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England: Yorkshire Dales

  • 7 Night Route

    Price From: £730
  • 6 Night Route

    Price From: £640
  • 5 Night Route

    Price From: £570
  • 4 Night Route

    Price From: £490

From the vale to the peak in God's Own County

Back to Routes
Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey

Brimham Rocks

Brimham Rocks

Perfect place for a short stop in Pateley Bridge

Perfect place for a short stop in Pateley Bridge

Walking towards Burnsall

Walking towards Burnsall

Traditional roast beef and Yorkshire pudding!

Traditional roast beef and Yorkshire pudding!

Malham Cove (photo: Phil Simnett)

Malham Cove (photo: Phil Simnett)

Negotiating some limestone pavement (photo: Phil Simnett)

Negotiating some limestone pavement (photo: Phil Simnett)

Curious sheep on the slopes below Ingleborough

Curious sheep on the slopes below Ingleborough

The rapids of Stainforth Force (photo: Phil Simnett)

The rapids of Stainforth Force (photo: Phil Simnett)

The Dales town of Settle

The Dales town of Settle

Field barn in the Wharfe valley (photo: Phil Simnett)

Field barn in the Wharfe valley (photo: Phil Simnett)

Ingleborough on the horizon

Ingleborough on the horizon

A clapper bridge at Austwick Beck

A clapper bridge at Austwick Beck

Price: £730
Nights: 7
Grade:
Walk: 3½-6½ hr/day
Max. party size: 10
About the Route

At a glance

Yorkshire Dales 7-night option (6 days walking). The full version of the walk. Add extra nights (we recommend Ripon, Malham and Austwick) to ease you in, give you a rest in the middle and to celebrate the end.

How much walking?

Full days: 15-24 km per day, 3½-6½ hours walking
Using shortening options: 10-15km per day, 2¼-4½ hours walking using ride-with-luggage transfers at the start of each day

Max. Grade:

From Ripon to Ingleborough through the Dales

This route, our third in England and our first in the north of the country, seeks to show walkers the two sides of Yorkshire’s rural heritage, and was designed by local residents and On Foot clients Shaun and Lynda Callaghan.  Starting in the eastern lowlands, in the little cathedral “city” of Ripon, the first day takes you straight to one of the most important centres of medieval England, Fountains Abbey, which owned vast tracts of the county before Henry VIII decided that he would prefer them for himself and his barons.  The setting of the Abbey is without parallel.

The route then starts to climb, gradually at first, through the sheep country of the Dales (sheep were as important in medieval times as they became in the 18th century when they were the basis for Yorkshire’s industrial growth).  Linking the pretty villages of Pateley Bridge, Burnsall, Hebden, Grassington and Kettlewell, your route reaches limestone country via justly famous Malham “Cove”, before traversing the market town of Settle to your destination, Austwick village, nestling in the dale below the gaunt massif of Ingleborough, one of Yorkshire’s “three peaks”, and your final challenge.

Stay in country pubs and comfortable B&Bs, upgrading if you wish to smarter hotels, and eat well – the route boasts two French-chef-run establishments to supplement the hearty Yorkshire fare that will ensure you do not flag during these long days (though shortening options are available).

Walked by On Foot staff: Debbie and Simon

Route Highlights

  • Ripon and its cathedral
  • Fountains Abbey, the northern masterpiece
  • Yorkshire pudding and Gallic flair in quintessential pubs
  • Drystone walls and unspoilt villages
  • The “Cove” and cliff of Malham
  • Settle and the steam railway to Carlisle
  • The ascent of Ingleborough on your final day

We Recommend

Extra nights in Ripon and Austwick, and at Malham for an extra pretty walking circuit. Eating at French owned Clarendon Hotel in Hebden and the Gamecock (Austwick), or at the Kings Head in Kettlewell and the famous Traddock in Austwick (also available as upgrade accommodation)

Limestone Country

Geologically speaking this is an important area, as it was the nursery training for the famous English geologists of the 18th and 19th century who in turn laid the foundations for the science of sedimentary geology (compare also our “Dorset” walk).

