What it's like walking England's Dales Way

Hiking along the Dales Way | Dan Briston
Hiking along the Dales Way | Dan Briston

Embrace the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales, where tradition, history, and nature converge in a breathtaking tapestry waiting to be discovered.

Established in 1969, the Dales Way stands as a testament to England's rich tapestry of landscapes, stretching 78 miles from the quaint town of Ilkley in West Yorkshire to the picturesque Bowness-on-Windermere in Cumbria

This iconic route traverses the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the gentle foothills of southern Lakeland, revealing English highland beauty. You can choose from the 8-day itinerary to walk the full trail or the extended 10-day option for a more leisurely exploration that includes overnight stays in the old lead mining village of Kettlewell and a beautifully restored lakehouse farmhouse in Staveley.

Watch: Hiker's experience on the Dales Way


A journey through time and tradition 

As you embark on this UK trail, you'll find yourself immersed in the timeless charm of the Yorkshire Dales, a landscape virtually untouched for centuries. The route takes you through enchanting riverside paths and unveils breathtaking views of the Wharfe, Dee, Rawthey, Lune, and Kent rivers. 

Along the way, you'll encounter charming inns and farmhouses dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries, providing a glimpse into the rich history of the region. 

What is the trail like on the Dales Way?

The Dales Way is a captivating blend of soft rolling hills, limestone edges, and lush green valleys, creating a picturesque backdrop for your walking holiday.

Rambling along the Dales Way |  <i>Dan Briston</i>

Along the way, you'll encounter waterfalls, a Roman road, ancient churches, and charming Real Ale pubs, each adding its own unique touch to the journey. 

Much of the walking follows trails beside rivers and through high moorland areas, offering beautiful spots for picnics and glimpses of wildlife. Keep an eye out for Berwick swans, kingfishers, dippers, and wagtails patrolling the rivers, while the waters hide elusive brown trout. 

How difficult is the Dales Way?

The route is dotted with "stiles" and "kissing gates," requiring good mobility as you navigate through fields, and transitions from the High Pennines to the Lake District with varying terrains. 

While gradients and terrain are generally straightforward, the path may become muddy underfoot in wet weather adding to the adventure for walkers with a small amount of tarmac walking.

Hiking the varied terrain of the Dales Way |  <i>Dan Briston</i> Discover quaint villages on the Dales Way in England |  <i>Dan Briston</i> Walking over a stile in England |  <i>Dan Briston</i>

The Dales Way experience with Walkers' Britain 

Choosing Walkers' Britain for your Dales Way walk ensures a memorable and hassle-free experience. With over 50 years of expertise, Walkers' Britain offers a range of benefits and great value when going self-guided, including handpicked accommodation in historic hotels and guesthouses, baggage transfers, and hearty breakfasts to fuel your day. 

Whether you opt for the 8-day adventure or the extended 10-day self-guided holiday, Walkers' Britain has crafted the most scenic routes to showcase the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales. The itineraries feature detailed route notes and maps, allowing you to navigate with ease. Luggage transfers from inn to inn ensure that you can focus on the awe-inspiring landscapes without the burden of heavy bags. 

An emergency hotline is available, and the local team's extensive experience on the trails ensures that you receive reliable support throughout your journey. When you choose Walkers' Britain, you're not just getting a walking holiday – you're gaining access to a dedicated team that prioritises your safety and enjoyment. 

View Dales Way tours and make it an unforgettable walking experience through the heart of England >

England, United Kingdom walks, Dales Way, hiking trails in England, West Yorkshire, Cumbria, Pennines, Lake District, Yorkshire Dales holidays, walking tours in Yorkshire Dales

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