Dales Way

The Dales Way is a delightful 78 mile walk through the Yorkshire Dales from the moors of Ilkley through the wonderful limestone country of Wharfedale and Dentdale and then skirting the Howgill Fells as you head west into south Lakeland to finish at the charming town of Bowness-on-Windermere, the largest lake in England's premier National Park.

Prices are per person based on twin share and include all accommodation in twin share rooms on bed & breakfast basis, luggage transfer, information pack including map & guidebook and our emergency contact.

Single rooms are available. We only apply a supplement for single accommodation when there is a direct cost to us and we cap this in line with our ‘Fair pricing’ policy. Solo walkers pay a supplement of £8 per walking day, plus any single room supplement which may be required.

Route Options

Walking the Dales Way in 6 stages is an option for anyone used to long distance trail walking. Our itinerary gives an average day of around 12 - 14 miles with one longer day from Buckden to Dentdale. We have kept the last day shorter to give time to enjoy the lakeside at Bowness or for the option to return home on this day (deduct £50pp if no overnight in Bowness).

Arrive at Ilkley and check in.
Day 1 Ilkley to Burnsall 12 miles
Day 2 Burnsall to Buckden 14 miles
Day 3 Buckden to Dentdale 17 miles
Day 4 Dentdale to Sedbergh 12 miles
Day 5 Sedbergh to Burneside 14 miles
Day 6 Burneside to Bowness-on-Windermere 9 miles
Depart Bowness

Walking the Dales Way in 7 stages is our recommended option with a daily mileage of around 10 - 12 miles. Given the nature of the walking which is mostly along rivers and canals and through low valleys, this is quite a pleasant pace with time to enjoy and look around the places you are passing through. Our price for this option includes a night in Bowness / Windermere but if you wish to return home on the same day you end the Dales Way, this is also possible (deduct £50pp if no overnight in Bowness).

Arrive at Ilkley and check in.
Day 1 Ilkley to Burnsall 12 miles
Day 2 Burnsall to Kettlewell 10 miles
Day 3 Kettlewell to Oughtershaw 12 miles
Day 4 Oughtershaw to Cowgill 11 miles
Day 5 Cowgill to Sedbergh 10 miles
Day 6 Sedbergh to Burneside 14 miles
Day 7 Burneside to Bowness-on-Windermere 9 miles
Depart Bowness

For anyone with more than just a week to devote to this beautiful walk, it is well worth taking your time over the Dales Way. This itinerary will allow plenty of time to get the best out of the sightseeing possibilities along the route and enjoy a relaxed pace on a trail with ample opportunity to sample village pubs and quirky cafes.

Arrive at Ilkley and check in.
Day 1 Ilkley to Appletreewick 10 miles
Day 2 Appletreewick to Kettlewell 10 miles
Day 3 Kettlewell to Oughtershaw 12 miles
Day 4 Oughtershaw to Ribblehead 8 miles
Day 5 Ribblehead to Dent 10 miles
Day 6 Dent to Howgill 11 miles
Day 7 Howgill to Burneside 10 miles
Day 8 Burneside to Bowness-on-Windermere 9 miles
Depart Bowness

The price includes:

  • All accommodation in twin/double rooms (with private bathroom where available) in guest houses, inns or hotels
  • All breakfasts
  • Luggage transfer between hotels
  • A Wandering Aengus information pack containing all necessary maps, a current guide book, laminated locator maps for each night's accommodation, and our own weather-proof 'info cards' with local information - including locations and opening times of restaurants, cafes, ATMs, supermarkets etc.
  • Our emergency contact number

Not included:

  • Lunches and evening meals (we provide full details of your options)
  • Extra costs incurred through using escape routes or abandonment of the itinerary
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses such as drinks etc.

Our Accommodation:

As keen walkers ourselves we appreciate the importance of the place you put your feet up and rest your head in at the end of each day. We very carefully select our accommodations whether they be a cosy pub, family run guest house, or established town centre hotel. We choose places directly on the route or within easy walking distance of it and if we ever have to transfer you because of limited availability, we will always contact you to discuss this and never just leave you to find out later. We provide comfortable, clean and warm twin or double rooms, with private bathroom wherever available. Single occupancy of rooms is also available for a supplementary cost.


Breakfast at your accommodation is included in the holiday price. In most cases your accommodation will serve dinner and will be able to prepare a packed lunch for you. Sometimes this will have to be arranged in advance and we will let you know if this is the case. Alternatively you can use our detailed notes to make your own dining and lunch arrangements using local restaurants, cafes and supermarkets.

ILKLEY: There are frequent trains to Ilkley from London (Kings Cross) taking approximately 3 hours, from Manchester (1½ hours) and from Glasgow (5 hours).

RETURN from WINDERMERE: There are frequent trains from Windermere to London (3½ - 4 hours), Manchester (1½ - 2 hours) and Glasgow (2½ - 3 hours). We do not recommend driving to the start of the Dales Way as the return journey by train from Windermere will take 3 - 4 hours and involves several changes of train.

Book this Holiday

Dales Way map
The Dales Way mostly follows river valleys and is therefore less strenuous than trails such as the Pennine Way or Coast to Coast. It is a good trail to choose if you want an introduction to Long Distance Path (LDP) walking. Depending on where you look for information, the trail length varies from 75.5 miles (the distance as measured on the 1:25000 Ordnance Survey map) to 81 miles (the distance given on most of the route signage). The distance for the route given by the Dales Way Association is 78 miles. This is relatively short for a long distance trail and means that it can easily be completed within a week.

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