Distance: 81 miles / 130km
Grade: Easy to moderate
Direction: Ilkley to Bowness on Windermere
6 days walking at 15 miles per day
The Dales Way is an exciting trail which links two National Parks. It leaves the dense conurbations of West Yorkshire to traverse the limestone Dales, cross the Pennines and finishes by the banks of Windermere in the Lake District. The route follows the major Yorkshire Dales rivers, so some sections are along level riverside paths, the steep areas coming as you get nearer the source and cross from the head of one dale to another.
The river flows along Wharfdale past the ruins of Bolton Abbey and by the lovely villages of Grassington and Kettlewell before reaching the source at Camm Fell. You then drop into Dentdale, following the river through Dent and Sedburgh with Howgill Fells on the skyline. The walk reaches its climax with the Lake District hills crowning the horizon before you drop down into the bustling streets of Bowness on Windermere.