The Yorkshire Dales have been named the best national park in Europe for 2021 by Tripadvisor.
The travel site has unveiled the results of its annual Traveller’s Choice Awards, with the Dales coming top of the best national parks’ category — the first time this category has featured.
The backing was welcomed by Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority chair Neil Heseltine.
He said: “I’d like to thank people who left good reviews on Tripadvisor of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, because it means that more people might stay here and discover it for themselves.
“For nearly 15 years now our surveys have shown that visitor satisfaction levels with the National Park have increased year on year, with last year no exception.
“The Yorkshire Dales have been a fixture on national television, with the Tour de France in 2014 and, just in the past few weeks, programmes such as Channel 5’s All Creatures Great And Small, the BBC’s Winter Walks and More4’s Dales and Lakes – all increasing the prominence of the National Park.
“People have been visiting the Yorkshire Dales in high numbers for well over a hundred years, though, and the National Park is a loved and cherished place because of the efforts of the people who live and work here.”
Mr Heseltine said that he hoped farmers, gamekeepers and other land managers who look after the landscape and make it accessible and beautiful took credit for this Tripadvisor rating, along with people running cafes, campsites, pubs and other food, drink and accommodation businesses who he said “make it such a welcoming place”.
He added: “At the moment we are in the strange position of asking people not to travel to the National Park, but as soon as government guidance changes, we will be urging people to come here to experience and enjoy the local hospitality and unmatched scenery – the fells and dales, the stone barns and walls, and the native wildlife and fine sheep and cattle.”