The limestone pavements around Malham and Ingleborough are fine examples and will challenge the adventurous walker as well (though can be avoided for those who wish to preserve their ankles).

How much Walking?

Full days: 15-24 km per day, 3½-6½ hours walking
Using shortening options: 10-15km per day, 2¼-4½ hours walking using ride-with-luggage transfers at the start of each day

Clear paths in the main, though the signage lapses on occasions and so an understanding of maps, use of compass and close attention to the notes is sometimes needed.  A walk for everyone courtesy of the (taxi) shortening options (see below).

Medium-hard: Average cumulative uphill stretches (CUSs) 660m (300m-870m) per day.

OR

Medium: CUSs 414m (250m-525m) per day using shortening options where available and/or riding with luggage for part of walk each day (shortening rides included in price).

GPX file available for handheld GPS or smartphone App for complete route.

Important note: Times given for each day are  walking times for an “average” walker and exclude stops. “CUSs” stands for “Cumulative Uphill Stretches” and measures the aggregated ascents in each day, expressed in metres of climb. See “Walk Grading” for more information.

When to go?

In 2018 the route will be available from 1st May (though from 2019 onwards April walking will also be possible).  Best walking is throughout the late spring, summer and early autumn, though be aware that during the summer holidays and weekends the paths can be busy and accommodation less available.  Generally cooler walking than in the south of England and mainland Europe.

Start Dates

Recommended
Possible
Unavailable

Weather Chart

 

Itinerary

About the Route

Day 1 - Arrive in Ripon

Check into your accommodation and have a good explore - the cathedral is a wonderful place to start and you will have fun finding the town square with its nightly horn call and choosing a restaurant for supper.

Day 2 - Ripon to Pateley Bridge

A pleasant day, with unavoidable asphalt stretches made up for by two highlights – Fountains Abbey at the start and Brimham Rocks at lunchtime. The walk passes through a mixture of parkland, over babbling brooks and across typical Yorkshire drystone-wall-clad dales with views emerging the nearer that you draw to Nidderdale’s Pateley Bridge and a charming ‘panorama walk’ to end. (Medium-hard: 5¼ hrs, 20½ km, CUSs 580m or Medium: 4½ hrs, 16km, CUSs 470m with ride-with-luggage to Fountains Abbey at start (included)

Day 3 - Pateley Bridge to Hebden

Today’s walk takes you away from Nidderdale, and up on to the moor in the morning, with a fabulous (but optional) opportunity to bag Simon’s Seat before an easy rest-of-day downhill to walk alongside one of the iconic rivers of this area, the Wharfe. A long day of great variety. (Hard: 6½ hrs, 24¼ km, CUSs 870m, or Medium:  ride-with-luggage start to Parcevall Hall gardens then walk the rest –  3 hrs, 11½ km, CUSs 490)

Day 4 - Hebden to Kettlewell

An easy walk, both in terms of terrain and navigation, and shorter than yesterday’s! Firstly, the pretty riverside walk to Grassington (you might see kingfishers en route). Spend time in this famously lovely village, before heading away from the River Wharfe for a few hours to walk on the Dales Way through a range of ancient landscapes – semi-moorland, remote dales and a beautifully-viewed descent to Kettlewell, nestling picturesquely in the Wharfe valley. (Easy-medium: 3½ hrs, 15 km, CUSs 300m)

Day 5 - Kettlewell to Malham

The highlights of Malham Tarn and Malham Cove must be on anyone’s list who visits Yorkshire, let alone walking a bit of the Pennine Way too! After a pleasant leg stretcher of an ascent and a couple of pretty riverside villages on the way, your route climbs via the Monk’s Path to the remote, wild landscape above Malham before a descent to the highest upland lake in England and on to walk on the extraordinary lunar landscape above the Cove, before a night in attractive, busy Malham village. (Medium-hard: 5½ hrs, 18½ km, CUSs 700m, or Easy-medium: 3¾ hrs, 14 km, CUSs 525m with ride-with-luggage start)

Option

if the weather is poor, or you would just like an easier day, take a taxi to Malham and do one of two easier walks in this lovely valley (these can also form the basis of an extra day and night spent at Malham, a good mid-route resting place).

