The Dales of Wensleydale and Swaledale were always very scenic and attractive, but have become renowned as a result of the popular television series , based on the books by James Herriot, “All Creatures Great and Small”, and which were about his work and exploits located in these two dales.
The route starts at Aysgarth with its famous waterfalls. From here you will walk west following the River Ure, through wide meadows and following a disused railway track until turning into Askrigg. From Askrigg the route travels up the Wensleydale Valley to Hardraw Force, Englands highest single-drop waterfall and then into the market town of Hawes. From Hawes the path climbs up the side of Great Shunner Fell, following the Pennine Way and descends into Thwaite, and via the tiny hamlet of Keld. On leaving Keld the path climbs onto Gunnerside Moor, following old lead mining tracks, returning to the valley and the River Swale, and eastwards onto Reeth. The last day of the walk takes you over Grinton Moor and down into the village of Castle Bolton, with the remains of its historic castle, eventually arriving back into the village of Aysgarth.
The four-day holiday is relatively short, but this will enable you to decide where you would like extend your stay, or where you would like to spend more time on a future occasion.
The walk will require moderate exertion, and you will require to be reasonably fit, but as with our other walks in the dales, and any other long distance walk, it is important not to overestimate ones stamina, or the amount of equipment you require for your holiday, within the constraints of personal comfort.
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