The Dales Way was my first long-distance path as an adult, completed over 20 years ago with Rita, and a route I’ve walked twice more since (in 1997 and 2007). It’s always a good standby when not too fit and when one needs to get back in the swing. It’s also a jolly good walk by any standards, without being too strenuous (although it does have its moments).
Another plus is that Sherpa services the sole walker along the Dales Way: on other walks, the Coast to Coast excepted, they have a “minimum of two bags per party” rule. There are probably sound financial and operational reasons for this, but they elude me.
Any road up, here’s my itinerary:-
Monday 16 April 2012: Ilkley to Grassington. I'm overnighting at the Crown Inn at Addingham before setting out along the way. I’m booked into the Foresters Arms in Grassington (17 miles).
Tuesday 17 April 2012: Grassington to Hubberholm (13 miles). I’m booked into Church Farm, Hubberholme (strange as it may seem this is only yards from the George Inn).
Wednesday 18 April 2012: Hubberholme to Ribblehead (12 miles). Accommodation at yet another pub: the Station Inn.
Thursday 19 April 2012: Ribblehead to Bramaskew Farm, on the route beyond Sedburgh (miles from the nearest hostelry!). This will be my longest day, with a high level alternative from Ribblehead to Dent on the cards, using the Craven Way track. The route choice will be made on the day, depending on weather and inclination (about 20 miles).
Friday 20 April 2012: Bramaskew to Burneside (12 miles). I have booked into Lakeland Hills B&B.
Saturday 21 April 2012: Burneside to Bowness-on-Windermere (10 miles).
Stand by for a heat wave…