Day 6 - Malham to Austwick

Lots to see today, and choices to be made too. First a sustained, but fairly gentle, climb out of Malham with a good view onto the Cove. Then a remote section with fine views opening up into the valley where Settle lies – and a choice: either to include some additional walking (extra 2.3km, CUSs 70m) and a sneak preview of Ingleborough – your final walk’s goal – or take a more direct route along the Dales High Way to Settle, and lunch. In the afternoon you walk alongside the River Ribble – either right next to it, or, for more interest, via a fascinating and extensive, lime kiln. Finally a delightful entrance through the fields into the little village of Austwick. (Medium-hard: 5hrs, 20¼ km, CUSs 680m, or ride-with-luggage to  Settle, and walk the rest – easy-medium: 2½ hrs, 10½ kms, CUSs 250m)

Option

This could be a day (if really wet) to abandon walking, ride-with-luggage into Settle and have a trip on the Settle-Carlisle railway line - best when they are running steam trains, but lovely even when not.  The Ribblehead Viaduct is a classic of Victorian engineering.  Timetables in your Walker's Pack!

Day 7 - The Ingleborough circuit

A fitting climax to your walk. Taking in either the ‘Norber erratics’ or a medieval clapper bridge (or both with diversion) the day takes you up onto a limestone pavement, over Beggar’s Stile and off along a route up the easiest approach to Ingleborough, perhaps the most iconic hill of the Three Peaks range. The return takes you past Gaping Gill sink hole, through Trow Gill gorge and offers Ingleborough Cave as a distraction en route to pretty Clapham village and a final wander through grassy fields back to Austwick, nestling in the landscape. (Hard: 6hrs, 19½ km, CUSs 820m, or easier option avoiding Ingleborough itself Medium: 3½ hrs, 14km, CUSs 450m)

Option

In poor weather, a couple of shorter, lower circuits around Austwick village are offered, taking in a clapper bridge, and Clapham Village (lunch here seems right!), or just laze at your accommodation with a good book... we recommend an extra night here if you want to do everything!

Depart for home

A taxi is included back to Settle (or Clapham) station for your leavetaking of this quiet and beautiful region of England.

Travel Information

ARRIVING BY AIR
The best “local” airport is either Leeds-Bradford or Manchester. Intercontinental flights use Manchester or one of the London airports.

Please contact us for transfer advice in view of the options available.  In all cases a final taxi transfer (pre-bookable) from (Leeds, Harrogate or Skipton (shorter versions – taxi included) to your first accommodation would be the easiest method of arrival, though there is a good half-hourly bus service from Harrogate to Ripon.

Flight information can change rapidly and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner (see below) before finalising any booking with us. Do not book your flights until we have confirmed that we have provisionally reserved accommodation for you.

For up-to-date schedules and flights from all airports check Skyscanner.

See “Getting to the start of the walk” below for more detailed transfer information

ARRIVING BY TRAIN
Train to Harrogate (best) or Leeds is the obvious way to get to the route from other parts of the UK, followed by bus or taxi.  Skipton is the nearest station for 4- and 5-night versions starting in Hebden or Kettlewell, both requiring taxis from Skipton (included).

Nearest railway station:

Start: Harrogate (or Skipton as above)
Finish: Settle or Clapham

 

Getting to the start of the walk

Transfer times and methods are suggested from Leeds-Bradford Airport, Manchester Airport and London (centre).

LEEDS-BRADFORD
Outward: Hourly bus shuttle to Harrogate, then half-hourly buses to Ripon (total allow 2 hrs) OR Pre-bookable taxi to first hotel (shuttle to Leeds plus train to Skipton then included taxi for shorter options)
Return: Taxi to Settle railway station (included), train to Leeds, then half-hourly bus shuttle to airport OR Pre-bookable taxi direct to airport.

