A 90 mile walk across the glorious high country of the Yorkshire Dales
A Dales High Way Walk: a 90 mile walk across the glorious high country of the Yorkshire Dales

A Dales High Way

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Welcome to the Message Board for A Dales High Way. You are welcome to send any message about the route, the accommodation, the guide or any other topic related to the walk. Links to blogs and reports of your experiences of the walk are particularly welcome. Please include your NAME and a TITLE. You're email address will not be shown. 

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DHW Completed this week

From: Jacqui Freeman
Date: 19 September 2021

Just completed the wonderful Dales High Way – our first long distance walk. Opted to walk it over 9 days and used the company Wandering Aenges Treks to book accommodation and move our bags from place to place. Really efficient and would recommend them. Our route was Saltaire – Ilkley – Skipton – Malham – Stainforth -  Ribblehead – Dent – Sedburgh – Newbiggin on Lune – Appleby.

We stayed the preceding night at the Abbey Lodge Hotel in Shipley and they let us park there for 9 nights and charged £30.

We followed the DHW Route Guide and also had the OS App on the phone – so plotted the route and used this only when we needed a bit of reassurance with the path ( it drains your phone if you use it all the time ). In 9 days we only came across 2 groups doing this walk, which really surprised us.

The only adjustment we made was to take the alternative path round Ingleborough as the weather was bad that day and we also didn’t want to miss the viaduct at Ribblehead.

The highlights for me were the ever-changing scenery – so varied and no two days felt the same. Particularly loved the walk through Dentdale and the walk over the Howgills in perfect conditions. Least favourite part was the walk over Addingham Moorside into Addingham which seemed to go on forever! And my knees didn’t enjoy the very steep hill down into Settle.

Some things to note…

The Craven Heiffer pub in Stainforth is no longer doing B+B and it now closes on a Monday

We planned a stop at the Angel in Hetton (from Skipton to Malham), but hadn’t realised it’s a Michelin Star restaurant and not a pub! They did serve us a coffee outside.

The café in Feizer was very welcome – and it’s open every day from 8:30am

There’s nowhere to eat in Newbiggin on Lune – but we stayed at Tranna Hill B+B and the host gave us a lift to/from a local pub.

An advantage of staying in Malham was that you can be at the Cove really early in the morning and have the place to yourself. Stayed at the River House and would highly recommend.

The Greyhound pub in Great Asby was a great stop for lunch – he has a reasonably new bunkhouse (sleeps 6 I think) and looked great.

The tourist office in Appleby was closed at 4pm so we arrived too late to sign the book or buy a badge which was a shame.

The 10:09 train on a Saturday from Appleby to Shipley was rammed – was hoping for a peaceful journey back, but was full of football fans and hen parties heading to Leeds!

In September, after a dry period of weather none of the possible muddy tracks were muddy.

Walked through a few fields with cows, but had no problems – they were usually far enough away to avoid.

Thank you to Tony and Chris for the excellent route guide and companion book. Loved the route and the variety so much. Wondering where to go next.

Jacqui and Mark

Chris replies: well done Jacqui and Mark - it's a tough challenge for a first long-distance walk! Badges are in the post.


Take 2

From: Gerard Whittle
Date: 27 August 2021

Recently completed my first iteration of this fabulous walk.  Well done for to everyone - especially Tony and Chris - involved in great planning, promoting and supporting this amazing journey across Yorkshire.  Walking alone means that I was able to choose route, distance and where to camp. I hadn't enjoyed the section down Addingham Moorside, nor from Skipton to Gordale Scar so I was happy to make adjustments.

My first go, July 2021, was a ramble in the lowlands: missing all of the tops and several lowland paths - dictated by late arrival in Saltaire, personal navigational incompetence, broken glasses – and Montezuma extracting the most severe Revenge on days 2, 3 and 4! 

