years, and is known to have inspired artists and writers alike. If two waterfalls isn't quite enough, discover even more at the nearby Janet’s Foss. Nestled in a magical woodland setting, it’s said to be home to Janet, Queen of the Fairies - look hard enough and you might spot her.

Kestrel Feather, Plum Guide home in the Yorkshire Dales, UK

Kestrel Feather, Plum Guide home in the Yorkshire Dales, UK

Kettlewell

Kettlewell is a charming grey-stone village, with an intriguing history dating back more than 300 years. If you’re searching for somewhere to stay in the Yorkshire Dales with genuine peace and quiet, then this is the place for you, with not much more than a handful of pubs and tea rooms. It’s also the ideal base if you plan on doing a few walks, with the area boasting some of the best walks you'll find in this part of the country. Buckden Pike is a popular trek that starts from Kettlewell, and at 702 metres, it’s quite a strenuous climb (don't say we didn't warn you). Nearby is Kilnsey Crag, an equally scenic walking route, as you would expect in such a naturally picturesque part of the world. Legend has it that the crag was home to a witch called Old Nan back in the 1700s, so if you hear any cackling, you know who it is. Speaking of eccentric characters, don’t be alarmed if you see people walking round the village in bizarre costumes. The Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival takes place each August, when thousands of people come to see scarecrows popping up all around the village. Each to their own.

Unbridled, Plum Guide home in Yorkshire, UK

Unbridled, Plum Guide home in Yorkshire, UK

Pateley Bridge

Pateley Bridge is a vibrant market town located in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s the perfect base for walking, cycling or just enjoying a day in the countryside. The town is the starting and finishing point of the Nidderdale Way, a circular route covering 53 miles of eye-catching scenery. That's quite a long walk, so perhaps don't plan to conquer all of it in one go - instead break up the trip with a visit the mystifying Brimham Rocks or the ancient Stump Cross Caverns, both of which are just a short drive away. If you’re after something a little less energetic, the town itself has a bustling high street with local produce, gifts, and keepsakes, as well as plenty of cafes, pubs, and tea rooms, so settle down. And once you've had your caffeine fix, make your way to England’s Oldest Sweet Shop - a must-visit in the area. After loading up on more sugar than you’ll ever need, you’ll want to take a stroll round the little courtyards and ginnels that lead off the high street, or set off on a riverside walk along the peaceful River Nidd.

Hathaway, Plum Guide home in the Yorkshire Dales, UK

Hathaway, Plum Guide home in the Yorkshire Dales, UK

Aysgarth

Numerous large grey rocks on an open green field in the Yorkshire Dales at sunrise, England, UK

Numerous large grey rocks on an open green field in the Yorkshire Dales at sunrise, England, UK

Nestled in the valley of Wensleydale, Aysgarth is a small village known for its beautiful waterfalls (that's right, even more waterfalls). Made up of a series of three wide limestone steps, the falls stretch for one mile along the River Ure, and fit perfectly into their naturally beautiful backdrops. Take a scenic walk along the footpaths and enjoy a family picnic beside the water, before heading to Yore Mill Craft Shop and Gallery for a casual peruse. Originally built as a cotton mill in 1784, the gallery is now home to works by artists and makers from Yorkshire and the rest of the UK - expect the countryside to be an obvious inspiration. Once you've admired enough art for the day, take a short drive north out of Aysgarth to Bolton Castle, one of the country’s best preserved medieval castles. You'll always find something going on here, with events such as medieval battles and reenactments, ghost hunts, music events, and falconry all on the calendar. Get lost in the garden’s maze or relax amongst the heady scents of the rose garden.

Horse & Carriage, Plum Guide home in the Yorkshire Dales, UK

Horse & Carriage, Plum Guide home in the Yorkshire Dales, UK

Hawes

If you’re a huge fan of cheese looking for where to stay in the Yorkshire Dales, then look no further than the charming market town of Hayes. This is where you’ll find the award-winning Wensleydale Creamery, which specialises in the delicious, crumbly Wensleydale made famous by the Wallace and Gromit films. Pop in and see the cheese being made, still by hand to this day, before sampling some tasters in the special cheese-tasting room (that's where you'll find us). Back in town, don’t miss the array of traditional shops and cafes selling everything from antiques to deep fried cheese (honestly, you will find cheese everywhere). Luckily for your arteries, Hawes is at the centre of some excellent walking countryside too, so you also have the perfect excuse to consume more cheese than you'll ever need. The Hardraw Force is a circular route which follows a part of the Pennine Way, before arriving at England’s highest above-ground waterfall. A longer, more challenging route is the Aysgarth Falls and West Burton Falls, which takes in waterfalls, hills, fields, and woodland (and probably cheese).

Grassington

A black road running alongside green fields in Grassington, Yorkshire Dales, England, UK

A black road running alongside green fields in Grassington, Yorkshire Dales, England, UK

With its stone cottages and cobbled market square, Grassington is one of the most picturesque villages in the Yorkshire Dales - and you know by now how high the standard is. There’s always something going on here, whether that's the Grassington Festival, the Dickensian Festival, the 1940s Weekend, or one of the many other intriguing events held throughout the year. The village is also packed with independent retailers selling local delicacies, souvenirs, outdoor gear, and local bottled beers. Cheers to that. After browsing the shops, visit the Grassington Folk Museum to see an interesting collection of artefacts and geological finds uncovered in the local area. There are some lovely walks from the village itself (as is seemingly the case everywhere in the Dales), with Dales Way along the River Wharfe proving popular with both locals and tourists. Stop by the nearby Grass Wood Nature Reserve, a woodland area rich in wildlife which is particularly superb in the spring months. The name may be rather basic, but the picturesque scenery is anything but.

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