Camping in Yorkshire – Don’t Miss These Campsites, Pub Stopovers and Attractions

A Yorkshire Camping Itinerary

Planning to go camping in Yorkshire?

You’re in the right place!

Whether you are after an itinerary for your Yorkshire camping trip, campsite recommendations or pub stopovers for your campervan or motorhome we have just the information you are after.

We’ve rounded up 12 unmissable sights for a camping trip in Yorkshire, our 5 favourite Yorkshire campsites as well as 5 stunning pub stopovers in this beautiful English county. 

 

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    12 Unmissable Sights when Camping in Yorkshire

    It has been difficult narrowing down the best things to do in Yorkshire but we’ve come up with the top 12 things to do in Yorkshire. 

    Whether you are after scenic hikes and exploring caves or a more leisurely time nosing around some iconic Yorkshire towns and villages and sampling the local food and drink (Wensleydale anyone…) we’ve got you covered. 

    This article covers both the green pastures of the Yorkshire Dales, dives deep into the mesmerizing bleakness of the North York Moors and takes in the dramatic Yorkshire Coastline. 

    Yorkshire Dales Walks and Hikes

    The Yorkshire Dales has to be one of our favourite places in the UK for hiking and exploring. 

    An array of tumbling drystone walls cut their way through impossibly lush green pastures and wild flower meadows, whilst animals dot the landscape grazing on the fauna between long abandoned shepherds huts. 

    Add to this a cacophony of rumbling rivers and streams making their way down from the hills cascading over waterfalls and you have everything you need for some truly remarkable hikes. 

    Here is our top 3:

    Swaledale Hike

    Taking in truly isolated river valleys at the northern edge of the Yorkshire Dales this 7 mile hike is one of our favourite in the UK. Stunnig views, detours to visit waterfalls available, two pubs enroute and leads right through Usha Gap Campsite (more on that later!)

    Ingleton Waterfalls

    Starting and finishing in the charming village of Ingleton this hike takes in the iconic Ingleton waterfalls and is a must visit.

    It is a more organised affair than we usually recommend and will cost £8 per person and £4 per child. 

    Janets Foss and Malham Cove

    More on this one later as it gets an entry into this list all of it’s own. Do not miss this unique Yorkshire Dales walk!

    Exploring Swaledale

    North York Moors Walks and Hikes

    Leave behind the green pastures of the Dales and head over to the vastness of the North York Moors.

    A wonderfully desolate and windswept landscape just begging to be explored awaits you on top of these ancient hills.

    Here is our favourite 3 North York Moors Walks:

    Hole of Horcum

    The Hole of Horcum is an excellent, 7 mile loop, taking in some of the best the Moors have to offer and also included a pub stop!

    Dalby Forest

    A circular walk from Dalby Forest in North Yorkshire. If you want a walk with a sense of wild freedom, where your dog can roam free on the long grassy tracks and paths, this is a great choice. 

    Robin Hoods Bay

    Robin Hoods Bay is a must visit village on Yorkshires coastline and this 5 mile loop is a great way to explore the surrounding countryside and stunning coastal path. 

    North York Moors

    Yorkshires Incredible Coastline

    Typically we hadn’t envisioned Yorkshire as a seaside county. 

    And it wasn’t until our first visit (of many) years ago that we realized just what we had been missing. 

    A dramatic coastline made up of long sandy beaches, rugged cliffs rising up out of the sea and interspersed with charming villages and towns. 

    We’ll revisit a few of our favourites further down this list as they deserve a spot all to themselves – just make sure to plan some time for exploring the Yorkshire coast on your next trip. 

    There is also some cracking campsites perched along this shoreline – so keep reading to find out more about these!

     

    Ribblehead Viaduct

    Ribblehead Viaduct is an impressive structure made up of 24 stone arches carrying the railway line high over the valley floor – over 30 meters in fact!