This time I decided to include all 3 Peaks and Howgill Fells - missing  the Tea Wagon at Gordale, also Settle, Stainforth, Feizor - all highlights of the previous trip.  My route this time was: (Reflecting the 'high' intentions of the walk and opportunity for short or long days.) Saltaire - Ilkley - Addingham (Dales Way) - Skipton - Gargrave (Canal towpath) - Malham (via Pennine Way) - Malham Cove - Malham Tarn - Fountains Fell - Penyghent - Horton - Ingleborough - Chapel le Dale - Whernside - Dent - Sedburgh - Howgills - Appleby.

My days: 1. 190 mile drive to Saltaire.  Walk Saltaire to Gargrave (Eshton Road campsite).

2. Gargrave to Horton (Holme Farm Campsite)

3. Horton to Dent (High Laning)

4. Dent to Great Kimond (quiet camp).  (I would have gone to the Three Greyhounds in Great Asby - to make a shorter final day - but indications were that it was shut due to Horse Fair.) 5. Great Kimond to Appleby.  Train back to Shipley and walk back along the canal.  (I highly recommend this - it just feels right to complete the walk by walking back to the start.)  Drive 190 miles home. Unfortunately, the weather was a bit mucky on Ingleborough, Whernside and across the Howgills but this added to the sense of achievement!  Enough breaks in the weather to stop it from being a slog!

I met many interesting people: DofE, Pennine Way, Three Peaks, canal cruisers - and others on their own routes - not a single DHW!

Next: I'll be back! I need to do the walk and visit Appleby TIC - to sign the book and buy the badge! To note: Canal path to Gargrave has been remade, at great expense, and is wide, level - and pretty hard on your feet (Brilliant cycle path!)  and closer to 6 miles than estimates I had seen!  (Also, the towpath then from Gargrave and the Malham Tarn paths are hard and unforgiving - if easy on navigation!)

Saltaire parking: not an issue but suggest the app is uploaded and tested on good Wi-Fi before setting out. Pay for a day or two less than planned – and you get a reminder/update. I didn't and paid for time I did not need.  My car was fine on Caroline Street Carpark in Saltaire.


Dales High Way for 3rd time

From: Mags
Date: 24 July 2021

Hi - completed walk in reverse - Appleby to Saltaire - on 19th July so a very warm walk.  We stayed b and bs for accommodation, which had been arranged by Brigantes, together with luggage transportation.  An excellent service.

It was lovely to see D of E participants out on the fells.

First time we have walked the Howgills without mist - great views.  The only adjustments we made to the walk were a) walked round Ingleborough via Selside and b) caught the bus from Skipton to Ilkley after walking from Cracoe to Skipton.  Both alterations were rational risk assessments considering our age and the heat/humidity.  The third adjustment was to take The Pennine Bridleway from Stainforth to Malham - just to add variety this being our third time.

We may have walked the High Way 3 times, but each time has been a different route and under differing conditions.

Agree with previous walker about cattle near reservoir - able to avoid by skirting the path and the path at Dent - rocky, tree roots but unable to see footing as very overgrown.

Another enjoyable week in the countryside.

Thank you again for devising this walk.

Chris replies: Well done, it's certainly been hot conditions for walking. It's lovely to read about people personalising the route with variations to suit themselves and the conditions.


It's my fault...

From: Gerard Whittle
Date: 18 July 2021

Hi - Just completed a version of the highway over 4+ days.  A limited window meant rapid progress was essential!

I used the guidebook as my sole guide.  Mistake!  As clearly stated, OS maps are essential!  I'd checked and compared before setting off and all looked okay... but ultimately I was often frustrated!  I did not do some of the high stuff - age and current fitness played a part!

I did however come across a number of gems that added to my enjoyment of the walk:

Level grass camping spot on Roman road near woodland before Skipton

Tea Wagon in layby at Gordale Scar

Knights Stainforth Campsite

Feizor Cafe

Crummack Dale - Limestone Dale, Limestone pavement and access to PWB with 2 ways to Ingleborough.  (Selside and the additional diversion has nothing to commend it unless Ribblehead and beyond are your option.)

