The Dales High Way Guided Trail

Duration: 10 nights
Type: Guided Trails
Walking Grade: 4
from £1,429pp

The Dales High Way is a 90-mile glorious walk over the high-level countryside of the Yorkshire Dales. It begins at the Victorian model village of Saltaire and follows ancient drovers’ ways, packhorse tracks, and green lanes to the historic market town of Appleby in Westmorland. Highlights include the famous Rombald’s Moor with its Neolithic rock carvings, the dramatic scars, gorges and cliffs of Malhamdale, the Stainforth waterfalls along the River Ribble where in autumn salmon can be seen leaping, lonely Crummackdale, an ascent of Ingleborough one of Yorkshire’s Three Peaks and the one people call the most beautiful, the green, tranquil valley of Dentdale, a six mile marvellous ridge walk traversing the Howgill Fells, the picturesque Sunbiggin tarn and the marvellous limestone pavement of Great Asby Scar.

Holiday Highlights

  • 90-mile glorious walk from the Victorian model village of Saltaire to the market town of Appleby
  • Follow drovers' ways, packhorse tracks and green lanes
  • Rich and varied wildlife
  • Ascend Ingleborough, one of Yorkshire's Three Peaks

What’s included

  • High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
  • The services of an HF Holidays' walks leader
  • All transport on walking days

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

90 miles with 7-13 miles and up to 2,330 feet of ascent in a day.

Your leader will give an introductory talk about the holiday.

Commencing the 90-mile journey at the Victorian model village of Saltaire gives us the perfect opportunity to visit the iconic building Salt's Mill, a conversion of a textile mill into an Art Gallery containing works by David Hockney, cafes, and exhibitions. We then start the Dales High Way by crossing the River Aire and ascending gently to the high heather-clad Rombald's Moor which lies between Airedale and Wharfedale. It is made up of three local moors, the most famous of which, and our destination today, is Ilkley Moor. Continuing on good paths and just before we reach the highest point for today at Lanshaw Lad, we pass the stone circle known as the Twelve Apostles believed to date from the Bronze Age. After passing the Victorian bath house at White Wells we descend to the spa town of Ilkley.

7½ miles (12km) with 1,020 feet (310m) of ascent and 922 feet (281m) of descent.

An impressive long craggy escarpment which dominates Ilkley and the Wharfe valley leads us by the Swastika Stone which has greeted travellers passing this way since the Iron Age, and on towards the Neolithic Piper Crag Stone which juts out above the moor edge. After crossing Addingham High Moor the route drops to join an old Turnpike Road (a toll road from 1755 to 1803 and known locally as the ‘Roman road)’ above Addingham. The route ascends to Skipton Moor with its impressive vista, and then descends into Skipton, a busy market town known as the ‘Gateway to the Dales’ and which lies in the Aire Gap.

11 miles (17.5km) with 1,400 feet (425m) of ascent and 1,450 feet (440m) of descent.

We ascend out of Skipton up to the small peak of Sharp Haw on grassy terrain. The route descends to the village of Flasby backed by the shapely Flasby hills, and then follows the delightful beckside to the small hamlet of Hetton. Continuing over grassy terrain we ascend to Weets Top, where, on a clear day, the panoramic view is magnificent, and where the dramatic and spectacular change in the landscape of Malhamdale will be obvious. We descend to Gordale House and walk into Malham village by the beautiful waterfall of Janet’s Foss.

13 miles (20.5km) with 1,654 feet (504m) of ascent and 1,654 feet (415m) of descent.

Today our route takes us through some of the UK’s most remarkable limestone scenery. Leaving Gordale Bridge we quickly arrive at Malham Cove which was cut back and formed by glacial melt waters that poured down the impressive dry valley of Watlowes. We pick our way over the limestone pavement at the top of the Cove and ascend gently through Watlowes dry valley before ascending more steeply towards Kirkby Fell. We continue through the limestone scenery via Attermire Scar and Victoria Cave (so named because it was rediscovered on the day of Queen Victoria’s accession in 1837), and by Warrendale Knotts into the lovely Dales market town of Settle. From Settle a fine riverside walk along the banks of the Ribble leads to the waterfalls and the 14th century packhorse bridge at Little Stainforth and ascend into the village of Stainforth.

10 miles (16.5kms) with 1,552 feet (473m) of ascent, and 1,647 feet (502m) of descent.

Our walk-through magnificent limestone scenery continues today as we ascend out of Stainforth on to the limestone plateau to pass Smearset Scar. After dropping into the southern end of the lovely and secluded valley of Crummockdale we ascend once more into a dramatic landscape of broad limestone terraces. Following an old drover’s road, we continue round the southern flank of Simon Fell, through striking limestone pavements, and ascend by an easy but quite lengthy route to the summit of Ingleborough (724m). The rocky summit is vast and offers excellent views all around. We leave the summit by the same way and descend, initially very steeply but then on a paved path, to Chapel le Dale.

11½ miles (18.7kms) with 2,300 feet (700m) of ascent, and 1,870 feet (570m) of descent.

