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The Yorkshire Dales have a strong Norse flavour. A people who originated in Norway, and who sailed their longships to the northern isles, to the western seaboard of Scotland and to Ireland, arrived in the little valleys of the Pennines from the west a thousand and more years ago.. They gave their own name, dalr, to a valley. The name eventually became "dale".

Dales are found on either side of the Pennines, the so-called "backbone of England". On the map they look like green ribs! Between the well-known dales are vast areas of little-known sheep country. The Irish-Norse settlers of long ago did not have to fight for land and established themselves at the daleheads, which were well-suited to the pastoral way of farming their forefathers had known in Scandinavia.

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