Dales Way

Dales Way

A self-guided walking holiday through the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District National Park.

3 to 10 nights
22-79 miles
Easy / Moderate to Demanding

From £410 per person

Find your holiday

About the trail

The Dales Way meanders through the heart of the Yorkshire Dales to the shores of Windermere in the Lake District. On a self-guided holiday along the Dales Way, you’ll enjoy a vast range of beautiful Yorkshire landscapes, including colourful moorland, tranquil riversides, rugged fells and quiet valleys.

The walk explores a range of pretty towns and villages and offers glimpses into the region’s past, including the ruins of Bolton Priory and Barden Tower. The trail then leaves the Yorkshire Dales and heads towards Windermere, passing through rolling farmland framed by the impressive mountains of the Lake District, providing a satisfying end to a remarkable trail.

We offer multiple holiday options along this trail. If you wish to experience the entire trail, simply select the first option from the list below.

Choose your route

  • Dales Way
  • Dales Way Highlights
  • Dales Way Short Break

Trail running tours available

We also organise trail running holidays along this route. Find out more.

About this route

7 to 10 nights
79 miles
Easy / Moderate to Demanding
2nd January to 24th December

From £905 per person

Dales Way

This holiday option takes in all 77 miles of the iconic Dales Way walking trail, showcasing some of the finest scenery the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District have to offer.

Admire the impressive ruins of Bolton Priory, meander through the peaceful Wharfedale Valley and visit many welcoming settlements on this magical walking holiday through two beautiful National Parks.

Available tours

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
DW1 From Ilkley to Bowness-On-Windermere 7 nights, 6 days walking Demanding £905
DW2 From Ilkley to Bowness-On-Windermere 8 nights, 7 days walking Moderate £1025
DW3 From Ilkley to Bowness-On-Windermere 9 nights, 8 days walking Moderate £1150
DW4 From Ilkley to Bowness-On-Windermere 10 nights, 9 days walking Easy / Moderate £1275

Short breaks

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
DWSB From Ilkley to Kettlewell 3 nights, 2 days walking Moderate £410

Dales Way 7 nights, 6 days walking

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Route profile
  • Travel info
  • Weather
  • Holiday Highlights

Important information

This tour is available to book all year, however out of season from the end of October to March, there may be a small supplement for luggage moves, which will be moved by taxi rather than the usual luggage courier.

Start

Travel to Ilkley where your first night's accommodation will be booked

Day 1

Ilkley to Burnsall(L). 13 miles (20.5km) / 988 ft (301 m) ascent

Day 2

Burnsall(L) to Buckden. 13.5 miles (21.5km) / 1142 ft (348 m) ascent

Day 3

Buckden to Lea Yeat(L). 17 miles (27.5km) / 1654 ft (504 m) ascent

Day 4

Lea Yeat(L) to Sedbergh(L). 9 miles (14.5km) / 581 ft (177 m) ascent

Day 5

Sedbergh(L) to Patton Bridge(L). 12.5 miles (20km) / 1083 ft (330 m) ascent

Day 6

Patton Bridge(L) to Bowness-On-Windermere. 13.5 miles (21.5km) / 1234 ft (376 m) ascent

Finish

Depart from Bowness-On-Windermere after breakfast

Your Itinerary

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.

Overnight stops marked with an (L) have very limited accommodation, and therefore more often than not will also require a transfer, particularly on bank holidays and weekends. We will use non-transfer accommodation wherever possible.

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation in most cases; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard if practical. A very limited number of stops will require you to travel on foot up to two miles off the trail, however these instances will be clearly communicated to you if applicable.

Further transfers may also be required due to some accommodations having a two-night minimum booking policy, especially at weekends.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Dog-friendly tours are subject to a Daily Dog Charge, which will be listed below if applicable. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

A note about transfers
Solo Traveller Supplement
£60.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£50.00 per person / per night


You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Burnsall(L))
£70.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Sedbergh(L))
£75.00 per person / per night
Standard
Interactive
© Contours Walking Holidays Dales Way map
Ilkley to Windermere
79 miles (126 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Crossing two national parks of the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District and enjoying the contrasting scenery of both areas.

