England: Yorkshire Dales – 5 nights
From the vale to the peak in God's Own CountyBack to Routes
Walking towards Burnsall
Malham Cove (photo: Phil Simnett)
Curious sheep on the slopes below Ingleborough
The rapids of Stainforth Force (photo: Phil Simnett)
The Dales town of Settle
Field barn in the Wharfe valley (photo: Phil Simnett)
Ingleborough on the horizon
A clapper bridge at Austwick Beck
The scenery is just stunning one wonders why we ever go abroad.
Ifor and Caroline Phillips, Faringdon UK, September 2020
The route notes were clear and concise, and easy to follow. But Simon's Seat is every bit as hard as it looks if one's legs are on the short side!
Sue and David Fallows, Honiton, UK, September 2020
It was a magnificent walk through beautiful countryside.
We really appreciated the high level of organisation and support that the staff of On Foot provided.
Francine Oates, Cowaramup, Australia - August 2019
Shaun was great; as a solo walker, he made sure to call me before I set out, and checked in by text each evening to ensure I made it OK, along with a weather report and brief overview of the next day's walk.
Overall, the holiday was great. In fact I was very impressed with On Foot and the detailed walking pack etc.
Thomas Sutton, Sherbrooke, Canada - June 2019
One of the best. The landscapes are gorgeous - richly green with the jigsaw fields and dry stone walls and the fine old stone farms and villages.
Ripon cathedral (where I listened to a choir practice) and Studley Royal and Fountains Abbey add variety. Fine dining along the way (Clarendon and the Traddock), which was unexpected. Enjoyed meeting and walking with Shaun.
Alan Willis, Ottawa, Canada - September 2018
I very much doubt that this trip could be improved.
Walking up to Simon's Seat on the first day was exhilarating and the views when reached were worth the climb. Walking along the riverside with masses of wild buttercups, bluebells and garlic flowers beneath huge chestnut trees in flower was memorable. The whole Malham day was full of surprise, and the Cove when we finally scrambled down to the bottom was an awesome sight.
Terry Fripp, Singapore - May 2018
We really enjoyed Yorkshire. Beautiful countryside, lots of interesting places to see, industrial history, fascinating geology, very friendly people, great beer and fantastic food. No weight lost despite the exercise!
Like flexibility of hiking options and the taxi drivers were all punctual and interesting to talk with. We were very glad we booked this holiday. By the way, we reckon we climbed at least 100 stiles, probably many more!
Anne and Frank Coppinger, Brisbane, Australia - May 2018
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, as we have on all the On Foot Holidays we've done.
For us the highlights were stuffing ourselves with wild blueberries on the moor before Brimham Rocks, the rocks themselves, and the climbs up onto the moors from Arncliff and Malham. A special word for Gordon the taxi driver - he was great.
Marc Jeffery, Croatia - April 2018
At a glance
Yorkshire Dales 5-night option (4 days walking). Misses 2 nights and starts at Hebden. Add extra nights (we recommend Malham and Austwick) to give you a rest in the middle and to celebrate the end.
Dog-friendly with some accommodation variations
How much walking?
Full days: 15-24 km per day, 3½-6 hours walking
Using shortening options: 10-15km per day, 2¼-4 hours walking using ride-with-luggage transfers at the start of each day
From Hebden 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. Our 5-night version starts at Hebden or Burnsall (depending on room availability).
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 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).
Medium sized dogs welcome on this version of the route – supplements payable, and some variation to accommodations.
Walked by On Foot staff: Debbie, Simon and Emma
REVIEWS: For independent walker reviews of this route submitted to the Association of Independent Tour Operators visit AITO.com.
COVID-19 SAFETY PRECAUTIONS: Please read our summary of current regulations.
ARTICLES: Read an article about On Foot’s holiday in the Yorkshire Dales from The Daily Telegraph newspaper here.
- 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
This route features the following characteristics and interests: Villages and farms, Dog friendly, Drive to route, Food, History
Extra night in 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)
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?
Using shortening options: 10-15km per day, 2¼-4 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) 625m (300m-820m) per day.
Medium: CUSs 381m (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?
Best walking is throughout the late spring, summer and early autumn, though be aware that during the summer holidays and weekends the hotels we use can be busy and accommodation less available – do note that a couple of hotels always request two night stays at weekends.
