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


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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Our walk on the Dales High Way

From: Laraine and Andrew
Date: 21 Aug 2017

We have just finished our very enjoyable walk on the DHW.

We took 6 days. 3 days using the train from our house in Settle and the final 3 days from Ribblehead to Appleby, backpacking camping at Sedbergh and Ravenstonedale. Got to Appleby just in time to get enjoy a celebratory pint at the Midland hotel before catching our train back to Settle.

Thanks for a great walk.

Camp sites

From: David Hall
Date: 15 July 2017

Hi  I have posted a message on the face book page. 

I am looking for a camp site near or on the route at Sedburgh.

I have been on the tourist information web site and Howgills Bunk Barn charges £20 per night for a back pack tent !!!!!!

Can you post this on the blog



Dales High Way Walk - April 2017

From: David Chippendale
Date: 9 May 2017

I walked the Dales High Way between 21st and 27th April this year.  What a superb route, full of interest and contrast.  I enjoyed every section of it. 

The path through Trench Wood and Shipley Glen at the start was a delightful surprise, I loved the way the path gave you great views from high above the towns of Ilkley, Skipton, Settle and Appleby before dropping down to them, and enjoyed the contrast between the high moors, the valleys, the limestone scenery, the ruggedness of Ingleborough and the softness of the Howgills. 

A real highlight was seeing Ingleborough covered in snow – fortunately the day after I'd gone over it. 

My only disappointment was not being able to get the train back down to Saltaire due to the Northern train strike, however, I'm planning to head back to Appleby after walking the Dales Way later this month to complete the experience. 

My only suggestion for improvement would be to have some sort of plaque or marker to denote the official start and end of the trail.  Keep up the good work. 

 David Chippendale

Dales High Way - April 2017

From: Maurice Walker
Date: 10 Apr 2017

Just completed The Dales Highway on Saturday 8th April 2017. A great walk. The weather has been perfect, with some great views and met some great people along the way. I have a nice certificate from the tourist information centre. Really helpful people. The deputy mayor ran me into Penrith as northern train strike. Many thanks to all. Had a great pint to celebrate at the 301 miles pub on Carlisle Station.

Maurice Walker's pint

News from the Sedbergh Area Walking and Cycling Group

From: Robert Powell
Date: 22 Feb 2017


As you probably know, the Sedbergh Area Walking and Cycling Group had its AGM some days ago. We didn’t have a huge turnout, but we did get some useful business sorted out. Amongst other things we are having some guided walks, thanks to a kind offer from Keith Birbeck, who has just moved into the area with his wife Joanna. Please see details below, which will also appear in the March edition of Lookaround. I have also attached a poster for anyone with anywhere to put it.

Guided Walk Details

The Sedbergh Area Walking and Cycling Group is planning a short series of walks in the Howgills and Dales area, the primary aim of which is to gauge if there is sufficient interest amongst local people to develop and support an ongoing programme of regular walks in the future.  These will be of between 8 and 10 miles in length,  and centred around Sedbergh. All the walks listed below will begin and end at the Information and Book Centre at 72 Main Street and they will start at 10am.

·         Sat 18 March – Sedbergh Low Level – 8 mile walk along River Rawthay and Dales Way. Generally easy walking on good tracks and minor roads.

·         Wed 05 April – Howgills Hike – 9 mile walk around Calders and Bram Rigg. Good fell tracks over open exposed terrain with 500M of ascent.

·         Sat 15 April – Dentdale – 10 mile walk along Dentdale via the Dales Way and the Dales Highway. Good paths and tracks with 150M of ascent.

·         Wed 03 May – Howgills Hike – 9 mile walk around Knott, Calders and Arrant Haw. Good fell tracks over open exposed terrain with 500M of ascent.

More information about these walks is available on the Sedbergh Gateway website at www.sedberghgateway.org.uk/guidedwalks  and from the walk leader, Keith Birbeck, via keithbirbeck@gmail.com or 015396 20941. Any comments or suggestions concerning this walking initiative would be most welcome.

Fine alternatives

From: Tony Woodhouse 
Date: 16 Oct 2016

We walked the DHW south to north over eight days at the beginning of October 2016.  It is a wonderful trail, thanks to everyone who has helped to create it, prepare the guide books and maintain it, and for the welcome at the Appleby TIC.

We were already acquainted with the steep descent from Ingleborough, so with heavy backpacks we had decided in advance that whatever the weather we would take the alternative route via Selside.  This is a lovely route in its own right and not in any way a poor relation to walking up and over Ingleborough, it just needs care and concentration with map reading.

