Although I have never actually
walked the Dales Way as an entity, I have covered most of it, especially the
Yorkshire Dales sections, as parts of other walks over the years. It is a
very popular walk. Generally, it is an easy walk with little in the way of
steep gradients and long sections of it follow river banks.
The official Dales Way route runs
from Ilkley in West Yorkshire to the shore of Lake Windermere at Bowness, in
Cumbria. The overall length is about 80 miles. Various feeder routes link
into it from West and North Yorkshire but Ilkley is a good place to start
because it is easily accessible by bus, train and car from West and North
During the course of the walk,
you pass through some fine Yorkshire Dales country, as it travels through
Wharfedale, Dentdale and skirts the edge of Blea Moor with views of the
famous Ribblehead Viaduct.
How long you spend on the walk
really depends on whether you want a "route march" or a more
civilised approach but I would say you need to spend 5/7 days on the task,
to get the most enjoyment out of it. Because of its popularity, you should
plan your accommodation well in advance.
Navigation is relatively easy as
it is mostly well marked but to help, I have produced these Memory Map and
.gpx files to download into your GPS receiver or mobile phone. Please note
there are 480 waypoints, so whether your particular machine will accommodate
this many depends on its memory. Most modern GPS receivers can accommodate
up to 500. Click the appropriate icons below to download.
The definitive guide to the
Dales Way has to be the one below by Colin Speakman. This was the original
guide to the route and it is regularly updated.
There is no dedicated map from
Ordnance Survey for the walk but a couple of alternatives are:
A waterproof, 1:40000
scale map by Harvey
Map Service Ltd.
A booklet of 1:25000
scale maps published by Cicerone
in a clear PVC sleeve
There are various other books
All information on this
site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of any
damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.