    Plenty of parking permits easy access to the site (free to wander around underneath the viaduct) and the Station Inn pub nearby provides a handy spot for refreshments (and cover from any inclement Yorkshire weather!).

    Make sure to stop and read the information boards dotted around as they provide a fascinating insight into the hardships endured by the workers building the bridge as they lived in ramshackle dwellings close by in extreme conditions. Hundreds of workers died during the construction period! 

    Ribblehead Viaduct

    Janets Foss, Malham Cove and Gordale Scar

    A walk, wild swim, unique view and quaint village all packaged up nearly into a single day (or even afternoons) adventure. 

    Parking in Malham is plentiful with several fields turned into massive carparks during peak season so worry not about being able to park up. 

    After parking up take the route below and head along the valley floor to Janets Foss. Don’t forget your swimming gear and take a dip in the pool under the waterfall while you are here. Jennet, Queen of the Fairies is rumoured to live in a cave behind the falls. Not one to be missed!

    After drying off carry on your walk as it climbs up to Gordale Scar – a peak looking down over Malhamdale. You’ll be sure to have warmed up from your dip by the time you summit. 

    From here traverse the hillside across to Malham Cove. A unique and breathtaking natural, bay shaped clifftop, made up of giant boulders looking down into Malham at the bottom of the valley.

    This is not easy access and you will need to be mobile for this part, particularly to take the extremely steep steps down the cliff face to follow the river Malhem Beck back into the village. 

    Here you have a number of pubs and a cafe to choose from for some well earned refreshments. 

    View From Malham Cove

    Druids Temple

    The Stones at Druids Temple

    Druids Temple is in fact a relatively modern folly (19th century) and not an ancient temple at all. 

    Still, there is a bit of a mystery around why it was built and styled in the way that it is. The general consensus is that is was built by the eccentric owner of the Swinton Estate, William Danby as a way to reduce local unemployment. 

    Regardless of it’s origins, Druids Temple is a great way to spend half a day wandering or cycling the paths surrounding it, admiring Leighton Reservoir. 

    The car park is cheap and serviced by a brilliant cafe – well worth stopping by for a coffee and a cake. 

    Exploring Druids Temple

    Yorkshire's Caves

    Yorkshire is home to a number of impressive cave systems.

    Whether you want to go potholing or wander through a guided tour of the bigger systems there is plenty of choice. 

    We loved exploring White Scar Cave on our recent trip to the Yorkshire Dales.

    Other options include Ingleborough Cave and Stump Cross Caverns.

    For any experienced potholers find out more about the options available here

    Wensleydale Creamery

    You can hardly visit Yorkshire and not visit the home of Wallace and Gromit’s favourite cheese!

    Located in the bustling town of Hawes, Wensleydale Creamery boasts a shop bursting with local produce, mainly produced right there in Wensleydale, a museum, an option to visit the factory and a genuinely interesting and entertaining cheese making demonstration! Wensleydale Creamery is well worth stopping by. 

    Iconic Yorkshire Towns and Villages

    So many options, so little time. Here’s a quick fire list of our favourite towns and villages from across Yorkshire. 

    Hawes

    Situated towards the northern end of the dales Hawes is a bustling market town which hosts a market every Tuesday, has a variety of independent shops, cafes, pubs and produce sellers. And of course it is home to Wensleydale Creamery.  

    Skipton

    Known as the gateway to the dales, Skipton has a real charm about it.  From the cobbled main street, 900 year old castle and all the usual independent venues you would expect.  

    Settle

    The sleepy town of Settle is a great base for exploring both the Yorkshire Dales and the Forest of Bowland AONB.

     

    Malton

    We go into more detail about Malton in our 5 Must See Places on the North York Moors article. 

    A bustling village at the foot of the Moors with a monthly market Malton is one of our favourite places to stop by when visiting or passing through Yorkshire.

    Robin Hoods Bay

    Situated at the bottom of a steep, pedestrianized, street Robin Hoods Bay is a delightful coastal hamlet and harbour. 