The wind on the Howgills at the Calf was too strong to make the long ridge walk to Bowderdale a particularly pleasant prospect, so we dropped down to the alternative route along Bowderdale Beck – again, a lovely alternative in its own right.

On reaching Bowderdale, by way of variety we left the DHW and walked directly east to our accommodation in Ravenstonesdale using a route described by the Howgills and Limestone Trail.  However, it would have been just as easy – if less interesting - to follow the DHW to Newbiggin and walk across to Ravenstonedale from there, thanks to a splendid separate pedestrian/cycle path alongside the busy A685 section.

Highlights?  Too many to mention.

Flasby Flashpoint

From: David Wright  
Date: 30 Aug 2016

Walking yesterday (29th August) on the Dales Highway, my wife and I were enjoying a fine, scenic walk in the sunshine. However, after leaving Flasby village and heading south towards Sharp Haw, we encountered severe problems at the end of the path from the village where the bridleway crosses a track (appx Lon, Lat: -2.074302, 54.003754). There are 2 gates on the bridleway in front of the track, neither of which can be opened, and we had to climb one of them. This is totally unacceptable - a bridleway should be useable by horse riders, but they would have been prevented from continuing beyond this point because of the blocked gates.

Crossing the track we were then confronted by a heavy metal double gate which was very difficult to open, and close - surely not in the best interests of the farmer, especially as there was a very long train of cattle walking past. Going on from there, there are no waymarks, the correct route is not clear, and it is very boggy in places, with open dykes having broken banks cross cutting the path, making progress both difficult and dangerous. There was also a large bull in the next field but one which we had to cross. The bull was placid, but there was no warning sign which would have been advisable. Section 59 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 bans the keeping of bulls in fields crossed by a right of way, unless they are under the age of 10 months or not of a recognised dairy breed, provided they're accompanied by cows or heifers (young female cows). Recognised dairy breeds are Ayrshire, British Friesian, British Holstein, Dairy Shorthorn, Guernsey, Jersey and Kerry, but I do not know which breed this bull was.

The blue-topped posts which mark the route help, but there aren't many and can be difficult to spot - e.g. one was lying in the bracken. Progressing past Sharp Haw, the bridleway forks - one path going to the top of Sharp Haw, the other heading SE, but again, no signage. The Dales Highway forum web page reveals that some of the problems I am reporting were also in existence in Autumn 2015 - it seems not much has been done since. I have reported this to Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Something very special

From: Mark Farrar   
Date: 17 Aug 2016

For our first holiday for 24 years without children we decided to walk the DHW, (24th July-1st August). It was wonderful!

Being born and bred in Eccleshill in Bradford, living in Otley for my teenage years, this is a part of the world (up to Settle) I know very well. However, having lived in Norfolk for 30 years I had forgotten how beautiful it is.

Apart from around the honeypots of Malham and Ilkley we saw hardly anyone all day on our walks. Great stuff! We only met one other person doing the DHW itself, a woman from London, who told us you had kindly met her in Saltaire railway station at the start of her walk. Sadly, she gave up after a couple of days. I am not surprised as she was carrying everything. We could not have managed that.

Your guide books were excellent, we hardly ever needed our OS maps, let alone a compass. Thank you. You should be very proud of what you have created.

It is something very special. But please do not let it become too popular!!!


From: Janet and Derek   
Date: 12 Apr 2016

We have just finished walking the Dales High Way. It was a brilliant route and the guide book was excellent, probably the most accurate we have used in many decades of walking. Also, it was a good idea to have a guide book and a separate, larger, companion book. (I do wish other guide book writers would take up this idea!)

Many thanks.

Dales High Way Badge

From: Brian Foster  
Date: 8 Jan 2016

I’ve done quite a few nation trails; my first was the Cumbria Way many years ago. This was followed by the Coast to Coast which I finished on my 60th Birthday. More recently and locally I’ve done the Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path followed by the Rutland Round. In October 2015 I did the Herriot Way and, as I was born and brought up in Harrogate, I just had to do the Dales High Way which took me through some of my favourite walking areas in God’s own county.

Brian's Badges

Whilst I got my completion certificate for the Dales High Way from the TIC in Appleby and signed the C2C finishers book in the Bay Hotel; I felt that I needed a more longer lasting and permanent memento to mark the completion of these trails. I’m sure that there are some providers of merchandise for a few of these trails but rather than trawling the internet, I thought that I’d try the DIY approach which would at least ensure that I got what I wanted at a sensible price. My first thought was some form of embroidered badge that I could sew onto my rucksack but since I’m not very good with a needle and thread, I thought that a metal pin badge might be an easier option. A quick search on the internet brought up http://www.createabadge.co.uk/ .

