With a wealth of activities scattered throughout its many wide open spaces and a myriad of tracks and trails to explore, the Yorkshire Dales is one of Britain's best playgrounds – it certainly has some of the smallest queues and the best refreshments! Yet despite the abundance of welcome ways for you to lose your time in the Dales, there’s still a host of additional activities to entertain all the family. Let off some steam and take a traditional train ride, go underground and find a few surprises – there’s something to entertain holidaymakers of all ages.
Take a trip out from your holiday home in the Dales and you're almost certain to stumble upon a few surprises. Ancient castles, amazing views and much more could be just around the next corner, but few attractions pride themselves on offering something completely different as much as the Forbidden Corner near Leyburn.
The Forbidden Corner is a folly in the truest sense of the word. Within its four acres you will find a maze of walled gardens, tunnels, woodland and many more strange sights. To say more would be to spoil some of its best surprises – though we doubt we could convey some of the odd delights that await you. Your best bet is to experience and enjoy it for yourself.
It’s easy to lose track of time in the Yorkshire Dales. Climb a hill, set off on a walk, sit down in the local pub and enjoy a conversation with the locals and the hours can just drift away. But for the true timeless experience in the Dales we’d recommend a trip on the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway.
This heritage line was originally closed in 1965, but has steadily been rebuilt by volunteers over the years. Though the lovely market town of Skipton is next on the list, the current route comprises some of the Dales' most scenic locations, including the lovely Bolton Abbey on the banks of the River Wharfe. There are lots of perfect picnic spots and you can even enjoy fish and chips on the train in the summer season!
Such is the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales that you can disappear underground and still marvel at the beauty of the landscape. White Scar in Ingleton is the UK’s longest show cave, and visitors can spend over an hour marvelling at the views on display. What's more, a large subterranean waterfall is one of the first encounters, so it’s one of the few places that arguably improves with wet weather.
Ingleton is known as the home of caves and waterfalls, and if you fancy heading over-ground the 4 mile waterfall walk provides the perfect opportunity to marvel at more natural wonders. If you need an incentive to keep your little adventurers moving there’s also often an ice cream van strategically located mid-way around the trail (and the lovely views are free!).
It's not just those enjoying a holiday cottage in the Dales that can enjoy the beautiful expanses of the region. Since 1991, the Yorkshire Dales Falconry Centre has enabled visitors to witness magnificent birds of prey swooping over the hills. With regular displays and encounters taking place throughout the year, it provides the perfect opportunity for children to get close to nature whilst providing the whole family a fun-filled day out in the Dales.
Despite the occasional high-altitude encounter (a drive over Buttertubs pass springs to mind) a holiday in the Yorkshire Dales isn’t renowned as the perfect way to get the pulse-pounding. Move 50 feet in the air with a rope around you, though and it’s a different story!
Aerial Extreme operates adventure courses for the whole family all over the UK, but their Yorkshire course in Bedale was the first. On the 1 hour 30 minute course you will encounter over 20 obstacles, climb through the woodland canopy and take a 600ft zip ride.