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

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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

About this route

4 to 5 nights
40 miles
Moderate to Moderate / Demanding
2nd January to 24th December

From £540 per person

Dales Way Highlights

The Dales Way Highlights tour takes in arguably the most rewarding section of the Dales Way between Burnsall and Sedbergh. The trail explores the beautiful scenery of Wharfedale Valley and visits several wonderful settlements, including Grassington, Kettlewell and Dent.

Each town and village boasts its own charm and unique history begging to be discovered. The walk comes to its completion in Sedbergh, a wonderful market town resting at the foot of the Howgill Fells. This is the perfect walking holiday for those wishing to sample the rolling beauty of the Yorkshire Dales.

Available tours

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
DWH1 From Burnsall(L) to Sedbergh(L) 4 nights, 3 days walking Moderate / Demanding £540
DWH2 From Burnsall(L) to Sedbergh(L) 5 nights, 4 days walking Moderate £670

Short breaks

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

Dales Way Highlights 4 nights, 3 days walking

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

Travel to Burnsall(L) where your first night's accommodation will be booked

Day 1

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

Day 2

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

Day 3

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


Depart from Sedbergh(L) 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
© Contours Walking Holidays Dales Way Highlights map
Burnsall to Sedbergh
40 miles (64 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Visiting the quaint towns and villages of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, including Burnsall and Sedbergh.

Sampling traditional Yorkshire ale in many of the welcoming village pubs along the trail.

Walking through Wharfedale, one of Yorkshire’s longest and most beautiful valleys.

What's included?

  • 4 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.

Sedbergh is a very pleasant market town and ideal if you would like to explore the Howgill Fells.

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: 39.5 miles (63.5 km)
Duration: 4 nights, 3 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 9 miles (14.5 km)
Maximum daily distance: 17 miles (27.5 km)
Code: DWH1 Grade: Moderate / Demanding
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Burnsall(L)
End of holiday: Sedbergh(L)

Route Profile

Dales Way Highlights 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 Manchester, Liverpool John Lennon and Leeds-Bradford.

By Rail

The nearest rail stations to the start of the trail (Burnsall) are either Skipton (about 11 miles away) or Ilkley (about 12.5 miles away). The nearest rail stations to the end of the trail (Sedbergh) are either Oxenholme (about 10 miles away), Kendal (about 11 miles away) or Kirkby Stephen (about 13 miles away).

By Bus

There are no viable/regular public transport options from Skipton or Ilkley to Burnsall, so a taxi would be required. There are very infrequent bus services from Sedbergh to Kendal and Oxenholme Monday to Saturday only, so a taxi would be required on a Sunday or in between times. There is no regular bus service from Sedbergh to Kirkby Stephen station so a taxi would be required.

From London

Trains run from London Kings Cross station to Skipton & Ilkley. From there a taxi will be required to Burnsall.

Return to Start

The easiest way to return to the start of the trail is to take a taxi from Sedbergh to Burnsall.

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.

Customer reviews from the Dales Way Highlights

“Very lucky with the weather, amazing countryside and great places to visit and stay.”
Miss Renard, UK
“Hottest week of the year, but still very enjoyable. Impressed that you were able to satisfy my requirement of walking only 10 miles a day.”
Mr Stewart, UK
“A party of 10 experienced walkers, all of whom want to walk again with contours next year, don't think you can say much more than that really. The Dales way is a stunning walk. Already planning next years.”
Mr Chandler, UK
“Unique landscape, step-back in time, no rain. Ideal distances each day. Enjoyed variety of accommodation. 4 days x 10 miles suits us. We'll look for another for next year.”
Mr Jarvie, UK
“Great walk on the best of the Dales. Beautiful weather walking through the river side and pastures, raining and wet walking on the hills, windy, soggy and confused about where the trail went and that was just the first day! Would do it again tomorrow.”
Mr Penland, USA
“A wonderful walk, beautiful scenery; the information folder was very thorough and comprehensive; accommodation was all good or excellent. It was all lovely in different ways.”
Ms Cashman, UK
“It was fantastic. We were very lucky with the venue. Loved the area and will go back. Everything Contours did worked well.”
Mr Stead, UK
“Our recent Dales Way walk was very enjoyable”
Miss Speller, UK
“The Yorkshire Dales are beautiful.”
Dr Werner, USA
Find your holiday