At that time, I only had a picture of the waymarker for the Rutland Round so thought that I’d get a couple of badges made up; one for me and one for the friend who did the walk with me and provided the second car, making this walk possible. I was so pleased with the badges that Createabadge produced that my thoughts then turned to getting a few more made to mark the trails that I’d walked over the years. I downloaded a waymarker image for the C2C and then asked Chris if she would allow me to use her waymarker for the Dales High Way. She very readily agreed and sent me an image that I could use. In return, I promised to send her a sample badge. I think that the results are quite impressive as you can see for yourself from the following picture.

For anyone that might be interested in doing something similar for themselves, I can thoroughly recommend Creatabadge who made these up for me within a few days of submitting my order. The 55mm badges cost me £1 each with a postal charge of £3.99. This is a standard charge irrespective of the number of badges ordered. My goal now is to find suitable images for the other trails that I’ve done and to then complete my set of badges.

Our Dales High Way Walk

From: M and M Waterworth   
Date: 9 Oct 2015

8 days  24 Sept - 1 Oct 2015

Our Route:
Day 1       Saltaire to Ilkley   8.5 miles  Riverside Hotel
Day 2       Ilkley to Skipton   11.5 miles  Napiers Restaurant with Rooms
Day 3       Skipton to Malham   13.5 miles   Youth Hostel Malham
Day 4       Malham to Stainforth   11 miles   Craven Heifer
Day 5       Stainforth to Ribblehead    12 miles   Station Inn
Day 6       Ribblehead to Sedbergh    13.5 miles   Daleslea B&B
Day 7       Sedbergh to Newbiggin    11 miles    Tranna Hill B&B
Day 8       Newbiggin to Appleby    13 miles   Bongate House B&B

What a superb and varied walk!  Each day was different - variety of walking and scenery within each day made for a very interesting 8 days.  A few of the ascents a bit challenging (for us Seniors) but we just took our time!

Discovering The Howgill Fells and the stunning views from our highest point, The Calf.  We were lucky in having clear sunny weather and could see the outline of the Lake District hills in one direction and the Pennines in another - couldn't quite see Morecambe Bay though! 

The limestone pavement and scars around Malham and then again between Stainforth and Ribblehead. 

Route Guide Comments:
An excellent Route Guide.  We had had enough time to study it before the walk and make plans for which routes to take, where there were alternatives.  The detailed directions were very helpful, alongside our OS maps.  The updates from the website are also useful supplements.  The following comments from our experience might be helpful:
Map 7.  Descending from Sharp Haw to Flasby, the correct route isn't clear, is very boggy in places, the bracken was high (as mentioned in the Guide) - the blue-topped posts mentioned in the Updates do help, but there aren't many and you don't always spot them, eg one had been uprooted.
Map 24.  Item 3 - the gate is no longer waymarked.  Items 4 and 5 - some of these gates have been blocked from being opened, so it's necessary to climb over them.

Although the route has some Dales High Way waymarkers, these are intermittent, so don't rely solely on these for navigation!

A Dales High Way Pub Crawl

From: Vinny Whalley  
Date: 20 Sept 2015

Finished my pub crawl on the 18 September.  

I called it a pub crawl because I usually stay in a pub or go to a pub for an evening meal. 

I was looking for a medium range walk to do, as I had already walked the Pennine Way in April this year.

A Dales High Way looked very interesting. I had six day to do it in, so getting to the start early was important to me and I had to start on a Sunday. The first train from were I live, wasn't till 9 AM arrived in Saltaire about noon and to cover the 18 miles to Skipton wasn't going to happen starting that late.

I tried to find some where to park my car and found Just Park.  For £37 for 6 days parking in someones drive. Grosvenor Road just half a mile from Saltaire station. Excellent, I could now come back down on the train and see were I had walk from the train before picking my car up.

A Dales High Way is and excellent walk, I would recommend it to anyone. For me its good medium range walk, just like doing half of the Coast to Coast or part of the Pennine Way.

Remember you don't have to stick to the route, as the website says you can put the Yorkshire Three Peaks in too, like I did.

I alway buy a guide book but never take it with me as they are too big and heavy and I use Harvey map but there isn't one for this walk, I got myself the maps I needed and used the guide book. What an excellent guide book it is, I never needed to refer to my maps at all (but still glad I had them with me just in case) I would say its the best guide book I have had. All the other information you need is on the website, Like accommodation etc.

