Ilkley to Burnsall - 13 miles
Starting at the Old Bridge in Ilkley you make your way north on your walk up to Burnsall. After passing through lush meadowlands and Bolton Priory, you will come to Cavendish Pavillion. After some quick refreshments you will pass through Strid Wood where the river becomes feisty and the scenery more dramatic. The highlights continue endlessly with more stunning bridges and medieval settlements. Weary not from the length of the path but the constant surprises of more and more splendour finally you will reach a stone stile and Burnsall Bridge comes into view marking the end of the stage. The Red Lion in Burnsall provides great pub grub and the Burnsall Manor Hotel provides some great accommodation. There is little else in this quaint little town apart from a few tea rooms and a local shop.
Burnsall to Hubberholme - 15 miles
As you leave Burnsall by a stony path behind the church, the river roars dramatically beneath limestone crags. You will begin to climb and the amazing views over Wharfedale will astound. One of the highglights of this section is Grassington - a fabulous Dale’s village with everything you would expect to find - friendly pubs, a tea shop, post office and a convenience store not to mention oodles of charm. The high land produces more stunning views later on the path as you head up to Coniston Pike which provides the best views of the Dales Way, from here you can see the renowned Kilnsey Crag and typical dales farm land spreads out like a patchwork quilt around you. After some gentle downhill woodland walking and some delightful riverside walking you will come to your destination for this evening. Hubberholme is a pretty little village and a one pub town. The George Inn serves good food and offers a welcome refreshment.
Hubberholme to Dent Head (Cowgill) - 17 miles
As you leave Hubberholme you will also leave Wharfedale and enter Dentdale.This path takes you past the river cascading over several ledges which is reduced to a trickle in the dry season. After Deepdale Gill which is a splendidly rugged area the path begins to climb and this area can be a little muddy from the springs and streams that cascade down the hillside. Later on you can take in the views of the three peaks Whernside, Pen-y-ghent and Ingleborough as well as the Dent Head Viaduct. Evidence of the impending Lake District is now visible as you head towards the Viaduct which is very impressive once reached. Food is served at most B&B’s by prior arrangement; however you can take a taxi into Dent just 3 miles away for more choice.
Dent Head (Cowgill) to Sedbergh - 10 miles
After passing Scar Force and Dent Station (England's highest railway station), you will wind through meadow and forest to a clearing where the Dentdale landscape proves its diversity from Wharfedale now left behind. The steep hills rise on both sides and the ominous Whernside looms some 2414ft above you. A short while after Dent, the river which had become more of a stream earlier today is back to its crashing glory and the bird life is in full flow again. On this section, you will get the sense of leaving Yorkshire and entering the Lake District however this border is some way of yet. Sedbergh is well stocked with pubs and restaurants - there is a post office a few cash machines and some good shops here so stock up with what you will need before you get to the next big town in Windermere.
Sedbergh to Burneside/Overnight Kendal - 13 miles
The views and landscape are delightful today. More evidence of the impending lakes forms up ahead as you pass through slat roofed villages and amble across a beck romantically crammed full of fallen rocks and falls. A short trip from Burneside will bring you to Kendal where there are a variety of eateries and pubs. Kendal is a large town with lots of shops, post office, pubs, restaurants and cash machines.
Burneside to Bowness-on-Windermere - 10 miles
You have reached the climax as you leave Kendal and head off to the River Kent. You may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Kingfishers on this section and there are plenty of interesting mills to see including an entire village of them at Cowen Head. The scenery is more and more rocky as you progress to the end of the Dales Way and the river really comes into its own as it crashes and gurgles over the rocks. As you see the majestic lake ahead you can choose the long or short way to your final destination, however on a nice hot day I would suggest running to the lake for a swim. There is no shortage of fine places to eat and drink in Windermere making it a great place to celebrate. There is every thing you may need in Windermere from new walking boots to trinkets for those at home, a post office, cash machines and of course the whole of the Lake District at your finger tips.
One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. We specifically choose the hotels, inns, guesthouses and B&B’s to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food.
Below you will find a list of the accommodation we regularly use which will give you a good idea of the standard of accommodation we use: View Accommodation Details
This independent walking vacation is available to solo walkers but as all our vacations are priced per person based on two sharing there is a single supplement payable to cover the additional costs we incur.
A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Most of your accommodations will more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs or restaurants.
Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 15kg per person.
Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers do not accept pets.