Fat Lamb Inn, above Ravenstonedale, did the best burger ever! (Came from Cross Keys - Whilst taking low-level route due to mist.  Completely missed the normal path! Probably whilst directing walkers from Temperance Inn car park!) 

Greyhound Pub, Great Asby (see below)

Bad bits:

Very few!

Trail running shoes mean wet feet!

Cattle on the path from Hetton at the head of the reservoir.  (Cows, calves, bulls and bullocks! )

Riverside paths around Dent and Great Asby are overgrown.  After rain - or even early morning- full wets are a must.

Day 1: Travelling to Norwich station dropped glasses - frame damaged, lens out - for a walk that demands attention to the view!  08.55 Train cancelled.  Arrive at Saltaire 14.15.  Camped above Skipton on Roman Road - highly recommended.  (Originally intention before Sharp Haw also looks good.)

Day 2: Stayed at Knights Stainforth Hall campsite.  Backpackers will always be accommodated without needing to book. (£7).  Meals and bar on site.

Day 3: Stayed in Dent - Laneside Campsite.  (£10) Loads of families and 3 motorbike groups... no issues.  Met young ladies doing LEJOG and teenage cyclists doing JOGLE.

Day 4: Greyhound Bunkhouse, Great Asby.  Attached to the pub... I thought that there was a site - it in Little Asby!  An amazing find!  (£20) I had sole occupancy as well as good food in the pub.

Day 5: 8 miles to the station and a long journey home... 10.05 from Appleby, Norwich 20.15, Home 21.00

Would I recommend it?  Not as is.  Would I do it again? Yes, with different adjustments. (And maybe slower...)  I love ridge walking - get high and stay high!  I understand the rationale of the original walk;  people living locally and planning a linear walk.  There are climbs I see as pointless - Addingham Moorside and out of Addingham, then Sharp Haw,  Tedious paths  - Hetton to Gordale Scar, the Selside link, Great Asby to Appleby.

Tony replies: Wow, that's quite a pace, especially carrying camping gear. We would normally suggest at least a week, but sometimes you have no choice. You definately need an OS map if you are going to vary the route. I didn't know about the bunkhouse at the Three Greyhounds at Great Asby - that's very useful to know. Well done, and many thanks for the feedback.


Incorrect topic on forum: Week long parking at Saltaire 19 Aug 2018

From: Annemieke
Date: 2 September 2020

Hello,

I am about to start my Dales Highway and was looking for a place to park my car. I phoned the nr mentioned in the topic from 19 Aug (Week long parking at Saltaire) to arrange my parking for the week.

It turns out that this service no longer exists. At that car park on the corner of Carline Street and Victoria Road, you can no longer park your car for a week for £15. You can park your car there, but you have to pay via RingGo and pay the normal tariff.

IIs it possible to place a note on the forum to rectify this parking topic? Many thanks in advance.

Kind regards, Annemieke

New charging service at Caroline St car park

Chris & Tony reply:- Hi Annemieke, many thanks for letting us know about this, as we were unaware of the change, which came into force a fortnight ago.

You would now need to book using the RingGo App and pay the full rate for the week, or by phoning them if you don't have a smartphone. The charges are £5 per day, so that will cost £35 for the week! I understand the App is failrly easy to use, and you can book for the duration, and you can add time later if and when needed..


Wild Camp

From: Jacob
Date: 16 August 2020

Bivvy shot

Me and a friend wild-camped the Dales High Way over a period of eight days, nine nights. This allowed for a moderate pace with time to stop and enjoy the view, take pictures and find decent camp sites, and also to start the long return journey to south England early in the morning. We very roughly followed the 8 day itinerary in the guide, obviously stopping well short of the villages or towns mentioned.

