Bradt Slow Travel guide to the Yorkshire Dales

8th June 2019

Bradt Slow Travel guide to the Yorkshire Dales
Bradt Slow Travel Guide to the Yorkshire Dales

A new edition of the Bradt Slow Travel guide to the Yorkshire Dales has been published (April 2019).

The guide is written by Mike Bagshaw, with a Nidderdale chapter by Caroline Mills. In a foreword, Gary Verity says:

'You will only fully appreciate how special the people, the landscape and the places of North Yorkshire are by immersing yourself in all they have to offer and by adopting the slower pace of life for which this guide is suited.'

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Visitors to HedgehogCycling can get a 25% discount on purchases of the Slow Travel guide to the Yorkshire Dales on, with the code HEDGEHOG25. Don't hesitate to take advantage of this great offer.

Going Slow in the Yorkshire Dales

There's an introductory section titled 'Going Slow in the Yorkshire Dales'. It defines the Slow Movement as '...a cultural revolution against the notion that faster is always better. It's not about doing everything at a snail's pace, it's about seeking to do everything at the right speed. Savouring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them. Doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible.'

This section of the book includes some pleasing nature notes, with seven recommended places and times to see the best of the region's wildlife. Even if you know the Dales quite well, it's worth reading these tips, as there may be something you haven't come across before.

I hadn't twigged that the National Trust Upper Wharfedale Estate near Buckden has escaped the depredations of the grouse shooting industry, allowing moorland birds to flourish. I'll make it my business to visit Cray Moss and Yockenthwaite Moor, as Mike Bagshaw recommends.

Snaizeholme is mentioned as a reliable spot to see red squirrels.

Red squirrel
Red squirrel, Yorkshire Dales

Six areas of the Yorkshire Dales

The book makes its own definition of the Yorkshire Dales, rather than sticking strictly to the National Park boundaries. This leads to six chapters - the Cumbrian Corner, 3 Peaks Country, Craven & Wharfedale, Swaledale, Wensleydale, and Nidderdale, Harrogate & around.

Nidderdale, Harrogate & around

Nidderdale, Harrogate & around is my local area.

Each chapter has a 'self-powered travel' section that includes cycling. Here, Caroline Mills shows (in my opinion!) acute good judgment when she writes, '...I don't think that the brilliant can be bettered. Local cyclist David Mitchell runs the site and gives thorough and up-to-date information on routes, shops, hire and general cycling issues.' Thank you!


Much travel planning takes place online these days, but there's a lot to be said for a good old-fashioned guide book like this one.

It's well-researched, logically-ordered, and well-written. It makes it easy to get an overview of the area you're planning to visit; and you're less likely to overlook a key attraction or hidden gem.

What's more there's pleasure in a physical book, and you can pop it in your pocket when you head off to the Dales. It'll work even where there's no wifi coverage.