7 Night Western Yorkshire Dales Christmas & New Year Guided Walking Holiday

Winter sunrise of the snowy moors.
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Signature guided walking
Walking Grade: 2, 3 & 4
from £1,229pp £1,054pp

Spend the festive season in the Yorkshire Dales and head out on winter walks in the part of the national park that dips its toe into both Cumbria and Lancashire. And when you’re not busy exploring the wintry scenery of the dales, cosy up in Thorns Hall – our charming country house in Sedbergh. We pull out all the stops at this time of year and our houses welcome you with a sprinkling of festive cheer, seasonal food, and plenty of yuletide treats. So wrap up warm and step into Christmas with HF Holidays.

What you’ll love

  • Getting into the festive spirit with a guided walking holiday 
  • A choice of winter walks with our experienced HF Holidays Leaders  
  • Discovering the stunning landscapes of Western Yorkshire Dales on foot 
  • Staying in our country house in the market town of Sedbergh 
  • Enjoying festive fare and leaving all the organising to us 
  • A celebration dinner with all the trimmings on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve  

What’s included

  • Comfortable en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Cream tea on arrival day
  • Cooked or continental breakfast every morning
  • Daily packed lunches
  • Three-course evening meals, plus tea & coffee
  • Guided walking with experienced HF Holidays Leaders
  • Choice of up to three different-grade daily walks
  • All transport to and from walks where necessary
  • Easy-to-follow routes, maps, and information in our Discovery Point if you want to explore independently

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

See Dates, Prices & Trip Note tab to check which itinerary is running

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

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


Option 1 - The Upper Eden Valley

Distance: 7 miles (11km) 

Ascent: 450 feet (140m)

In summary: Follow the Upper Eden valley to the market town of Kirkby Stephen. We'll pass the ruins of Pendragon Castle, which according to legend was built by Uther Pendragon, King Arthur's father. 

Highlight: The Mallerstang Valley is home to a colony of red squirrels. If you're lucky you may get to spot one of these illusive creatures. 

Option 2 - Lady Anne's Way

Distance: 10½ miles (16.5km) 

Ascent: 750 feet (240m) 

In summary: Descend through the Mallerstang Valley from Aisgill to Kirkby Stephen. We'll follow Lady Anne's Way along the valley side, then alongside the River Eden to Pendragon Castle and Stenkrith Falls. 

Highlight: Our walk follows the Settle to Carlisle Railway; England's most scenic line. 

Option 3 - Mallerstang Edge

Distance: 10 miles (16.5km) 

Ascent: 1,400 feet (420m)

In summary: A high-level traverse along Mallerstang Edge including the tops of High Seat and High Pike Hill. Our walk takes us from Aisgill to Kirkby Stephen. 

Highlight: Expect some wild and track-less terrain, but also great views over the green Eden Valley. 


Option 1 - Shadow of the Howgills

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

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 to Dentdale

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 950 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: 11 miles (17.5km)

Ascent: 1,750 feet (540m)

In summary: A well-graded ascent, albeit with the prospect of some boggy sections, leads to the summit of Aye Gill Pike. The descent is into Garsdale, before walking beside the Rivers Clough & Rawthey back to Thorns Hall.

Highlight: The descent affords fantastic views towards the Howgills and beyond.


Option 1 - River Rawthey

Distance:  7 miles (11.5km)

Ascent: 750 feet (220m)

In summary: Walk out to Tom Croft Hill viewpoint and return following the River Rawthey

Highlight: Following the Sedgwick Geological Trail

Option 2 - River Rawthey (North)

Distance:  8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1050 feet (320m)

In summary: The walk heads NE up the Rawthey Valley, before crossing the river and the wilder 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 - Middleton Fell

Distance:  11 miles (17.5km)

Ascent: 2100 feet (640m)

In summary: The Dales Way takes us into Dentdale before ascending to Combe Top on the long ridge of Middleton Fell. Looking across to the nearby summits 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.


Discover more about Thorns Hall and the local area for ideas on how to fill your free day. 


