Through the Dales Way in 3 days
Somehow I managed to train my body and legs to take me for these long distances walks and hikes. And I am also lucky enough to have friends that support my crazy ideas – like this one. We walked Dales Way in 3 days – according to the sign 82 miles, according to my Strava just little bit over 84 miles. But we all know how it works. 🙂 My friends are used to me lying about how many miles we have to walk each day, I am used to the smiles and shaking heads when I tell them “maybe I lied little bit”. Also I like to get lost at least once a day, or twice. But that is very beneficial as I am attending my own personal challenge #walk1000miles2022 (again) so do my friends (fully voluntarily and absolutely not under any pressure).
But let’s go back to the Dales Way. I usually try to plan my walks – not fully to every single detail as that never works. I am more of “we gonna wing it” planner. But I still plan as many details as possible. Because we walked in March, we decided to be a bit “fancy” and book some accommodation – mainly because of English weather. The distance I wanted to walk every day had to be modified little bit as the options for accommodation were limited (we used Booking.com and Google). I also use my app mapy.cz where you I can download offline maps and the walks there are very detailed. The whole walk was well sign posted apart from few places.
Day 1. Ilkley – Buckden / 29 miles
We started in Ilkley at 7am. I expected the worse weather and I told everybody the same. Bit of reverse psychology – everybody was happy as it did not rain at all the first day and we even had some sunshine. The walk was not difficult in elevation. The first day was mostly following river Wharfe and through beautiful places as Bolton Abbey and villages like Burnsall (where we stopped for a coffee), Grassington and Kettlewell. We ended our day in Bucked in sleeping pods and after few pints we all slept like babies. You can easily get some food and water in the villages, there are all on the way and no detour was needed.
Day 2. Buckden – Sedbergh / 28 miles
We started little bit later at 8am as we knew we do not have to rush as we had good walking pace and we tried to avoid morning rain. Second day we lost one member of our expedition, but we gained another one who decided to join us for one day – I always joke that 20% loss is allowed (when I organized walks for our CZE/SVK hiking group) – but this time guys took it literally. But that is a different story. 🙂 From Buckden the walk was amazing as we could see all peaks from Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge – luckily this time we did not have to go up. We all worn our heavier waterproof walking boots which we all hate and it made our life (and walk) bit harder. The day was lovely again with bit of rain, but then beautiful sunset followed. The second day was the day with highest elevation, but it was just about 500m. And we stayed in Sedbergh, so the vision of beer and hot food was good enough. The accommodation in Sedbergh was bit more expensive then the pods in Buckden as all we needed really was to get shower and bed, but there was not many options to chose from. There were not many places on the way on the second day, if you would need any supplies. You could walk to Dent, but that was not as far from Sedbergh.
Day 3. Sedbergh – Bowness-on-Windermere / 26 miles
The last part of the walk was leaving Sedbergh and Yorkshire dales to Bowness-on-Windermere in Lake district. We did leave again just after 7am as we ended up going to shop to buy some food. The day started lovely with amazing views of Howgill Fells and many viaducts on the way. Some parts were following the motorway which was bit noisy. But the last 10 miles was just walk in the rain. Little bit of hint there – Yorkshire was lovely all the way through. So we actually just put our heads down and walked. We managed to finish in very good time and for a change in a pub for some needed beer and food.
The whole walk was combination of paths, roads and fields. I would say pretty well signposted. In some parts there was no signal – not as great if somebody is joining you on the walk and you need to tell them, where exactly you are.