18 Best Yorkshire Dales Villages & Towns To Visit

These towns and villages in the Yorkshire Dales should definitely be on your list when visiting 3rd largest National Park in the UK. Having spent many long weekends here camping and walking, I know a good Yorkshire village when I see one.

Home to independent cafes, family-run bed and breakfasts and traditional British pubs. These towns and villages in the Yorkshire Dales are the heart and soul of the community and benefit greatly from your visit.

1. Burnsall

One bank holiday Monday every year, we travel with the family to Burnsall. With the River Wharf running through its middle, the village is simply charming.

Home to less than 100 people, the village is overlooked by Burnsall Fell, which hosts the oldest fell race in England every August.

2. Muker

Set into the hillside above the River Swale you’ll find the village of Muker. Home to the highest inn in England, the village dates back hundreds of years, yet has barely changed in that time.

Popular with walkers completing local walks alongside the Pennine Way and Coast to Coast. Muker is home to a number of bed and breakfasts, two pubs, a village store as well as a gallery and craft store.

3. Grassington

Grassington is one of the largest villages in the Yorkshire Dales, and is often a central hub to the nearby smaller villages such as Threshfield and Conistone.

Surrounded by limestone scenery, the village is the perfect place to begin a walk in the Yorkshire Dales as it’s the start of a number of circular routes.

4. Kettlewell

Located in Upper Wharfedale, Kettlewell is one of our favourite villages in the Yorkshire Dales to visit. Featured in the film ‘Calendar Girls’ Kettlewell is the epitome of Yorkshire charm.

Home to 17th and 18th-century stone brick cottages, the village has three pubs, a village shop, two cafes and a small petrol station.

5. Pateley Bridge

Home to the oldest sweet shop in the world, Pateley Bridge is the perfect village to use as a base when exploring the Yorkshire Dales.

Pateley Bridge has been an inspiration for writers and artists alike, and after a visit here, you’ll soon see why.

6. Malham

Malham is one of the villages in the Yorkshire Dales I visited most as a child. I’ve had many picnics at the top of Malham Cove – in the sunshine, and in the rain.

White-painted stone houses line the tight winding roads of this village, which makes it the perfect picture postcard of your trip to the Dales.

7. Buckden

On the east bank of the River Wharfe, you’ll find the village of Buckden. With a population of less than 200, this charming small village nestled in the Yorkshire Dales is not to be missed.

There’s a number of small bed and breakfasts in the village, popular with walkers taking on the Dales Way – an 85-mile hike between Ilkley in West Yorkshire to Bowness-on-Windermere in Cumbria.

8. West Burton

One of the larger villages in the Yorkshire Dales, West Burton offers a number of activities alongside local stores, cafes and family-run bed and breakfasts.

A 300m walk from the centre of the village is Cauldron Falls, a picturesque waterfall on the Walden Beck.

9. Appletreewick

5 miles north of Bolton Abbey you’ll find the charming village of Appletreewick. Picturesque houses that date back to the 12 century line the streets, with The New Inn pub a popular resting point for those exploring the surrounding areas.

The village flourished in the early part of the 14th century thanks to farming and agriculture. However, it’s grown little since with less than 200 people calling it home.

10. Long Preston

On the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales just twelve miles from Skipton you’ll find the village of Long Preston.

The village pub, The Boars Head is popular with both locals and tourists meanwhile the Rohan store is popular with hikers picking up last-minute supplies.

Visit the village on May Day and you’ll find the local’s maypole dancing on the village green – a tradition which goes back decades.

11. Clapham

Situated on the border of the Yorkshire Dales is the small village of Clapham which is home to an award-winning community shop, two small cafes and welcoming accommodation.

The village is popular with walking groups setting off on the three-peaks, or cyclists coming to the end of the Way of the Roses coast2coast route.

12. Reeth

Once championed by esteemed author Ella Pontefract as “a little country in itself.” Reeth is one village you should definitely visit when in the Yorkshire Dales.

A major site for lead mining, the village previously contributed 10% to the countries industry. On walks around the village, you’ll note ruined mine workings such as the Old Gang smelting mill which was built in 1790 and was in use until 1899.

13. Richmond

The North Yorkshire town of Richmond hasn’t changed much through the centuries in which it’s been inhabited, which only adds to its beauty and charm.

The vibrant market town has plenty to keep you occupied with ghost walks, a castle keep and even the oldest surviving Georgian playhouse in the country.

14. Hawes

Located in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales is the town of Hawes. Founded in 1307, the towns name means ‘pass between mountains’ and is likely linked to its position between the hills of Buttertubs and Fleet Moss.

Famous for the production of Wensleydale cheese, this town is blessed with mellow stone buildings, shops and houses, linked by cobbled streets.

15. Skipton

Known as the gateway to the Dales, Skipton is a picturesque market-town that overlooks the Aire Gap.

Rich in both natural beauty and history, Skipton has plenty to attract visitors including a 900-year-old castle and an extensive museum and gallery.

16. Middleham

Home to the largest castle keep in the North of England, which was once the childhood home of Richard III is the town of Middleham.

This traditionally charming market town is a must-visit when in the Yorkshire Dales thanks to its cobbled market square and Georgian tea rooms.

17. Masham

Masham is very much the epitome of a market town in the Yorkshire Dales. Situated on the East Edge of the Dales, Masham is famous for its breweries, steam engines and annual sheep fair.

This picturesque town is located on the banks of the river Ure offering up idyllic river walks and trails leading to historic follies and waterfalls.

18. Leyburn

With spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, no visit to the Yorkshire Dales is complete without a stop at Leyburn.

This gateway to the Dales is the perfect base for walking thanks to a variety of accommodations, shops, cafes and traditional pubs.


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  1. Ron Lindsay says:

    Lived in Wentworth Yorkshire for 14 months back in the 1990s. During that time we spent as much time as possible exploring the back roads and little villages of the Dales. We visited almost every town mentioned and agree heartily with the claim of their charm and beauty.