The Yorkshire Dales is the name given to an upland area in Northern England. The area lies within the historic county boundaries of Yorkshire, though it spans the ceremonial counties of North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Cumbria. Most of the area falls within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, created in 1954, and now one of the fifteen National parks of Britain, but the term also includes areas to the east of the National Park, notably Nidderdale.
The Dales is a collection of river valleys and the hills among them, rising from the Vale of York westwards to the hilltops of the main Pennine watershed (the British English meaning). In some places the area even extends westwards across the watershed, but most of the valleys drain eastwards to the Vale of York, into the Ouse and then the Humber.
The word dale comes from the Nordic/Germanic word for valley (dal, tal), and occurs in valley names across Yorkshire (and Northern England generally) but the name Yorkshire Dales is generally used to refer specifically to the dales west of the Vale of York and north of the West Yorkshire Urban Area. The Yorkshire Dales is served by its own radio station, Fresh Radio, which broadcasts programmes from studio bases in Skipton and Richmond.