Yorkshire Dales: Caravan & Motorhome Touring Guide
At Adventure Leisure Vehicles, we’re very lucky to be located at the edge of one of the most scenic parts of the country. The Yorkshire Dales National Park is renowned for its stunning scenery, from breathtaking walks to spectacular waterfalls. It’s a fantastic destination for a caravan or motorhome trip. You could easily spend a week here exploring and still not have explored all there is to offer.
We’ve put together this guide with some of the top things to do in the Yorkshire Dales. By the end of this blog you will have a list of waterfalls to visit, caravan sites to stay at and some top spots to eat.
Yorkshire Dales Caravan Parks and Campsites
There are dozens of campsites and caravan parks in the Yorkshire Dales. The vast choice can feel a little overwhelming if you’re not sure where to look. We have picked some campsites from our favourite locations within the Yorkshire Dales for you to check out.
Campsites in Skipton, Yorkshire Dales
Skipton is located south of the Yorkshire Dales. This medieval town has maintained it’s historic layout, here you will find Skipton Castle and a busy town centre which holds a traditional market four times a week.
- Tarn House Holiday Park is located just outside of Skipton on the outskirts of the Yorkshire Dales. There’s a 17th century country inn onsite and a range of camping options available, from luxury lodges through to serviced pitches.
- Howgill Lodge is located outside of Skipton, just within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. There are hardstanding pitches available for caravans and motorhomes, with a wide range of facilities on hand. The site is terraced so each pitch enjoys beautiful, uninterrupted views of Wharfedale.
Campsites in Leyburn, Yorkshire Dales
Leyburn lies to the east of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, a great location if you’re hoping to explore the eastern side of the Park such as the Leyburn Shawl or Aysgarth Falls. There are plenty of shops, restaurants and cafes in the town to choose from.
- Cow Close Caravan & Camping site can be found within walking distance of Leyburn town. It’s a small site with plenty of facilities and a mix of hardstanding and grass pitches.
- Cracken House Caravan & Camping site is an adults only site located a mile outside of Leyburn. This site is situated on a footpath network, perfect if you’re planning on hiking around the area a lot to explore.
Campsites in Settle, Yorkshire Dales
The market town of Settle is located to the West of the Yorkshire Dales, nestled between the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Forest of Bowland. There’s plenty to see in this area, from the Scaleber Force waterfall to the popular Ribble Way footpath.
- Orcaber Camping and Caravan Park is a spacious site located in Austwick, just outside of Settle. There are both hardstanding and grass pitches on offer, each with it’s own picnic bench.
- Langcliffe Holiday Park is a quiet site that prides itself on its calm and relaxed atmosphere, there is no bar or restaurant here just stunning views and nature. There are 30 pitches available at the site, all of which are hardstanding.
Campsites in Ingleton, Yorkshire Dales
The village of Ingleton is nestled at the foothills of one of Yorkshire’s famous three peaks - Ingleborough. This makes it an incredibly popular location for keen walkers. It’s also at the start of the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, where you pass several waterfalls along the walk.
- Meadow Falls campsite can be found on the edge of Ingleton and is the perfect base for exploring the caves and waterfalls. There are 5 hardstanding pitches for caravans and motorhomes, and grass pitches for small campervans.
- Stackstead Farm is located one mile outside of Ingleton, with a pub a mere 5 miniature walk away. Perfect for a refreshing drink after a long day of exploring.
- Thornbrook Barn Caravan Site is located just under a mile away from the start of the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, so highly recommended site if you plan to make the trail the focal point of your stay. There are 42 hardstanding pitches available, with standard and serviced options available.
Things To Do in Yorkshire Dales
Hike to Yorkshire Dales Waterfalls
There are some spectacular waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales and they make a great stopping point on a hike. There are too many to list all of the waterfalls here, but here are a few favourites:
The Ingleton Waterfalls Trail
This is a popular route for those seeking a few waterfalls on their walk. It's a four and a half mile loop, which will take roughly 2-4 hours to complete and takes you past six waterfalls. The route is well-maintained, the path is clearly carved out and there are some picnic areas at various locations along the route.
The Hawdraw Force waterfall is England’s largest single drop waterfall with the water cascading down 100ft. Located in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales it attracts lots of visitors, including movie stars. The Hardraw Force waterfall can be seen in the 90s film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
There’s a three and a half kilometer route that takes you past this spectacular waterfall, located near Hawes. With a 40ft drop that remains hidden until you are up close it is well worth a visit.
