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Heart of the Yorkshire Dales

Wensleydale & its waterfalls
 
Verdant slopes criss-crossed by drystone wallsstriking castles, and even more impressive waterfalls… This self-guided walking holiday explores picturesque Wensleydale in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, and features three atmospheric bases: Middleham, Aysgarth and Sedbusk.
Heart of the Yorkshire Dales. 6 nights
Heart of the Yorkshire Dales. 6 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in the Yorkshire Dales

If the Yorkshire Dales constitute some of the most glorious landscapes in England – they are, after all, one of just ten National Parks – then Wensleydale is one of its prettiest valleys, boasting a fast-flowing river, imposing castle ruins, traditional stone villages and verdant slopes criss-crossed with drystone walls. Our walking holiday explores this spectacular dale from east to west, leading past several famous waterfalls as you walk from historic Middleham – whose ruined 12th-century castle was once the favourite home of King Richard III – to Hawes which, at 255 metres above sea level, is one of England’s highest market towns, and home to the Wensleydale Creamery.
 

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Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on any day of the week, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

    You should always be prepared for wet weather, whichever month you are travelling.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 5 6 8 10 13 16 17 17 15 12 8 6
    mm 124 99 87 77 78 83 86 98 78 104 102 125
  • Arrival in Middleham
    Night 1: at Lindmar House (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Circular walk from Middleham: 16.5km (10.5 miles), 6hrs; ascent/descent 200m
    This wonderful introductory walk begins by the impressive ruins of Middleham’s 12th-century castle, the former favourite home of King Richard III, and hence dubbed the ‘Windsor of the North’. After taking time to explore the castle, you head south-eastwards to the River Cover. This soon converges with the Ure, whose banks you follow towards Jervaulx Abbey, a ruined Cistercian monastery dating from the 12th century. Again, you might like to visit the atmospheric site (and/or its very good tea rooms!) before heading back to Middleham via magnificent Danby Hall.
    Jervaulx Abbey
    Circular walk from Middleham: 16.5km
  • Middleham to Aysgarth: 15km (9.5 miles), 5.5hrs; ascent 310m/descent 220m
    Leaving Middleham behind, you head out across the racehorse training gallops with commanding views over the River Ure and the pretty village of Wensley – which lends its name to the valley – with Bolton Castle in the far distance. You soon begin to descend through meadows and woodland towards the river, passing through the picturesque village of West Witton, where you can choose to stop for lunch at one of the village pubs. On reaching the river, you follow its meandering banks to Aysgarth, passing the famous three-step falls on your way to the Aysgarth Falls Hotel.
    Aysgarth Falls ©Andrew's Walks
    Middleham to Aysgarth: 15km
  • Choice of walks from Aysgarth: 12 or 12.5km (7.5 or 8 miles)

    Castle Bolton: 12.5km (8 miles), 4.5hrs; ascent/descent 270m
    Passing the tumbling falls for a second time (this time on the opposite bank), you rise towards the looming presence of Bolton Castle, one-time prison of Mary, Queen of Scots. This impressive structure was built by Sir Richard le Scrope in the 12th century and is still owned by the same family who live nearby. From the castle, you continue across green, open countryside so typical of the Dales then, after crossing a stream, descend once more back towards Aysgarth.

    Cauldron Falls & Penhill Preceptory: 12km (7.5 miles), 4.5hrs; ascent/descent 375m
    This route passes through the delightful little village of West Burton (twice), home to Cauldron Falls, a popular beauty spot once sketched by Turner. From here you steadily ascend up the valley side and around to the site of Penhill Preceptory, once a Knights Templar monastery, before climbing again to traverse the high moorside above West Burton. There are some fairly challenging climbs and a steep descent on this route, though worth it for the views on a clear day.
    Castle Bolton
    Cauldron Falls
    Castle Bolton: 12.5km
    Cauldron Falls and Penhill Preceptory: 12km
  • Aysgarth to Sedbusk: 15.5km (9.5 miles), 5.5hrs; ascent 260m/descent 215m
    Today’s route follows the Herriot Way, named after the famous Yorkshire vet (whose real name was Alf Wight). The River Ure is your companion for much of the route as you head westwards through Wensleydale, passing through the typical stone-built village of Askrigg (where many scenes from the 1980s series of All Creatures Great and Small were filmed) and its waterfalls. Your destination is Sedbusk and the Stone House Hotel.
    En route to Sedbusk
    Aysgarth to Sedbusk: 15.5km
  • Choice of walks from Sedbusk: 10 or 12km (6 or 7.5 miles)

    The Settle-Carlisle Railway & a walk on the Craven Fault: 10km (6 miles), 4hrs; ascent/descent 340m
    After a short bus journey* to Garsdale railway station, you enjoy a ride on the Settle-Carlisle railway*, perhaps the most scenic railway in England. One of the highlights of the route is the crossing of the Ribblehead Viaduct, a 400-metre-long structure which rises more than 30 metres above the valley floor, and boasts no fewer than 24 arches. Once in Settle, we recommend exploring this interesting market town, and following our walk up and around the surrounding limestone hills with their caves and waterfalls. (*Pay locally for all bus and rail journeys)

