Explore the Yorkshire Dales National Park and surround yourself with the scenery of “All Creatures Great & Small” on a bespoke tour of Yorkshire. Visit historic castles and ancient abbeys, discover thundering waterfalls and lush green valleys, and marvel at mile-upon-mile of stone walls in the region lovingly referred to as “God’s Own Country”. Scroll down for our suggested itinerary and some options to consider.
Discovering the Dales
Discover the incredible scenery of the Yorkshire Dales on a private tour of the landscape made famous as the home of James Herriot in “All Creatures Great & Small”.
Explore England’s best-loved countryside in Wharfedale, Wensleydale and Swaledale, visiting quaint market towns and picture-postcard rural villages surrounded by mile-upon-mile of ancient stone walled farmland, and bring history to life with visits to historic castles and ancient abbeys.
How it works:
Let us create your perfect day out with a private tour of Yorkshire – Discovering the Dales.
The ‘suggested itinerary’ offers an outline of a tour that you can enhance by adding some of the ‘options to consider’ to create the perfect bespoke private tour of the Yorkshire Dales.
Your private tour of the Yorkshire Dales starts with collection from your hotel in York (or wherever you are staying) at 9:00am. You’ll meet your driver-guide, a Yorkshire native born and raised in the area who has years of touring experience and a ton of local knowledge to draw upon.
Heading away from York, you are soon be surrounded by Yorkshire’s famous farmland and countryside. A quick stop in Knaresborough as you head towards the Yorkshire Dales gives a chance to take in the view of the Nidd Gorge and Knaresborough’s beautiful Victorian railway bridge from Knaresborough Castle.
The landscape soon changes as you reach the foothills of the Yorkshire Dales, travelling into Nidderdale, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You’ll then climb up through Nidderdale, with views across the wild moorland scenery as we head to Grassington. The picture-postcard Yorkshire market town of Grassington is famous for its role as “Darrowby” in the most recent adaptation of All Creatures Great & Small. A visit to Grassington offers you a lovely opportunity to explore its narrow winding streets and famous marketplace, as well as chance for you to perhaps enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in a local café.
Grassington sits in Wharfedale, one of the three main ‘dales’ in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The route from Grassington takes us alongside the River Wharfe and up above the towns and villages that lie in the bottom of Wharfedale. The rural roads and farm lanes get narrower as we climb up and over the top of Wharfedale and into Wensleydale – the most famous dale in the National Park. Wensleydale has some superb sites to visit and is known for its cheese (Wallace & Gromit’s favourite!), which you can taste on a visit to the Wensleydale Creamery (an optional stop on the private tour).
You can take in the views as you travel through Wensleydale, perhaps stopping at Aysgarth Falls or Bolton Castle. Climbing out of Wensleydale, you can stop at the top of the Buttertubs Pass to enjoy some of the most dramatic scenery in the Yorkshire Dales.
Swaledale is the next valley that we reach and is the deepest and steepest of the dales in the National Park. The hillsides are lined with ancient stone walls, preserved cow-houses and thousands of sheep. In Swaledale you can wander through the isolated town of Muker, enjoy a stop in Reeth and driver through the famous watersplash ford seen in the opening credits of the original All Creatures Great & Small TV series.
A visit to Richmond as you leave the Yorkshire Dales gives you chance to visit the town’s Norman castle and perhaps the option to round off the tour with a pint of Yorkshire beer in a local Richmond pub.
Options to consider:
- “The Finest View in England” – the view from Sutton Bank across the amazing farming countryside of North Yorkshire.
- Fountains Abbey – Europe’s largest monastic ruin, this UNESCO World Heritage site is truly breath-taking and a great place to spend the morning or late afternoon.
- Thirsk & the World of James Herriot Museum – Perfect for die-hard fans of All Creatures Great & Small.
- Middleham Castle – the Royal Castle of the Yorkshire Dales and childhood home of Richard III.
- Bolton Castle – the well-preserved castle enjoy impressive views across Wensleydale and was where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth I.
- Aysgarth Falls – thundering ‘stepped’ limestone waterfall, featured in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves
- Wensleydale Creamery – taste the local cheese and even enjoy a cheese-making demonstration at this working cheese factory and visitor centre.
- Hardraw Force – beautiful waterfall walk behind the Green Dragon pub.
- Wensleydale Railway – take a train (occasionally steam train) along Wensleydale and enjoy the views at a more leisurely pace.
- Bolton Abbey – a wonderful, tranquil place to explore the ruins of the historic priory and a superb place to enjoy a countryside walk.
- Countryside walk or hillside hike – if you enjoy walking or hiking, we can easily include a walk (of any length) to your private tour.
How to book:
Use the form below to enquire about this private tour – tell us when and where you would like to go.
Our private tours are competitively priced, available for 1 – 8 people (larger groups can also be accommodated) and run all year round.