WALK THE DALES WAY BY TRAIN AND BUS
The Dales Way is a popular 80 mile long distance walk from Ilkley to Bowness and whilst it fits perfectly in a week’s holiday it is also surprisingly easy to do in day stages (or a couple of long weekends) by train and bus from West & South Yorkshire.
There are several guide books but the best is Dales Way – The Complete Guide by the co-founder Colin Speakman (Skyware Press £11.99) which also includes 1:25000 maps.
Using the new Watershed Alternative Route avoids the needs to walk from Gearstones to Ribblehead Station and back along the road and up and down the Coal Road from Cowgill to Dent Station.
A suggested itinerary is:
Day 1 - Ilkley to Grassington. Return by bus to Ilkley or Skipton. Daily – use Dales Rambler Ticket.
Day 2 - Grassington to Buckden. Bus from Skipton or Ilkley to Grassington and return by bus from Buckden. Daily – use Dales Rambler Ticket.
Day 3 - Buckden to Dent Station (using Watershed Alternative Route). Bus from Skipton to Buckden returning by train from Dent. Daily but a strenuous walk on Sundays with less time; the 0800 Skipton to Buckden bus (Mon – Sat) gives a much earlier start.
Day 4 - Dent Station to Sedbergh. Sat & Sun only. Train to Dent Station return by Western Dales Minibus from Sedbergh to Dent Station.
Day 5 - Sedbergh to Burneside Sat & Sun only – check return trains from Burneside on Sundays! Train to Dent and Western Dales Minibus to Sedbergh; return via Carnforth or Manchester
Day 6 - Burneside to Bowness Potentially daily but check train times carefully on Sundays before travelling. Train to Burneside and return from Windermere.
If travelling to Burneside / Bowness via Skipton & Carnforth it may be much cheaper to split your tickets at Keighley or consider using a North West Rover ticket (but remember it has weekday morning time restrictions).
If you are planning to walk in a small group then please contact John Carey in advance to arrange extra capacity on the Western Dales Minibus – e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t delay – plan it today whilst all the pieces in the transport jigsaw fit together – who knows what might happen in the future?
John Disney, May 2015.
(This article first appeared in FoSCL Magazine – the magazine of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line).
22 May 2015