There are many beautiful villages in the Yorkshire dales national park! The Yorkshire dales is a wonderful national park in the north of England around an hour north of Leeds. There are many wonderful hikes, caving adventures, pretty waterfalls and idyllic villages to discover during your visit to the Yorkshire dales! If you are looking to include a pretty Yorkshire dales village on your next hike or intend to do a tour of the prettiest villages in the Yorkshire dales – here is a list of 22 wonderful villages in the Yorkshire dales national park. There is also a handy map of the villages to help you plan your visit in the Yorkshire Dales.
- How to get to the Yorkshire Dales
- Getting to pretty villages in the Yorkshire Dales
- List of the prettiest villages in the Yorkshire Dales
- Map of the best villages in the Yorkshire Dales
How to get to the Yorkshire Dales
The Yorkshire Dales national park is located in the north of England. The national park is mainly in North Yorkshire but parts are in Lancashire and Cumbria too. You can drive to the Dales or catch the train as the Settle-Carslie line runs through the Western part of the national park.
Getting to pretty villages in the Yorkshire Dales
Now you are in the national park there are several villages along the railway line, but many of these villages can only be reached by car or an occasional bus. If you are planning to see more than one of these pretty villages in the Yorkshire Dales a car will make it easier. Otherwise, good hiking boots, a tent or a few B&Bs will help you extend your journey on foot.
List of the prettiest villages in the Yorkshire Dales
Appletreewick is a delightful village in the Yorkshire Dales.
Sometimes known as “Aptrick” by locals, this is a very popular spot in summer due to the lovely river wharfe that flows through the Dales village. Children splash about in the river in the afternoon before heading up to the friendly pub next to several 12th century houses.
The village is listed in the doomsday book, used to hold an annual onion fair and is home to around 250 people.
Appletreewick deserves a spot on the list of the prettiest villages in the Yorkshire dales due to its wonderful archicture, beautiful river setting and is relatively easy to get to.
Things to see near Appletreewick include parcevall hall and the ominously named Trollers gill. Trollers gill is said to be home to terrifying trolls who throw rocks down on those who walk through the gorge.
If you don’t fancy tackling trolls, you are still spoilt for choice in terms of walks. Follow the river wharfe for a relaxing river stroll or head up onto Simons fell for wonderful views. If you do happen to visit this Yorkshire dales village on a sunny summer’s day, make sure you bring your swimming costume as you must go for a dip in the river Wharfe!
Burnsall is another wonderful Yorkshire Dales village. It is a home to around 100 people and it is hard to see why not more people would like to live here!
There are two hotels, a pub and a grade II listed primary school. The main draw aside from its beautiful old buildings is the bridge over the river Wharfe. The 5 arch bridge is best viewed from the village green.
Burnsall is a very pretty Yorkshire Dales village situated in Wharfedale.
Where: Malhamdale, Southern Dales
Aireton is a very pretty village in the south of the Yorkshire dales national park. “ton” is the old word for town and “Air” comes from the river Aire which flows in the east of the village.
Airton has a few very pretty buildings such as the old mill on the river Aire. You can actually stay at the old mill! Self-catering holiday cottage apartment in Malhamdale – Airton Mill
There is a quaint farm shop and a tea room. Many people zoom through Airton on their way to Malham but it is worth stopping and having a little stroll before heading further into Malham Dale.
Where: Malhamdale, Southern Dales
Malham must be one of the most popular villages in the Yorkshire Dales. It’s a beautiful Yorkshire dales village with a babbling brook running through the heart of the village. There are several pubs and places to stay. Even if you are not a fan of walking, I would encourage you to do the short walk out of the village to the mighty Malham cove. You will not be disappointed! More things to see near this wonderful Yorkshire dales village includes two incredible Yorkshire waterfalls: Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss.
If you only have time to visit one village in the Yorkshire dales, Malham is probably the best Yorkshire dales village in terms of how pretty it is and the variety of things to see nearby.
Arncliffe is a sleepy village in the Yorkshire dales national park. Due to its rather secret location in pretty Littondale, it receives less through traffic than other dales and makes for a much quieter visit. You may recognise it from the latest All Creatures Great & Small TV show as Arncliffe was used as the setting for the village show.
There is a delightful village green which is unusual in the Yorkshire dales. Aside from the wonderful archtecutre, the river Skirfare flows through and there are magical wild flower fields in the early summer months.
Arncliffe is a wonderful Yorkshire dales village that is perfect if you are looking for a lesser-known village to visit.
Where: Upper Wharfedale
Kettlewell is the quintessential Yorkshire dales village!
You may even recognise the village if you have seen the 2003 film, the Calendar girls. It is no surprise that when researching pretty villages in the Yorkshire Dales, that the produces decided that Kettlewell would make the perfect place to film. Full of wonderful stone cottages, little streams, pretty bridges, a church, a village store, 3 pubs and wonderful hill walks – Kettlewell is a charming Yorkshire Dales village.
Wonderful walks around Kettlewell include a walk up Great Whernside, strolls along the river wharfe or a hike up to Birks Fell. There are many lovely places to explore in this Yorkshire dales village in Wharfedale.
