At 84 miles (135 km) long the Dales Way is a long-distance footpath in Northern England. The route starts in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, and heads north-west to end in Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria. The route was developed by the West Riding Ramblers' Association in 1968.
Less arduous than the Pennine Way and Coast to Coast paths, the Dales Way passes through the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District National Parks. From Ilkley, the path follows the River Wharfe upstream to Ribblehead. The route continues by following several valleys including Dentdale, River Mint and River Kent to reach the shores of Lake Windermere. The section from Upper Wharfedale (Langstrothdale) over the watershed at Cam Houses into Ribblesdale is the most arduous and remote.
At a leisurely pace the route can be comfortably completed in a week but some walkers only take 4 days or less. The Dales Way is well served by public transport at start and finish of the route. Accommodation is mostly in plentiful supply, except the section over the watershed, with a choice of bed and breakfast, camping and pubs.
For much of the route the Dales Way passes through rural scenery with little urban development apart from villages including Grassington and Kettlewell in Wharfedale. The attractive village of Dent in Dentdale is one of the highlights.
Regional Walking Guides
A full list of "Where to Walk" Walking Guides can be found at List of Regional Walking Guides.
The Dales Way
An essential guidebook to walking the Dales Way. This picturesque 78 mile long distance route through the Yorkshire Dales between Ilkley and Bowness on Windermere is one of the gentlest multi-day walks in Britain. The route is described in both directions, visiting Grassington, Kettlewell, Buckden, Dent, Sedbergh and Staveley en route to Bowness. - More information
Dark Peak Walks - Guidebook to 40 walks in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park. 35 circular routes for most abilities, from 8km to 19km, around Edale, Marsden, Fairholmes, Baslow and Castleton, including Kinder Scout and Mam Tor, and 5 longer (25km to 45km) routes highlighting the best of the Gritstone Edges, High Moorland and Deep Valleys. More information
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Convenient 1:25000 OS maps in booklet form covering the National Trails of Britain. More info.
A durable, lightweight, stylish and compact alternative to traditional waterproofs ideal for walkers. More info.
Click for a simple guide of how to start walking. Includes a guide on how to select your walks.