Top 5 Hikes in the Yorkshire Dales, England

Top 5 Hikes in the Yorkshire Dales, England

Bainbridge Around the Lake:   This hike is 8.3 miles.  I take tons of photographs, so this took us about 8 hours to do.  This is convenient to do if you are staying in Bainbridge, which we were the time I hiked this.  You start in Bainbridge and follow the road for only a small while before turning on a gravel road that’s easy to see/find.  This was the old Roman road, officially called Cam High Road.  You’ll follow this road for a while before you turn off and follow the path up the hill.  As you’re walking, you’ll only hear sheep around you.  It’s incredibly peaceful.  Once you get up the hill, you’ll be able to see the lake and some of the other small towns around.  You’ll head down into one of the small towns, which consists of three-ish buildings, and continue on the walking path.  There is a small gate with some old church ruins to check out once you’re on the other side of the lake.  If you google “Bainbridge uk around the lake and back” you can find information about this hike. will take you to a site that shows you a map of the route.  I haven’t looked at the pdf version of their map, but you’ll want a more specific map to follow than the one that’s on the front page.  We brought lunch with us since we were out hiking the entire day.

Muker to Keld, up Kidson Hill, and Back: This is another circular hike.  Start in the town of Muker, and turn left out of the town to follow the river Swale.  You’ll follow the river until you get to an old abandoned mining town.  There are several abandoned stone houses to explore.  There will be sheep and cows around, per usual.  After exploring the old mining town, follow the path up the hill.  This won’t be a hard climb yet.  You’ll keep on that path until you get to Keld—which is a small town with only a few buildings.  Once you get to Keld, turn left on the road, and follow that for a second, and then veer off the left on the old Roman road, which will be gravel.  Once you turn on the Roman road, you’ll turn on the grassy path up the hill.  This is a steep climb.  I was both freezing cold and terribly hot.  You’ll want layers.  I was rolling my sleeves up to help, but was really cold until I realized I could pull my hood of my hoodie over my head.  I’m a slow learner.  That immediately helped take off the freezing cold wind that was biting my head, and equalize my temperature.  I can’t express how incredible the view from the top of this hill is.  It is gorgeous.  I use the photograph taken at the top of this hill for the banner image at the top of Walking in Nature.  It took us four hours to do this hike.  Again, this was in part because I was slowing us down taking photographs, we took some time to explore the abandoned buildings in the mining town, and once we started the steep climb one of my friends and I kept stopping every ten steps to catch our breaths.  Google will help you find a map to follow.  Sometimes it’s hard to find the exact same hike, but there are similar ones if you can’t find this exact one to do.  We ate lunch in Muker, so there was no need to bring our own.    

Kettlewell to Grassington:  I loved this hike.  You hike from the town of Kettlewell to the town of Grassington.  It’s a 7 mile hike.  It took us up a steep hill soon after leaving Kettlewell that gives incredible views of the Dales around us.  The views were stunning.  Once you climb the hill, the rest of the walk is relatively easy.  It follows a path called the Dales Way for a portion of it, which is well marked and well traveled.  It should only be three or so hours—but again, being the photographer that I am, it was more like six.  If you google Kettlewell to Grassington you can find maps for this route as well.  We brought lunch with us on this one so we could eat on the go, but in theory you could eat at either Kettlewell or Grassington.

Bolton Castle to Aysgarth Falls:  This hike is 6.5 miles or so.  It should take about 3 hours if you’re not like me and photographing everything you see.  It’s another circular hike, so you’ll come right back to where you started.  Aysgarth falls was made famous by the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and is where Robin and Little John fight with staves when they first meet.  The bonus here is you can also see Bolton Castle.  You can start at either Bolton Castle, which is how I did it (since we were staying right next to it), or you can park at Aysgarth and start there.  You can find the route on Google—just google Bolton castle to Aysgarth Falls, and it’ll come right up.  We stopped at a pub along the way and had lunch, before continuing on to the falls.  The falls are beautiful.  It’s definitely worth the trek.  There are pubs to eat at along the way, so no need to bring lunch.  

Leyburn Shawl:  It starts in Leyburn.  If you Google Leyburn Shawl, there will be multiple hiking options.  This hike has amazing views of Penhill, which is the tallest hill in the Dales.  It takes you through some forested areas before opening back up to the incredible views.  It’s about a 5 mile hike.  When you’re heading down the hill through the pastures, it’s incredibly pretty.  The version we did took us down by a big farm with equipment and farm fields before we circled back around.  The views are amazing.  No need to bring lunch on this one, since there were pubs around.


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