Swale Way

A self-guided walking holiday through the heart of Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Swale Way Map

click on the map to enlarge

Walking the length of a river to its source, as explorers have been doing since the earliest of times, is always a magical prospect. The Swale Way , which traces the course of the River Swale from its confluence with the River Ure in the Vale of York to its source in the windswept hills above Swaledale, is particularly enchanting.

From the old coaching town of Boroughbridge , the Swale Way begins by following the banks of the Ure to Swale Nab, where the Swale empties into the Ure. Then it meanders through tranquil farmland to Thirsk, an attractive little town with a large cobbled Market Place. Thirsk was the 'Darrowby' in James Herriot's stories of life as a Yorkshire vet. His surgery in the town is now a popular museum. The trail also visits Brafferton, where St Paulinus baptised 10,000 people in the waters of the river; Bolton-on-Swale, where an obelisk commemorates Henry Jenkins, England's longest-lived citizen, who died in 1670 aged 169; the magnificent ruin of Easby Abbey, founded in 1152 by the 'White Monks'; and Richmond, one of the most beautiful towns in England.

Next, the Swale Way follows paths running along the top of the valley, which provide wonderful views across Swaledale, before descending to the attractive little town of Reeth, the 'capital' of upper Swaledale. From here, the trail returns to the river and follows footpaths linking pretty stone-built villages dotted along the dale to the hamlet of Keld and the gathering grounds of the Swale, through a landscape of drystone walls, flower-filled meadows and tiny field barns.

Holiday Highlights

  • Following the course of the River Swale as it flows through some of Yorkshire’s finest scenery.
  • Walking through the beautiful meadows of Swaledale, where there are endless wildflowers, butterflies and typical Yorkshire dry-stone walls in the summer seasons.
  • Exploring James Herriot’s surgery in Thirsk.

Swale Way

Boroughbridge to Keld along the length of the River Swale.
Total Distance 76 miles (122 km)
Start and Finish Boroughbridge to Keld
Availability 2nd January to 24th December
click on a photo to enlarge
Swaledale landscape
Swale Way view over Swaledale
Swale Way river Swale
Tour Code Itinerary Tour Price    
SWAW1 7 nights, 6 days walking £610 per person More Information Book Online
Our prices are based upon two people sharing a room. If you are walking on your own, or are part of a group, but require a room of your own, one of the following charges applies:
£30 per person / per night
£20 per person / per night
You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:
Extra night (Standard)
£50 per person / per night
All of our prices are in British pounds (£). Use our currency converter to convert British pounds (£) to your country’s currency.

The price that you pay includes:

  • accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis.
  • door to door luggage transfers for every day of your tour.
  • maps, guidebooks and a tour pack detailing specific information about your holiday.
Tour Code Itinerary Tour Price    
SWAW1-D 7 nights, 6 days walking £680 per person More Information Book Online
£8 per dog / walking day
Our prices are based upon two people sharing a room. If you are walking on your own, or are part of a group, but require a room of your own, one of the following charges applies:
£30 per person / per night
£20 per person / per night
You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:
Extra night (Standard)
£55 per person / per night
All of our prices are in British pounds (£). Use our currency converter to convert British pounds (£) to your country’s currency.

The price that you pay includes:

  • accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis.
  • door to door luggage transfers for every day of your tour.
  • maps, guidebooks and a tour pack detailing specific information about your holiday.
Don’t have the time for the complete walk?

For those with less time available, we also offer a shorter tour covering the most spectacular section of the Swale Way starting at the historic town of Richmond.


Swale Way Taster Break

Richmond to Keld through the wonderful landscape of Upper Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Swale Way Highlights Map

click on the map to enlarge

Total Distance 34 miles (54 km)
Start and Finish Richmond to Keld
Availability 2nd January to 24th December

The Swale Way Taster Breaks is a short walking holiday that starts in Richmond and ends in Reeth. Following the River Swale as it heads upstream, the trail encounters the most spectacular section of the walk, passing alongside the lively waters of the riverside against a backdrop of lush valleys and impressive mountains.

Starting on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park in Richmond, there is a wealth of fascinating history to explore as you wander the cobbled streets around Richmond market place and discover the remains of Richmond Castle, where there are spectacular views over the Yorkshire Dales. From here, the trail skirts the south of the river and along the upper valley to Reeth, an old lead mining town nestled between Arkengarthdale and Swaledale.

Continuing through rolling fields lined by dry stone walls, the trail arrives in Keld, the final stop on this short section of the Swale Way. Here, the surrounding landscape is sure to impress, with a series of spectacular waterfalls including Currack force, East Gill, Catrake and Swinner Gill.

Holiday Highlights

  • Visiting the magnificent Richmond Castle, looming over the historic town of Richmond.
  • Winding along the course of the most spectacular section of the River Swale from Richmond to Reeth.
  • Exploring the pretty Yorkshire villages of Downsholme and Grinton in the heart of Swaledale.
click on a photo to enlarge
Swale Way Crackpot Hall
Swale Way Gunnerside
Swale Way Swaledale Bridge
Tour Code Itinerary Tour Price    
SWASB 4 nights, 3 days walking £350 per person More Information Book Online
Our prices are based upon two people sharing a room. If you are walking on your own, or are part of a group, but require a room of your own, one of the following charges applies:
£30 per person / per night
£20 per person / per night
You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:
Extra night (Standard)
£50 per person / per night
All of our prices are in British pounds (£). Use our currency converter to convert British pounds (£) to your country’s currency.

The price that you pay includes:

  • accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis.
  • door to door luggage transfers for every day of your tour.
  • maps, guidebooks and a tour pack detailing specific information about your holiday.
Tour Code Itinerary Tour Price    
SWASB-D 4 nights, 3 days walking £390 per person More Information Book Online
£8 per dog / walking day
Our prices are based upon two people sharing a room. If you are walking on your own, or are part of a group, but require a room of your own, one of the following charges applies:
£30 per person / per night
£20 per person / per night
You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:
Extra night (Standard)
£55 per person / per night
All of our prices are in British pounds (£). Use our currency converter to convert British pounds (£) to your country’s currency.

The price that you pay includes:

  • accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis.
  • door to door luggage transfers for every day of your tour.
  • maps, guidebooks and a tour pack detailing specific information about your holiday.