Admiring the iconic dry stone walls and enclosed rolling fields of the Yorkshire Dales.

Exploring the wealth of interesting history along the walk, including the romantic ruins of Bolton Priory.

What's included?

  • 7 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

Taking an extra night is the perfect way to extend your holiday and give yourself extra time to explore the Yorkshire Dales.

Burnsall has an idyllic setting with heather covered hills that look down upon the village green, complete with maypole and bordering the River Wharfe. A sturdy bridge with massive breakwaters, an inn, church, school and ancient mullion windowed cottages complete the picture.

St Wilfrid's church has many fascinating features; a tapsel gate - a lychgate with a revolving 'turnstile' entrance, a medieval Adoration of the Magi, a Norman inscribed font and Viking 'hog-backed' gravestones. The school next door was one of the country's earliest grammar schools.

Buckden is another good choice for a rest day. It is an attractive jumble of stone cottages, with a shop and a lovely old inn, perched on the hillside overlooking the River Wharfe.

Many people have an extra day in Sedbergh, a very pleasant market town, while Windermere is a good choice for an extra night if you would like to explore the southern Lake District at the end of your holiday.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Burnsall(L))
£70.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Sedbergh(L))
£75.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 79 miles (126 km)
Duration: 7 nights, 6 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 9 miles (14.5 km)
Maximum daily distance: 17 miles (27.5 km)
Code: DW1 Grade: Demanding
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Ilkley
End of holiday: Bowness-On-Windermere

Route Profile

Dales Way Route Profile

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air

The most convenient major city and international airports are Leeds-Bradford, Liverpool John Lennon and Manchester.

By Rail

There is a rail station at the start of the trail (Ilkley) and also at the end of the trail (Windermere).

By Bus

Various bus services run to Ilkley and from Windermere.

From London

Trains run from London Kings Cross station to Ilkley.