Option 1 - Fell End to Thorns Hall

Distance: 4½ miles (7.5km) 

Ascent: 450 feet (140m) 

In summary: A fine walk taking in views of the Howgill fells and Cautley Spout

Highlight: Views of England's highest waterfall

Option 2 - The Lune Valley

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km)

Ascent: 500 feet (160m) 

In summary: Walk through the beautiful Lune Valley along the Dales Way beside the river. We then make our way back to Sedbergh passing Brigflatts and the River Rawthey. 

Highlight: The interesting Brigflatts, is one of the most famous and attractive Quaker meeting houses in Britain.  

Option 3 - Cautley Spout & over the Calf

Distance: 7½ miles (12km)

Ascent: 1,950 feet (600m)

In summary: A fine walk offering spectacular views of the waterfalls and crags. 

Highlight: England's highest waterfall and standing on the highest point of the Howgills. 


Option 1 - Smardale Gill

Distance: 7 miles (11km) 

Ascent: 900 feet (280m) 

In summary: Head over Smardale Fell to Smardale Hall, then along the valley side and across the viaduct back to Ravenstonedale. 

Highlight: The valley of Smardale Gill is an unexpected delight crowned by the majestic viaduct of the old Darlington to Tebay railway.

Option 2 - Potts Valley & Smardale

Distance: 9½ miles (15km) 

Ascent: 1,350 feet (400m) 

In summary: From Newbiggin-on-Lune we head into Potts valley to Crosby Garrett returning via Smardale Gill and crossing the impressive grade 2 listed viaduct.

Highlight: Smardale Gill is a National Nature Reserve; a classic limestone habitat that is rich with butterflies, wild flowers and birds. 

Option 3 - Yarlside & Randygill Top

Distance: 9½ miles (15km) 

Ascent: 2,560 feet (780m) 

In summary: Journey over Yarlside and Randygill top, these quieter upland sections of the Howgills lead to a gentle descent and through farmlands to finish in Ravenstonedale.

Highlight: The rolling grassy uplands of the Howgill fells.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


See Dates, Prices & Trip Note tab to check which itinerary is running

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards. Enjoy a complimentary cream tea on arrival.


Option 1 - Fell End to Thorns Hall

Distance: 4½ miles (7.5km) 

Ascent: 450 feet (140m) 

In summary: A fine walk taking in views of the Howgill fells and Cautley Spout

Highlight: Views of England's highest waterfall

Option 2 - The Lune Valley

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km)

Ascent: 500 feet (160m) 

In summary: Walk through the beautiful Lune Valley along the Dales Way beside the river. We then make our way back to Sedbergh passing Brigflatts and the River Rawthey. 

Highlight: The interesting Brigflatts, is one of the most famous and attractive Quaker meeting houses in Britain.  

Option 3 - Cautley Spout & over the Calf

Distance: 7½ miles (12km)

Ascent: 1,950 feet (600m)

In summary: A fine walk offering spectacular views of the waterfalls and crags. 

Highlight: England's highest waterfall and standing on the highest point of the Howgills. 


Option 1 - Smardale Gill

Distance: 7 miles (11km) 

Ascent: 900 feet (280m) 

In summary: Head over Smardale Fell to Smardale Hall, then along the valley side and across the viaduct back to Ravenstonedale. 

Highlight: The valley of Smardale Gill is an unexpected delight crowned by the majestic viaduct of the old Darlington to Tebay railway.

Option 2 - Potts Valley & Smardale

Distance: 9½ miles (15km) 

Ascent: 1,350 feet (400m) 

In summary: From Newbiggin-on-Lune we head into Potts valley to Crosby Garrett returning via Smardale Gill and crossing the impressive grade 2 listed viaduct.

Highlight: Smardale Gill is a National Nature Reserve; a classic limestone habitat that is rich with butterflies, wild flowers and birds. 

Option 3 - Yarlside & Randygill Top

Distance: 9½ miles (15km) 

Ascent: 2,560 feet (780m) 

In summary: Journey over Yarlside and Randygill top, these quieter upland sections of the Howgills lead to a gentle descent and through farmlands to finish in Ravenstonedale.

Highlight: The rolling grassy uplands of the Howgill fells.


Discover more about Thorns Hall and the local area for ideas on how to fill your free day. 