Where: Bishopdale, Wensleydale
West Burton is a lovely village in Bishopdale.
The village boasts a village green, a butcher, a village shop and a wonderful Yorkshire Dales waterfall!
No visit to this charming Yorkshire Dales village would be complete without visiting West Burton waterfall, also known as Cauldron Falls!
I love this waterfall. I first visited it after a stroll around Aysgarth falls. While I liked the gentle cascades of Aysgarth, I prefer a single drop waterfall! Cauldron waterfall is very easy to get to as it takes just 1 minute or so after parking in West Burton. Next to the old town hill is a very pretty waterfall. Said to be called Cauldron, due to the nice plunge pool.
Where: Upper Wharfedale
Grassington is a wonderful Yorkshire Dales village. You may recognise many parts of this village in the Yorkshire Dales from the recent Channel 5 remake of “all creatures great and small”.
There is a wonderful cobbled village square where several pubs, shops and lovely cafes can be found. Its one of the bigger villages in the Yorkshire Dales which makes this a great place to base yourself when visiting the Yorkshire Dales.
Find wonderful places to stay in Grassington by using the map below.
I particularly love the old Grassington Bridge and the incredibly quaint path to Litton. There are many wonderful walks you can start in Grassington. My two favourite walks from grassington are to Coniston Dib and along the river Wharfe. to Burnsall.
Muker is a Yorkshire dales village that you must visit in June time!
I am running out of adjectives now for villages as I feel I must have written wonderful, quaint, delightful, idyllic and pretty now… well Muker is all of those adjectives and is particularly wonderful in early summer due to the spectacular wild flower meadows!
Did you know that in the UK, over the last seventy years 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost? This is largely due to changes in farming methods.
“The Yorkshire Dales contains about a sixth of the UK’s remaining upland hay meadows, but even here fragmentation of these habitats into small isolated sites has resulted in a dramatic loss of biodiversity.” – Hay Time (a project which aims to save disappearing species-rich hay meadows, grasslands and the wildlife they support.)
Muker meadows are one of these few remaining upland hay meadows. They are also a designated site of special scientific interest. These magical fields have a huge range of species and are used as ‘donor’ meadows too. This means their seeds help restore new meadows in the same area!
It is great that there is a footpath and signs telling visitors to stick to the path. This ensures that the meadows are protected for future generations.
You can choose to see a field of weeds or see a field of flowers. I choose to see flowers.
Reeth often features in lists of the prettiest villages in the Yorkshire Dales. Tucked away in Swaledale in the northern part of the Yorkshire Dales this village used to produce 10% of the UK’s lead.
Nowadays it is more popular with cyclists, day trippers and walkers than miners.
Dent is possibly my favourite village in the Yorkshire Dales!
Dent is based in the far north west of the Yorkshire dales national park in Dentdale. This dale feels distinctively different due to the white houses, more similar to the Lake District than the Dales. Dent truly feels like walking back in time as even the main road through the village is still cobbled. The village store, primary school, two pubs, church and cafes make for a very pleasant place to visit. In summertime, the cottages often are adorned with flowers around their doorways. You feel as if you have stepped back in time or onto a film set! Take your camera and explore the lovely little lanes finding beautiful cottages.
You can walk along a section of the wonderful dales way after exploring the village of Dent. If you don’t mind getting out of breath, go on a short steep hike up Flinters gill, past the wishing tree to a lovely view point where a poem can be found. Of course, there are many more wonderful walks to go on in Dentdale.
Did you know that the highest mainland train station in England is Dent station? You can get the train to Dent then hop on the volunteer Western Dales bus to reach the village of Dent.
You will love the village of Dent in the Yorkshire Dales!
Horton-in-Ribblesdale must be the adventure capital village of the Yorkshire Dales.
Horton-in-Ribblesdale is a village, unsurprisingly situated in Ribblesdale. From here, thousands of walkers start and finish the famous Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge! There is a great pub, lovely café and plenty of places to park. Walk up Pen-Y-Ghent or Ingleborough or even attempt the 3 peaks challenge yourself!
This village is slightly less chocolate boxy than some of the other villages on this list. However, it still deserves to be included in our best villages in the Yorkshire Dales due to its location and epic views of Pen-Y-Ghent!
Where: Upper Wharfedale
Buckden is a wonderful village in Wharfedale. I absolutely love the stone bridge over the river before entering the Yorkshire Dales village.
I have visited the village a few times, both times when climbing up to Buckden Pike via Buckden Beck. This is one of my favourite hikes in the Yorkshire Dales!
After hiking up Buckden Pike, stay for a while in Buckden village and enjoy a well-deserved drink at one of the pubs.
Many people stop here overnight during the Dales Way walk. Click here to find places to stay in Buckden.
Arguably Cray probably should not be on this list of best villages in the Yorkshire Dales. I have included it however as there are a number of stunning waterfalls in Cray that you will most likely have to yourself.
Cray Gill falls tumble majestically down the hillside and there are more smaller waterfalls along the River Wharfe. If you follow the path towards Hubberholme along the river you will come across another secluded waterfall in a wooded area.