This walking vacation is best enjoyed between April and October. You can start on any date that suits your travel plans and you will find up to date availability on our website. The Dales Way is very popular so it is best to book as far in advance as you are able to.
Manor House - Burnsall
The Manor House is located 150 yards from the Red Lion Inn, Where you are welcome to Eat and drink. The bedrooms are modern, most having lovely views of the River Wharfe and the village.
Blue Bell Inn - Kettlewell
Come and enjoy the charm and character of our 17th Century Coaching Inn, a warm and friendly atmosphere, fine cask ales, the best quality home-cooked food and comfortable en-suite accommodation.
Kirkgill Manor - Hubberholme
The Manor stands on the edge of the ancient and picturesque hamlet of Hubberholme, enjoying magnificent views of the surrounding fells.
Nethergill Farm - Oughtershaw
Nethergill offers 4 star accommodation in a large Victorian farmhouse nestling into the side of a hill with wonderful views and skyscapes.
Sportsman Inn - Cowgill
This charming 17th century country Inn is situated at the head of beautiful Dentdale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.Sandra Martin the owner offers a warm welcome and good homecooked meals are available along with a selection of cask ales.
George & Dragon - Dent
The George & Dragon is a grade 2 listed building in the centre of Dent Village. A popular choice with walkers and locals this Inn has supplies a fine selection of local ales.
Holmecroft - Sedbergh
Holmecroft offers friendly hospitality in bright comfortable accommodation. All guests are welcomed with a welcome tray and homemade cake.
Bridge House - Kendal
Bridge House is a beautiful 'listed' Georgian building, a former station-master's house and was built in approximately 1840. The house has two guest bedrooms: a twin and a double, both with ensuite shower rooms.
Eastbourne - Bowness-on-Windermere
Eastbourne Guest House is a deceptively large Victorian Lakeland stone-built guest house offering superior bed and breakfast accommodation.
Getting to/from Ilkley
The closest airpost is Leeds/Bradford and there are frequent bus links to Ilkley.
Ilkley is well serviced via Leeds which connects with most major towns, trains leave every hour from Leeds. For more information check out the National Rail Enquiries web page.
We generally recommend that you use public transport to access your walk. Should you be driving please contact your accommodation directly to enquire about parking. The Dales area is bordered by major trunk roads. Leeds can also be reached by National Express Busses with local services to Ilkley.
Getting to/from Bowness-on-Windermere
From the end of the walk at Bowness-on-Windermere you can travel onwards by all forms of public transport, as it is well linked.
Planning a trip on the Dales Way can be daunting, especially if this is your first long distance walking vacation. We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us or perhaps visit our walking forum for more advice from our clients and team.
How fit do I need to be?
We offer a range of itineraries so you can choose your preferred daily distance so hopefully you will find an itinerary that suits your preferred level of activity. If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.
How far in advance do I need to book?
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the Dales Way is extremely popular especially over April/May and July/August. You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans.
What personal equipment do I need?
You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc. You can download a full equipment list from the downloads page of our website.
When is the best time of year?
Traditionally April/May has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better. Although I believe any time between late March and October offers a wonderful experience.
Am I able to take my dog?
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.
What happens if I can’t walk a stage?
You can use public transport, or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.
The Dales Way vacation is available from 4th April to 15th October. You can start your vacation on any date in the season. To make a provisional reservation select "Book" for the itinerary you are interested in.
Option prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.
Because every Dales Way vacation we book is unique availability changes from day to day and our booking process works as follows:
- You provisionally book the tour you are interested in for your preferred dates and pay a 20% deposit online or by phone.
- We confirm availability and book all your accommodation and options and send final confirmation as soon as everything is confirmed (max 5 working days).
- If we are unable to accommodate you on your confirmed dates/tour or an alternative of your choice your deposit is fully refunded.
- In order to help with availability, we recommend either booking an extra night in Bowness at the end of your walk or avoiding finishing in Bowness at the weekend - many B&B's only accept 2 night bookings at the weekend in Bowness and it can make it more difficult to confirm your trip if you do finish at the weekend.
||8 - 9 Days
||9 Days & 8 Nights
||8 Days & 7 Nights
- Bed and breakfast accommodation in ensuite rooms wherever possible.
- Door to door baggage transfer.
- A detailed info pack, guide book and map for the group leader.
- Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem.
- Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
- Travel Insurance. Personal Equipment.