Walk in this hidden-away corner of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and discover characterful market towns. There’s something magical about walking in winter. Whether it’s the frosty footsteps, the clear crisp air, or the breathtaking views, it’s a wonderful time to go walking. Join our festive breaks and choose from a guided walking holiday in the company of one of our knowledgeable leaders. We pull out all the stops on our festive holidays, with fabulous food, lots of seasonal entertainment and great walks and activities. The walks are tailored to the time of year and will remain flexible to suit the weather conditions. Each day three grades of walk will be offered. So wrap up warm, lace up your boots and go for an invigorating walk.
- Head out on guided walks to discover the varied beauty of the Yorkshire Dales on foot
- From festive strolls to challenging fells, the Yorkshire Dales await with a warm welcome
- Let an experienced leader bring classic routes and offbeat areas to life
- Visit charming Dales villages
- Explore a winter wonderland of hidden gems - the Howgills, pretty Swaledale villages and impressive waterfalls
- Look out for wildlife, find secret corners and learn about the Dales’ history
- Retreat to the cosy wood panelled rooms of charming Thorns Hall
- Evenings in our country house where you can share a drink, celebrate and re-live the day’s adventures
- Full board en-suite accommodation
- A full programme of guided walks or activities
- The services of experienced HF Holidays' leaders
- Transport to and from the walks
- Activities in the evenings
- A packed programme of evening activities offering something festive for everyone, including some old HF favourites
- A celebration dinner with all the trimmings on Christmas Day and New Years Eve
On our Guided Walking holidays, we believe that choice is key. Our walks descriptions will help you choose according to your interests and fitness. The walks are grouped together with care by local experts to give the best experience. While every effort will be made to adhere to the described itinerary, we may occasionally vary the sequence shown here or substitute an alternative route to suit local conditions or for other operational reasons, potentially at short notice.
You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea.
After a short coach ride, all walks head back to Thorns Hall by traversing the handsome Howgill Fells. The easier and medium walks follow the attractive Rawthey Valley from Cross Keys and Rawthey Bridge respectively. The harder walk also starts from Cross Keys and ascends Cautley Holme Beck to the 700ft waterfalls of Cautley Spout and the buttresses of Cautley Crag before returning to Sedbergh.
All of today’s walks finish at the charming old market town of Kirkby Stephen with its 13th century church. The easier walk starts at The Thrang in the Mallerstang Valley, and follows a direct line north through the Mallerstang and Eden Valleys, passing the remains of Pendragon Castle, which folklore suggests was built by Uther Pendragon, father of King Arthur. The medium walk goes from Aisgill Moor and along Lady Anne’s Way. Once past Hell Gill Bridge and The Thrang, the route to Kirkby Stephen follows the easier walk. The harder walk starts further south and after a gradual ascent reaches Mallerstang Edge, with the ridge path continuing over High Seat and High Pike Hill. We are rewarded with good views along and across the valley before descendinG through Nateby to Kirkby Stephen.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.
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.
Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi
Stay in one of the Hall’s smartly presented rooms in the main house or cottages across the courtyard. With 25 rooms, Thorns Hall has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good, Better and Best Rooms to choose from. Our pick is Room 25, a very spacious escape on the ground floor with a great brick fireplace, comfy seats to sit in and big bed as well as gorgeous views of the gardens. Look out too for large and airy Room 4 and the more intimate Room 13 with its exposed wood ceiling and courtyard view.
All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.
Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, formal garden, large reception hall, two lounges, library and board games to borrow
After a day exploring the Dales, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. At the front of the house there’s a pretty, formal garden that makes a pleasant spot to relax in. Take up residence in the lounge below the exposed wood beams or seek refuge in the small, dark wood-panelled bar with its over-sized fireplace and log burner for an atmospheric corner to kick back in and catch up with fellow guests over a local ale or two.
Food & Drink
As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Thorns Hall is varied and tasty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room in the converted barn hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of regional flavours, from twice baked Wensleydale Cheese Souffle to Lancashire black pudding and Cumbrian rump of lamb.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
“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)
- 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
- Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
- Waterproof rucksack liner
All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £10 per person.
|Date (Start - End)||Nights||Itinerary||Price||Status||Trip Notes||Book|
27 Dec - 30 Dec
|3||Twixmas||£429||Available||Trip Notes||Book Now|
3 nights from £429pp
...or call 020 3974 8865