Leaving Aysgarth, there is some nice easy-going walking through farm fields to the pretty village green of West Burton. Leaving West Burton, the route starts to climb and there is a section of unavoidable road walking involved to reach Walden Head (Unfortunately a lot of the connecting trail paths around this area are now privately owned - we've kept it on the road to avoid any unwarranted confrontations from angry farmers or caravan owners).
From Walden Head, the ascent up to, and over Buckden Pike is both challenging and rewarding - it's crazy to think that a survivor of a plane crash managed to somehow get off these wild moors in white-out, blizzard conditions. After an optional visit to the memorial (and the summit of Buckden Pike), it's a snappy descent into Starbotton, where a well-earned pint or glass of wine is awaiting you at the Fox & Hounds pub!
In order to not retrace your steps back along the Dales Way, you can take an alternative route to Kettlewell (it's actually a section of the Lady Anne's Way in reverse) to the end of the Ales and Dales Trail in Kettlewell. Rest your weary legs and enjoy a cold drink in the Racehorses Hotel or Bluebell Inn before your included taxi transfer back to Grassington.
Rest stopsWest Burton Village Shop and Tea Room
The Fox & Hounds
The Blue Bell Inn
Zarinas Tea Room
The Kings Head Kettlewelll
Buckden Pike Memorial Cross to Polish Bomber Crew
The Fox & Hounds Inn
There are a few stretches where you must walk on the road as there is no pavement or verge. Walk on the right side facing the oncoming traffic.
There may be sections where you will be walking through fields containing livestock. Be vigilant and respectful of all animals.
For any river crossing - there are always normally stepping stones or an obvious way to cross - be careful when crossing as it can be very slippery.
The paths can sometimes be tricky to follow in open featureless sections, especially in very bad weather (especially fog). Make sure to stay on the correct trail by concentrating carefully on your GPS tracks and maps.
There be some sections today on indistinct paths, make sure to stay on the correct trail by concentrating carefully on your Macs App GPS tracks and maps. The Turn-by-Turn section can also provide you with extra tips if you run into any problems.
If you wish to carry a hardcopy map, we would recommend buying the Yorkshire Dales Outdoor Atlas by Harvey Maps. Alternatively, you may wish to print the daily maps directly from our app.
Tips and hints
Points of Interest
Please see the interactive map for notable points of interest along the walk, including recommended pubs/restaurants and tearoom stops. Simply click the icons on the map for more information as you walk.
1. No regular bus service that runs directly from Aysgarth to Kettlewell
2. No other options available along the route.
Local Taxi Services
James Peacock Private Hire (Aysgarth Area): +44 (0) 1756 792 233
Dales Cab Company (Kettlewell Area): +44 (0) 7515 868 788
Sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes, and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required. The weather can change quickly in the Dales so be sure to take all equipment even if the weather looks okay. Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of these ascents and descents.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.
In a large section of the walk today between West Burton and Starbotton there are no options for food or drink today - it is essential you bring a packed lunch on today's walk-in case the Fox and Hounds in Starbotton is closed or not serving food when you pass. Please always ensure you have plenty of water and emergency food (energy bars/trail mix) with you at all times. Please also ensure you check in advance of Pubs/cafes and shops opening hours on the day you are due to walk, in Yorkshire opening hours are varied and they can be closed on certain days of the week (walking post-Covid19 lockdown restrictions means their opening hours could be even more erratic, so please check to avoid disappointment).