The Dales Way is an 80-mile path from Ilkley in West Yorkshire to Bowness-on-Windermere in Cumbria. It mainly follows riverside paths and passes through the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the foothills of the Lake District National Park. Starting in Ilkley, the path follows the River Wharf, passing by the ruins of Bolton Abbey, up to its source in the Pennines. It then follows river valleys to the shores of Lake Windermere.
The Dales Way terrain is a mixture of moderate and demanding, with the highest point on the path at 1705 ft high. The Path is well signposted for the most part. The middle-section is the highest and wildest part of the path where it crosses the Pennines.
- Day 1 Ilkley to Burnsall – 13 miles
- Day 2 Burnsall to Hubberholme – 15 miles
- Day 3 Hubberholme to Cowgill – 16 miles
- Day 4 Cowgill to Sedbergh – 11 miles
- Day 5 Sedbergh to Burneside – 15.5 miles
- Day 6 Burneside to Bowness-on-Windemere – 9.5 miles
The most popular direction to do this walk is from South to North, but if you would prefer to go from North to South then this can be easily arranged. Both ends of the walk are near train stations in Ilkley and Windermere.
The price for a holiday walking the Dales Way is from £695 per person (based upon 2 people sharing). This includes:
- Personalised itinerary for walking the Dales Way on a self-guided basis over 6 days
- 7 nights’ bed & breakfast accommodation on a double or twin room basis (this includes B&B for the night before you start and the day you finish)
- Taxis for drop-off/pick-up where the B&B is not within easy walking distance of the Path
- Baggage transfer for one bag per person between each night’s B&B
- Advice on travel arrangements to and from the start and finish points
- Ordnance Survey Explorer maps which can be downloaded onto the OS App
- Harvey Waterproof Map for the Dales Way
- Standalone Safe Seat Plan Guarantee for each traveller issued by the Travel Trust Association
- Kit checklist – covering boots & socks, clothes & waterproofs, and other useful kit
- Helpline – you can call us at any time
Solo traveller price is £925. This is because most B&Bs do not have single rooms and so will charge almost as much for one person as for two.
- Time of Year: This walk can be done at any time of year, although we recommend between April and October for the best weather conditions and longer daylight hours.
- Terrain: The terrain is a mixture of moderate and demanding. There are some steep climbs and descents in the central section where the path crosses over the Pennines. The walking surfaces are generally good, but can be muddy in places depending upon the time of year.
- Way marking: The route is well signposted for the most part, although the signage for the short section in between the two National Parks could be better.
- Bed & Breakfast: We always aim to book good quality B&B accommodation as near as possible to the path yet, despite its popularity, there are relatively few B&Bs on the path itself or within easy walking distance. This means that sometimes the only option is to book B&Bs that are away from the path and arrange pick-up/drop-offs by taxi.
- Refreshments: Compared with some other routes, this walk is actually quite good for places en route to get a cup of coffee (or a bacon butty or cake!) without having to deviate from the path. However, whether these will be open depends on the time of year, day of the week and time you happen to be passing.