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It’s the ultimate Yorkshire conundrum: a holiday in the Yorkshire Dales or Yorkshire Moors?

When planning a holiday to the countryside setting of Yorkshire, a few questions spring to mind: Where has the best walks? The best scenery? History? Food? And these two National Parks often find themselves going head to head when planning a holiday to this part of Northern England.

Whilst the Yorkshire Dales boasts a labyrinth of moods, from wild and windswept to calm and tranquil, the North York Moors offers the best of both coast and countryside, with rolling moorland and a dramatic coastline waiting to be explored.

So how could you possibly decide which Yorkshire National Park is best for your holiday? Fear not, we have broken down the differences between the Dales and the Moors so you don’t have to.

Read on to discover holidays in the Yorkshire Dales vs Yorkshire Moors….


Attractions

Things to do in the Yorkshire Dales

the rolling countryside of the Yorkshire Dales

Awaiting your arrival to the Yorkshire Dales are a plethora of things to do, from walking amidst breath-taking scenery and immersing yourself in wonderful history to marvelling at the stars in one of Britain’s Dark Sky areas, you are guaranteed an adventure-filled holiday whilst in the Yorkshire Dales.

Look forward to discovering the natural wonder of Malham Cove, a curving cliff that has captivated tourists from all over, or soak up the scenery as you walk along the enchanting Ingleton Falls.

Other outdoor activities in the Yorkshire Dales include a hill hike up one of the Three Peaks or soaring through its countryside setting on two wheels as you discover its famous cycle routes, including the Tour de Yorkshire climbs and the myriad of mountain bike trials. For more walks in the Yorkshire Dales, take a look at our Yorkshire Dales walking guide.

If you are visiting with children, they will be delighted by a day out at one of the open farms located within the Dales. These include Hesketh Farm Park near Skipton, where you can get lost within the straw maze or you can spend the day at Holme Open Farm near Sedbergh.

Alternatively, head to the strangest place in the world, The Foridden Corner, and explore a labyrinth of chambers, tunnels and surprises, or bring history to life by paying a visit to one of the best-preserved medieval buildings in the UK, Skipton Castle.

For further things to do in the Yorkshire Dales, have a browse through our Yorkshire Dales travel guide.

Things to do in the Yorkshire Moors

photo of Whitby Abbey

Are you looking for things to do in the Yorkshire Moors? From the heather coated heathland to the North Sea Cliff edges, a wealth of things to do are waiting to be discovered.

If you are feeling energetic, choose to explore a series of footpaths across the coast and countryside. But if you cannot decide whether you prefer the dramatic coastline or the endearing moorland, the iconic Cleveland Way promises the best of both worlds.

Expect quaint fishing villages, hidden coves, dramatic scenery and awe-inspiring castles along this wonderful path.

For those a seeking a holiday by the sea, the Yorkshire Moors lays claim to some of the best-loved coastal resorts and villages in the UK.

For a traditional holiday with the family, choose the popular resort town of Scarborough or for something more picturesque, be sure to holiday in Robin Hood’s Bay, Runswick Bay or Staithes.


Towns and Villages

Places to stay in the Yorkshire Dales

the bride in Kirkby Lonsdale

Although the Yorkshire Dales is famed for its rolling hills, dramatic waterfalls and historical landmarks, did you know that the National Park’s towns and villages are just as captivating as the natural landscapes?

Making a great base in which to explore the Dales is the small market town of Hawes. Here you will be delighted to find a charming river flowing through its centre, as well as a collection of cafés, pubs and shops.

Whilst here, catch a glimpse of an old steam engine that once travelled the Wensleydale Way or spot the return of the red squirrel at the nearby nature reserve.

Situated on the banks of the River Lune lies the photogenic market town of Kirkby Lonsdale. Clustered around buildings dating back hundreds of years, are a superb range of amenities and opportunities to stroll through the churchyard to admire the views over the River Lune, which was captured by the renowned artist JNW Turner.

Other places to stay whilst on holiday in the Yorkshire Dales include; Ingleton, Richmond and Settle.

Places to stay in the Yorkshire Moors

Robin Hood’s Bay

Littered with bustling market towns, quaint villages and fishing ports, a place to stay in the Yorkshire Moors promises a holiday filled with intriguing tales and following in the footsteps of the smugglers who once live along this coastline.

A timeless favourite place to stay in the Yorkshire Moors is this truly idyllic village, Hutton-le-Hole. Imagine a holiday cottage nestled on the side of a babbling beck and peeking out of the window to find sheep wandering around the greenery.

Alternatively, choose a holiday accommodation in Robin Hood’s Bay and immerse yourself in the delights of a fishing village. Once home to the biggest smuggling trade in the UK, this now peaceful village promises magnificent views of the sweeping bay and a steadier pace of life.

Other places to stay whilst in the Yorkshire Moors include; Goathland, Osmotherley and Thornton le Dale.


Food

Eating in the Yorkshire Dales

Wensleydale Cheese

With Yorkshire Dales’ plentiful cafés, fine dining restaurants and food festivals, it is no surprise that the area has become renowned for its food culture. So whilst you are here, be sure to refuel by sampling one of the local delicacies and dine in one of the recommended eateries.

If you find yourself in Hawes, head to ‘The Chippe’ and indulge in the local delicacy of deep-fried Wensleydale Cheese! If deep-fried cheese isn’t for you, treat yourself to the five different types of Wensleydale Cheese – mild, mature, extra matured, blue or cold-smoked.

For special occasions or evenings where you don’t feel like cooking, sample the wonderful menu at The Lion in the town of Settle, where you can look forward to tucking into local produce and the simple, yet elegant dishes served up by the head chef, John Wild.

For other further eating inspiration whilst in the Yorkshire Dales, take a look at our Yorkshire food and drink guide.

Eating in the Yorkshire Moors

pub in Yorkshire Moors

After walking across the moorland of Yorkshire, you are sure to find yourself in one of the many quaint pubs dotted across the National Park. Imagine yourself tucking into a heart-warming dish with a glass of something chilled in hand, resting next to a roaring woodburning fire!

Head to the charming village of Welburn and choose to dine in the Crown & Cushion, an 18th century pub hosting a woodburning fire and has gained a reputation for its real ale and home-made meals.

Or if you find yourself in Blakey Ridge, stop off at The Lion Inn where you can look forward to unwinding in ale heaven, complemented by its proper pub grub with views over Rosedale and Farndale.


If you simply cannot choose a winner, do not hesitate to check out our Yorkshire Dales cottages and our cottages in Yorkshire Moors! Share photos of your winning National Park by tagging us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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