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Yorkshire Pub Walks: Ales & Dales Trail

8 Days & 7 Nights 5 Read 3 reviews
  • Classic English hill walking with ample opportunities for pub stops in friendly Yorkshire villages
  • Stay in some of the best rustic country inns and manor houses that the Dales have to offer
  • Walk various sections of England's best national trails (including the C2C & Pennine Way)
  • Enjoy a pint of real ale at the remote Tan Hill Inn, the highest pub in mainland UK
  • Grassington, the fabulous village where parts of "All Creatures Great and Small" was filmed
Recently featured in The Telegraph's "Top 10 Amazing UK Walking Holidays for 2021", the Ales and Dales Trail lets you experience the wonderful Yorkshire Dales National Park via a collection of pub walks through the expansive rolling English countryside and remote moors, staying in the charismatic towns of Grassington, Hawes and Aysgarth. Along the way you'll find yourself saying "Ow do" to the locals as you wander through dramatic green landscapes going from one friendly village to the next, spending time in typically English country pubs or cosy tea rooms - of course, ensuring you sample the local ales and "brews" that you can only find in Yorkshire itself. In the evenings you can relax and get a good night's kip in the comfort of some of the best handpicked traditional Inns, manor houses & small hotels that the dales have to offer, not before enjoying an eclectic range of restaurants and lively pubs that are being touted as some of the best culinary locations in the UK.
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We have crafted the “Ales and Dales Trail” in such a way that you will walk the famed sweeping rural landscapes and remote moors of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, whilst also taking you through its many picture-postcard stone-built villages. This gives you ample opportunities to visit a rustic country pub or a cosy tearoom for a hearty lunch, dinner or some "light" refreshments! This moderate graded self-guided walking tour is perfect for those looking for classic English hill walking with plenty of chances along the way to taste its culinary delights!

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent tour.

Activity:

Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night

Ideal if you have an interest in:

Foodie Adventures, National Parks & Trails

Activity Level & Terrain

Expect a mixture of paths, tracks, and minor roads. Some of the paths can become very muddy and boggy when rain falls, often making progress slower than normal. The Ales and Dales trail is not specifically waymarked but you are walking through sections of England’s national trail networks and you regularly pass through small villages and towns – The paths are remote in sections but are walked regularly by other hikers and locals, with a few short sections being on indistinct paths.

Navigation

Using the Macs Adventure Smartphone App is mandatory for this tour. Whilst the Ales and Dales is not an official waymarked path, it does follow sections of many national trails including the Dales Way, Pennine Way, Coast to Coast as well as some other known trails such as the Lady Anne Way, Mark Reid's the Inn Way and the Herriot Way. There are some sections where the path underfoot may become indistinct, but we provide comprehensive route notes, maps and GPX tracks through our smartphone app, so you shouldn’t have any problem finding your way. 

Experience & Fitness

The Ales and Dales trail is a classic inn to inn hill walking tour at heart, most of the walks on the tour are graded moderate (therefore the tour collectively is graded as moderate), however, there are a couple of days that are verging on moderate-to-strenuous (please do not underestimate the difficulty of these days). For those that would rather spend some more time in the pubs or tea rooms or those simply looking for an easier day, there are options to either shorten the walks or take public transport on most days - the exception to this is the Aysgarth to Kettlewell routes, there are no shortcuts or public transport on offer. (all shortcuts and public transport options are detailed in our information pack and smartphone app). Below you can see a breakdown of each day and their approximate distance alongside the ascents and descents.

Routes Distance (km/miles) Ascent(metres) Descent(metres)
Grassington to Cray 19.3 km / 12 miles 302 177
Cray to Hawes 24.2 km / 15 miles 362 438
Keld Loop walk Via Tan Hill Inn 16.6 km / 10.3 miles 353 374
Keld to Reeth (Low Route) 19.2 km / 11.9 miles 328 461
Keld to Reeth (High Route) 17.7 km / 11 miles 529 649
Reeth to Aysgarth 21.7 km / 13.5 miles 522 513
Aysgarth to Kettlewell - via Buckden Pike Memorial 20.3 km / 12.6 miles 592 597
Aysgarth to Kettlewell - via Inn Way 24.8 km / 15.4 miles 578 582

Accommodations

You will stay in a mixture of carefully chosen country inns, manor/guest gouses, and/or small hotels. In some cases, due to availability, you may stay in some smaller B&B's. It should also be noted that due to Covid19 many overnight accommodation options are sadly not operating for the foreseeable future. 