    Hawes & Waterfalls: 12km (7.5 miles), 4.5hrs; ascent/descent 205m
    This gentle route from the door of your hotel starts with a visit to Hardraw Force – England’s largest single-drop waterfall. From here, you follow the Pennine Way across verdant pastureland to Hawes, a quintessential Dales market town that is home not only to the Dales Countryside Museum but also to the Wensleydale Creamery. Rather than heading straight back to Sedbusk, our route continues south-westwards to one final attraction, Aysgill Force, to complete your discovery of Wensleydale and its waterfalls.
    Walking from Settle
    Paths also lead directly from Sedbusk
    Craven Fault walk: 10km
    Hawes and Waterfalls: 12km
 

Accommodation

You stay in a mixture of small guesthouses and welcoming country hotels.

Occasionally, due to availability, we may offer an alternative hotel, as shown below. You will be informed of any change to the usual hotel (along with any price implication) prior to us confirming your holiday to you.
 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 6 nights: 01 June 2021 - 31 October 2021 & 01 March 2022 - 31 October 2022

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 Jun - 30 Sep 2021 £745 £270
    1 - 25 Oct 2021 £695 £250
    1 Mar - 30 Apr 2022 £730 £265
    1 May - 30 Sep 2022 £785 £285
    1 - 25 Oct 2022 £730 £265
    3rd & 4th person discount -£30
    Single traveller supplement £30

    Please note: this holiday is not available to children under 12 years, nor are dogs permitted on Inntravel holidays

    Included travel: transfer Sedbusk-Middleham (if driving)

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Lindmar House, Middleham
    Superior double (no twins): 01 Jun - 31 Oct 2021 £7
    Superior double (no twins): 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2022 £8
    Stone House Hotel, Sedbusk
    'Conservatory': 01 Jun - 31 Oct 2021 £25
    'Conservatory': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2022 £26
    'Courtyard' double: 01 Jun - 31 Oct 2021 £30
    'Courtyard' double: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2022 £32
    Superior: 01 Jun - 31 Oct 2021 £20
    Superior: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2022 £22

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Aysgarth Falls Hotel, Near Aysgarth (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Jun - 31 Oct 2021 £70 £115
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2022 £74 £122
    Stone House Hotel, Sedbusk (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Jun - 31 Oct 2021 £145 £160
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2022 £154 £170
  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Connecting travel options - via Northallerton

    Outward route Price per person Latest train
    arrival time
    taxi Northallerton station to hotel (0h35) £32 in 2021; £34 in 2022 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest train
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Northallerton station (1h) £43 in 2021; £46 in 2022 flexible

    Connecting travel options - via Oxenholme

    Outward route Price per person Latest train
    arrival time
    not recommended on outward route
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest train
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Oxenholme station (0h50) £35 in 2021; £36 in 2022 flexible
What is included
  • 6 nights
  • 2 dinners
    2 picnics
    6 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation
  • transfer to collect car
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • If your holiday plans go awry because of Coronavirus, rest assured that we’ll do right by you. Since the start of the pandemic, our flexible booking policy and prompt issuing of refunds to customers who prefer not to defer their holiday have earned us high praise in the national press.
  • We sincerely hope that your holiday experience will be as enjoyable as it would have been before the pandemic – walking holidays are ideal in these times of social distancing, and we’re not operating holidays if the key highlights can no longer be delivered – but, naturally, there will be some changes to ensure your and other people’s safety.
    Your holiday experience: what to expect >
    Safety measures being taken by hoteliers & others >
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • Yes, prior to going on holiday you will be able to download GPX tracks so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you use them – our detailed, step-by-step route notes remain the principal means of guiding you from A to B – but we provide them as a secondary means of navigation for additional reassurance when walking.
  • Yes, absolutely. Over the years, we have arranged a great many walking holidays in the UK for customers living in the USA, Canada, Australia and beyond.

    If you've never travelled with us before, it's worth reading the web pages which explain how we can cater for customers who live outside the UK. The main thing to bear in mind is that our tour operator's licence doesn't allow us to book flights that originate outside the UK, and nor are we able to book rail travel in the UK, so we can't make travel arrangements for you, other than pre-arranging taxis between the local railway station and the accommodation – see the ‘prices & travel options’ section for the options available.

    As regards entry requirements, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. Our essential travel information page provides links to websites where you can find out about the applicable requirements, along with general official travel advice.
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to take out our recommended travel insurance policy (if you live outside the UK you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    We'll ask you for the details of your policy (insurer, policy number and medical emergency phone number) so that we can help out if the worst happens while you are on holiday. It's up to you, though, to check that your policy covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs; we don't check alternative policies.
  • We are happy to take bookings for families of teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved, but please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.

    At the request of some of the accommodation providers on this holiday, we are unable to accept bookings for children aged under 12.
  • Unfortunately not. The Inntravel team includes many dog owners, but the extra considerations – such as whether taxi firms accept dogs for transfers to the start of walks, whether routes cross private land on which dogs are not allowed, and proximity to a vet’s – would add another layer of complexity to what are already quite complex holidays.
Last fetch time is : 5/16/2021 8:11:33 AM