MANCHESTER
Outward: Half-hourly train to Harrogate (c.2 hrs) then then half-hourly buses to Ripon (total allow 3 hrs) OR Pre-bookable taxi to first hotel (train to Skipton then included taxi for shorter options)
Return: Taxi to Clapham, train to airport via Lancaster (total 2½ hrs) OR Pre-bookable taxi direct to airport

LONDON (centre):
Outward: Half-hourly train to Harrogate via Leeds or York (c.3 hrs) then then half-hourly buses to Ripon (total allow 4 hrs) OR Pre-bookable taxi from Harrogate to first hotel (train to Skipton then included taxi for shorter options)
Return: Taxi to Settle (included), train to London via Leeds (total 4 hrs) OR Pre-bookable taxi direct to airport

Full transfer advice, including timetables, is provided in your Walkers’ Pack. Contact us if you would like additional pre-booking information.

Where You'll Stay

A lovely range of accommodation, including excellent B&B’s, a tea rooms, four pubs, and two country house hotels (as upgrade/alternatives).

Ripon – The Old Deanery (B&B)

Night 1

Ripon – The Old Deanery (B&B)

Just beside the cathedral, a spacious former cleric's palace, now converted into an old-fashioned friendly B&B with good sized bedrooms.

Pateley Bridge – Talbot House (B&B)

Night 2

Pateley Bridge – Talbot House (B&B)

A fine tea rooms doubling as a guest house in the centre of the town. Well appointed bedrooms.

Hebden – Clarendon Hotel (B&B)

Night 3

Hebden – Clarendon Hotel (B&B)

Old coaching inn, now a pub-with-rooms and a tremendous kitchen presided over by Alsace chef Lionel.

Kettlewell – Belk’s B&B (B&B)

Night 4

Kettlewell – Belk’s B&B (B&B)

A well-known boutique tea room with three excellent bedrooms over (no twins). Zarina is one of nature's hosts.

Malham – River House (B&B)

Night 5

Malham – River House (B&B)

Great B&B with excellent breakfasts provided by Ann and Alex.

Malham – Lister Arms (B&B)

Night 5 (Upgrade)

Malham – Lister Arms (B&B)

The grand old daddy of accommodation in Malham, with decent bedrooms and good pub-style food.

Austwick – Wood View Guest House (B&B)

Night 6 & 7

Austwick – Wood View Guest House (B&B)

Sue and David Dewhirst run a first class B&B right on the green, and only a short walk for dinner at one of two great eateries. Upgrade to one of the de luxe rooms (doubles only) for your final nights.

Austwick – The Traddock (B&B)

Night 6 & 7 (Upgrade)

Austwick – The Traddock (B&B)

Famous country house hotel on the edge of the village with a first class kitchen and some lovely rooms. Good to relax in at the end of your walk.

Prices

Price: £730 for 7 nights

Total 7 nights in double/twin room, all breakfasts, luggage transfers (and shortening rides if required) between all hotels on walking route; taxi to Settle/Clapham station at the end, full Walkers Pack with route directions, maps, transfer and background information; local telephone support.

All prices are per person unless otherwise indicated (e.g. for taxis) – check with On Foot for your guaranteed price.

Savings and supplements
Single Room Supplement: From £195
Lone Traveller Additional Supplement: From £125
Larger party saving (on identical itinerary) – £60 off per person (except first two)

 

Add Ons

Guided day with Shaun Callaghan (Kettlewell-Malham-Austwick or Ingleborough circuit):  Price on application (£75-£85 per day)

Taxi from Harrogate (best), Leeds or Leeds-Bradford Airport to Ripon or Pateley Bridge: From £30 (1-3 pers.), £35 (4-8) (Harrogate)

Travellers Reviews

New Route 2017 - reviews to come

Reserve your dates Add to shortlist
Shaun Callaghan

Route designed by:

Shaun Callaghan

Shaun and his wife Lynda describe themselves as bilingual, speaking both broad Yorkshire and a Yorkshire version of English. They are obviously proud of their Yorkshire roots. A couple of years ago they took early retirement and moved to their favourite walking area of the Three Peaks of Yorkshire, living just a few hundred yards outside the National Park boundary and only four miles from the summit of Ingleborough.

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