Thank you Tony and Chris for such a good guide book and most of all for an amazing walk. 

A Wonderful Walk

From: Maria Marcon 
Date: 13 Sept 2015

 My friends and I completed the walk last week in glorious weather. Spectacular isolation was to be found in the Howgills. The limestone pavement in Malhamdale made a great picnic table. Unfortunately we too had a few issues with cows especially those with calves as our dogs use us for shelter which is not helpful. Sadly we did not realise there was a vistors' book in Appleby. A great time was had by all and the guide had an alternative use as in the picture. 

Maria Marcon

Many thanks, Maria.

Dales Highway

From: Ken & Lynn Coulson 
Date: 22 Aug 2015

We completed the Dales Highway last week. What a stunning walk it is. Day after day the country opened up new vistas. We travelled through this beautiful Dales landscape loving the transformation from Gritstone to Limestone and finally the beautiful deep red soil of the Eden. What a sublime walk this is; walking doesn't get much better than this. Thank you, we loved every mile of it.


From: Ian Antill
Date: 15 Aug 2015

Two years later than planned, after two knee operations, Margaret and I finally completed the Dales Highway on July 29th. Glorious walk !

Mostly good weather over the 8 days we took.

Only met people on the same mission as us on the last day, and guess what - they hailed from a village only 2 miles away from us.


Bull Hotel, Sedbergh

From: Barbara Taylor
Date: 21 Jun 2015

Just finishing the Dales Highway which has been very enjoyable but rather wet, windy and misty.

At Sedbergh we stayed at the Bull Hotel, the first room had no TV, the second room no mirror so on complaining to the manager we found out that North Country Inns had not renewed their lease on the Bull Hotel and that the company who owned the hotel had been unable to find another company to take it on.

A manager from another North Country Inn had been put in temporarily for four weeks (we stayed on June 20th) in order to give the owners extra time to lease it out.

The food was good, the hotel sad.

I worry about bookings made from the end of July onwards.

Recent Success!

From: Julian Flewitt
Date: 1 Jun 2015

I just wanted to let you know that we had a great time undertaking the DHW last week. 5 chaps and 2 dogs had good weather (bar the last few hours) and great views all the way.

The guides and signposting were good and little time was lost on the wrong routes. We were all surprised how few people were out generally and specifically on the DHW. There is still much to do in terms of 'spreading the word'. 

We filled in the visitors book in Appleby and had a warm reception from the Tourist Information ladies. We were surprised that so few people had filled in the visitors book since 2013 and that there was no DHW merchandise. Someone is missing a trick!

Please feel free to post this message generally on your website. I have undertaken quite a few long distance walks, I have to say the DHW was rewarding, varied and great in terms of length and challenge. I would not hesitate to recommend it to any doubters! 

Well done to all the organisers and keep up the good work! With thanks - Julian Flewitt.

Setting off next Saturday

From: Kate Gilbert
Date: 17 Apr 2015

With my walking buddy Diane Welch I am setting off on the Dales High Way six-day challenge next Saturday, 25 April. We are both well into our 60s, and though we are pretty fit, we know it's going to be tough at times as well as exciting and spectacular.

I was ill for several years with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), a serious inflammatory disease, and could hardly walk to the end of the road. I'm taking this opportunity to show people with PMR that there is hope, that they can recover and get back to health and fitness. And at the same time I'm raising money for the charity to support sufferers, PMRGCAuk. http://virginmoneygiving.com/team/katedoesthedales

We'll let you know how we get on! Thanks for all the work you have done to promote the route and encourage people like us to take it on,

Regards Kate Gilbert

Start and finish

From: Alby Williams
Date: 25 Feb 2015

Hi, I will be doing the Dales Highway in May, is there an official start and finish to the walk. I've found 2 different starts, the canal but where on the canal, and the 4 lions at the victoria hotel.  As regards the finish is it Appleby castle.

Thanks Alby

Chris replies: The official start is by the lions outside Victoria Hall in Saltaire, and the official finish is at the bottom of Boroughgate, Appleby, by the Moot Hall. Don't forget to nip inside and pick up your certificate! Enjoy the walk.

Older Forum postings >


Dales High 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 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 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.


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.


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!

Swaledale Outdoor Club

Dales High Way, 10th-17th May 2011

Swaledale Outdoor Group

I am sure many tales will be told of the walk...

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.

Travels with Midge

Dales Highway 2010

Dales Highway 2010 - Man & Dog, Travels with Midge.

Having enjoyed the Dales way in April 2009 I heard about the Dales High Way and decided to give that a try.

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 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.