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Dales Way

8 Days & 7 Nights 4.6 Read 49 reviews
  • Walk from the Yorkshire Dales to the Lake District
  • Explore the historic ruins of Bolton Priory and Bardon Tower
  • Discover cobbled villages and classic English market towns
  • Feast on pints of real local ale and giant Yorkshire Puddings!
  • Finish your walk by the glistening shores of Lake Windermere
Crossing two National Parks, the Dales Way takes you from the rolling farmlands and rugged moors of the Yorkshire Dales, to the glistening shores of Lake Windermere in the Lake District. Beginning in the peaceful Wharfedale valley, follow riverside tracks between the cobbled villages of Burnsall, Buckden, Grassington and Kettlewell, each one more charming than the last. All of them feature a cosy and typically English pub in which to relax and perhaps enjoy a pint of a local ale, such as "Ilkley". Walk the rugged Pennine moors with evidence that the Lake District is coming, as steep hills rise on either side of you. Pass the impressive Dent Head Viaduct, explore the pretty market town of Sedbergh and arrive at the shores of stunning Lake Windermere, England's largest lake, and the bustling village of Bowness-on-Windermere.

What To Expect

The Dales Way is a remarkably beautiful walk through some of England's finest scenery. The walking is relatively gentle and provides you the time to take it a bit easier than most long distance walks so perfect for first time long-distance walkers looking to experience "Classic" England at its best. You will stay overnight in a variety of cosy B&B's and country inns, and pass by plenty of village pubs to quench your appetite.

Trip Type:

Classic Routes | If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, who’s interested in taking on the great routes of the world or looking for a challenge, then our Classic Routes are for you. We’re talking the West Highland Way, Tour Du Mont Blanc and the Passau to Vienna Danube Cycle Path, to name but a few!


Inn to Inn Walking | Walk from place-to-place changing accommodations each night. Generally staying in B&B’s, inns, and guesthouses.

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travellers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Long-Distance Trails

Grade & Terrain

This route is graded as moderate and waymarked. As this is a self-guided walking tour, you will be responsible for navigation, decision making and safety during your trip. 

Expect a mixture of paths, tracks, and roads. Some paths can become muddy and boggy when rain falls, often making progress slower than usual. The paths are well walked by other walkers and locals, with a few short sections on indistinct paths. Also, there are sections on the Dales way where you must cross busy A and B roads with a lot of fast-moving traffic. Please ensure you take care great care in doing so.


This route is waymarked and much of it follows a well laid out path so you will not need to be a very experienced navigator with a map and compass. However, as with any self-guided walk, it would be very helpful to have at least some navigating experience.

Accommodation Information

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.

Accommodation Location

We will always try and accommodate you at the locations detailed in your itinerary. Occasionally, because of limited availability, there is the option to be accommodated at an alternative location. In the unlikely event that we have to accommodate you elsewhere we will advise you of this before confirming your booking.

Single Rooms

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.

  • 7 Nights in B&B’s, guest houses, small hotels and country inn’s
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Daily luggage transfers
  • Access to maps, GPX tracks and daily route information with the Macs Aventure Smartphone App
  • All your trip documents (including an Info Pack) provided digitally through your online "My Account"
  • 24/7 Telephone support from our UK office
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to Ilkley
  • Travel from Bowness-on-Windermere
  • Lunches & Dinners
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Additional Nights

When To Go

This trip is available to start on any day of the week from the beginning of April and end of October. You can start on any date that suits your travel plans, subject to availability.

In order to help with availability, we recommend avoiding finishing in Bowness at the weekend - all B&B's only accept 2 night bookings at the weekend in Bowness and if you do end up here at the weekend we will need to book 2 nights here and include return transfers between there and Burneside. These will be included at no extra charge. Alternatively you can add an extra night in Bowness which we highly recommend anyway! 

Getting to the Start

By Air

The closest airport is Leeds Bradford and there are frequent bus links to Ilkley. Travel time from Leeds Bradford Airport via Leeds is approx. 1 hour. Manchester Airport is approx. 2 hours 30 minutes by public transport to IIkley via Leeds. London Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted are probably the best options for those travelling from outside the UK. From the airport you would travel to Kings Cross, where trains leave approx. every half an hour to IIkley via Leeds.

By Rail

Ilkley is well serviced via Leeds (approx. 30 minutes) which connects with most major towns, trains leave every hour from Leeds. For more information check out the National Rail Enquiries web page.

Getting from the End

By Air

Manchester Airport is the closest airport to Bowness-on-Windermere and it takes approx. 2 hours 30 minutes to reach by train.

By Rail

Windermere is the closest train station which is a short 10 minute bus or taxi journey from Bowness-on-Windermere. From here you can connect to most major towns in the UK, including Manchester (2 hours), Newcastle (3 hours), Glasgow (3 hours) and London (4 hours).

Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. 

At Macs Adventure we work in partnership with many luggage transfer providers who set a limit on how many bags/suitcases they will transfer per person, and also the weight of the bag/suitcase.  Ninety-nine percent of the time they will only transfer one bag per person, but the allowed weight ranges from anything between 15 and 20kg per bag, depending on the tour you are taking.  We do not have control over the limits that these providers set. Therefore, it is very important that you read the luggage information specific to your tour before departure. If you do not adhere to these limits there is a great possibility that you will be charged locally both for extra bags, or if they are too heavy. This limitation can be a challenge, especially as airlines generally have limits that are higher. However, our luggage providers have reasons for these limits (usually due to the Health and Safety of their employees) which we must respect.

If you are travelling from far afield and do have more than one bag it is possible to arrange for the extra luggage to be stored whilst you are on tour. Speak to your adventure specialist if you wish to book this.

General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

At Macs Adventure we care about the environment! We're taking action to minimize the impact we have by converting our tour documentation for digital delivery. On this tour all your detailed tour information will be digitally delivered. You will have access to this documentation via "My Account" on our website.


Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Day 1 Arrive Ilkley Day 2 Ilkley to Burnsall 13 miles / 21 km Day 3 Burnsall to Hubberholme - 15 miles, 24 km 15 miles / 24 km Day 4 Hubberholme to Dent Head (Cowgill) 17 miles / 27 km Day 5 Dent Head (Cowgill) to Sedbergh 9.5 miles / 15 km Day 6 Sedbergh to Burneside/Overnight Kendal 15.5 miles / 25 km Day 7 Burneside to Bowness-on-Windermere 9.5 miles / 15 km Day 8 Onward Travel

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