A new smartphone app has been created for the Yorkshire Dales, with free walking, cycling and mountain biking routes plus visitor info and local facts.
The app - said to be the first of its kind produced by a National Park Authority - has been paid for by Go Dales!, a project run by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) with funding from Sport England that is designed to inspire young people to get active in the park's treasured landscapes.
Available on iPhone, it is now live in the iTunes App Store and can also be downloaded from the Go Dales! site.
The app is currently based on two locations – Malham and Hawes – although it's said that more will follow. It includes points of interest to hunt for around each village, panoramic views and some suggested walks and bike routes with OS mapping. There is also a live GPS locator on Google maps.
- 15+ walk and cycle (mountain bike and road) routes plus maps
- Two MP3 audio walk trails
- 360 degree panoramas
- Access information for people with limited mobility
- General 'getting active' information ranging from what to wear to what to do and how to find out more
- Links to clubs, outdoor centres and activity providers
- Information on geocaching
- Links to the YDNPA and Go Dales! websites
Kath Needham, the Go Dales! Project Officer, said: 'We have created a resource to offer inspiration on the types of activities on offer in the National Park.'
'Go Dales! research suggests that even though participants may have been introduced to the wonders of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, some may hesitate to return through lack of ideas about things they can do and places they can go. The app will provide a lot of answers so they can plan their visit in advance.'
Karen Griffiths, the YDNPA's Interpretation Officer, added: 'The app contains a pool of pop-up info about the National Park, concentrated around Malham and Hawes, but with some general stuff too. It means you can use GPS on your smartphone to explore the National Park and it will alert you to points of interest – archaeology, history, scenery, landscape. It's your own personal, digital guide in your pocket.'
Malcolm Petyt, the YDNPA's Member Champion for Recreation Management, said: 'We are excited to be able to offer a little piece of the National Park to everyone in their own homes, using this new medium to reach out to a new generation of future visitors.'
'We hope the Go Dales! app will inspire them to visit by giving them ideas about things they can do and see as well as giving them information about some of the qualities that make this such a special place.'
Android, Blackberry and Symbian phone versions are promised soon.