This was true wild camping – leaving no trace, lightning no fires, staying out of sight of buildings. Setting up late and leaving early. We used bivvy bags, and also a tarp once or twice. We met a few others doing the same route, but none doing it like us.

A few key things that might be helpful to others doing a low-impact through-hike

 - We stocked up at shops in Skipton, Settle and Sedbergh, carrying enough food for 2-3 days from each one. While it's hardly ultralight camping food, at our moderate pace the extra weight was fine. Pockets of ready-cooked lentils and cous cous, peanut butter and pittas etc were all easy enough to find. The worst we had to do was get some cans of beans at Settle. Again, this isn't the Cape Wrath Trail so no real problem there. (List of shops plus distances between them here). We marked each major shop in the route guide (possibly something to consider adding to future guides?) Dent also has a small shop that is not readily Google-able, but it has limited stock and I wouldn't rely on it.

 - Settle has camping gas available at both the outdoors shop and Practically Everything. Settle in general had everything we needed – a Boots, a Co-op, an outdoors shop, a cafe – in a small area on or just by the route.

- The moorland and fells tended to have freshwater becks; the limestone areas tended to have springs near the lower reaches. Check your OS Map. We ran everything that looked safe through a Sawyer Micro water filter (very slow but reliable!) to be sure and came to no harm. Occasionally we stocked up on water lower down for a more discreet and breezier (=few midges) campsite higher up.

Howgills

 - We found the OS maps OL2 and OL19 indispensable for navigation, finding places to camp and water sources. (Obviously this misses a significant part of the beginning of the route!) If you're used to map reading you may find it easier than following written descriptions. The waymarking is helpful, but it's impossible to rely on it.

- While midges generally weren't a problem, don't camp on the lower reaches of moorland unless you want to risk Highlands-level midge hell! We got totally eaten alive one night.

- Beware of lightning and read up on it. Check the weather forecast. There are huge wide areas throughout the route where you can easily be the tallest thing around (especially in the Howgill Fells and on the huge limestone pavements), and being caught walking or in a shelter when lightning is striking nearby can be much more unnerving and objectively dangerous than you think.

- You can do this vegan; Cafe Sopra in Settle cooked me up a delicious vegan breakfast on request; we also stopped at Steep&Filter in Skipton. Otherwise I found enough in the shops en-route.

- Walk the Ingleborough area on a weekday to dodge most of the three peaks crowds

We did camp at the High Laning campsite in Dent for one night; their washing and drying facilities were invaluable for giving us fresh stuff for the final legs. Get some 20p, 50p, & £1 coins.

Thanks for your work assembling this beautiful trail; you get a real sense of the trail unfolding into new and wondrous landscapes. It kept everything feeling fresh and new.

Many thanks, Jacob.


Missing Path

From: Mary Hockaday
Date: 10 August 2020

A friend and I greatly enjoyed the Dales High Way a couple of weeks ago, via Brigantes. We did Ilkely to Appleby in six days walking, stupendous.

The route guide was excellent and indispensable. But I thought I'd pass on the one problem we had, on p.28 of the 2013 edition (but no different in the more recent edition which my friend had). After Crummack we climbed up to the brow and turned right – box 3. But for love nor money we could not find the major left fork  in box 4. We went back and forth between Long Scar and the PBW waymark. We saw the crumbled wall but no unmarked 'easy, clear, dry track' was to be found.  In the end we went on and up to Ingleborough via the alternative route via Sulber Pot.

I hope this may be useful. Meanwhile, thank you for establishing such a wonderful route, it's a wonderful mixture of everything the Dales has to offer. 

Chris & Tony reply:- Hi Mary, Very glad to hear you had a good time on the trail.

With regards to the "missing path", you will not be surprised that quite a few people have found this spot tricky, mainly because there are numerous crossing tracks and little signage.

