Expansive, tranquil and often remote these limestone uplands with their distinctive crags and pavements straddle the Pennines in striking fashion. Situated in North Yorkshire and Cumbria in Northern England, the park protects some 1,769 square kilometres of some of the most beautiful terrain in the country.
This is a land shaped and formed by ice. The weathering of limestone, shale, sandstone and millstone grit some 300 million years ago is responsible for the vista we see today. And with iconic locations such as the Three Peaks, Malham Cove and Gordale Scar in your backyard, this National Park certainly deserves the special status it was given in 1954. Hills and deep valleys or dales as they are known in these parts form the basis of the predominant landscape and are adorned by spectacular ravines and waterfalls, not forgetting the rugged moorland that attributes much to the atmosphere of the Park.
The other stars of the Park are the famous walking routes that criss-cross the pennines – the Pennine Way and the Three Peaks Challenge. The unique limestone scenery in the south of the Park doesn’t totally steal the show. The northern valleys formed with distinctive stepped profiles, the result of differential weathering of the Yoredale Series, separated by extensive moorland plateaux are jaw dropping too. The Howgills, in the west of the Park, a collection of grassy hills with deep ravines offer a contrast to bleak scenery that you see elsewhere in the area.
These unusual landscapes coupled with some of the best known walking routes in the country including the Three Peaks and the Pennine Way make this a special place for walkers. Within the national park are 1,458km of footpaths, 625km of bridleways and 37km of byways open to all traffic. The park also contains 100,000 hectares of open access land, covering 82% of the park. This land is available for walking, climbing and running. Rich in iconic scenery, places and walks this beautiful National Park is a very special place for walkers.
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