Walking The Dales Way in 7 Days

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Walking the Dales Way in 7 days

The Dales Way crosses two National Parks, taking walkers from the Yorkshire Dales to the Lake District National Park along 78 miles of glorious and varied countryside. As you travel on foot you will admire the ruins of Bolton Priory, and stroll through the Wharfedale Valley. Many small villages and towns await such as the pretty stole-clad village of Grassington, and the lively Cumbrian town of Kendal. 

Start of the route - Ilkley

The Dales Way begins in Ilkley – a pretty spa town in West Yorkshire at the foot of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The town is easily accessed via public transport and has an abundance of shops, and places to stay.  If Pubs are your thing, check out the Black Hat, a Gastro Pub, or the Innkeepers Lodge.

If you are after a lively, and more upmarket stay for the first night of your trip, the Gin Lounge Rooms may appeal, with their Edwardian/modern-chic inspired interiors, infusing old and new with dark but popping colors. Oh did we mention there is a popular Gin bar below? Gin Bar not your thing? No problem we have the Dales View Cottage Bed and Breakfast, from £75.00 for a double room. Regardless of your accommodation preference, there’s certainly enough here to satisfy most budgets and tastes in this charming Yorkshire town. Be sure to book around the Ilkley Literature Festival in August which sees the town’s accommodation book up quickly. 

Walk from Ilkley to Burnsall - 13 miles

Burnsall is a pretty village situated on the River Wharfe in Wharfdale, and an obvious stop of the Dales Way long-distance walk. The River Wharf runs calmly through the town, which is built around its various apexes. The surrounding hills, a reminder of the stunning landscape which you are walking through. 

Unlikely Ilkley, accommodation isn’t in abundance, but there is enough to satisfy small groups of walkers.

Burnsall to Kettlewell - 9.5 miles

Burnsall is a pretty village situated on the River Wharfe in Wharfdale, and an obvious stop of the Dales Way long-distance walk. The River Wharf runs calmly through the town, which is built around its various apexes. The surrounding hills, a reminder of the stunning landscape which you are walking through. 

Unlikely Ilkley, accommodation isn’t in abundance, but there is enough to satisfy small groups of walkers.

At the heart of the Village is the Red Lion Hotel – a 16th Century Inn with well-furnished and walker and dog-friendly rooms.

Alternatively, if you would like an upmarket option, the Devonshire Fell Hotel may be to your taste. This 4 star hotel, is a charming Country House with the hallmark of quality given to a hotel in the same group as many of the illustrious Chatsworth hotels. 

Kettlewell to Oughtershaw - 10 miles

Oughtershaw is small hamlet along the Dales Way with the Oughtershaw Beck running through it. There isn’t a lot here, and your accommodation options are limited unless you choose to use the two local self catering accommodations, Nethergill Farm, Swarthghyll Farm. Conveniently Nethergill farm do offer camping, so if you are walking in this manner then you are sorted for accommodation in Oughtershaw.

For those looking for a bed, you will be disappointed as a transfer back to Kettlewell or book a two night stay in Hawes, which will help with your next overnight stop in Lea Yeat.

Oughtershaw to Lea Yeat - 11.5 miles

Lea Yea, much like Oughtershaw is a small hamlet, with very limited accommodation options. Again like Oughtershaw, I recommend staying in Hawes, or Sedbergh, using a local taxi to help you to get to/from the trail. 

There is one accommodation here, The Sportsman Inn, however, the rooms are a little on the pricey side and the reviews are not amazing. If however, you wish to avoid having to transfer away from the trail this may be appealing. 

Lea Yeat to Sedbergh - 9 miles

You will be releaved to have made your way across much of the Yorkshire Dales, with the fells of the Lake District Ahead of you before you arrive in Bowness-on-Windermere. Sedbergh makes a pleasant stop which you may wish to enjoy for a day or two, depending on how quickly you like to travel. 

This attractive market town is adorned with a great selection of independent retailers, places to eat, drink and of course, stay. 

While you are here, enjoy the book shops, or the 13th Century market.

Sedbergh to Patton Bridge - 12.5 miles

Patton Bridge is another small hamlet village close to the edge of the Lake District National Park.

You will need to look towards Kendal for accommodation this night. You can use Blue Star Taxis to help with your movements to and from the trail. 

 

Patton Bridge to Bowness-On-Windermere - 13.5 miles

Congratulations on finishing your walk! You are now in the busy Cumbrian village of Bowness-on-Windermere, overlooking Lake Windermere. Onward travel from here is easy, with a local train station. While you are here, there are ample amounts of shops, eateries, and places to stay.

With any popular tourist towns, try to avoid bank holidays and summer holidays.  

Luggage Transfer

You may wish to have your bags carried along the Dales Way. There are a couple of bag transfer companies who can help transfer your bags along the route. Some recommended companies are:

Sherpa Van

Brigantes

 

 

 

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