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Long distance routes

      If you fancy a great walking holiday there is no better way than to tackle one of the long distance trails that cross the area.  Click on the links below for a short summary of the different routes.

The Dales Way
The Ribble Way
The Pennine Way
Lady Anne's Way
Coast to Coast

The Dales Way

The Dales Way officially starts at Ilkley and finishes at Bowness-in-Windermere - a distance of around 80 miles. It does, however, have links from Leeds, Bradford and Harrogate, and these open up the special challenge of walking from largest conurbation in England (the West Yorkshire cities) to largest lake (Windermere). From Ilkley however, you'll still have the satisfaction of walking the full length of Wharfedale, thought by many to be the most picturesque of the Yorkshire Dales, climbing out onto the roof of England, crossing the great Pennine watershed with impressive views of the Three Peaks then heading for Lakeland.

For more information visit the Dales Way Association website (link opens in new window).

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The Ribble Way

The Ribble Way is a 70 mile (117km) footpath following the river and its valley from the sea to its source. The footpath spans the counties of Lancashire and North Yorkshire and is divided into 7 sections each approximately 10 miles long. Four sections lie within Lancashire following the River Ribble's middle and lower reaches.

The Ribble Way starts at Longton on the salt marshes of the estuary and passes through this flat estuarine environment to the west of Preston and onto the lush fertile plains between Preston and Clitheroe. The route then traverses the higher ground towards the county border and continues to its source in North Yorkshire.

The Ribble Valley has a fascinating history with evidence of Roman roads, ancient abbeys, 14th century halls and numerous landmarks from the industrial revolution, many of which have been incorporated into the route. The route is fully waymarked with the Ribble way logo making it easy to follow. For addresses of where to stay overnight please see the Ribble Way guide which covers all 7 sections including maps, route descriptions and places of interest.

You can find more information about the Ribble Way on the Ramblers' Association website (link opens in new window).

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The Pennine Way

The Pennine Way has something to offer every long distance walker. This is a 270-mile walk that will take you from the Peak District National Park along the Pennine ridge through the Yorkshire Dales, up into Northumberland, across the Cheviots, and into the Scottish Borders.

There's plenty of historical and cultural interest too. Starting at the scene of the Kinder Scout mass trespasses of the 1930s, you walk through the Southern Pennines, cradle of the Industrial Revolution, pass Haworth, home of the Bronte sisters, across the limestone country of the Yorkshire Dales, follow the Settle to Carlisle Railway and enter a huge Pennine area that was exploited by every kind of mining activity, the lead industry in particular. Finally you'll reach the Roman Wall and beyond that the territory of the Scottish Border rivers.

As with all walks, sound planning is important. There are sections of the route, especially at each end, which require careful thought about accommodation and advance booking is advisable at most times of the year.

The Pennine Way takes you into isolated country. Although that is part of the exhilaration, consideration must be made of the challenges and responsibilities such country brings with it. On a multi-day expedition such as this you are almost certain to experience a variety of British weather. In high and wild places this can include dangerous extremes. Pay close attention to detail in your choice of equipment. Brush up your navigation skills, carry the appropriate large-scale maps and know how to use them.

This is one walk you'll never forget completing!

For more information visit the official Pennine Way National Trail website (link opens in new window).

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Lady Anne's Way

Lady Anne's Way is a 100 mile (167km) long distance path from Skipton Castle to Broughham Castle at Penrith, through the Yorkshire Dales and the Upper Eden Valley. The walk is one of great beauty and historical interest. Lady Anne's Way passes through the wonders of the Yorkshire Dales, including Wharfedale and Wensleydale, with their unspoilt villages and limestone pavements, and progresses through the remote and rugged fellside of Mallerstang to enter Cumbria (old Westmorland) and the romantic delights and hidden haunts of Eden Valley. This is a walk for anyone who is reasonably fit, with a sense of adventure and a love of our countryside. It will appeal both to seasoned walkers and those seeking their first experience of a long distance path.

Lady Anne Clifford was a powerful landowner with a vast estate including a number of castles, and this walk follows in her footsteps, re-tracing routes that she may well have used as she travelled between her many homes. She was born in 1590 at Skipton Castle, the starting point for the Way, and she died at Brougham Castle, the finishing point.

For more information visit the Lady Anne's Way website (link opens in new window).

The Coast to Coast

St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay 304km/190 miles

Devised by the late Alfred Wainwright in 1973 to link the Irish Sea and the North Sea via the hills, moors and valleys of northern England. The route crosses three National Parks: the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. It is scenic, but high-level, including some fairly demanding upland stretches, and visits only two towns of any real size, Kirkby Stephen and Richmond. It is also extremely popular, and has consequently suffered from erosion.

The route is traditionally walked from west to east (St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay), so that the prevailing weather will be coming from behind. But others choose to begin on the Yorkshire coast, so as to have the Lake District section as a grand finale. Similarly, the walk can be as long or as short as you want. Some people prefer to walk it in weekend sections, but most walk it continuously, averaging between 10-14 days in total.

Scenery and terrain is varied. The valleys and arable land make for straightforward walking, but the hills – particularly in the Lake District – are high and the gradients sometimes steep. Many stages are bare and exposed, such as the North York Moors, and help may not always be close to hand. Unless you are an experienced long-distance walker, it is advisable to take a companion. And before you set off, make sure you have the necessary map and compass skills, fitness and stamina, clothing and equipment.

For further information visit the Coast to Coast section of the Ramblers' Association website (opens in new window).

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