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Dales Way

The Dales Way is a delightful long distance path through the Yorkshire Dales, the Howgill Fells and the eastern fringes of the Lake District from Ilkley to Bowness on Windermere. The route follows the valleys of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, crossing the English Pennine watershed as it makes its way north westward towards Lakeland. One of the many attractions of this well loved route is the abundance of features of architectural, historical, social and ecological interest along the way. Churches, manor houses, shooting lodges, Roman roads, ancient stone circles, packhorse bridges, suspension bridges, viaducts, nature trails - The Dales Way has them all. It is also unbelievable rich in flora and fauna; in fact the interest never stops from first step to last.

The contrast of the landscapes also make this one of the most interesting long distance paths; from the dark brooding gritstone of the start on Ilkley Moor to the green and fertile Wharfedale valley. From the amazing limestone pavements with hawthorn trees clinging tenaciously in crevices, to the wide wild expanse of Oughtershaw Moss, desolate wilderness or spacious freedom, depending upon your point of view. There is peacefulness walking down the beautiful Dentdale, and the piece de resistance, the glorious Howgill Fells and the view of Lakeland's mountains ahead.

The terrain of Dales Way country makes for a less demanding walk than many long distance paths and this has no doubt boosted its popularity, together with its lovely riverside scenery. Discover delightful villages such as Burnsall, Grassington, Kettlewell, Dent and Sedbergh; savour the majesty of Bolton Abbey; and walk by the engaging rivers of Wharfe, Dee, Rawthey, Lune, Sprint and Kent. Within the Yorkshire Dales the route is largely a riverside walk, but there are opportunities to gain height along the valley sides of both Wharfedale and Dentdale providing variety and extensive views. The scenery is of the highest order for virtually the entire route.

There are linking routes connecting with The Dales Way from Leeds, Bradford and Harrogate. The route is very much an all season route with spring and autumn being good times to walk it. In summer it's popularity requires booking accommodation well ahead.


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Start: Ilkley

Grid Ref: SE 117476

End: Bowness, Windermere

Grid Ref: SD 402969

Distance: 135km

Walking Time: 7 days

Counties Traversed

Explorer™ Maps
OL2; OL7; OL19; OL30; 297

Dales Way Speakman

Dales Way Cicerone

Dales Way Hannon

Dales Way Dalesman

Dales Way Harvey Map

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