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable, this supplement can be very expensive for solo/single rooms due to the area and nature of the accommodations used on this tour. We welcome solo walkers on this trip although you should, of course, take extra care in the outdoors when walking solo.

Meals

Breakfast is included each morning while lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. The Ales and Dales trail has many options for lunch stops in local tea rooms or pubs that are dotted along the way - details of these are included in your route notes. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants.  Please be aware that due to Covid19 many pubs and restaurants are closed temporarily (in some cases permanently) and will be operating in line with the UK's government guidance. 

Additional Nights

You may wish to take some extra nights along the route, either to rest or for those with plenty of energy to explore some of the other walking opportunities nearby. We recommend extra nights at:

  • Malham - Perfect for those looking for some extra nights at the start or end of your trip. Malham is well worth a visit, to walk around the iconic Malham Cove where Harry Potter was filmed. Later on in the evening, you can then relax and dine at one of its many lively pubs or restaurants. Malham is not too far from Grassington and we could arrange for this to be included in your tour as a walking day.  We include both walks on our Escape to the Yorkshire Dales tour - so you can follow these on our Macs Adventure app. For more information, talk to your adventure specialist.
  • Hawes - For a mid-tour stop - Hawes is a good option. It is a pretty market town with plenty of easy-going walking trails. It's also home to the Wensleydale Creamery (famous for Wensleydale cheese!)
Included
  • 7 Nights in traditional Yorkshire inn's, country manor houses and small boutique hotels
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Daily baggage transfers
  • Transfers as per your itinerary
  • Access to maps, GPX tracks and daily route information with the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
  • All your trip documents provided digitally through your online Macs “My Account”
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our UK office
Excluded
  • Travel to/from Grassington
  • Dinners and lunches
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel Insurance
Extras
  • Additional nights before or after the holiday
  • Transfers to/from Skipton train station to your Grassington accommodation

When To Go

The best time to walk is from April through to the end of September.  It's also possible to walk in the shoulder months of March and October, however, the weather can be a nuisance and the paths can become extremely boggy due to increased rainfall and shorter daylight hours. Please note that there may also be a baggage transfer supplement as it is out of season for our local supplier.

Getting to the Start

By Rail - The nearest train station to Grassington is Skipton. Trains run from London to Skipton (via Leeds) and take approx 4.5-hours or it is also possible to travel from Manchester (3.5 hours). From Skipton, there is a regular local bus service to Grassington that takes around 30 mins. Alternatively for a supplement, we can arrange a taxi transfer for you, from Skipton train station to your accommodation in Grassington. (Costs are approximately £25 one way for 1-4 passengers)

By Car - It is a 4 hour drive from London to Grassington or a 1.5 hour drive from Manchester. The Yorkshire Dales is well linked to all major motorways and road networks. Please let us know if you do plan to drive as we will attempt to arrange parking space for you (please note that this is at the discretion of the hotel and can't be guaranteed).

By Air - The closest airports are Leeds Bradford or Manchester. From either of these airports, you can take the train via Leeds to Skipton. From Skipton, there is a regular local bus service to Grassington that takes around 30 mins. Alternatively for a supplement, we can arrange a taxi transfer for you, from Skipton train station to your accommodation in Grassington. (Costs are approximately £25 one way for 1-4 passengers). For those coming from overseas, you are likely arriving via one of the many London Airports, from here you can catch a train to Skipton as detailed in the "By Rail" section above.

For more information on train times and schedules please visit the Traveline or National Rail websites.

Luggage Transfer

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 20kg per person.

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 that 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. 

Ales and Dales in the Press

Online Documents

On this tour, all your detailed tour information will be digitally delivered and the trail will be followed using our Smartphone App. You will have access to this documentation and how to use the Macs App via “My Account” on our website. 

Equipment

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.

What happens if I can't walk a stage?
What is the best time of year?
How do the baggage transfers work?
Where would you recommend extra nights?
Pub Opening Hours (Outwith Covid19)
Covid19 effect on Pubs and Tearooms in Yorkshire
Why I Can't I book the tour on a Sunday or Monday?

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Grassington Day 2 Grassington to Cray 12 miles / 19.5 km Day 3 Cray to Hawes 15 miles / 24 km Day 4 Keld Loop Walk via Tan Hill Inn 10.5 miles / 16.5 km Day 5 Keld to Reeth 12 miles / 19 km Day 6 Reeth to Aysgarth 13.5 miles / 22 km Day 7 Aysgarth to Kettlewell (Transfer to Grassington) 15 miles / 25 km Day 8 Onward Travel

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