An introduction to the Yorkshire Dales in the County of Cumbria

In 1954 an area of 1,770 square kilometres (680 sq mi) was designated the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Most of the National Park is in North and West Yorkshire, though part lies within and Cumbria, including the town of Sedbergh, the village of Dent and Garsdale. The Dales is a collection of river valleys and the hills among them.


The National Park is crossed by several long-distance routes – The Pennine Way, The Dales Way, and The Coast to Coast Path.



After the 2001 Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak, the Sedbergh booktown project was started in order to encourage an increase in the number of visitors. The company, Sedbergh Book Town, was set up in 2003 to develop a community of businesses involved in selling, writing, publishing and designing books and other publications.



Dentdale, south of Sedbergh, is possibly the finest of the Cumbrian Dales, a valley full of beauty and historic interest. It is a charming community, with scattered homesteads, each sharing the fell and valley floor, owing much to the settlement patterns of the Vikings who came here in the 10th century.


Dent is the only village in Dentdale, with its delightful cobbled streets. A fountain of pink granite in the village centre, where the three cobbled streets meet, commemorates Dent’s links with Adam Sedgwick, (1785-1873), professor of geology at Cambridge University, who was one of the greatest field geologists of his time.


Dent has a small station on the Settle Carlisle Railway, 600 feet above the village. At a height of 1150 feet above sea level, it is the highest station on a main line in England. The most scenic views and impressive viaducts along the Settle to Carlisle railway are in the National Park, from Lunds viaduct all through to Settle, via the famous Ribblehead viaduct.


Looking from Dent Station to Dent Head Viaduct
Looking from Dent Station to Dent Head Viaduct

Garsdale is not a village, but a narrow spectacular valley which defines the south eastern edge of the Howgill Fells, on the western slopes of the Pennines, between Baugh Fell to the north, and Rise Hill to the south.


Garsdale Head marks the top end of Garsdale. There is a small railway station here, as the Settle Carlisle Railway passes through Garsdale Head en route from Dent Head and on in to Mallerstang Common.


The route of the old The Lune valley Railway skirts the north west border of the National Park from Lowgill to Sedbergh.


The Lune Valley
The Lune Valley

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