The Dales Way is an iconic long distance walk starting in the beautiful town of Ilkley in West Yorkshire and finishing in Bowness-in-Windermere. It’s an 84 mile route that takes you through some of the best countryside Northern England has to offer.
If you’re looking for a challenge in 2022, our blogger Rachel will share with you her route when she undertook the walk with her mum in 2011. This blog will highlight interesting places en route through Yorkshire to Cumbria with short diary entries from their adventure.
Ilkley to Grassington
At the beginning of the walk there is a plaque dedicated ‘For those who walk the Dales Way’ leaving you feeling excited but also anxious that you are about to walk 84 miles to Cumbria. The first day takes you past the impressive Bolton Abbey and into Burnsall where there is an excellent refreshment hut. Following the River Wharfe eventually takes you to Grassington where we quickly realised the campsite was a mile away from the village, after a quick hitchhike, we then spent a cold night in our tent.
Grassington to Hubberholme
It was safe to say we ditched the heavy camping gear and set off across the scenic Dales towards Kettlewell. Famously where the Calendar Girls film was set, I had a peanut butter and banana sandwich from the cute village store and had a walk around the village spotting some of the famous film locations. Onwards to remote Hubberholme where the weather was on our side and out came the walking sandals. Our B&B experience was one to remember but we had a great meal at The George Inn.
Hubberholme to Dent
Armed with yet more peanut butter and banana sandwiches, we left the B&B and after about 2 minutes, full waterproofs were on after an epic downpour. A refreshment barn was just what we needed and you’ll see many of these along the route. People bake little cakes and leave out a kettle and tea bags for you to warm up with a brew. It’s an honesty based system and much appreciated. Crossing the soggy fells up to the highest point on the Dales Way to Cam Fell was one of the best days as the rain stopped and the sun began to shine in Ribblehead viaduct that we could spot in the distance. We eventually reached Dent before passing through a field of lovely Llamas.
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