Historical walks in the Dales

March 23, 2021

The Yorkshire Dales has a rich and wonderful history. Complete this set of 10 historical walks and you will have a much better understanding of the area than from a guide book or the tv. Take a walk through history.

These 10 walks cover the geology of the area as well as man’s influence through the ages. They cover castles, monasteries, lead mines, farming as well as the contrasting limestone and moorland scenery. Enjoy them all.

Ancient Castles of Mallerstang

The ruins of two medieval castles sit in the valley of Mallerstang reflecting the long history of man in the area. A traditional farming dale.

Pendragon Castle

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Highlights of Wensleydale

Film locations, a castle, a country house, dry stone walls and barns are some of the historical highlights of Wensleydale.

A ‘Dales’ Barn, used for storage

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Gunnerside Gill

The remains of the Lead Mining industry which dominated the valley over two centuries are best seen on this walk in Swaledale.

Machinery from the lead mines

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Jervaulx Abbey and the River Ure

In the 13/14 and 15th century it was the monks from the great abbeys that dominated the Dales. Jervaulx Abbey was one. The walk also includes a magnificent country house reflecting later land ownership.

Country Estate, Danby Hall

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Austwick and Crummackdale

Sheep farming amongst some of the most stunning limestone scenery that characterise the Dales today. The limestone was used by hill farmers through the ages for walls, barns and making the lime for fertilizer.

World famous limestone pavements

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Coverdale and Colsterdale

Despite limestone being the ‘image’ most of the Dales is dominated by vast peat moors, controversially used for grouse shooting. The dales are traditional cattle and sheep farms, unspoilt.

A shooting lodge near Colsterdale

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Middleham Castle and the Gallops

From ancient to modern in one walk. The magnificent Middleham Castle and Coverham Abbey reflect the history whilst the race horse stables and training gallops reflect modern sport.

Yorkist stronghold, Middleham Castle

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Lead mines of Grassington

A second walk reflecting the importance of lead mining in the 18th and 19th centuries. The outdoor signed tour helps understand its importance.

The lead mining tour at Yarnbury

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Bolton Abbey short walk

The most impressive abbey remains in the Dales is also the most popular. The popularity of tourism is no better shown at Bolton Abbey.

History and tourism combine at Bolton Abbey

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Discovering the Upper Nidd

Nidderdale is dominated by three large reservoirs, three of many which characterise the wider Dales area. They are within an area of grouse moors.

Land use at remote Scar House in Nidderdale

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We have a longer list of walks which discover the history of the Dales. Visit our Walks through History web page.

Enjoy your walking


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