Aysgarth Falls, located on the River Ure, offer three waterfalls in one spectacular location. A location that, like Hardraw Force, was featured in the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Park at the visitor centre here for easy access to the Falls.
A secluded spot where you’ll find a stunning series of waterfalls. This is also a great spot to do a bit of bird watching with birds of prey soaring overhead and kingfishers darting around near the water.
Explore White Scar Cave
The White Scar Cave is the longest show cave in the UK, covering 6 KM. You can take a guided tour which takes you past all sorts of wonders and lasts around 80 minutes. During the guided tour you’ll pass thundering waterfalls and incredible rock formations, as well as see some spectacular caverns. It is truly a fascinating place to explore and one which should definitely be on your Yorkshire Dales must-see list.
Dales Countryside Museum
Learn a bit more about the local area with a trip to the Dales Countryside Museum. This will help you understand some of the things you’ll encounter during your trip by learning about the trades practiced in the area, such as lead mining and the knitting industry. Part of the exhibition is set up in some of the old railway carriages.
Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway
If you need to give your legs a bit of a break from hiking through the valleys and up the hills of the Yorkshire Dales, why not explore by steam train? Hop aboard one of the Victorian and Edwardian carriages pulled by a vintage steam locomotive and enjoy the scenery in style. As well as standard journeys you can also book onto a specialist food special event, there’s a range on offer, from wine and cheese tasting to cream teas.
The Ribblehead Viaduct is a truly spectacular piece of architecture, located close to the North Yorkshire and Cumbria border. It’s just a short walk from Ribblehead station to get a closer look at the structure, which makes up part of the Settle-Carlisle railway. It is an amazing sight to see, made even more special if you time your visit to see one of the steam trains go across it.
Malham Cove is a breathtaking cliff formation of limestone rock. The cliff face is about 260 feet high and curves around like an amphitheatre. There’s a well-maintained footpath from the nearby village to the foot of the Cove and from here you can reach the top via some steps. From the top of the cliff, there are spectacular views back towards Malham and over the beautiful surrounding countryside. Harry Potter fans may also recognise this as the filming location for one of the scenes from the movies.
This beautiful hidden gorge at Gordale has inspired many famous artists and writers and it’s easy to see why. There are stunning rock formations and waterfalls cascading down into the heart of the ravine. You can climb to the top, or enjoy the waterfalls from the bottom of the gorge via a more accessible route.
Walks To Do in The Yorkshire Dales
Pennine Way National Trail
The famous Pennine Way trail goes through the Yorkshire Dales National Park and is a great challenge for ramblers of all levels of experience. The full route is a 268 mile walk which starts in Edale in the Peak District and finishes in the Scottish Borders. It goes right through the Yorkshire Dales, almost from its southernmost point to its northernmost point.
Hike to the top of Ingleborough
If you’re looking for a walk that will reward you with spectacular views, this should be at the top of your list. There are a range of routes to choose from to reach the top of Ingleborough to suit a range of abilities. It’s one of the ‘Yorkshire Three Peaks’ and from the summit you get stunning panoramic views of the Lakeland Hills, Whernside, Pen-y-Ghent and out to Morecambe Bay.
Whernside circular walk
For those up for a bit of a challenge, consider tackling the walk to the top of Whernside from Ribblehead Viaduct. This 8 and a half mile loop takes in some of the iconic Yorkshire Dales landmarks including the viaduct itself and Ingleborough in the background. It’s a bit of a climb to get to the top and quite steep on the way down, so make sure you’re prepared. However, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views when you reach the summit.
Places to Eat in The Yorkshire Dales
There are plenty of great places to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a local tipple in the Yorkshire Dales. Here’s a selection of our favourite pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants serving up great food and drink.
The Old Post Office: This is a great microbar in Ingleton with a fantastic reputation for food, drink and atmosphere.
The Corner House Cafe: If you’re passing Grassington on your trip, make sure you stop off at The Corner House Cafe for a cup of coffee and a slice of delicious homemade cake. The perfect way to refuel after a long walk in the Dales.
The Game Cock Inn: Top-notch hearty pub food served up in Austwick, a great choice for a cosy dinner.
The Queens Arms: If you’re on the hunt for a Sunday roast, The Queens Arms restaurant in Litton is the place to go. They serve up locally sourced, traditional pub food and there’s also a lovely beer garden.