The Dalesway Walk

Bowness on Windermere

Dent Village

The Howgills


The overall length of the Dalesway Walk stretches for 84 miles between Bowness on Windermere and the town of Ilkley in Yorkshire of which 35 miles is within Cumbria.
The walk has been designated as a Recreational Footpath by the Countryside Commission and as such is not considered a demanding exercise, although there are a few steep ascents/descents in the Yorkshire Dales.

For those choosing to start from Bowness, the walk follows low level ground and provides some lake and mountain views, riversides and grasslands and passing through and close to Staveley, Ings, Kendal, Burneside, Garth Row and Grayrigg before arriving at Sedbergh.
This old market town, at the foot of the Howgill Fells occupies a prime position on the Dalesway and many regard it as a base camp from which to explore all or just parts of the walk.
Accommodation is plentiful and walker friendly. There are varied shops, a food store, Post Office, Bank, Cash point and bus services.

Dent is the next Cumbrian stop. It is a large village community of neat stone cottages, a good range of shops, cafés, tea rooms, Post Office and accommodation with the walker in mind.
The Museum of Earth Sciences and the Dent Village Heritage Centre provide a fascinating collection of exhibits and details of local history and development.
A few miles further on is the hamlet of Cowgill, the last settlement in the Cumbrian section which stands close to the famous Settle - Carlisle Railway.

Now the walk enters the 680 square miles of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This is an area of higher ground, deep valleys, rivers, waterfalls, dramatic views over wide open landscapes of solitude and tranquillity, and scattered remote village communities. The scenic journey through Yorkshire contains several items of architectural interest and among others includes the 24 arch Ribblehead Viaduct of the Settle – Carlisle Railway, the medieval church of Cray, the castle ruins of Barden and the 12th C Bolton Abbey.
The traditionally Yorkshire styled village of Grassington provides all the amenities the walker may need of Post Office, Cash Point, Bank and a variety of shops. A Tourist Information Centre (01756-751690) opens 7 days a week, 10am-5pm April to October inclusive and on weekends only 10am to 4pm for the remainder of the year except for January when it is closed for the whole month.

As with all long distance walks, forward planning is a bonus especially booking accommodation well in advance. Many Bed & Breakfasts are not able to process a payment by credit/debit cards and so it is adviseable to carry cash. Be prepared for changeable weather conditions in this part of the country. Strong footwear and good quality waterproofs are essential. Mobile phone signals may be interrupted during some parts of the route.


The Dalesway Route
Bowness on Windermere – Staveley – Burneside – Kendal – Garth Row – Grayrigg – Sedbergh – Dent – Cowgill – Ribblehead – Oughtershaw – Raisgill – Hubberholme – Buckden – Cray – Starbotton – Kettlewell – Linton – Grassington – Burnsall – Barden – Bolton Abbey – Ilkley.

Cumbrian Section Information
Bowness – Staveley. 6 miles.
Staveley – Burneside. 4 miles.
Burneside – Kendal. 1 mile.
Kendal – Garth Row. 1 mile.
Garth Row – Grayrigg. 3 miles.
Grayrigg – Sedbergh. 10 miles.
Sedbergh – Dent. 6 miles.
Dent – Cowgill. 4 miles.
Yorkshire Section Information
Cowgill – Ribblehead. 6 miles.
Ribblehead – Buckden. 13 miles.
Buckden – Kettlewell. 4 miles.
Kettlewell – Grassington. 8 miles.
Grassington – Burnsall. 3 miles.
Burnsall – Bolton Abbey. 7 miles.
Bolton Abbey – Ilkley. 6 miles.

Keep up to date with local news and weather reports from Lakeland Radio - 100.1 - 100.8 FM

Travel Services
Pegasus Taxis & Travel for transport of your luggage to destinations along the route. This Bowness on Windermere based service also provides local and long distance journeys; airport transfers; wedding hire; courier work; hen & stag party hire; school runs and safe and secure luggage storage at their Bowness office premises.  Telephone 015394-48899  Fax 015394-44453

Dalesway Route Information

Don't forget your maps - Ordnance Survey Maps OL2, OL7, OL19, OL30, 297.