    We recommend going for a paddle and getting some chips in the square – there’s often local musicians playing here as well.

    Finally stop by the Smugglers Bar for a taste of a proper sea fairers pub of days long since gone – low, dark brown timber joists criss-cross above you in this enchanting and atmospheric pub. They do excellent pizza and have a good range of local beers!

    Robin Hoods Bay
    Robin Hoods Bay - Yorkshire

    Whitby

    We aren’t massive fans of Whitby . But it is unapologetic about what it is and that’s ok. A classic British sea side town with promenade and typical seaside attractions to boot.

    If you look a little harder then you will discover a few hidden gems buried in the sand. Look out for Fortunes Kippers at the top of the 199 steps, and of course take some time to admire the famous Whitby Abbey perched atop the hillside above the town. 

    Scarborough

    Probably Britain’s original seaside town and resort Scarborough boasts two sandy beaches and a 12th century castle. 

    Make sure you check out the ‘Victorian Tramway to Town’ Funicular as the most interesting way to get from beach to town and back again. 

     

    Steam Train

    With many iconic rail journeys offering unrivalled views across this northern powerhouse of a county you can’t visit Yorkshire and not take a scenic day out and let someone else do the hard work. 

    Check out some of the options available here

    Best Waterfalls in Yorkshire

    Aysgarth Falls

    A series of three distinct wide (but shallow) waterfalls make up these falls, and while they’re’s not a bad pit stop for anyone passing by we wouldn’t recommend making a point to visit them. 

    Sure they are nice to have wander about or a picnic, and there are some walking routes beyond and a few hotel bars waiting to refresh you (at the top of a very steep hill) but there isn’t that much to do here unless you are into photography. 

    Thorton Force

    An impressive 50ft affair with pool below located on the Ingleton Waterfalls trail. 

    Scaleber Foss

    A strong fantasy vibe emits from Scaleber Foss. With the falls tumbling down a multi platformed, moss covered cliff side with trees protruding from the rocks before plunging into the large pool below. Not one to miss

    Janets Foss

    As previously mentioned this is a great place to stop for a dip in the deep pool under the falls. 

    TukTuk Rides

    This hurts a little bit to write about. We unfortunately didn’t disocver this unique experience until it was too late on our most recent visit. But who could say no to a rickshaw ride around the beauty of the dales! One to tell all your mates about.

    Multiple route options exist from various starting points – you can find out more here  

    5 Breathtaking Campsites in Yorkshire

    Well hopefully that has whetted your appetite for a camping trip to Yorkshire and got you excited about all it has to offer. 

    Now we just need to eek out the very best campsites across the region. 

    Usha Gap Campsite

    usha gap campsite in the sun

    Usha Gap is definitely up there with our favourite campsites of all time. 

    In fact, it features on multiple of our top campsite roundups – such as the best campsites which allow campfires and 10 Idyllic Wild Campsites for Motorhomes. 

    Located at the northern end of the Yorkshire Dales over the Butter Tubs pass (well worth driving this incredible road by the way) just a few miles from Hawes. 

    Catering to all types of campers from tents all the way to motorhomes and caravans this site is split across several large fields, features a butchers and shop onsite, spectacular views, walks from site and the usual toilets, showers, etc…

    Definitely worth stopping by for at least a night or two on your Yorkshire adventure. 

    Hobground Campsite

    Hobground Campsite allows fires

    Hobground campsite is another one of our favourite sites and a great base for exploring the North York Moors and the dramatic Yorkshire coastline. 

    A very friendly affair, a fair bit smaller than Usha Gap but still plenty of space to spread out, campfires permitted, all camping types accepted and generally a lovely little site. 

    Hawes CMC

    Don’t fancy attempting the Butter Tubs pass?

    Then don’t fear the CMC site just outside of Hawes is a great spot to explore the Yorkshire Dales. (check out our run down on motorhome clubs and our review of the top clubs in the UK today!)

