Established in 1954, the Yorkshire Dales National Park has outstanding scenery, a range of wildlife habitats and a rich cultural heritage. It is a special place, a fantastic outdoor arena for recreation and peaceful relaxation and a haven for wildlife. Covering an area of 1,762 square kilometres, the National Park is located in the north of England, and straddles the central Pennines in the counties of North Yorkshire and Cumbria. It is 50 miles north east of Manchester; Leeds and Bradford lie to the south, while Kendal is to the west and Darlington to the east.
The wealth of natural heritage here is outstanding and includes internationally important habitats such as limestone pavement, heather moorland and hay meadows, whilst the historic environment gives us a direct link with the generations who shared the landscape and settlements of the Dales. In common with other National Parks across the UK, the Yorkshire Dales was originally designated as a National Park because of its unique and special qualities.