Please note: date ranges shown are for a ‘normal’ year. While Covid-19 restrictions remain, please contact us to discuss your plans and availability.
Day 1 - Arrive in Hebden
After a taxi from Skipton station (usually), relax at your hotel and have a look around the tiny village of Hebden (not to be confused with Hebden Bridge) before settling down to a hearty French meal and some excellent wines. Some walkers may be staying at nearby Burnsall - an equally attractive village on the Wharfe.
Day 2 - Hebden to Kettlewell
An easy walk, both in terms of terrain and navigation! 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 3 - 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)
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 4 - 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)
This could also be a day for a ride-with-luggage into Settle and a trip on the Settle-Carlisle railway line - best when they are running steam trains (needs to be pre-booked and is expensive!), but lovely even when not. The Ribblehead Viaduct is a classic of Victorian engineering. Timetables in your Walker's Pack!
Day 5 - 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)
A couple of shorter, lower circuits around Austwick village are also 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.
INFORMATION BELOW FOR ARRIVING TO THE 5 NIGHT ROUTE, starting in Hebden or Burnsall
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. A final taxi transfer from Skipton to your first accommodation may be necessary, and one can also be pre-booked from Leeds or Harrogate (supplements payable).
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
Skipton is the nearest station for 4- and 5-night versions starting in Hebden or Kettlewell, both requiring taxis from Skipton (supplement).
Nearest railway station:
Finish: Settle or Clapham
ARRIVING BY CAR
Leave your car at the end of the route either on a quiet village square in Austwick or – if staying there – at The Traddock (no charge). Taxi back to your first night.
Getting to the start of the walk
Transfer times and methods are suggested from Leeds-Bradford Airport, Manchester Airport and London (centre).
Outward: Shuttle to Leeds plus train to Skipton then pre-booked taxi
Return: Taxi to Settle railway station (included), train to Leeds, then half-hourly bus shuttle to airport OR Pre-bookable taxi direct to airport.
Outward: Train to Skipton then pre-booked taxi
Return: Taxi to Clapham, train to airport via Lancaster (total 2½ hrs) OR Pre-bookable taxi direct to airport
Outward: Train to Skipton then pre-booked taxi
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).
Please note: Walkers bringing dogs may not be able to do all route versions (check the tabs at the top of the screen) or have the same choice of accommodation. Supplements will apply.
Hebden – Clarendon Hotel (B&B)
Old coaching inn, now a pub-with-rooms and a tremendous award-winning kitchen presided over by Alsace chef Lionel.Website
Burnsall – Devonshire Fell (B&B)
Grand hotel on the edge of the village owned by the eponymous aristocratic family. Good food and comfortable, with some fine upgrade rooms.Website
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.Website
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.Website
Austwick – The Game Cock Inn (B&B)
Fine pub/restaurant with rooms over. Breton chef has earned a reputation in these parts for inventive dishes, served in a friendly pub ambiance,Website
Austwick – The Traddock (B&B)
Famous country house hotel on the edge of the village with an acclaimed kitchen and some lovely rooms. Good to relax in at the end of your walk.Website
The Fox and Hounds in Starbotton is a possibility if Kettlewell is full, with a little extra, but easy, walking to reach it.
In Malham, if River House is full, we do have some alternative hotels:
The Lister Arms (below) is the grand old daddy of accommodation in Malham, with decent bedrooms and good pub-style food.
Beck Hall (below), also in Malham, is a friendly riverside hotel close to the village centre, where dogs are always welcome.
Total 5 nights in double/twin room, all breakfasts, luggage transfers (and shortening rides if required) between all hotels on walking route; taxi to Settle 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, and are based on a standard booking in May. Prices may vary seasonally and a fixed price will be given to you before you commit.
Single Room Supplement (SRS): From £180
Lone Traveller Additional Supplement (LTAS): From £130
Large party saving (LPS): Groups of more than 2 people (on an identical itinerary, on the same booking and booked at the same time) – discount of at least £15 per person
Maximum party size: 10
Sending Walkers Packs to addresses outside the UK: £10-£40 (per pack, location dependent)
Taxi from Skipton (best), Leeds or Leeds-Bradford Airport to Hebden: From £20 (1-3 pers.)
Dogs: Supplements vary dependent on hotel, but allow £10 per night per dog
Route designed by:
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.