    All the amenities you’d expect from a Caravan and Motorhome Club Site and good reviews to boot. 

    Kettlewell Camping

    A lovely simple affair slap bang in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales.

    If back to basics camping is your thing (which it definitely is for us) then Kettlewell Camping should tick all the boxes.

    The site itself is comprised of a large, flat field, raised camp fires welcome, a modern and well kept toilet/shower block, dogs welcome and a simple, excellent value pricing structure all add up to a perfectly simple stay. 

    Hooks House Farm Camping

    Heading back over to the east coast and we discover Hooks House Farm – which also features on our top beach campsites in the UK article.

    Set on a working farm in the hills above the idyllic coastal Yorkshire village of Robin Hoods Bay Hooks House Farm is the perfect base for exploring the North York Moors and the outstanding Yorkshire coastline.

    A friendly, laid back vibe resonates from every fibre of this coastal campsite setting you up for a properly relaxing sea view holiday. 

    5 Cosy Yorkshire Pub Stopovers

    Road tripping in your motorhome or campervan?

    Here’s our top 5 Yorkshire pub stops.

    If you’re new to pub stopovers then check out our review of Brit Stops and our side-by-side comparison of search for sites and park4night!

    The Station Inn

    Situated right next the Ribblehead viaduct you couldn’t be better placed for the start (or end, or even middle) of a Yorkshire road trip. 

    The Station Inn features a flat car park, access to Ribblehead viaduct, close to the three peaks and many other attractions. A cosy bar awaits serving up a seasonal, local menu and a wide variety of drinks to go with it. 

    The Tan Hill Inn

    The Tan Hill Inn is probably Yorkshires most famous campervan pub stopover due to it being highest pub in Britain!

    Recent years have seen campers stranded up here for several days due to deep snow storms blocking access out! But the pub rose to the occasion and everyone seemed to come away with a great experience, new friends and an adventure story! That tells you all you need to know about the folks who run the place! 

    Excellent food and beer onsite and the walks surrounding the pub are some of the best the Dales have to offer – splendid isolation can be found in these hills!

    You will have to pay £10 per head for this pub stopover but last we heard that included breakfast! Which makes it good value in our minds and we do love a good pub breakfast to set us up for the day!

    Helwith Bridge Inn

    Located on the river Ribble and a perfect base for exploring the western edge of the dales, Helwith Bridge Inn has a cosy, welcoming atmosphere, good food, a games room and a welcoming smile. 

    It also features that all important flat car park!

    Horseshoe Hotel

    Situated just off the North York Moors towards the coast the Horseshoe Hotel makes for a great motorhome pub stopover.

    Top notch food and beer, a farmshop on site and a large level car park for your van to snooze on. 

    An excellent place to launch into the moors or to rest your head after a day on the coast. 

    Byland Abbey Inn

    The Byland Abbey Inn is nestled at the foot of the Hambleton Hills, overlooking the ruins of historic Byland Abbey on the edge of the beautiful North York Moors.

    A multitude of great reviews on search for sites mark this one out as a must stay on your Yorkshire adventure – we know we certainly will be next time we’re passing. 

    It is also in a great location – almost equal distance between the North York Moors, the Yorkshire Dales and the City of York. 

    Camping in Yorkshire - A Summary

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    Driving over Butter Tubs Pass

    well hopefully you are now armed with all the knowledge you need for an epic trip to go camping in Yorkshire!

    You know all the must see places in Yorkshire, the best Yorkshire campsites and pub stopovers and you even know what 5 Must See Places on the North York Moors you can’t miss!

    Fancy a different road trip destination? Why not check out our Destinations page to check out our guides to road tripping all across the UK and Europe? 

    Or why not check out our comprehensive guide to camping in Norfolk? 

    Anyway, we hope you enjoyed the article and are looking forward to your camping trip to Yorkshire!

    Go Explore! In Yorkshire!

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