This 76-mile circular tour begins in Grassington and takes six days to complete visiting 26 traditional Dales inns along the way. It incorporates a variety of scenery from beautiful valleys, remote moorland, glacial lakes, Roman roads, castles, relics of the lead mining industry as well as some wonderful old-fashioned country pubs. You will get to know famous dales such as Wharfedale, Littondale, Wensleydale, Swaledale and Coverdale more intimately whilst following this route.
Most popular itinerary
Day 1: Grassington to Buckden – 13 miles Pleasant valley walking that includes Kilnsey Crag, Wharfedale, Littondale and Arncliffe whilst the final climb of the day over Old Cote Moor offers superb moorland walking and views.
Day 2: Buckden to Askrigg – 13 miles The route follows Roman roads and ancient ‘green’ lanes over the moors to Semerwater from where field paths lead to Bainbridge with its Roman fort, Worton and the Victoria Arms before passing the fortified farmhouse of Nappa Hall before reaching Askrigg.
Day 3: Askrigg to Reeth – 13 miles A long but pleasant climb out of Wensleydale over the fells to Swaledale via the dramatic ravine of Oxnop. The walk then heads down the length of this beautiful valley passing an old packhorse bridge, through hay meadows and across moorland to reach the ‘capital’ of Upper Swaledale.
Day 4: Reeth to West Burton – 11 miles An easy day but with much to see including the hidden valley of Apedale, Bolton Castle, Aysgarth Falls and the pretty village of West Burton.
Day 5: West Burton to Kettlewell – 14 miles A day of real contrast from the remote valley of Walden following ancient roads over the fells to Horsehouse in Coverdale, one time stop-over for stagecoach travellers from London. The route then follows the valley up and over the watershed into Wharfedale passing monastic guideposts and Brigantes defensive ditches along the way.
Day 6: Kettlewell to Grassington – 12 miles The final day visits the fascinating heritage of the lead mining industry that flourished in the Dales over 100 years ago, with the final section crossing a bridge above the powerful Linton Falls.
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