Return to Start

The easiest way to return to the start of the trail, is to take a train from Windermere to Ilkley.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.
"Cowgill" by Robert Hincks (2023) "Cowgill" by Robert Hincks (2023)
"Sedburgh" by Robert Hincks (2023) "Sedburgh" by Robert Hincks (2023)
"Walled Path" by Robert Hincks (2023) "Walled Path" by Robert Hincks (2023)
"Into Kettlewell" by Carolyn Hutton (2023) "Into Kettlewell" by Carolyn Hutton (2023)
"Signpost near Buckden" by Carolyn Hutton (2023) "Signpost near Buckden" by Carolyn Hutton (2023)
"Crook of Lune Bridge" by Sheila Maltby (2023) "Crook of Lune Bridge" by Sheila Maltby (2023)
"Pen-y-Ghent from Blea Moor" by Desmond Maltby (2023) "Pen-y-Ghent from Blea Moor" by Desmond Maltby (2023)
"The Strid Gorge" by Desmond Maltby (2023) "The Strid Gorge" by Desmond Maltby (2023)
"Cam High Road" by Desmond Maltby (2023) "Cam High Road" by Desmond Maltby (2023)
"Between Appletreewick and Burnsall" by Jacqueline Stratton (2022) "Between Appletreewick and Burnsall" by Jacqueline Stratton (2022)
"Leaving Buckden" by Jacqueline Stratton (2022) "Leaving Buckden" by Jacqueline Stratton (2022)
"On the Way into Grassington" by Jacqueline Stratton (2022) "On the Way into Grassington" by Jacqueline Stratton (2022)
"Mother Swan and her Babies" by Jacqueline Stratton (2022) "Mother Swan and her Babies" by Jacqueline Stratton (2022)
"Out of Yokenthwaite" by Jacqueline Stratton (2022) "Out of Yokenthwaite" by Jacqueline Stratton (2022)
"Outside Kettlewell" by Marion Knight (2021) "Outside Kettlewell" by Marion Knight (2021)
"Dent Viaduct" by Marion Knight (2021) "Dent Viaduct" by Marion Knight (2021)
"At Bolton Abbey" by Marion Knight (2021) "At Bolton Abbey" by Marion Knight (2021)
"River Wharfe between Kettlewell and Hubberholme" Ann Hooley (2020) "River Wharfe between Kettlewell and Hubberholme" Ann Hooley (2020)
"Cheeky Chickens" by John Hooley (2020) "Cheeky Chickens" by John Hooley (2020)
"Bolton Abbey" by Helen Anderson (2019) "Bolton Abbey" by Helen Anderson (2019)
"Where the Dales Way meets the Pennine Way" by John Lonergan (2019) "Where the Dales Way meets the Pennine Way" by John Lonergan (2019)
"Dent Head Viaduct near Cowgill" by John Lonergan (2019) "Dent Head Viaduct near Cowgill" by John Lonergan (2019)
"Dales Way into Sedburgh" by John Lonergan (2019) "Dales Way into Sedburgh" by John Lonergan (2019)
"Strid Wood" by Valerie Ball (2019) "Strid Wood" by Valerie Ball (2019)
"Bolton Priory" by Valerie Ball (2019) "Bolton Priory" by Valerie Ball (2019)
"River Wharfe between Ilkley and Burnsall" by David Raynor (2018) "River Wharfe between Ilkley and Burnsall" by David Raynor (2018)
"River Wharfe at Burnsall" by David Raynor (2018) "River Wharfe at Burnsall" by David Raynor (2018)
"Bridge over River Wharfe" by David Raynor (2018) "Bridge over River Wharfe" by David Raynor (2018)
"Meadow and Sky between Buckden and Hubberholme" by Else Carriere (2017) "Meadow and Sky between Buckden and Hubberholme" by Else Carriere (2017)
"Suspension Bridge over River Wharfe" by Else Carriere (2017) "Suspension Bridge over River Wharfe" by Else Carriere (2017)
Meadow between Buckden and Hubberholme
Meadow between Buckden and Hubberholme" by Else Carriere (2017) Meadow between Buckden and Hubberholme" by Else Carriere (2017)
"Stream near Cowgill" by Lanny Swallow (2017) "Stream near Cowgill" by Lanny Swallow (2017)
"Outside of Ilkey" by Lanny Swallow (2017) "Outside of Ilkey" by Lanny Swallow (2017)
"Rapids outside of Grassington" by Lanny Swallow (2017) "Rapids outside of Grassington" by Lanny Swallow (2017)

Customer reviews from the Dales Way

“Thank you, a great holiday.”
Mrs Guy, UK
“A sense of achievement re the distance we walked.”
Mrs Randall, UK
“Beautiful countryside, great people and places to stay.”
Mr Lent, USA
“We had a lovely holiday. The weather was excellent and the walk was pure pleasure. I had wondered if the walk would be tedious as it follows a river most of the way but each day was different and stunningly beautiful in a gentle, pastoral way. Really well organized!”
Mrs Sutherland, USA
“We enjoyed the holiday very much. It was a great walk.”
Mr Wakefield, Guernsey
“Loved the route, want to do it all over again!”
Mr Knight, UK
“Surprisingly, my first ever visit to the Yorkshire Dales. A lovely, not-too-strenuous walk through rolling hills and along pretty river banks, often staying in characterful pubs with excellent food.”
Mr Julyan, UK
“I would have no hesitation in recommending your company to my friends who would be interested in doing this walk. The landscape was delightful, so green. We thoroughly enjoyed the 7 days rambling through the Yorkshire countryside. I loved it all really. I loved that we were walking along a river a lot of the way. Always pleasant to be near water. I loved that I got to walk across stepping stones in the River Wharfe. Always wanted to do that.”
Mrs Thompson, Australia
“The scenery was great. The organisation was excellent. We are very pleased to have completed the walk. But it was hard going on some days! Everything went very smoothly.”
Mrs Rosser, UK
Find your holiday