Experience the wonderful walking area of the Yorkshire Dales

The Dales Way journeys across the rugged countryside of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, to the shores of Britain’s largest lake, Windermere, in the romantic Lake District.

  • Bolton Priory, one of the impressive old ecclesiastical ruins en-route including Fountain Abbey
  • The impressive Lake Windermere
  • The charming cobbled street village of Dent
  • You'll cross two National Parks - The Yorkshire Dales and Lake District
  • Walk a classic English landscape, most famously depicted by the Brontë sisters
  • Scenic riverside walks, particularly following the River Wharf towards Ribblehead
  • Classic British country pubs along the way
  • 7 to 8 nights
  • 78 mls (view km)
  • Ilkley, Northern England
  • Easy to Moderate
  • Mar to Oct
  • £675

A Great Introduction to Long-Distance Walking with The Dales Way

Your Dales Way walk begins at the 'Old Bridge' in the stone town of Ilkley, from where the Dales Way follows mostly river tracks, starting at the River Wharfe and leading to its source on Cam Fell at 1700ft.

The Augustinian Bolton Priory is a memorable site along the early stages of the Dales Way walk, with the captivating villages of Burnsall, Buckden, Grassington, Kettlewell following soon afterwards as the trail moves on through the limestone landscapes of Upper Wharfedale. Beyond Cam Fell are some of the most rugged parts of the Pennine moors.

Bowness on Winderemere at end of the Dales Way walkThe trail continues along the River Dee through the cobbled streets of the delightful village of Dent, and on to the old market town of Sedbergh, between the slopes of the Howgill Fells. Here you move away from the Yorkshire Dales and on towards the mountains of the Lake District, standing at the edge of the horizon, ending your walk on the edge of Lake Windermere's famous waters.

To book a holiday hiking long distance paths in England, call us today with your wishes and requirements. We'd be delighted to talk to you about a walking holiday, as well as find you the right itinerary for walking the Dales Way.

Celtic Trails has 20 years’ experience providing tailored, quality itineraries for walkers who appreciate good service, comfort and organisation.

Path Walkthrough

Dales Way walking map
Our Dales Way Walking Holidays take you from Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere

A walk that takes you over rivers and moorland with views over the Howgills, and walking south to north - ending in the lakes is a particularly scenic finish to the journey. While starting the route, the river Wharfe is at your side through farmland and field, as well as busier sections of the path as your route meets the ruins of Bolton priory and Bardon tower. You'll find old stone bridges as you make your way across the rivers that intersect the path to Bowness, in a landscape scattered with ruins and impressive structures (such as the Lune viaduct).

There are few major hills to climb for a walk with such memorable and impressive views. It's also quite an easy route to follow, and well way-marked in most places - but not to the extent where you won't need the assistance of a map & route guides. Trail maintenance has also come leaps and bounds in recent years, with many fallen way-mark posts now reinstated.

Walk Gallery

Our Itineraries for Walking the Dales Way

Prices are per person, based on 2 people sharing, single person supplements apply.

Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere

Length: 80 miles/ 128.5 km | Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

8 Nights / 7 Days
£675 pp

Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere

8 Nights / 7 Days
Holiday Code: DW1
From: £675 (pp)
Solo walker supplement: £37.50 (pn)
Single occupancy (groups): £25 (pn)
Day 9:Departure day
Day 1:Arrival day
Day 2:Ilkley to Barden Bridge9.5 miles/15.2km
Day 3:Barden Bridge to Grassington7 miles/15km
Day 4:Grassington to Yockenthwaite13.5 miles/21.6km
Day 5:Yockenthwaite to Stonehouse13.5 miles/21.6km
Day 6:Stonehouse to Sedbergh exit10.5 miles/16.8km
Day 7:Sedbergh to Garth Row exit14 miles/22.6km
Day 8:Garth Row to Bowness-on-Windermere11.5 miles/18.4km

Itinerary Information: 8 nights accommodation with 7 walking days. Arrive in Ilkley on day 1, walk from day 2 and depart from Bowness-on-Windermere on morning of day 9.

Departure Dates: This itinerary can be walked any time between Mar to Oct. You simply choose which day you would like your holiday to start on.

Rest Days: Should you wish, rest days can be taken at stops along the route, view details.

What's Included: view full details.

Back to all itineraries

7 Nights / 6 Days
£595 pp

Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere

7 Nights / 6 Days
Holiday Code: DW2
From: £595 (pp)
Solo walker supplement: £37.50 (pn)
Single occupancy (groups): £25 (pn)
Day 8:Departure day
Day 1:Arrival day
Day 2:Ilkley to Burnsall13 miles/20.8km
Day 3:Burnsall to Hubberholme15.5 miles/25km
Day 4:Hubberholme to Stonehouse15 miles/24km
Day 5:Stonehouse to Sedbergh exit10.5 miles/16.8km
Day 6:Sedbergh to Burneside15.5 miles/25km
Day 7:Burneside to Bowness-on-Windermere10 miles/16 km

Itinerary Information: 7 nights accommodation with 6 walking days. Arrive in Ilkley on day 1, walk from day 2 and depart from Bowness-on-Windermere on morning of day 8.