I can assure you that the "missing track" does exist (see photo attached). If you come up from Crummack along the Dales High Way track, you reach the crossing bridleway (called Long Lane, part of the Pennine Bridleway) by a Pennine Bridleway (PBW) marker post. Turning right, after 200 metres or so, there is a 2nd PWB marker post and the Dales High Way track forks off left here. It is actually an old turbary road (peat-cutters road).

If you continue instead along Long Lane you eventually pass a 3rd PWB post at a point where another track from Crummack joins Long Lane. This forks off from the Dales High Way track just above Crummack. Is it possible you might have followed this one? Easily done.

Missing path, - DHW above Crummack

None-the-less, you did exactly the right thing and joined the track which runs up from Horton towards Ingleborough (the Yorkshire Three Peaks route) and got back on A Dales High Way, so well done!

The PBW marker posts are the only signage at this point, and these have a habit of disappearing on occasion, so can't be relied upon. That's why we've added the GPS references to these points in the latest edition of the Route Guide.

Many thanks for letting us know about this.


Dog friendly stiles?

From: Marie
Date: 18 January 2020

Hi. Can you advise on how dog friendly this trail is?  My Labrador is too heavy to lift over styles and I wonder what manner of styles we might encounter, particularly along the Feisor to Malham stretch. Many thanks for any info you can provide.

Ladder stile on appraoch to Feizor

Chris replies: There are a variety of stile types on A Dales High Way and the Route Guide shows you where the stiles/gates are located.

In some areas - the Howgill Fells for example - there are none but in other sections, although they are gradually being replaced by walkers' gates,some remain. These include steep ladder stiles, squeeze stiles, wooden step stiles and step stiles in the dry stone walls.

In the section you mention there are a couple of ladder stiles that you won't be able to get over with your dog I'm afraid and some tricky step stiles on the riverbank between Settle and Stainforth.



Return Visit

From: Margaret Whitehead
Date: 1 September 2019

We walked the Dales High Way for the first time in July 2018. It was a great experience - lovely scenery in great weather.

We enjoyed it so much that we returned in July 2019, that is literally returned.  We walked from Appleby to Saltaire.  

This return journey also gave us an opportunity to try some of the alternative routes.  The cloud was down over the Howgills so we took the lower level route from Ravenstonedale to Sedbergh.   We still saw many great views.  

Also we stayed at Ribblehead rather than Chapel le Dale and approached Ingleborough from Park Hill and the Simon Fell Ridge.  A lot less adrenaline inducing than the steep ascent/descent of Ingleborough with time to enjoy the fantastic panorama.

Would like to add the route guidebook was excellent.  Also there seemed to be more way markers on our second trip.

Thank you.


Walking the Way

From: Dave Harrison
Date: 29 May 2019

Hello,

In company with a group organised by HF Holidays, I recently walked the Dales High Way. There were a couple of hail showers on the first day, but the weather was otherwise excellent. The result was a highly enjoyable nine days worth of walking. To see my photos, visit http://djh1.webfactional.com/html/walking/Yorkshire_Dales/Dales_High_Way

Regards


Dales High Way - July 2018 Blog

From: Ian
Date: 10 Feb 2019

Hi, In July 2018 I completed my DHW trek, a truly magnificent walk

Thank you to all who work hard to create, maintain and promote this path, including of course those running the dedicated website, which was an endless source of knowledge and inspiration during the planning stages

I am happy to share my diary/blog of the trip on your forum and if this in any way encourages others to undertake this wonderful walk then great – they will not be disappointed!

The link to my site is:  https://hikerdude.dudaone.com/dales-high-way

Happy reading


Older Forum postings >


 


Dales High Way
BLOGS


Morgs4Mountains

Saltaire to Appleby-in-Westmorland over 6 days, 2020.

Morgs4Mountains

I can't really think of any other trail that I have done that has been as visually impactive for it's entire length.  