The entire path today follows an ancient packhorse route, the Craven Way, which comes up from Ingleton. After leaving Chapel le Dale and passing by Bruntscar and Winterscales it is not long before we come to, and pass beneath, the awesome Ribbleshead Viaduct with its 24 arches, although it is a man-made structure it seems to enhance the natural beauty of the landscape. After passing a lonely signal box the path leaves the railway and ascends steeply around Whernside’s northern flank, another delightful section of the walk, to arrive at Wold’s End in Dentdale, where the valley opens below in all its stunning beauty. We continue along Deepdale Beck and the River Dee into the delightful village of Dent with its narrow-cobbled streets, founded by Norse settlers.

10 miles (16kms) with 1,100 feet (335m) of ascent, and 1,600 feet (490m) of descent.

We start our walk in Dent along the riverside for a short distance before ascending over Frostrow, descending to quiet lanes which lead us to Sedbergh. On clear days there are stunning views of the steep-sided rolling hills of the Howgill Fells. With a shorter day today, there will be free time in the afternoon to explore Sedbergh, England’s official Book Town.

5½ miles (8.5Kms) with 570 feet (173m) of ascent, and 610 feet (186m) of descent.

The route now crosses the whole of the Howgill Fell range in a wonderful six-mile-long and a grassy and wide ridge walk. The Howgills are unique in character and with their steep sided velvety folds in a compact group they could not be more different from the earlier limestone scenery. From Sedbergh we ascend via the charming Settlebeck Gill to the rounded tops of Arant Haw, Calders, and The Calf, the highest summit in the Howgills at 676m. On a clear day the views are magnificent with the Yorkshire Three peaks, the Lakeland Fells and the northern Pennines all visible in the distance. From The Calf the route continues along the ridge above Bowderdale and then drops down to the valley and finally on a short section of a country lane we arrive at the small village of Newbiggin on Lune.

11 miles (18kms) with 2,330 feet (710m) of ascent, and 1,940 feet (590m) of descent.

The final stage of the walk has a relaxed, winding down feel to it. It begins by going over Ravenstonedale Moor to reach the isolated and splendid Sunbiggin Tarn, a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Then just when you were thinking you had left well behind the limestone scenery; a vast expanse of spectacular limestone pavement opens up before you. This is Great Asby Scar, part of the Orton Fell range which sports some of the finest limestone pavements in the UK outside of the Ingleborough and Malham areas. From the top of the scar the views of the Eden Valley are breathtaking. A steady descent takes us to Great Asby, with the last leg of the walk along a lovely beckside to the picturesque Rutter Mill and its delightful waterfall. The route continues alongside Hoff beck, over the ancient crossing at Bandley Bridge, for a final short ascent to the castle in Appleby, an attractive market town.

12½ miles (20 kms) with 706 feet (215m) of ascent, and 1,085 feet (330m) of descent.

Dales Highway Map

Newfield Hall

Situated close to Malham in southern Yorkshire’s portion of the famous Dales, Newfield Hall offers country-pile atmosphere amid beautiful rural surroundings. A grand country house, this stately, storied property retains many of its original nineteenth century features, from the grand entrance to the sweeping staircase inside. The Hall has 48 bedrooms, as well as two cosy lounges and an elegant bar, providing guests with a laid-back and unstuffy retreat with a generous sprinkling of style. The Dales and countryside on the doorstep are a rambler’s paradise, with easy access to Malham Cove and its deeply indented limestone pavement, Gordale Scar and Pen y Ghent as well as the pretty villages of Grassington and Kettlewell.


Thorns Hall

Situated in Sedbergh, in West Yorkshire’s portion of the famous Dales, at the foot of the Howgill Fells, Thorns Hall offers cosy, country-pile atmosphere amid beautiful rural surroundings. Dating from 1535, the small manor house is home to 25 bedrooms as well as wood-panelled public rooms, open fireplaces and a cobbled courtyard that ooze historic charm. From every aspect the hills can be seen rising around the house and a short hop takes you from the house to the fells and upland scenery. Marvel at the 24 arch Ribblehead Viaduct, climb the distinctive summit of Ingleborough, one of the Three Peaks, explore classic limestone scenery and stop in at one of Appleby’s historic pubs for a well-earned toast.


Essential Information

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of clothing!” goes the adage. Come prepared for all eventualities and you’ll walk in comfort as well as safety. Britain’s famous for its changeable weather, so here’s our advice on what to wear and bring.


  • Waterproof walking boots providing ankle support and good grip.
  • A waterproof jacket and over-trousers
  • Gloves and a warm hat (it can be chilly at any time of the year)
  • Rucksack
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
  • A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
    Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.


  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed
  • Specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • A first aid kit inc plasters– your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication
  • Sit mat (insulated pad to sit on when you stop for a break)

You might also want

  • Walking poles, particularly useful for descents.
  • Insect repellent
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Rigid lunch box
  • Gaiters
  • Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
  • Waterproof rucksack liner

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £30 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
09 Sep - 19 Sep 2022
10 Guided Trail £1,429 Trip Notes Book Now
10 nights
Guided Trails
Walking Grade:

10 nights from £1,429pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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