Option 1 - The Upper Eden Valley

Distance: 7 miles (11km) 

Ascent: 450 feet (140m)

In summary: Follow the Upper Eden valley to the market town of Kirkby Stephen. We'll pass the ruins of Pendragon Castle, which according to legend was built by Uther Pendragon, King Arthur's father. 

Highlight: The Mallerstang Valley is home to a colony of red squirrels. If you're lucky you may get to spot one of these illusive creatures. 

Option 2 - Lady Anne's Way

Distance: 10½ miles (16.5km) 

Ascent: 750 feet (240m) 

In summary: Descend through the Mallerstang Valley from Aisgill to Kirkby Stephen. We'll follow Lady Anne's Way along the valley side, then alongside the River Eden to Pendragon Castle and Stenkrith Falls. 

Highlight: Our walk follows the Settle to Carlisle Railway; England's most scenic line. 

Option 3 - Mallerstang Edge

Distance: 10 miles (16.5km) 

Ascent: 1,400 feet (420m)

In summary: A high-level traverse along Mallerstang Edge including the tops of High Seat and High Pike Hill. Our walk takes us from Aisgill to Kirkby Stephen. 

Highlight: Expect some wild and track-less terrain, but also great views over the green Eden Valley. 


Option 1 - Shadow of the Howgills

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

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 to Dentdale

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 950 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: 11 miles (17.5km)

Ascent: 1,750 feet (540m)

In summary: A well-graded ascent, albeit with the prospect of some boggy sections, leads to the summit of Aye Gill Pike. The descent is into Garsdale, before walking beside the Rivers Clough & Rawthey back to Thorns Hall.

Highlight: The descent affords fantastic views towards the Howgills and beyond.


Option 1 - River Rawthey

Distance:  7 miles (11.5km)

Ascent: 750 feet (220m)

In summary: Walk out to Tom Croft Hill viewpoint and return following the River Rawthey

Highlight: Following the Sedgwick Geological Trail

Option 2 - River Rawthey (North)

Distance:  8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1050 feet (320m)

In summary: The walk heads NE up the Rawthey Valley, before crossing the river and the wilder 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 - Middleton Fell

Distance:  11 miles (17.5km)

Ascent: 2100 feet (640m)

In summary: The Dales Way takes us into Dentdale before ascending to Combe Top on the long ridge of Middleton Fell. Looking across to the nearby summits 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.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


Thorns Hall

Delivering on all fronts for countryside lovers, this cosy Grade II-listed manor house is just a skip away from Sedbergh – the Cumbrian market town treasured for its cobbled streets, public school, artisan shops, and bookshops (it’s known as England’s official book town for good reason). You’ll also have the Yorkshire Dales National Park on your doorstep as well as the Howgill Fells - the small group of hills adored by legendary fellwalker, illustrator, and guidebook author Alfred Wainwright. The walking opportunities here are outstanding, but if you fancy travelling further afield there’s Kendal (home of the mint cake), Hawes, Wensleydale, Appleby-in-Westmorland, and Lake Windemere all within easy driving distance.  

 

Rooms

Designed with your comfort in mind, Thorns Hall has 25 well-appointed guest rooms available in three categories: Classic, Premium, and Superior. 

Classic Rooms are comfortable en-suite guest rooms, ideal for a peaceful night's sleep. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, and shower gel), and a TV. 

Premium Rooms are more spacious en-suite guest rooms. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

Superior Rooms are even more spacious en-suite guest rooms offering upgraded views of the surrounds. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

We love: The spacious Room 25 for its ground floor setting, brick fireplace, comfy seating, large bed, and gorgeous views of the gardens. Room 4 is large and airy while the cosier Room 13 has an exposed wood ceiling and courtyard view. 

The Choose Your Room service is available at our UK country houses, allowing you the option of choosing and confirming a specific room for an extra charge of £30 per room. This is subject to availability. Upgrade supplements apply. 

Check in & check out
You are welcome to check in from 4:00pm at the earliest. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cream tea and get to meet your fellow guests, our HF Holidays Leaders, and the rest of the friendly team.  

On the day of departure, we kindly ask all guests to check out by 10:00am. You’ll be asked to settle your bill prior to leaving. You may, of course, make a charitable donation to our HF Holidays Pathways Fund if you wish. Please note that we only accept card payments.  