Dent station

Arten Gill Beck Viaduct

Arten Gill Beck Viaduct



Bowness on Windermere
Bowness together with the adjoining town of Windermere is the most popular visitor destination in the Lake District and Cumbria. Stunning lake and mountain views, shops, restaurants, cafés, gift shops, pubs, post office, banks, cash points and Tourist Information Centre. There is accommodation to suit all pockets. Regular bus services from Bowness promenade and a rail and bus service from Windermere Railway Station link to connections countrywide.

Staveley is a peaceful village set at no great distance from, but out of earshot of the busy A591, a road said to be one of the most scenic in the country linking Kendal, Windermere, Ambleside, Grasmere and Keswick.
Staveley is a very popular walking and cycling location where many head for the beautiful scenery, quiet narrow roads and footpaths of the Kentmere Valley.
Shops, pubs, post office, chemist and a request railway station stop and regular bus services from and to Kendal and Windermere and beyond.

A request stop railway station on the Windermere Branch Line and regular bus services connect Burneside to Kendal. A well stocked grocery store provides immediate needs and a comfortable pub serves a good selection of drinks and food prepared from local produce.

Kendal stands close to Junction 36 of the M6 motorway, Oxenholme main line railway station, and on the Windermere branch line. It is a main stopping point on a network of local and countrywide bus services. Out of town supermarkets and individual shops within a pedestrianised area offer a wide range of goods plus Banks, a Post Office, cash points, cafés, restaurants, pubs, chemists, Tourist Information Centre, and a well stocked library containing an extensive range of guidebooks with many written by Alfred Wainwright.

Grayrigg is a small community of a few houses, primary school and a church set in peaceful surroundings of gently rising countryside within a few miles of Junction 37 on the M6 motorway. An Animal Rescue Centre funded by the Alfred Wainwright Trust is close by.

Sedbergh is one of Cumbria's best loved destinations for walkers and cyclists who go to walk and ride the paths and trails of the Howgills and the nearby Yorkshire Dales. Shops, Bank, Post Office, Cash Point and a wealth of holiday accommodation.

Dent is a delightful small town set in a peaceful valley surrounded by fells close to the Cumbria/Yorkshire border. It's an ideal place for Dalesway walkers and cyclists to pause for a couple of days and put their feet up. Why not time the visit to coincide with the annual Dent Folk Festival or the Dent Music and Beer Festival.
Amenities of shops, cafés, tea rooms, Post Office, Bank, Cash Point.
Bus services operate between Sedbergh, Kirkby Lonsdale and Kendal.
Train Services. Dent, the highest railway station in England, is a little over 4 miles from the town and a stop on the famous Settle-Carlisle Railway. Details of daily services which operate between Carlisle and Leeds are found on
For more useful transport information visit  and

The few houses and convivial pub of Cowgill occupy a picturesque position in the wonderful scenery of the 10 miles long Dentdale Valley.
It is close to an area very well known for caving and potholing as well as exhilarating walks on the fells of Ingleborough, Whernside and Peny-y-Ghent and for railway enthusiasts, the Settle – Carlisle Railway passes nearby and over the much photographed Arten Gill Beck Viaduct.
Enthusiasts and connoisseurs of real ale from Britain and abroad come to pay homage at the remotely situated Dent Brewery famous for its beer produced using the local waters of Dentdale.
The nearest railway station is Dent. Regular weekday and Saturday services operate between Dent and Carlisle and Dent and Leeds. There is a reduced Sunday service. Call 08457-48-49-50 for further information or log on to Northern Rail.
A Wednesday and Saturday bus service travels between Cowgill, Dent, Sedbergh and Kendal. Visit  for timetable details.
For walks in the area go to



Dales Bus Discount Scheme
Those who travel by public transport can benefit from a variety of discounts. The scheme is simple to use. All you need to do is show a valid bus or rail ticket. Keep a lookout for window stickers in participating cafés, pubs, bed & breakfasts and other attractions. For categories of “Where to Stay”, “Where to Shop & Visit”, “Where to Eat” and full details, go to and click on Discount Scheme.


