Like much of the landscape in this region, the Yorkshire Dales' steep valleys were carved by the glaciers in the last Ice Age. Three main dales (and a number of smaller ones) make up the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The main dales (or valleys) are called Swaledale, Wharfedale and Wensleydale, which is famous for its local cheese of the same name. The beautiful environs and welcoming feel of local villages make this area of northern England great for walking and exploring.
Marked by heather moorland, green rolling land and grazing sheep, the Yorkshire Dales also contain remnants of a rich and varied history. Richmond Castle, built in 1071, is home to the largest cobbled marketplace in England. The village of Reeth hosts the Swaledale Folk Museum, which contains information about the region's industrial history and reliance on wool and mining. Bolton Priory and Skipton Castle in Skipton show off the history of this still-active auctioning and stockraising northern centres. Bolton and Middleham Castle should also not be missed by those who love old English fortresses.
Lovely local villages in the region are great bases for starting a trek or just for window shopping and admiring the architecture. Highlights include Burnsall and Buckden in Wharfedale, Hawes and Masham in Wensleydale and Reeth and Richmond in Swaledale. Additionally, Grassington and Settle have good tourist information centres to use as resources for accommodation or planning what to see and do. The area was also made famous from the book All Creatures Great and Small, which was set in the region.