Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: South and West

Wharfedale, Littondale, Malhamdale, Dentdale and Ribblesdale

By Dennis Kelsall, Jan Kelsall

Part of a 2-book set, this guidebook describes 44 walks in the southern and western Yorkshire Dales, including the famous 23 mile Three Peaks circuit over Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. The other, mostly circular routes of 3½ to 13 miles cover the scenic region between Sedbergh, Kirkby Lonsdale, Settle, Skipton and Grassington.



Year round walking in the Yorkshire Dales, but be properly kitted out on the tops in winter.


Skipton, Settle, Grassington, Kirkby Lonsdale, Sedbergh, Dent, Grassington, Clapham, Malham


From gentle two-mile walks to more strenuous day-long routes
Must See

Must See

The individual character of each dale, wild fells, cosy villages, the traditional farming landscape, the Yorkshire Three Peaks route, Malham cove
13 Apr 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.4cm
  • Overview

    The Yorkshire Dales need little introduction: their picturesque scenery and hundreds of miles of footpaths, tracks and bridleways have been attracting walkers for decades. Part of a two-volume set, this guidebook presents over 40 routes in the south and west of the National Park, with bases including Sedburgh, Malham, Grassington, Skipton, Settle and Kirkby Lonsdale. The walks cover the valleys of Wharfedale, Littondale, Malhamdale, Ribblesdale and Dentdale – each with its own distinctive landscape and character. Also included is the Yorkshire Three Peaks, a 23 mile (37km) challenge to bag three iconic summits – Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.

    Mostly circular and ranging from 3.5 to 13 miles (6–21km), the routes showcase Yorkshire's diverse landscapes, beautiful views and rich heritage and celebrate the 'ups, downs and endless in-betweens' of the Dales. With the exception of the Three Peaks walk, they are designed to suit most abilities: steeper sections are rare and usually short-lived. Detailed route description and 1:50,000 OS mapping are provided for each route, along with information on nearby points of interest and facilities. In addition, an introduction presents an overview of the region's plants and wildlife, geology and history and offers an insight into iconic local industries such as farming and quarrying.

    From bucolic pastureland to wild moors, the Dales have it all. Highlights include delightful riverside walking in Wharfedale, spectacular views of the distant Howgills and Lake District Fells, and the arresting limestone cliffs of Malham Cove. Charming villages and cosy pubs offer a warm welcome, but it is also possible to find tranquility and seclusion. The walks in this guide take in rolling hills, sweeping valleys and dancing streams, providing a wonderful introduction to this magnificent area.

  • Contents

    Evolution of the landscape
    Geological history
    Human settlement
    Industry and enterprise
    Farming in the Dales
    Plants and wildlife
    The Southern and Western Dales
    The Yorkshire Dales National Park
    Navigation and maps
    Careful planning
    Clothing and footwear
    Food and drink
    Taking your car
    Leaving your car behind
    Using this guide
    1 Lower Wharfedale and Barden Moor
    Walk 1 Bolton Abbey
    Walk 2 Barden Moor
    Walk 3 Simon’s Seat
    Walk 4 Burnsall and Trollers Gill
    Walk 5 Grassington and Grass Wood
    Walk 6 Conistone
    2 Upper Wharfedale
    Walk 7 Great Whernside
    Walk 8 Kettlewell and Arncliffe
    Walk 9 Buckden Pike
    Walk 10 Old Cote Moor Top from Buckden
    Walk 11 Buckden and Yockenthwaite
    Walk 12 Horse Head and Langstrothdale
    Walk 13 Oughtershaw Side
    3 Littondale
    Walk 14 Arncliffe and High Cote Moor
    Walk 15 Old Cote Moor Top from Arncliffe
    Walk 16 Pen-y-ghent Gill from Litton
    Walk 17 Litton and the River Skirfare
    4 Malhamdale
    Walk 18 Airedale and Weets Top
    Walk 19 Gordale, Malham Tarn and the Cove
    Walk 20 Malham Cove and Pikedaw Hill
    Walk 21 Mastiles Lane
    Walk 22 Fountains Fell
    Walk 23 Winterburn Reservoir
    Walk 24 Cracoe Fell
    5 Dentdale and the Western Outliers
    Walk 25 Great Knoutberry Hill
    Walk 26 Wold Fell
    Walk 27 A Walk into Deepdale
    Walk 28 Great Coum
    Walk 29 Dentdale
    Walk 30 Calf Top and Middleton Fell
    Walk 31 Barbon Low Fell
    Walk 32 Gragareth and Great Coum
    6 Around Ribblesdale
    Walk 33 Attermire Scar and Victoria Cave
    Walk 34 Langcliffe and Catrigg Force
    Walk 35 Plover Hill and Pen-y-ghent
    Walk 36 Upper Ribblesdale along the Ribble Way
    Walk 37 Ingleborough from Ribblehead
    Walk 38 Whernside from Ribblehead
    Walk 39 Gayle Moor and the Source of the Ribble
    Walk 40 Clapham and the Norber Boulders
    Walk 41 Ingleborough from Clapham
    Walk 42 Ingleton Falls
    Walk 43 Kingsdale
    Walk 44 The Yorkshire Three Peaks

    Appendix 1 Route summaries and suggestions for longer routes
    Appendix 2 Where to find out more

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    We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our contact form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).

  • Reviews
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book

    This book contains 44 walks from Wharfedale, Littondale, Malham dale, Dentdale and Ribblesdale and follows on from their previous book of walks in the North and East of the Yorkshire Dales. It includes seven walks that I know but there are many others that I have walked in these areas over the last 50 years that Dennis and Jan have also included.

    They are seasoned walkers, writers and photographers and the 44 walks that they have selected range from 3.5 miles around Attermire above Settle to 23 miles for someone who wishes to tackle the Three Peaks in one day in the Ribblehead chapter. The book is divided into six chapters; Lower Wharfedale, Upper Wharfedale, Littondale, Malhamdale, Dentdale and Ribblesdale and range from four walks in the Litton dale chapter to eight in the Ribblesdale one.

    As well as the walks themselves, the book also contains chapters on the evolution of the landscape, Plants and Wildlife, the area covered by the walks, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, practicalities and how to use the guide. The text, maps and photographs are all very concise and my only criticism of the book is that some of the walks start or finish partway down a page and the next walk carries on from there on the same page. By enlarging or reducing some of the photos or realigning of the text these could have been made to fit so that each walks started on its own separate page. 

    Apart from this minor blemish,  I thoroughly enjoyed the book and will be using it to cover some of the walks I have either not done before or where it has been several decades since I last trod some of these "broad acres" of Yorkshire.

    John Burland, Yorkshire news

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Dennis Kelsall A

Dennis Kelsall

Having followed a career in Human Resource management through industry, local government and private consultancy, Dennis Kelsall was led into outdoor writing with a Cicerone commission for a guide to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, an area he'd loved since childhood. Inevitably, the constraints of the day job proved too onerous and, joining the Outdoor Writers Guild (as it then was), he became established as a full-time freelance writer and photographer.

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Jan Kelsall A

Jan Kelsall

After completing a degree in psychology and sociology, Jan Kelsall embarked upon a local government career, where she met her husband Dennis. A shared passion for walking and the countryside led to a first commission with Cicerone for a guide to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and she eventually abandoned the security of employment to concentrate on the outdoors. Although based in Lancashire, their collaborative projects have since taken them the length and breadth of Britain.

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