Family Fun in the Yorkshire Dales

things to do as a family locally

Family Fun in the Yorkshire Dales

April encorporates National Parks Fornight which is to highlight what is waiting to be discovered in the UK’s stunning National Parks – and what better than to highlight the family fun that can be had in the Yorkshire Dales.

National Parks fortnight is moving to spring and will time with the Easter School Holidays across the UK and will celebrate the countless opportunities to get outside and discover the length and breadth of the UK’s 15 National Parks.

As we are currently still on a “stay close to home” order due to Coronavirus I wanted to focus on Yorkshire’s National Parks, predominately the Yorkshire Dales and the family fun times you can have there.

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The Yorkshire Dales also known as simply The Dales. This national park consists of the Pennines and also has some impressive caves such as White Scar Caves which are available to casual visitors, and has paid tours all year round.

Currently before visiting I would advise that you check out the latest information on the COVID-19 Guidance about what is on, in the dales.

There are quite a few walks which are able to be accessed from some of the Car Parks, you can find a list of the Car Park and toilet information directly on the website.

As a rule, Malham, Horton-in-Ribblesdale and Aysgarth Falls carparks tend to be the busiest. So check out and have a back-up plan just incase you cannot get parked when you get there. Other car parks are less busy.

Additionally the car parks at Buckden, Malham and Hawes are designated as Dark Sky Discovery sites and car parking charges at these sites do not apply between the hours of 7pm and 6am if you are using the car park for stargazing purposes. How amazing!

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Top 5 places to go in the Yorkshire Dales

1. Aysgarth Falls is a wonderful stretch of water in Lower Wensleydale. It’s an accessible route suitable for people who are less mobile or families with buggies.

2. Ingleton Waterfalls Walk the famous trail wends its way up one river gorge and back down another.

3. Bolton Abbey with a beautiful riverside, woodland and moorland trails, picnicking by the River Wharfe, the stepping stones, cafes, abbey ruins – a fantastic day out.

4. Bolton Castle is no where near Bolton Abbey – but it is a stunning, well preserved Medieval castle in Wensleydale with loads of activities – falconry displays, archery and wild boar feeding.

5. Fountains Abbey is owned by the National Trust, this inspiring World Heritage Site includes the abbey and beautiful gardens of Studley Royal.

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Top 10 family things to do in the Yorkshire Dales

1. Kinsley Park is located in Wharfdale and is a beautiful area with plenty of activities to keep children entertained ranging from fishing to pony trekking and plenty of things for adults too! You can even visit the cafe for their famous pink fish and chips!

2. Enjoy the excitement of a short trip on a heritage railway, maybe even steam-powered: choose from Settle-Carlisle, the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, and Wensleydale Railway.

3. Studfold Aventure Nature Trail  is a play and discovery expereince for toddlers and children of all primary school ages, to explore nature and run wild, while adults enjoy the glorious views.

4. Billy Bobs  is set in an old-fashioned diner, with a great playground for children to release their pent-up energy.

5. Forbidden Corner  near Middleham is a wonderful attraction that’s almost impossible to describe. Winner of the White Rose Award for best large attraction in 2015, The Forbidden Corner consists of a series of unique tunnels, chambers and surprises. It’s a unique way of experiencing some of the Yorkshire Dales’ natural beauty.

6. Birchfield Dairy Farm in Nidderdale is a picturesque working farm. Lots of lovely farm animals to see, but you can also have some of their yummy ice cream too!

7. Explore a secret underground world at Ingleborough, Stump Cross Caverns and White Scar Caves, looking out for stalactites, stalagmites, hidden tunnels and caverns. And don’t miss out on Mother Shipton’s Cave  which is England’s oldest visitor attraction.

8. Lightwater Valley has everything from theme park rides to adventure golf and treetop adventures, children and parents alike can enjoy fun and thrills here. Set in 175 acres of wonderful Yorkshire countryside, Lightwater Valley even has a falconry centre and a café for a bite to eat.

9. Do you have a sweet tooth then why not take a trip to England’s Oldest Sweet Shop in Pateley Bridge

10. Hesketh Farm Park  is just a mile away from Bolton Abbey so if you are planning a full day out you can visit both attractions. Come and see the cattle, sheep, pigs and many more animals; along with touring the fields and barns to see how the farm works.

Don’t forget to check local government restrictions and opening hours at each attraction – and pre-book where possible to avoid being turned away.

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