I drive many a mile around the Dales and being ‘caught short’ is an occupational hazard. I blame all that Yorkshire hospitality – ‘Oh do have a cup of tea and a biscuit before you go…’. So I’ve often called in at a National Park car park and furtively nipped to the loo without buying a parking ticket. No problem any more – at the request of visitors the authority has introduced a ’10-minute free pee’ facility in each of their car parks where there are toilets.
Also, overnight parking has now been introduced to help walkers wanting to plan longer hikes. They are now able to buy a parking ticket for either 24 or 48 hours at a cost of  £5 or £7.50 respectively so they can go further afield and break their journey overnight at some of the park’s hotels, guest houses or bed and breakfast businesses.
For the first time in more than three years, there is a rise in the cost of all-day tickets – up by 30p to £3.50 for cars and up 60p to £7 for larger vehicles. All other ticket costs are frozen at last year’s prices and the popular £10 weekly passes will continue.
Car parking is £6 at Bolton Abbey where I was on Thursday before the Easter holiday masses descended. Staff had been working hard in preparation for the first major weekend of the season and the whole place looked in pristine condition.

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