Backpacking Adventure

Backpacking A Dales High Way - 2019

Dave Goodman

In this video I backpack with my father along the Dales Highway.  


Fills Wild Walks

Wild camping on A Dales High Way 2019

Fills Wild Walks

A beautiful walk across the Yorkshire dales, from Saltaire to Appleby-in-Westmorland, 90 miles in 7 days.
See Phil's pal Rich "The Wanderer"'s version here.   


Discover

A Dales High Way & the Yorkshire Three Peaks - 2018

Discover - Penyghent

 The 3 peaks formed the main event, but the appetizer was the Malham area and the dessert the Howgill Fells. That’s a sumptuous 3 courses!


The Dorset Rambler

Backpacking the Dales High Way - 2018

The Dorset Rambler

This was such an awesome walk which I made in the hottest weather imaginable, and not a drop of rain on the way!


Dales High Way - The Return

The Wandering Wayfarer returns to A Dales High Way for the second time - 2016

Dales High Way - the Return

I will also be using some of the alternative routes which have either evolved since the walk was formulated or are bad weather options from the official guide book.


Walking the blog

Charles Hawes walks his own variation - A High Dales Hike - 2014

Charles Hawes Walking the blog

Whilst walking one day we found a flyer that referred to The Dales High Way, which sounded exactly what we were after.  


Trailwalker

Trailwalker is backpacking along A Dales High Way - 2014

Trailwalker at Hirst Locks

 I had plans – best laid and all that…


Dales High Way plus...

Kevin Downes entertaining account of his extended Dales High Way walk - 2014

Kevin Downe, Dales High Way Plus 2014

I have been tempted by the sirens' call of the recently completed (Yorkshire) Dales High Way.


Rich Running

The Dales High Way or the Yorkshire 3 days, February 2013

Rich Running - the Dales High Way or the Yorkshire 3 days

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a most enjoyable 3 days running on The Dales Highway.


A Dales High Way 2012

Read Bridget & David's blog here and see their video here


The Dales High Way 

Steffi and I have just walked the fantastic Dales High Way for our 4th Wedding Anniversary, May 2012

Steefi & Steve walk A Dales High Way

If you have half an hour to burn, take a look at this video diary that my wife and I knocked up...


The Dales High Way Walk

I intend to walk the basic route but may vary it slightly to fit in with using public transport

Another long distance walk as I find the time

I'm starting yet another long distance walk, which I will do in stages as I find time to walk it.


Another Summer Stroll

Diary of a long distance walk - The Dales High Way July 2011

Another Summer Stroll

We basked like two seals in the warm sunshine and gentle breeze.


Dales High Way Walk

Dales High Way Walk 2011 by Gregg

Gregg and Chris

I have just finished nine days of walking about the Lake District and have selected the Dales High Way to finish off my "grand walkabout" of the lakes and dales.


 Backwards

Appleby to Saltaire - 2011

A Dales High Way Backwards

We're walking the route backwards in three chunks...


Postcard from Timperley

A Dales High Way - June 2011

Postcard from Timperley

Another day, another trip.


Blisstocracy

The High Way and the River
A walk on the Dales High Way & the Teesdale Way - 2011

The High Way and the River - Blisstocracy 2011

So I decided that instead Friday 29th April was going to be Poly Styrene Day. OH BONDAGE - UP YOURS!


Matt Bye

The Dales Highway 2010

The Dales Highway 2010 - Matt Bye

As one of our walks every year, me and my Grandad walked The Dales Highway and also raised money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Heart Unit.


Helen Billingham

Walking the Dales Highway 2010

Walking the Dales Highway 2010 - Helen Billingham

Bye bye the Dales Highway – thanks for the memories, we’ll miss you.


M&G

M&G go for a walk - Dales High Way

M&G go for a walk - Dales High Way photos

And so it was that the two of us strode out of Ilkley train station this morning, after an early start, to walk a chunk of the Dales High Way.