Ribblehead is a small village community set in great walking and hiking country. It can experience sudden and dramatic changes in weather conditions as winds swirl around and clouds and mist descend on to the nearby 720 metres high Whernside and the neighbouring Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent fells. It was in this area that workers employed on the construction of the imposing Ribblehead Viaduct set up temporary camps which at times were the home to as many as 2000 souls. There are still clearly visible remains of tramway embankments used during construction phases. The neat well kept unmanned railway station is a stop on the Leeds-Carlisle route and a popular gathering place for photographers and onlookers as giant locomotives hauling excursion trains make an exciting spectacle as they “make smoke” on the long upward gradient. Ribblehead has a comfortable welcoming pub and all the peace and quiet one could wish for in a countryside generous in it's displays of wild unspoiled landscapes.


For up to date local news, issues and interests during the Yorkshire section of the walk, tune in to Drystone Radio on 106.9 FM.


Buckden Area
The communities of Yockenthwaite, Hubberholme, Buckden and Cray are separated by just a few miles and all are within the Parish of Buckden. It's an area of traditional inns including the highest pub in Wharfedale, riverside walks, a medieval church, the Cray Waterfalls and marked by the 700 metres of the Buckden Pike. The Pike is quite a strenuous ascent but well worth the effort when rewarded by wonderful all round views from the summit. A memorial to the Polish crew of a Wellington Bomber which crashed on the Pike during a snowstorm in 1942 stands here. This section of fells, limestone outcrops, caves, potholes and the contrasting green pastures of the valley bottoms clearly define the very nature of the Dales where hardy self sufficient families have lived and worked for centuries.
A large number of holiday accommodations, mainly self catering, but including bed and breakfasts and bunk barns are available.
Buckden. Village Stores selling general groceries, milk, newspapers, stamps and postcards. Open 6 days plus one half day per week. Includes a tearoom which doubles as a restaurant in the evenings. Telephone 01756-760257.
Public toilets.
Annual Gala held on third Saturday in June.
Bus Services operated by Pride of the Dales.

The ashes of the author J.B. Priestly rest in the small churchyard. An interesting feature of the hand carved church pews is the mouse trademark of Robert  Thompson, the “Mouseman of Kilburn”.

Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue.
Nearest Post Offices and Cash Points - Kettlewell and Grassington.

Kettlewell is a popular well established centre along the many walking/cycling tracks and trails of the Yorkshire Dales. It's a busy thriving community especially in the high tourist season of the summer months and so for those wishing to stay awhile, it's advisable to reserve accommodation well in advance.
Kettlewell has a well stocked General Store, Post Office, Cash Point, outdoor clothing shop, three pubs and a good choice of holiday accommodation of all types in and around the village boundaries. Bus services run from Kettlewell to Grassington, Buckden, Skipton and Ilkley. The closest railway stations are Skipton and Settle.
General Store Opening Times. Mon-Sat: 8.15am – 5pm. Thursday 8.15am – 12.30pm in Winter.
Sunday. 8.15am – 5pm in Summer. 9.15am – 11.15am in Winter.
Tel: 01756-760221.
Post Office. Housed in the Youth Hostel and provides a full range of postal services and includes a cash withdrawal facility. Open Monday to Friday 10.30am – 1.30pm. Tel: 01756-760232.
Bus Service Information:
Train Service Information.
Settle – Carlisle Railway. Convenient enough to stay and take a day trip on this remarkable railway.
Timetables and steam excursions shown on
Medical Services. Grassington Medical Centre. 01756-752313.
Dental Services. Grassington Dental Centre. 01756-753782.
Both the above services are housed in the same building which is open 8am to 6pm all year.

