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

About this route

3 nights
22 miles
2nd January to 24th December

From £410 per person

Dales Way Short Break

This short break explores the first stretch of the Dales Way, providing a taste of what this beautiful walk has to offer. The trail begins at Ilkley and follows the bubbling River Wharfe northwards. A range of interesting sites are encountered along the way, including the ruins of Bolton Priory, the awesome Strid surrounded by woodland, the powerful Linton Falls and a scattering of ancient earthworks.

Before reaching the holiday's end in Kettlewell, the trail traverses Coniston Pie, a limestone crag that boasts panoramas across Upper Wharfedale, which is definitely worth the climb.

Available tours

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

Short breaks

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

Dales Way Short Break 3 nights, 2 days walking

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

Important information

Kindly note that this trail is very popular, if you have flexibility with your start date, please advise this when booking.  Please do not make any travel plans until we have double checked and confirmed availability for your booking.


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 Kettlewell. 9.5 miles (15km) / 945 ft (288 m) ascent


Depart from Kettlewell 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
© Contours Walking Holidays Dales Way Short Break map
Ilkley to Kettlewell
22 miles (36 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Seeing the landscape change from dark Pennine sandstone to light, smooth limestone, with beautiful scenery at every turn.

Spending time exploring the pretty village of Ilkley, the old Viking settlement of Burnsall and the lead mining village of Kettlewell.

Spotting a range of historical landmarks including Addingham Church, Bolton Priory, Linton Church, Barden Bridge and Barden Tower.

What's included?

  • 3 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.

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

Tour Facts

Total distance: 22 miles (35.5 km)
Duration: 3 nights, 2 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 9.5 miles (15 km)
Maximum daily distance: 13 miles (20.5 km)
Code: DWSB Grade: Moderate
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Ilkley
End of holiday: Kettlewell

Route Profile

Dales Way Short Break 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, Teesside International and Manchester.

By Rail - There is a rail station at the start of the trail (Ilkley). The nearest rail station to the end of the trail (Kettlewell) is at Skipton (about 15 miles away).

By Bus - Various bus services run to Ilkley. There is no direct bus service from Kettlewell to Skipton, so a taxi would be the best option.

From London - Trains run from London Kings Cross station to Ilkley.

Return To The Start - The easiest way to return to the start of the trail is to take a taxi from Kettlewell 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.