From Ilkley to the dramatic Lake District through the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, the walk straddles attractive Wharfedale, crossing the Pennine watershed in sight of Yorkshire’s ‘Three Peaks’, through Dentdale and Sedbergh, walking the banks of rivers, through ancient woods and pastureland, and into the Lake District. At times isolated, enjoy a landscape much unchanged for centuries, but with remnants of the cotton and wool mills of the industrial revolution and non-conformist chapels that once dotted this land. Admire wonderful dry stonewalls, churches and monuments, manor houses, Roman monuments, suspension bridges and viaducts set in a stunningly beautiful and rugged landscape.
from £2,780 per person
For a Sunday start. Other start days maybe possible
The luxury tour includes transfers at the beginning and end of each day to and from your hotel. See what’s included as standard
Start & Finish
Starts Sundays from Ilkley. Trains run from London Kings Cross to Ilkley via Leeds, we will meet you at the station and transfer you to your first hotel. Tour ends at Bowness-on-Windermere with a onward transfer to Oxenholme station.
3 and 4 star Country House Hotels and one very special B&B
This tour is priced without a guide and you are free to explore on your own. If you would like a guide for part or all of your trip, we are happy to provide a knowledgeable, local guide
Gentle walking (5) More info...
1. Day one
Arrive in the Yorkshire Dales
We will transfer you from the local station to your hotel, where your friendly local host will meet you and brief you on your walk, answering any questions that you may have. Breathe in that clear Yorkshire air and prepare yourself for a stunning week’s walking.
2. Day two
Ilkley to Bolton Abbey
Transfer to Ilkley for the start of the walk on The Old Bridge. Dominated by Ilkley Moor, the village of Ilkley, an important centre since the Bronze Age, is a fitting start for your walk of the Dales Way. Spend a moment exploring Ilkley before following the River Wharf past old mills and Quaker houses to the remains of Bolton Priory, closed by Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. Spend time exploring the ruins before walking back to your hotel.
6 miles (11 km)
3. Day three
Bolton Abbey to Grassington
Walking on via Strid Wood, a naturalists paradise, sixty-two different species of bird are thought to nest here. Burnsall itself is attractive and an excellent example of a Dales village with a five-arched bridge, church and village green; a perfect place for lunch. Follow the banks of the river through Loup Scar, onto Grassington and Buckden with excellent views of the Upper Dales from the summit of Conistone Pie. The path you’re walking is ancient and over a thousand years old. Admire cascading Wharfe at Linton passing through Grassington with its attractive cobbled market square, once a centre for textiles and lead mining, where we will meet you at the end of the day.
9 miles (16 km)
4. Day four
Grassington to Buckden
Start the day with a transfer back to Grassington, and pass through the jumbled up and sheltered village of Kettlewell heading for Starbotton with its seventeenth and eighteenth century houses, lead-mining dominated, to Buckden, the valley of the bucks with Wharfe Bridge, once named ‘Election Bridge’ as local politicians always promised to widen it come election time. We will meet you at the Buck Inn to take you to your hotel for the next two nights.
10 miles (17 km)
5. Day five
Buckden to Ribblehead
Starting again from Buckden, you will need a picnic today as you walk on to Hubberholme where you can admire the oak rood loft in Church of Saint Michael and All Angels. It is one of the few that have survived through the Reformation. Today admire the limestone beds at Beckermonds, walk towards Oughtershaw and Cam Fell, the land untouched for hundreds of years, pastures and meadowlands, passing over the highest point on the Dales Way, 1,705ft (520m), taking the Cam High Road, a prehistoric route developed by the Romans to attack the local Brigantes. Finish the day in sight of the 24 span Ribblehead Viaduct which stands out against the stark moorland.
13 miles (20 km)
6. Day six
Ribblehead to Dent
Today you have excellent views through the valleys admiring the beautiful Fells, the Vikings having cleared and settled this way. Enjoy a picnic today as refreshment stops are few along this delightfully isolated section of the route. Walking beside rivers into Dent to admire beautiful stone houses and St. Andrew’s church, the village is often described as a ‘terrestrial paradise.’ In the seventeenth and eighteenth century Dent was well known for its hand-knitting and we will meet you here.
9 miles (15 km)
7. Day seven
Dent to Sedbergh
We will take you back to Dent this morning to continue your walk through charming meadows to Sedbergh, an attractive historic town with Saxon remains of a motte and bailey castle. From here you walk directly back to your hotel for the night and if you wish to walk on and back do so beside the River Rawthey and River Lune past the ‘Pepperpot’ through farmland to the Rivers Mint, Sprint and Kent with views to the Howgills. This is enchanting countryside.
7 miles (26 km) with an optional 6 miles
8. Day eight
Burneside to Bowness
Transfer across the M6 motorway to Burneside today walking on to Staveley settled between the River Gowan and the River Kent, the area surrounding the village settled for over 6,000 years and a centre for the manufacture of bobbins in the nineteenth century. It’s a dramatic last day as you walk into the Lake District, sweet green pastureland and grassy knolls giving way to the magical beauty of the lakes. Congratulations you have walked the Dales Way!
9 miles (15 km)
9. Day nine
Bowness on Windermere
Spend today in the Lake District celebrating your Dales Way walk, taking a boat on Lake Windermere and visiting Beatrix Potter’s home. There is so much to do here, and you are surrounded by the beauty of the mountains and lakes.
10. Day ten
Depart with a transfer to Oxenholme, your nearest railway station.