Linton ranks as one of the prettiest villages in the Yorkshire Dales. It's a neat collection of stone cottages in a riverside setting, a 12th C Church, a nearby medieval castle, encircled by quiet country lanes and close to the limestone fells. The one pub serves meals seven days a week from mid-day until 9pm and a bus service connects with the nearest railway station at Skipton. Bed and breakfast and self catering holiday accommodations are available in and outside the village plus a caravan and camping site a few miles away.
Bus Service details from:

The small town of Grassington, standing close to the River Wharfe, is one of the many popular stop-overs on the Dalesway Walk in addition to being a well visited tourist destination. It has a good range of shops selling foodstuff, clothing, gifts, arts and crafts, plus a selection of cafés restaurants and pubs. Grassington is linked by bus with Skipton, Ilkley, Buckden, Linton and other nearby villages. It has a Bank, Post Office, Cash Point, Tourist Information Centre and Public Toilets. The month of June sees the number of visitors increase when the annual Grassington Festival takes place presenting a selection of Arts and Music performed by International artistes of world standing. This is a time of strong demand for holiday accommodation and so book early.
See Linton (above)for bus service information.
Bank and Cash Point. Barclays, Main Street.
Post Office. Main Street. Tel: 01756 752226.
Tourist Information Centre. Situated in the National Car Park. Tel: 01756 751690.
Dental and Medical Centre housed in the same building. Tel: 01756 753782 and 01756 752313 respectively.
Further Information:

Burnsall is a riverside village not too far from “Wuthering Heights” countryside. Together with Linton it also has been acclaimed as the prettiest village in the Dales and stands within the Barden Triangle of Linton, Burnsall and Grassington. Legend speaks of supposed supernatural associations with the nearby Trollers Gill, Elbolton Hill and Dibbles Bridge. (dibbles=devils) The bridge in the not too distant Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria is so named. Burnsalls 16th C bridge over the River Wharfe is a much photographed village landmark together with the 12th C church of St: Wilfrid. A couple of pubs serve a varied menu of locally reared food and the mini-supermarket on the Green stocks a whole range of provisions as well as selling a very welcome hot home-made soup on winter days and a year round selection of fresh sandwiches. Burnsall is often chosen as the first over night stop (or longer) by walkers beginning the Dalesway Walk from Ilkley. Accommodation in and around is plentiful but demand can be high at certain times of the year.
Bus Service Information:
The nearest railway station is Skipton.
Village shop opening times:
Summer 8am – 7pm. All week.
Winter 8am – 5pm. Closed Mondays. Tel:01756 72 0000.

Appletreewick, Barden, Bolton Bridge, Bolton Abbey and  Addingham are truly representative of traditional Yorkshire village communities. Together they present a large selection of holiday and overnight accommodations with choices of hotel, bed and breakfast, self catering, caravan and camping sites, and bunk-houses, all in and close to the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the ever popular Bronte Country.
A wealth of diverse attractions includes steam railway rides, fishing, horse riding, golf and naturally, very many woodland and riverside paths and trails. Frequent passenger rail services operate from and to Skipton and Keighley from where the villages are linked by bus services.
Addingham is the larger of the communities with a fair number of shops, a delicatessen selling fresh sandwiches and hot and cold drinks (no seating), five pubs serving meals, restaurants, and a Post Office.
Post office Opening Times - Mon: Tues: Thurs: Fri: 9am – 5.30pm. Closed 1pm-2pm lunch:
Wed: 9am – 1pm.
Sat: 9am – 12.30pm.
Tel: 01943-830331.
Bus Service Information
Rail Information -

Ilkley is a medium sized town whose combination of shops, restaurants, pubs, Bank, a Post office and the open spaces of the nearby talked about and sung about Ilkley Moor, and the Yorkshire Dales beyond play a large part in Ilkley being recognised as an important tourist centre.
It stands within easy reach of the motorway network and is linked countrywide by regular train and bus services. There's a plentiful choice of overnight or longer stay holiday accommodations both within the town and in the surrounding districts but it is still advisable to make a reservation well in advance as the area becomes busier during annual festival events.
Ilkley Literature Festival -
Ilkley Summer Festival -
Wharfedale Festival of Performing Arts -
Ilkley Beer Festival -

Tourist Information Centre - Tel: 01943-602319.
Post Office - Tel: 01943 600099.
Rail and Bus Service Information -






Start of the Dalesway Photographs:
Click to enlarge

Yorkshire Dales 2 Yorkshire Dales 2 Yorkshire Dales 3

Yorkshire Dales Photographs:
Click to enlarge

Yorkshire Dales 2 Yorkshire Dales 2 Yorkshire Dales 3

See Alfred Wainwright's “Walks in the Howgills” published in 1972. The Dalesway.