Getting to and around North Yorkshire and the Dales

By Joe Willis

Despite their rural nature, North Yorkshire and the Dales are easy to travel to thanks to some great transport links. These links also make it a great central point from which to explore elsewhere in the north of England.

Getting here

Large towns and cities surrounding the county include Leeds to the south, Lancaster and Preston to the west and Darlington and Middlesbrough to the north. All these locations are well-linked for national and international travel including bus, rail and air.

By train

Getting to the area by train is a doddle thanks to the East Coast Main Line which stops at York, Northallerton and Darlington, with connecting services from York to Scarborough. Alternatively, you can change at Leeds on to the famous Leeds-Settle-Carlisle line, which delivers you into the heart of the Yorkshire Dales along one of Britain’s most scenic rail routes. Look at the National Rail Enquiries website to plan your journey.


North Yorkshire is easily accessible by train

By air

Nearby airports: Leeds Bradford International, Manchester Airport, Durham Tees Valley Airport, Newcastle Airport.

By coach and bus

Bus and coach links to North Yorkshire are excellent with towns such as Lancaster, Skipton, Leeds, Harrogate, York, Ripon, Northallerton and Darlington all being well served by National Express or Megabus coaches, and a range of local bus services. There are many bus services within the county which run throughout the year, providing links between the main towns and villages and the surrounding area.

Ferry ports

Hull, Heysham, Liverpool and Newcastle.

By road

North Yorkshire is easily accessible by road. The area is bordered by major trunk roads with the M6 skirting the west, the A66 to the north, the A1 to the east and the A65, A59, A629, M62 and M65 to the south. However, one 50-mile car trip into the heart of North Yorkshire’s countryside produces about 10kg of carbon dioxide. That’s equivalent to 10 bags of sugar. Travelling by bus or train you could reduce the amount by over a quarter.

Travel by bike and there’s none at all – there are plenty of B and minor roads that can take you into and around the region and avoid most traffic.

Getting around

Whether you are a visitor to North Yorkshire’s Dales, Moors and Coast or a resident, using public transport will allow you to get around and enjoy the special qualities of this precious landscape in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly manner.

By rail

As well as good rail links from the country’s major cities to Northallerton, Harrogate and Scarborough, there are several heritage rail lines which are a great way of sitting back and enjoying the views, while letting the train take the strain.

Woman on train

Relax on the views as you travel by rail around Yorkshire and the Dales

In the southern Dales, the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway runs regular services with vintage steam locomotives. Alternatively, the Wensleydale Railway operates between Leeming Bar, near Bedale and Redmire. It also runs steam services as well as diesel locomotives. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway runs daily across the stunning countryside between Pickering and Whitby.

By bus

There are many bus services in North Yorkshire which run throughout the year, providing links between the main towns and villages and the surrounding area. These are supplemented by extra services during the summer period, which mainly operate on Sundays and bank holidays. Make sure you check the timetable for both out and inbound journeys. Full details are available on the North Yorkshire County Council website.

Read more about North Yorkshire and the Dales

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Image credits: ©Michael D Beckwith/Unsplash; Rob245/Sharpshot/Sung Kuk Kim/

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