Herriot Way

Herriot Way

A walking holiday inspired by James Herriot through Wensleydale and Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales.

5 to 6 nights
53 miles
Moderate / Demanding to Demanding

From £535 per person

Discover the available tours

About this route

The Herriot Way is a delightful walk around the northern Yorkshire Dales of Wensleydale and Swaledale. It is based on a holiday taken by James Herriot with his son, which he described in his book 'James Herriot's Yorkshire'.

The trail winds through the valleys of Wensleydale and Swaledale, each filled with pretty wildflowers and amazing wildlife. The views from atop Great Shunner Fell are far-reaching and spectacular, while the famous waterfalls of Aysgarth and Hardraw Force can also be admired along the way. There are also plenty of quaint villages and hamlets to explore, such as Hawes, Keld and the ‘Capital of Swaledale’ Reeth, each offering a warm welcome to walkers.

© Contours Walking Holidays Herriot Way map
Circular trail beginning at Aysgarth
53 miles (84 km)
28th March to 30th October

Holiday highlights

Experiencing the sights and sounds of the Yorkshire Dales described by James Herriot in his books ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ and ‘James Herriot’s Yorkshire.’

Exploring the beautiful valley of Wensleydale and the home of Wensleydale Cheese in Hawes.

Visiting the wonderful Dales villages of Reeth, Heaulaugh and Thwaite, each with their own individual charm and warm welcome.

Available tours

CodeTourDurationDifficultyPrice per person
HERW A circular trail beginning at Aysgarth 5 nights, 4 days walking Demanding£535
HERW1 A circular trail beginning at Aysgarth 6 nights, 5 days walking Moderate / Demanding£640

Herriot Way 5 nights, 4 days walking

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

Travel to Aysgarth where your first night's accommodation has been booked

Day 1

Aysgarth to Hawes. 13 miles (21km)

Day 2

Hawes to Keld. 13 miles (21km)

Day 3

Keld to Reeth. 13 miles (21km)

Day 4

Reeth to Aysgarth. 13 miles (21km)


Depart from Aysgarth 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; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard.

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
£45.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£40.00 per person / per night

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

Extra night (Standard)
£60.00 per person / per night

What's included?

  • 5 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

An extra night is a wonderful way to extend your holiday and to give you more time to explore the locations along the trail.

The bustling town of Hawes offers a range of craft shops and cafes, as well as England's highest single-drop waterfall, Hardraw Force, but if you prefer to keep moving, an extra day in Reeth offers many short walks from the centre of the village.

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

Extra night (Standard)
£60.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 52.5 miles (84 km)
Duration: 5 nights, 4 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 13 miles (21 km)
Maximum daily distance: 13 miles (21 km)
Code: HERW Grade: Demanding
Season: 28th March - 30th October
Start of holiday: Aysgarth
End of holiday: Aysgarth

Route Profile

Herriot 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, Durham-Tees Valley and Manchester.

By Rail - The nearest rail station to Aysgarth is at Garsdale (about 15 miles away).

By Bus - There are no direct buses from Garsdale to Aysgarth, so you would need to take a taxi.

From London - Trains run from London Kings Cross & London St Pancras International to Garsdale. From there a taxi will be required to Aysgarth.

Return To The Start - The Herriot Way is a circular tour beginning and ending in Aysgarth.

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 Herriot Way

“Wonderful scenery, range of terrain from moors to lush meadows, and everything went smoothly according to the planned itinerary.”
Mr Young, UK
“All accommodation was comfortable and we received a warm welcome everywhere. We have recommended you to other people several times.”
Mr Jackson, UK
“The Herriot Way is an excellent long-distance path which deserves more recognition. Particularly good for first time or inexperienced long-distance path walkers.”
Mr Twigg, UK
“Beautiful route so much to see, wonderful views, wildlife and pretty villages. At the end of each day we felt we had earned our evening meal and a pint, then a great night’s sleep. Everything was better than we could have hoped for.”
Mrs Hoare, UK
“We had an excellent time for the second time with Contours. We can’t wait to go again. First class.”
Mr Fry, UK
“Yet another wonderful walk in a beautiful area.”
Mrs Robinson, UK
"Looking back up Swaledale from beyond Rowleth Wood" by Bob Parkinson (2022) "Looking back up Swaledale from beyond Rowleth Wood" by Bob Parkinson (2022)
"Swinner Gill" by Bob Parkinson (2022) "Swinner Gill" by Bob Parkinson (2022)
"Ivelet Bridge over River Swale" by Bob Parkinson (2022) "Ivelet Bridge over River Swale" by Bob Parkinson (2022)
"Red Grouse on Harkerside Moor" by Bob Parkinson (2022) "Red Grouse on Harkerside Moor" by Bob Parkinson (2022)
"Fields and Barns near Gunnerside" by Bob Parkinson (2022) "Fields and Barns near Gunnerside" by Bob Parkinson (2022)