4-Night Western Yorkshire Dales Christmas & New Year Walking Holiday

Frosty Yorkshire Winter Landscape
Duration: 4 nights
Type: Guided Walking
Walking Grade: 2, 3 & 4
from £709pp £709pp

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.

Holiday Highlights

  • 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

What’s included

  • 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

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

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 from 4pm onwards.


Option 1 - Shadow of the Howgills

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 700 feet (220m)

In summary: The walk starts by crossing a patchwork of fields beneath the Howgills, before more fields south of the River Rawthey. This is followed by a good path on the open fell and a short section of The Dales Way back to Sedbergh.

Highlight: A walk which offers the prospect of great views of the Howgills throughout.

Option 2 - Circuit of Dentdale

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)

In summary: The walk goes over the modest Frostrow Fells before descending to delightful Dentdale, and a section beside the River Dee. Part of The Dales Way is now joined for the return to Sedbergh.

Highlight: The peace and tranquility of Dentdale.

Option 3 - Aye Gill Pike

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km) 

Ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

In SummaryWalk high on the moors above above Dentdale to Rise Hill and Aye Gill Pike. Our route then descends gradually along the grassy ridge to Sedbergh. 

HighlightEnjoy the panoramic views over Sedbergh and the Howgill Fells as you descend from Aye Gill Pike.

 


Option 1 - River Dee and Brigg Flatts

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 600 feet (200m)

In summary: Via the village of Millthrop we head into Dentdale to walk beside the River Dee. We then cross the River Rawthey to visit the Quaker Meeting House at Brigflatts and the return to Sedbergh.

Highlight: The Quaker Meeting House is not only of historic interest, but coupled with its garden, is a place for quiet reflection.

Option 2 - Crook and Winder

Distance: 6 miles (9km)

Ascent: 1,750 feet (540m)

In summary: Ascending Settlebeck Gill behind Thorns Hall we take a contouring route to the subsidiary top of Crook. We then continue to the summit of Winder, followed by a well tracked descent and return to the House.

Highlight: Capped with a trig point Winder is iconic from a Sedbergh perspective, and is included in Sedbergh School cross country runs.

Option 3 - Middleton Fell

Distance:  10.5 miles (16.5km)

Ascent: 1,850 feet (560m)

In summary: The Dales Way takes us into Dentdale before ascending to Combe Top on the long ridge of Middleton Fell. We return by good paths over the open fell to reach Sedbergh.

Highlight: The climb up to Combe Top should offer dramatic views of Combe Scar.


Option 1 - Dowbiggin & Hebblethwaite

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 650 feet (200m)

In summary: We start by walking on the banks of the Rivers Rawthey & Clough, and then by good paths to Hebblethwaite Hall. The it is back to Straight Bridge and over the fields to Thorns Hall.

Highlight: Great riverside walking and a descent into Hebblethwaite Hall Gill.

Option 2 - River Rawthey

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1,050 feet (320m)

In summary: The walk heads NE up the Rawthey Valley, before crossing the river and the lower slopes of West Baugh Fell. The return is across Hebblethwaite Hall Gill and Straight Bridge to Thorns Hall.

Highlight: Great views of Baugh Fell and The Howgills.

Option 3 - The Calf

Distance: 10.5 miles (17km)

Ascent: 2,750 feet (840m)

In summary: After a valley walk along the Rawthey Valley we'll ascend steeply past the Cautley Spout waterfall onto the Howgill Fells. We'll head to The Calf, the highest point of the Howgills, before a glorious descent along the ridge to Sedbergh. 

Highlight: The classic Howgills walk where you'll get to experience this stunning landscape and soak up the views of the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.


Option 1 - Shadow of the Howgills

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 700 feet (220m)

In summary: The walk starts by crossing a patchwork of fields beneath the Howgills, before more fields south of the River Rawthey. This is followed by a good path on the open fell and a short section of The Dales Way back to Sedbergh.

Highlight: A walk which offers the prospect of great views of the Howgills throughout.

Option 2 - Circuit of Dentdale

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)

In summary: The walk goes over the modest Frostrow Fells before descending to delightful Dentdale, and a section beside the River Dee. Part of The Dales Way is now joined for the return to Sedbergh.

Highlight: The peace and tranquility of Dentdale.

Option 3 - Aye Gill Pike

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km) 

Ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

In SummaryWalk high on the moors above above Dentdale to Rise Hill and Aye Gill Pike. Our route then descends gradually along the grassy ridge to Sedbergh. 

HighlightEnjoy the panoramic views over Sedbergh and the Howgill Fells as you descend from Aye Gill Pike.

 


Option 1 - River Dee and Brigg Flatts

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 600 feet (200m)

In summary: Via the village of Millthrop we head into Dentdale to walk beside the River Dee. We then cross the River Rawthey to visit the Quaker Meeting House at Brigflatts and the return to Sedbergh.

Highlight: The Quaker Meeting House is not only of historic interest, but coupled with its garden, is a place for quiet reflection.

Option 2 - Crook and Winder

Distance: 6 miles (9km)

Ascent: 1,750 feet (540m)

In summary: Ascending Settlebeck Gill behind Thorns Hall we take a contouring route to the subsidiary top of Crook. We then continue to the summit of Winder, followed by a well tracked descent and return to the House.

Highlight: Capped with a trig point Winder is iconic from a Sedbergh perspective, and is included in Sedbergh School cross country runs.

Option 3 - Middleton Fell

Distance:  10.5 miles (16.5km)

Ascent: 1,850 feet (560m)

In summary: The Dales Way takes us into Dentdale before ascending to Combe Top on the long ridge of Middleton Fell. We return by good paths over the open fell to reach Sedbergh.

Highlight: The climb up to Combe Top should offer dramatic views of Combe Scar.


Option 1 - Dowbiggin & Hebblethwaite

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 650 feet (200m)

In summary: We start by walking on the banks of the Rivers Rawthey & Clough, and then by good paths to Hebblethwaite Hall. The it is back to Straight Bridge and over the fields to Thorns Hall.

Highlight: Great riverside walking and a descent into Hebblethwaite Hall Gill.

Option 2 - River Rawthey

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1,050 feet (320m)

In summary: The walk heads NE up the Rawthey Valley, before crossing the river and the lower slopes of West Baugh Fell. The return is across Hebblethwaite Hall Gill and Straight Bridge to Thorns Hall.

Highlight: Great views of Baugh Fell and The Howgills.

Option 3 - The Calf

Distance: 10.5 miles (17km)

Ascent: 2,750 feet (840m)

In summary: After a valley walk along the Rawthey Valley we'll ascend steeply past the Cautley Spout waterfall onto the Howgill Fells. We'll head to The Calf, the highest point of the Howgills, before a glorious descent along the ridge to Sedbergh. 

Highlight: The classic Howgills walk where you'll get to experience this stunning landscape and soak up the views of the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


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.

 

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

Rooms

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 and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

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.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

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Getting to Thorns Hall

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

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.

Essentials

  • 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)

Recommended

  • 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
  • Sun hat and sunscreen (we may just get lucky and have some festive sunshine!)

Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

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: £20 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
23 Dec - 27 Dec
4 Christmas £759 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
30 Dec - 03 Jan
4 New Year £709 Available Trip Notes Book Now
2021
23 Dec - 27 Dec
4 Christmas £799 Available Trip Notes Book Now
30 Dec - 03 Jan
4 New Year £745 Available Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
4 nights
Type:
Guided Walking
Walking Grade:
2 & 3

4 nights from £709pp £709pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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