Room supplements

Superior Premium single Premium double/twin Choose your room
£25 pppn £20 pppn £20 pppn £30 per room

About your stay

A warm welcome
We want you to feel comfortable from the moment you arrive. You’ll find a welcome pack in your room with guest registration forms, menus, order forms for dinners and picnic lunches, the Wi-Fi password, and the front door code. Our houses are locked at night, so we recommend noting the Duty Manager’s number on arrival in case of an emergency (or getting locked out). 

Evening entertainment
While evening entertainment varies from house to house, the HF Holidays Big Pub Quiz held after dinner on Wednesdays is a weekly staple. Your HF Holidays Leader may be around for tips on guided and self-guided walking routes as well as visit-worthy local attractions. 

Walks talks 
Our HF Holidays Leaders host guided walking information briefings before dinner on arrival days. This is followed by a group Walks Talk for information on the following day’s walking delights (held before dinner every evening). Self-guided walking guests are, of course, welcome.  

The walking day
Prior to setting off on walks, your HF Holidays Leader will run you through a short safety briefing. There’s also an up-to-date weather forecast on display at the house to ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear. If you choose to do your own walks or are on a self-guided walking holiday, we ask that you please complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house. 

Food & drink

Led by experienced chefs, we serve a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. We always aim to source the best produce available and use home-grown herbs and vegetables from our own gardens whenever possible. Additionally, we have a licensed bar with beers, soft drinks, and a superb selection of spirits. Full-board comes as standard and includes a cream tea on arrival and a hearty breakfast on departure day.

HF Holidays understands the importance of managing allergens effectively to ensure food is safe for guests with food allergies. Whilst we are always able to confidently inform guests which allergens are present in our ingredients and dishes, we are unable to guarantee absolute freedom from the 14 main allergens in our kitchens. Vegetarian and vegan menu choices are available. If you have allergies, food intolerances, or any special dietary requirements, please inform our reservation team at the time of booking.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Thorns Hall

Sedbergh - External_Front.jpg

Getting to Thorns Hall

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

More Information

Essential information

The UK has a famously unpredictable climate so it's best to be prepared for weather that’s sunny one minute and raining the next.  To make it easier, here’s a list of items you should consider packing.  

Essentials 

  • Suitable footwear such as waterproof walking boots that provide ankle support and good grip 
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket, preferably insulated 
  • Comfortable clothing (jeans & waterproof capes are not suitable) 
  • Waterproof overtrousers 
  • Gloves and a warm hat (or sunhat) 
  • Rucksack 
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity) 
  • A small torch 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Mobile phone and portable charger 
  • Watch 
  • UV sunglasses 

Recommended 

  • Several base layers (long-sleeve or short-sleeve) 
  • Cushioned walking socks to avoid blisters 
  • First aid kit, including plasters and insect repellent 
  • Sit mat  
  • Spare pair of socks 
  • Energy snacks 
  • Waterproof pouch for valuables 
  • Rubbish bag (remember to always leave no trace) 
  • Wallet/purse 

Optional extras

  • Walking poles, useful for descents 
  • Flask for hot drinks 
  • Durable lunch box 
  • Gaiters 
  • Blister kit  
  • Waterproof rucksack liner 
  • Head torch 
  • GPS device 

Thorns Hall Calendar

  • Guided Walking
  • Self-Guided Walking
  • Special Interests
  • Unavailable to Book

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take an alternative route, or vary the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.


Holiday prices

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2023

23 Dec - 30 Dec 2023

7 nights

Christmas

Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£1,359 pp

from

£1,359 pp

Call to Enquire Trip Notes Book Now

27 Dec 2023 - 03 Jan 2024

7 nights

New Year

Single from

£1,054

Double from

£1,229 pp

from

£1,229 pp

from

£1,054

Trip Notes Book Now
2024

23 Dec - 30 Dec 2024

7 nights

Christmas

Single from

£1,425

Double from

£1,425 pp

from

£1,425 pp

from

£1,425

Trip Notes Book Now

27 Dec 2024 - 03 Jan 2025

7 nights

New Year

Single from

£1,289

Double from

£1,289 pp

from

£1,289 pp

from

£1,289

Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Signature guided walking
Walking Grade:
2, 3 & 4

7 nights from £1,229pp £1,054pp

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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