A Road Trip Guide Through The Picturesque Yorkshire Dales

Encompassing a 129 mile stretch of the British countryside, the road trip takes you right through the centre of the Yorkshire Dales National Park driving through beautiful rolling hills and eloquent skylines, you’ll find yourself deep within the culture possessed by several towns along this brilliant summer road trip.

Taking roughly four hours to complete without stopping this Yorkshire Dales driving route can be completed easily in just one day however if you’re an avid adventurer we’re certain you’ll want to stop off along the way especially when you start to experience towns on this road trip from the Georgian centre of Grassington to the thriving market town of Hawes.

Heading through the Yorkshire Dales this road trip is always favoured by walkers, offering some of the best Yorkshire Dales walks available, so camping is a common sight along the way. Although if the camping lifestyle isn’t for you, you’ll still find a good few hotels on our journey meaning you can stretch this road trip out and make it a good 3-4 days if you want to fully take in all the sites. 


Starting just outside of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, you’ll find yourself in the fashionable spa resort of Harrogate. Out of all we’ve seen it presents itself as the perfect town to start any road trip, offering the opportunity to explore nineteenth-century buildings that are home to a whole range of art galleries, antique shops, fashion boutiques, cafes and restaurants to start off your road trip in a place of luxury. 

Famous for its distinct sulphurous springs, with the Royal Pump Room Museum being constructed in 1842 you can sample this famous Harrogate water for yourself in a range of hot rooms, steam rooms and plunge pools getting you feeling nice and relaxed before you set off on your drive.


Heading North from Harrogate you’ll find yourself climbing over the Craven Moor and entering the Yorkshire National Park until a slow descent into the market town of Grassington, a perfect spot for starting a hike into the Southern Dales. 

Being a vast open area, we always recommend having a guide take you around the Southern Dales and luckily there are a few you can choose from that will gladly take you along the majestic Linton Falls, a series of limestone waterfalls that site along the town’s weir.


If you’re planning on spending more than a day on this Yorkshire Dales road trip, Arncliffe is certainly the earliest and best stop to do this, being home to several hotels and rentable cottages this small village is surrounded situated in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales and is such surrounded by stunning scenery making it the perfect place to explore.

For any Emmerdale fans out there too, you can take a trip to the Falcon pub which was the original setting for the Woolpack Inn used on the Emmerdale Farm from 1972 to 1975. The pub itself is even still operating to this day.

Malham Cove

Set in the largest area of limestone country in England stretching from Grassington to Ingleton is this huge rock amphitheatre known as Malham Cove, a must-see on this Yorkshire Dales driving route. Warn down within the last ice age, this 80-metre high vertical cliff was once a waterfall that rivalled Niagara in size and power. 

Today it is a hotspot for rock climbers and hikers alike, with the RSPB setting up birdwatching lookouts for the Peregrine falcons that nest here in the spring offering you one of the best Yorkshire Dales walks you can find, with nature all around you.


Scrape Ton or better known as Skipton if you’re not an Anglo-Saxon is a busy market town that lies on the southern edge of the Dales with huge markets taking place several on several days throughout the week pulling in crowds from all over. Although these market days get busy we find it’s worth planning your road trip to make it to Skipton on one of these days to experience the bustling town it can become. 

When you’ve made your rounds of the market, your day can’t be complete until you’ve taken a tea cruise along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, which runs through the centre of town and heads to Skipton Castle a beautiful landmark that’s worth a visit for a photograph if nothing more.


Having its own waterfall in the village centre, Hawes is lined with several antique, art and craft shops offering all you could need and is definitely the best place for you to pick up a souvenir from your Yorkshire Dales road trip especially if you make it to the village on a Tuesday which just so happens to be market day.

Being in the centre of Wensleydale, Hawes is also famed for the crumbly cheese featuring heavily in Wallace and Gromit which you can see being made in the visitors centre, and even try before you buy.

Tan Hall Inn 

Dating back to the seventeenth century, Tan Hall Inn sits at an elevation of 528m seemingly in the middle of nowhere and is officially Britain’s highest pub. With an ancient fireplace warming the stone laced bar the inn is a welcoming stop along the road trip offering food and drink at reasonable prices and even a place to stay before you head out on the final stretch of this Yorkshire Dales road trip and return home.

Exploring The Yorkshire Dales Has Never Been Easier

From country paths to bustling towns this summer road trip is never short of presenting an everchanging environment and keeping every step of the journey exciting. When you are out there exploring the Yorkshire Dales and you come across any car trouble be sure to keep us here at, The Mansfield Group in mind for any roadside assistance you may need. You can give us a call anytime on 0870 600 2444 and we’ll be with you soon.