Add Cray to your Yorkshire Dales villages to visit when you are in Upper Wharfedale.
Where: Langstrothdale, Wharfedale
Hubberholme is another wonderful hamlet in the Yorkshire Dales. Located in Upper Wharfedale, you can easily combine a visit to Buckden and Cray villages.
One of the prettiest things to see in Hubberholme is the historic church on the banks of the river. Arguably the nicest church in Wharfedale, there has been a place of worship at this spot since norman times. The St. Michael and Angels Church was originally called Forest Chapel and belonged to the Norman hunting forest of Langstrothdale Chase.
There is of course a pub in this village. It is a great place to park if you have had no luck parking at Buckden. A wonderful river stroll will lead you into Buckden.
Bolton Abbey had to be on this list of beautiful villages in the Yorkshire Dales!
Bolton Abbey village is idyllic and is of course home to the grand abbey. Given its southerly location, you will struggle to have this village to yourself but everyone should enjoy paddling in the Wharfe, hopping over the stones and admiring the gothic abbey ruins.
Litton is a delightful village in Littondale!
Best approached on foot from Arncliffe along the river. You cross over a lovely pedestrian bridge. In the village are several beautiful buildings from the 17th and 18th century. There is even a bright red phone box making it the quintessential English village.
From Litton, you can climb up onto Birks Fell for wonderful views or follow the river Skirfare for an easy picturesque walk. Littondale is particularly beautiful in winter with a dusting of snow or in early summer when the fields are full of wonderful wild flowers!
Film makers and celebrities have decided that Halton Gill is the prettiest village in the Yorkshire Dales for their productions.
A woman in Black was filmed in Halton Gill in Littondale. Several commercials such as a Sainsburys Christmas advert with Jamie Oliver has also used Halton Gill as a set.
Halton Gill is a very pretty village. Viewed from one of the surrounding fells you can see this small cluster of houses sitting quietly in the valley. From here you can really admire Pen y Ghent from a side that most don’t.
Littondale has several wonderful villages and Halton Gill must be worth a stroll around when you are in the area.
Garsdale Head is a very sleepy village in the northern dales. There is a fantastic friendly pub and a wonderful viaduct to admire. After a nice drink, stroll over to the cascading waterfalls on the River Ure. There are several fantastic walks that start at Garsdale. Two of my favourite car-free walks in the Yorkshire Dales are the walk up Wildboar Fell and by following the Pennine bridal path to Kirkby Stephen.
Look out for the statue of a loyal dog at Garsdale train station who helped save the settle-carlise line from closure and stayed with his master for 11 weeks on the welsh mountains after he passed away.
Keld is something of a mecca for walkers. The pennine way passes through here as does the coast to coast walk. It is a lovely place to wonder around and there are many beautiful things to see nearby. It is very rural though so don’t expect phone signal!
Near Keld are the ruins of Crackpot Hall, the impressive Kisdon Force waterfall as well as the lovely wild flower meadows in Muker. A wonderful easy hike is the circular route from Muker to Keld.
I love Stone House village in the Yorkshire Dales.
Stone House is tiny! It is more of a hamlet than a village. Full of sleepy stone cottages, yet the real draw is the impressive Arten Gill viaduct.
Arten Gill viaduct is a huge viaduct not far from the more famous Ribblehead viaduct. Yet there are none of the crowds that Ribblehead experiences! Its lovely setting in the valley with a little stream following through make for a lovely spot. If you would like to go for a nice walk which incorporates ARten Gill viaduct – start in Stone House, go up through Arten Gill viaduct and follow the path until you reach the turning for Great Knoutberry Hill. Great Knoutberry is a delightful hill with incredible views! It’s a pretty steep and boggy climb though so bring your hiking boots!
Langcliffe is a delightful village on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. At first, I was hesitant to include this in our list of the best villages in the Yorkshire Dales, however Google maps shows that half of the village is within the national park boundary. After recently walking through the village and seeing it in a light dusting of snow I felt I had to include it! Furthermore, upon research, it appears that the village used to be situated half a mile further north. After the battle of Bannockburn in 1314, Scottish raiders destroyed all the houses in Langcliffe, which forced the villagers to rebuild further south. Therefore, the historic location of this village is most certainly within the national park.
The village is truly idyllic. There is a large village green with an amusing sign of what is and is not allowed to occur on the green. A church, quaint cottages and a war memorial make this a very pretty place to wonder around. Furthermore, the bustling market town of Settle is just 1 mile away making this a very easy Yorkshire Dales village to visit.
There are plenty of lovely walks to start from here. Further things to see in and around Langcliffe include Catrigg Foss, Jubilee Cave, Victoria Cave, Samson’s Toe, the Hoffman Lime-Kiln and the Watershed Mill.
Map of best villages in the Yorkshire Dales
Here is a handy map of the best villages in the Yorkshire Dales to help you plan your visit!
Which Yorkshire Dales village will you want to visit?
Which Yorkshire Dales village will you want to visit first? Have I missed your favourite Yorkshire Dales village? Let us know in the comments below!