The Dales Way
From Ilkley to the Lake District through the Yorkshire Dales
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Guidebook to walking the Dales Way. This picturesque 79 mile route through the Yorkshire Dales between Ilkley and Bowness-on-Windermere is one of the gentlest long-distance walks in Britain. The route is described in both directions, passing through Wharfedale, Dentdale and the eastern fringe of the Lake District. With 1:25K OS map booklet.
- The walk is scenically at its best in Spring and Autumn (April-June and September-October), but is an all-year round walk for suitably equipped walkers.
- Ilkley, Grassington, Hawes, Sedbergh, Bowness-on-Windermere
- This is an ideal route for anyone wanted to attempt multi-day walking for the first time. There are no significant physical difficulties beyond the basic need to walk a certain distance each day.
- Must See
- Historic buildings, roads, bridges, etc. Landscape, flowers and wildlife. Bolton Abbey, Dent, Dales villages. The scenery is outstanding throughout, and a string of communities line the route but without detracting from the sense of freedom.
A fully waymarked trail from Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere, the Dales Way links two of England's most celebrated national parks, the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. Well served for accommodation and facilities, and with easy walking on riverside paths, it is one of the gentlest multi-day walks in Britain and therefore an ideal introduction to long-distance walking. It can be comfortably completed in 6–8 days. Novices and experienced long-distance walkers alike will find plenty of interest on this wonderful walk, including glorious limestone scenery and characterful historic towns.
Presented in six daily stages of 7–19 miles (with suggestions for alternative schedules), this guide describes the Way in both directions, with the main route description running from south to north. Step-by-step route description is accompanied by 1:100,000 mapping, and a trek planner, showing where facilities are available, is included to facilitate planning. Accommodation listings and useful contacts can be found in the appendices. A separate, conveniently sized map booklet located in the back-cover sleeve provides all the OS 1:25,000 mapping needed to complete the trail.
Accompanying rivers great and small, crossing farmland – and just a little moorland, following wandering winding lanes, the Dales Way visits a wide variety of fascinating features – from churches to viaducts, from traditional villages to ancient stone circles. The guide offers comprehensive notes on local points of interest, as well as an overview of Dales geology, history, plants and wildlife to enhance the walking experience. The practical information is all there too, including when to go, how to get there and what to take, making for an ideal companion to enjoying this delightful route.
About the Dales Way
Planning the walk
When to go
Getting there… and back
First and last nights
Facilities en route
Pack-carrying services (baggage transfer)
Using this guide
Waymarking and paths
Health, safety and emergencies
Phones and Wi-Fi
All about the region
Plants and wildlife
History and culture
The Dales Way: Ilkley to Bowness
Stage 1 Ilkley to Burnsall
Stage 2 Burnsall to Buckden
Langstrothdale and Dentdale
Stage 3 Buckden to Cowgill (Lea Yeat)
Stage 4 Cowgill (Lea Yeat) to Millthrop (Sedbergh)
Lonsdale and the Lakeland Fringe
Stage 5 Millthrop (Sedbergh) to Staveley
Stage 6 Staveley to Bowness-on-Windermere
Appendix A Useful contacts
Appendix B Accommodation along the route
Appendix C Further reading
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Dr Terry Marsh is a Lancashire-based award-winning writer and photographer who specialises in the outdoors, the countryside, walking and travel worldwide. He has been writing books since the mid-1980s, and is the author of over 100 titles.
Terry holds a PhD in Historical Geography and a Master of Arts degree (with Distinction) in Lake District Studies, is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (FSA Scot), a member of the National Union of Journalists, and an Honorary Life Member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.
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