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.
Dent to Kendal
Another day started in Dent with a huge downpour, but our family dog joined us for the day which spurred us on to just get walking and embrace the rain. Eventually the rain stopped and allowed us to enjoy the lovely lush countryside along the way, including Sedbergh and the Howgills. When we crossed the M6, it meant we knew we were getting close to our ending point of Kendal. A lot of people continue on to Burneside, but as our house is in Kendal, we stopped in our own beds.
Kendal to Bowness
We took our time on the final day as it was our shortest hiking day of 12 miles. We knew the end was in sight so we allowed ourselves to walk a little slower than usual. We were blessed with a dry sunny day and our waterproof coats were even packed back into our rucksacks by Staveley. This route takes you along some quiet footpaths leading you eventually to School Knott tarn where there are stunning views of the Langdale Pikes. The final part of the walk starts to descend through Matson Ground Estate and you can spot Windermere, the end point. There is a slate bench celebrating the end point of the Dales Way where you can sit and enjoy the view and put your feet up.
Walking the Dales Way was such a great experience which I would love to do again. We initially were going to camp the entire time but decided to ditch the extra weight due to us both overpacking. We stayed in B&Bs which are readily available to book along the route and they can range in price. The walking isn’t necessarily strenuous but if you walk it over 5 days with a short day at the end, then the other 4 days are around 20 miles each day meaning you need to be used to walking for 5-8 hour a day depending on your speed. If you’re looking for a long distance walk to do, then I recommend the Dales Way as a start as it’s short enough to do over a long weekend or extend it over a week.
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