A survey of visitors to the Yorkshire Dales National Park unsurprisingly found it a well-loved tourist destination.
Scenery, remoteness and walks are the main attractions, closely followed by the peace and tranquillity of the area –and the majority of people.
Here are ten of the things we love about the Dales:
1. Malham Cove
An impressive 260 foot high by 984 foot long curved crag, it’s one of the great landmarks of the Dales. See http://www.malhamdale.org.uk/malham_cove.htm
2. Ribblehead Viaduct
104 feet above the valley floor, this is another iconic Dales landsmark. Built in 1874, the Grade II listed structure is the longest and most famous viaduct on the Settle-Carlisle Railway.
3. Swaledale and Dalesbred sheep.
There are many variety of sheep in Yorkshire, but these two breeds fare particularly well in the Dales. The Dalesbred have black faces (with white spots on either side of their face), curled low set horns and shaggy wool often used for tweeds and carpets.
Swaledale are similar to Dalesbred, but have a grey muzzle and horns that are round and wide. Their coarser wool is used for tweeds, thicker hand-knitting yarns and even carpets. Both produce good quality meat.
4. Dry stone walls
Winding their way though the Dales, these walls are a major part of the scenery throughout the national park. The traditional art of dry stone dates back thousands of years.
5. UWFRA and CRO
The Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association and the Cave Rescue Organisation are fantastic voluntary organisations which a play a vital, life-saving role. The teams are able to launch search and rescue operations with a moments notice, and are a reassuring presence for walkers and cavers.
6. Wharfedale Rugby Union Football Club
Set just outside the quiet picturesque town of Grassington, Wharfedale Rugby Union Football Club punches well above its weight in the second highest tier of national rugby union. It more than holds its own against teams from much bigger population areas such as Coventry and Doncaster.
7. The Underdales Cricket League
The ‘raison d’etre’ of this league is quite simply good old fashioned fun and camaraderie – with simplified rules and an open selection policy, it’s all about nuturing community spirit
8. Ingleton Waterfalls
There are dozens of great walks around the Dales, but one of the most impressive and straightforward is this one.
It costs to get in, but the paths are well laid and singposted, and it has the impressive Ingleborough in the background.
9. Yorkshire Three Peaks
Ingleborough, Pen-y-Ghent and Whernside are the most famous peaks in the Dales (although Buckden Pike is higher than Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent). The three are a popular challenge with charity fundraisers.
10. Gaping Gill
Gaping Gill is a 322 ft deep pothole, which was the deepest known shaft in Britain until 1999 (when Titan in Derbyshire was discovered). However, it’s still the tallest unbroken waterfall in England and the largest underground chamber naturally open to the surface.
There are many other great features of the Dales. What are your favourites?