The 5 Best Views in the Yorkshire Dales

June 23, 2023

The Best Views in the Yorkshire Dales are not the obvious ones. Malham Cove, Aysgarth Falls and Bolton Abbey are lovely but are far too popular, over photographed and lack that element of surprise. My favourites involve a little walking (obviously) but the views make it all worthwhile. Take a look.

These are the 5 best views in the Yorkshire Dales in my opinion. They are unusual, reflect the area and have that Wow factor.

1. Dentdale from the 3 Tarns of Whernside

Views down Dentdale
Views down Dentdale

Whernside is the highest mountain in Yorkshire. It is regularly climbed from Ribblehead and as part of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge. However the best way of climbing Whernside (and finding the views) is not via the traditional route but from Dent to the west. Alternatively on the climb from Ribblehead do not take the stile but continue on the bridleway to Dentdale. At the Boot on the Wold turn up hill.

The best view comes before you meet the first of the Three Tarns. Turn right on a faint track leading to a tall cairn. The views down Dentdale are superb. The U shaped dale is wonderfully symmetrical surrounded by impressive fells. Aye Gill Pie on the right does not make the magic 2000 feet but Crag Hill to the left does and the Howgills in the distance have a number of the Dales 30 mountains in their undervalued range.

Find the View

The walk up Whernside from Dent is described here. However this view can also be found from Whernside by extending the traditional climb by not crossing the stile and continuing on the bridleway towards Dent.

2. Littondale from the track down to Halton Gill

Halton Gill approaches
Halton Gill approaches

Littondale has always been my favourite dale. It is no surprise that many TV companies use the dale for their film locations. The latest is the James Herriot TV series. Littondale is rarely busy as there are no ‘popular’, over promoted hikes, and no waterfalls to entice the visitor. It is simply peaceful and serene, a place to lose yourself in nostalgia and tradition. Practically there are plenty of dry stone walls, sheep and three of the most lovely villages in the Dales.

One of 5 best views in the Yorkshire Dales appears at the head of the dale, on the track that leads in to the hamlet of Halton Gill from Yockenthwaite. The view looks down Littondale towards Darnbrook Fell with the River Skirfare and Halton Gill in the foreground.

Rather than just park and walk up the bridleway above Halton Gill I strongly suggest to visitors spend time and take this 10 mile walk. As well as having one of the best views it is my favourite walk in the Yorkshire Dales. There is another excellent view on the walk out of Litton (the village) looking back over the attractive village and picture postcard scenery.

Find the View

The walk details to find this view are here

3. Ingleborough Nature Reserve

Crummackdale limestone pavement
Crummackdale limestone pavement

On the eastern slopes of Ingleborough lie the best preserved limestone pavements in England. The pavements are quite extensive, a sea (which of course it was) of light grey rock stretching many miles. Little walked paths wind their way through these pavements, pretty routes of short grass making the most of the pleasant underfoot terrain.

The best of the lot, with the iconic view, is a short section of the Dales High Way between Long Scar and Nick Pot, around 800m long. Half way along the path rises a little above the pavements to the east and the sea of limestone seems to stretch all the way to Pen-y-Ghent in the distance. All that interrupts the view are two Hawthorn trees in the midst of the rock. It is a perfect spot.

Find the View

The path with the best views in this wonderful area of limestone pavements can be found on two walks: the climb of Ingleborough and an exploration of Crummackdale.

4. Hay Meadows at Muker

Muker hay meadows
Muker hay meadows

One of the specialities of the Yorkshire Dales is the colourful Hay and Flower Meadows that carpet the valley floors during May and June. The views when standing in the meadows is unique. The local authorities have worked closely with local farmers to protect these fields and the development and protection of the hay meadows is the result. The meadows are increasingly widespread. However my favourite are the flower meadows in Upper Swaledale and more specifically around the village of Muker.

The village of Muker is a typical Dales village, small with a pleasant village pub set amongst beautiful Yorkshire stone buildings. The meadows are between the village and the embryonic River Swale. Having walked through the fields of hay meadows continue the walk alongside the river in to the valley to the north where there you will find a choice of paths.

Find the View

The walk through the Hay Meadows is described here

5. Cautley Spout from the slopes of Yarlside

Yarlside looking south
Yarlside looking south

Strictly this view is in the Cumbrian (not Yorkshire) Dales but as it is all part of the Yorkshire National Park it will do! The Howgills are an undervalued area for walking. If you do not know them, go and visit.

The best views of Cautley Spout is to climb the steep slopes of Yarlside from the Cross Keys temperance pub. The views across to the waterfalls are quite superb from the Yarlside climb, the highest cascade (multi drop) waterfall in England. From Yarlside you can see in to the depths of the waterfall with the slopes of the Calf above.

For those who cannot face the steep climb of Yarlside the track on the valley floor also yields excellent views of the waterfalls.

Find the View

The climb of Yarlside to discover these views is here

An Honorary Mention

Long Preston Beck
Long Preston Beck

The area to the east of Long Preston has some outstanding views, particularly on the 8 Stiles walk. Here the view back from the path above Long Preston Beck is a perfect scene, quintessentially English. Re-position this meeting of rivers near Malham and it would be heaving with visitors.

Enjoy your Walking and find your own favourite view.


  • Anne Doyle says:

    Thanks for the constant inspiration. I’m planning a holiday in the Yorkshire Dales next year. Where do you recommend being based? Cottage in a village with a pub for preference! Thank you.

  • William Thompson says:

    Looking forward to more scenic views and walks.

  • Neil Jones says:

    Inspiring me to go and do Cautley Spout now.

  • Jackie Cole says:

    Great idea to share your local knowlege – gives us some inspiration too! Like you mention the Long Preston – I am always like the view down Langber Lane heading towards (Otterburn eventually) before you get to the Bunk House down that lane. Its like a hidden mini dale!

  • Joanne Wulf says:

    Lovely idea to share your favourite views. After all, that’s what it’s all about, and sometimes we forget to stop and look. I’m going to take a visiting friend to one of your suggested walks. Thank you for the inspiration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discover more from Where2Walk

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading