Thanks for visiting My Yorkshire Dales!
My name is Matt O’Brien and this website is the result of my ongoing love affair with the Yorkshire Dales. The area covered by this website includes the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In addition it also includes some of the moors above mid and lower Wharfedale that lie outside the national park. I’ve used the A66 as the northern border of the Yorkshire Dales region so as to include hills such as Nine Standards Rigg.
While I was familiar with places such as Brimham Rocks and the Ingleton waterfalls from my childhood it was not until 2004, when I was thirty, that I truly ‘discovered’ the joy of walking in the Dales. This came about when a friend at work (another Matt) invited me to join him and a couple of others in attempting the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks walk.
As it happened the other two dropped out before we’d even started our first practice walk so it was left to just Matt and I. Our first walks were aimed at exploring each of the Three Peaks individually and improving our fitness levels. Those first few months of walking were characterised by foul weather but also a real sense of adventure and freedom. By the time we successfully completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks in September 2004 we had both been bitten by the bug.
After a year and a half of walking in the Dales I began to branch out to the Peak District, North Pennines, Lake District and even the Cheviots. The result of all these walks was a hard drive full of photos and a lot of walking notes that formed the basis for my first website www.mypennines.co.uk. Despite the name the website effectively covered not just all the upland regions of northern England but also my infrequent trips to Scotland and Wales.
Having stood on just about every hill in the Lake District and the Pennines I began to gradually become more and more drawn back to the Dales and since late 2014 it has once again become my main area of walking. This time rather than just concentrating summit bagging I’ve set out to explore and visit a whole host of features; tarns, waterfalls, limestone scars, gritstone outcrops, etc.
It was my desire to document and write about all these wonderful places that led me to create My Yorkshire Dales.
It is my sincere hope that this website will encourage more people to get out and visit the Yorkshire Dales. The website is especially aimed at people who want to explore more of the Dales than the popular areas around Malham, Bolton Abbey and the Three Peaks.
With this in mind I have also included downloadable gpx files of my walk route. It is important to note that these were all created on software after the walk itself so, while they are as accurate as I can make them they are not a record of my actual footsteps. If using any of these gpx routes please do keep this in mind and use common sense when attempting to follow a route.
Anybody planning on going for a walk in the Yorkshire Dales is urged to do so with a map (preferably in 1:25,000 scale for the extra detail it provides), a compass to hand and with appropriate clothing. It is also a good idea to leave a plan of your intended route with a loved one.
All the information on this website is correct to the best of my knowledge. If you have feedback about this site, or have spotted a factual error please email at the following address firstname.lastname@example.org.