Departure Dates: This itinerary can be walked any time between Mar to Oct. You simply choose which day you would like your holiday to start on.

Rest Days: Should you wish, rest days can be taken at stops along the route, view details.

What's Included: view full details.

Back to all itineraries

  • What's Included?

    We Include:

    • Good standard accommodation at a mixture of Guesthouses, Farmhouses, local Inns and B&B’s with en-suite or private facilities where possible
    • Breakfast (packed lunch optional)
    • Luggage transfers (one bag per walker, max 18 kg per bag)
    • Personal transfer between accommodation and path where necessary
    • Route planning
    • Walk Pack including Trail Guide, itinerary, accommodation directions and holiday planning
  • Price Info.

    Solo walker supplement: £37.50 per night

    Single occupancy supplement within a group: £25 per night. Where singles are walking as part of a larger group and are willing to share a Walk Pack, single room occupancy supplements apply.

    Rest days: From £55 per person per night.

    Postage overseas: £5.00 (Europe), £10.00 (Rest of the World) per walk pack

    Bank holidays & short notice bookings may incur extra charges.

    Please note that it is difficult to book 1 night stays in Bowness on Windermere for a Friday or Saturday. We would recommend that you choose your holiday dates with this in mind, or consider a rest day at the end of your walk.

  • Getting There


    Railway stations are located in Ilkley and Windermere.  The train from Windermere to Ilkley takes approx 3½ to 3¾ hours www.nationalrail.co.uk     

    Car parking 

    Option 1: free on road parking outside The Riverside Hotel, Ilkley, close to the start of the Dales Way

    Option 2: £5 per night in car park of Riverside Hotel, Ilkley (residents only)

    Option 3: free of charge at Kirby Malham (base of the luggage transfer company) and £65 pp (min 2 people) or £40 pp (4 people or more) for the transportation to Ilkley and then back from Bowness on Windermere (date dependant).

    Taxi costs (approx) 

    Bowness on Windermere to Windermere        £5.00

    Bowness on Windermere to Ilkley                     £150.00

  • Best Time to Travel

    Our advice is to take this walk between spring, and the start of winter (Mar-Nov) - at any other point you run the risk of making slow progress along an indistinct trail though thick snow. Not ideal.

    Average Rainfall on the Dales Way                                                 Weather conditions for hiking yorkshire                                                             Average Temperatures on the Dales Way                

Walker Reviews of Our Dales Way Walking Holidays

Our past clients rated this walk 5 out of 5; read a selection of 12 reviews below.

Heard of Celtic Trails via word of mouth and you didn't disappoint. I would certainly walk with you again.

5 out of 5

May 2017

We have walked with you before and you have met our expectations again.

5 out of 5

September 2018

All B&B accommodation was excellent. Friendly and welcoming, with great breakfasts. We also loved the scenery, the people, the wildlife, the peace and the tranquillity.

5 out of 5

September 2018

I most enjoyed the scenery and the old buildings.

4.6 out of 5

August 2018

I am a past customer and you have met my expectations again.

5 out of 5

July 2018

A scenic, not too challenging walk with comfortable B&Bs. Thank you - we enjoyed ourselves.

5 out of 5

July 2018

"Personal service and excellent standard of accommodation throughout."

4.8 out of 5

June 2018

Compared to other walking companies, Celtic Trails offers more personal service and an excellent standard of accommodation throughout.

5 out of 5

June 2018

This is possibly the best walk we've done - amazing views, wildlife and the unexpected, amazing weather. It was also relatively easy walking.

5 out of 5

May 2018

"Your wonderful organisation of the trip, excellent accommodation meant I could relax and enjoy my walk - even walking alone."

5 out of 5

April 2017

"It is always a highlight of a holiday doing a long distance walk. This walk was superb, no disappointments, every day was a privilege. Thank you so much once again for your superb organising. Until next time!"

5 out of 5

June 2015

"Our experience was fantastic, one of the marvelous and memorable holidays we've had. We're already thinking about our next walk with you."

5 out of 5

July 2013

Leave your own review of your Dales Way Walking Holiday with us here

Enquire About Dales Way

  • Would you like to receive further information from us on offers, updates and new destinations? These can be stopped at any time.
Booking Request - Dales Way
  • Date Format: DD slash MM slash YYYY
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
What Happens Next?

We will check your details and come back to you within two working days with a personalised estimate based on your requirements. We will then formally request a deposit of £100 per person (£150 for solo walkers) and book all your arrangements - find out about our full booking porcess here.

Please note this does not constitute a booking confirmation, we kindly ask you to refrain from booking any travel until we have confirmed all your arrangements.

Still Have Questions?

If you are still unsure on any of your requirements, please do enquire with us first and one of our friendly team will be happy to help you with any queries you have.