The Dales Way

A Walker’s Journal by Anthony Linick

The path to Bolton Abbey

The path to Bolton Abbey


The Dales Way, which we walked in 2004 and 2006, is an 81-mile route linking Ilkley in West Yorkshire with Bowness on Lake Windermere. A search of the Internet will soon reveal not only a number of guidebooks on offer but also the names of companies prepared to arrange your accommodation on route and/or move your baggage forward as well. The route is not particularly strenuous and the countryside on offer is always pleasant and often magnificent. Anthony Burton’s Aurum Press guide contains relevant sections of the Ordnance Survey maps covering the route.

If you are new to the walking enterprise then you may also want to prepare by checking out my A Walker’s Alphabet, Adventures of the long-distance footpaths of Great Britain – which you can obtain from the publisher at or, from or or from any of the other online booksellers.

It will be noted that some ramblers prefer to begin their walk in Leeds; Shipley is another option as a southerly start-off point. We began at the traditional point of origin for this route in Ilkley – which can be reached from Leeds by train. Our stages were as follows:

Day 1: Ilkley to Burnsall – 14 miles

Day 2: Burnsall to Kettlewell – 10 miles

Day 3: Kettlewell to Cam Houses ­– 13 miles

Day 4: Cam Houses to Dent – 12.5 miles

Day 5: Dent to Sedbergh – 10 miles

Day 6: Lincoln’s Inn Bridge to Burneside – 13.5 miles

Day 7: Burneside to Bowness – 9. 5 miles

As the trip journal that follows soon reveals, our venture suffered a major setback almost from the outset. I’m sure you will have better luck and enjoy this splendid route thoroughly. If you want, you can let me know how you got by leaving a message on the Contact Page.