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Yorkshire Dales Walking

United Kingdom - Trip code WYO Walking and Trekking
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109Kg of CO²e
Average carbon footprint per person
Carbon Footprint
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Days 6
Price from Call us
Flights not included

Why book this trip?

Discover the Yorkshire Dales on this easy graded walking holiday that blends the cultural, historic and scenic beauty of North Yorkshire. We walk through stunning Cistercian monastery ruins, dramatic limestone scenery in Malham Cove, picturesque Dales villages; visit Wensleydale Creamery, see a real sheepdog in action and sample fine Yorkshire beers. All with the famous warm Yorkshire welcome!

  • UNESCO Fountains Abbey - Walk through atmospheric ruins and Georgian water gardens
  • Yorkshire Dales National Park - Uncover beautiful landscapes and cultural heritage
  • Twin - centre - Explore Yorkshire from the charming towns of Masham and Settle
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 5

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader / Driver

  • Transport


    On Foot


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    5 nights comfortable hotel

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    Walking grade:


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    Group Size:

    10 - 16


Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Join tour York Railway Station. Walk River Ure to Masham. Brewery visit

Join tour at York Railway station at 11am (outside WHSmith). If arriving by car, public car parking is available at the station (long stay approx. £40) or at the National Railway Museum car park (approx. £50). We drive for about an hour out to the beautiful region of Lower Wensleydale for our introductory walk. This easy walk follows the River Ure into the small town of Masham where we base ourselves for the next two nights.

Masham (pronounced \ massam\ ) is the very essence of a Yorkshire Dales market town and is famous for its family-run breweries, annual sheep fair and steam engines. After lunch, we have an afternoon tour of the Black Sheep Brewery, learning about its intriguing history, followed by a sampling of their wonderful ale. This is not a private tour and others may join us. We then walk to our hotel and check in. We plan to meet for an introductory briefing at 6pm followed by a chance to get to know your fellow travellers over dinner.

Today's easy-graded walk will take approximately 2 hours and will cover a distance of 6 kilometres with a total ascent and descent of 50 metres.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: None

Day 2 - AM – Walk UNESCO Fountains Abbey and Studley Water Gardens. PM - Explore Bolton Abbey Estate

Today we explore the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), bordering the Yorkshire Dales National Park, defined by moorland scenery, stone-built villages and traditional farming landscapes divided by drystone walls. Firstly, we drive from the hotel to Studley Royal Park which, including the ruins of Fountains Abbey, was one of the first sites in the UK to be inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage Site listings in 1986 - one of finest Cistercian monastic ruins in Europe. We will spend the morning on a walk (around 6km) exploring the atmospheric 12th century ruins, its elegant Georgian water garden and medieval deer park.

In the afternoon, we drive to picturesque Wharfedale where we join the River Wharfe and walk (around 2km) following the river course into the impressive Bolton Abbey Estate to see the Priory Church and ruins of the 12th century Augustinian Priory. The 60 stepping-stones were the crossing point for the lay workers at the Priory, synonymous with Bolton Abbey and you may want to give them a go. The drive back to Masham will take about an hour.

Today's easy-graded walk will take approximately 3 to 4 hours and will cover a distance of 8 kilometres with a total ascent and descent of 90 metres.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 3 - AM Walk Castle Bolton to Aysgarth Falls. PM Optional walk across the dales to Settle

We check out of the hotel after breakfast and drive to Castle Bolton in Yorkshire Dales National Park, a privately owned castle that once interned Mary Queen of Scots. It is a walk of around 5 to 6km from here to Aysgarth Falls, which featured in the Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves film starring Kevin Costner. After lunch, we drive across the Dales to the lovely little town of Grassington - the fictional home of James Herriot in the newly released version of All Creatures Great and Small. We then drive to the edge of the Dales and enjoy an optional scenic 8km walk into the wonderful town of Settle - our base for the next three nights. For those not up for the walk it is possible to be dropped off at the hotel beforehand and enjoy a relaxing afternoon instead. Nestled in the shadow of Castleberg Crag, the bustling market town of Settle is set amid beautiful countryside. The mills and later industrialisation saw it grow with buildings from the 17th and 18th century (76 listed buildings!). The Museum of North Craven Life tells the story of local life through the ages and makes for an interesting visit.

The National Park is not a wilderness area; it is a living, working environment and home to 24,000 people. It was designated in recognition of its natural beauty, the diversity of its wildlife habitats and its rich cultural heritage as well as outdoors activities like walking. Each valley or dale has its own distinct character, set against expansive heather moorland tops.

This morning's easy-graded walk will take approximately 2 hours and will cover a distance of 6 kilometres with a total ascent and descent of 60 metres. The optional afternoon walk will take approximately 3 hours and will cover a distance of 8 kilometres with 90 metres of descent. All combined the total walking today is about 5 to 6 hours, 14km and graded moderate.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 4 - AM Walk from Malham Tarn glacial lake to Malham Cove. PM Optional walk to Gordale Scar

This morning we drive into the Dales to Malham Tarn, a glacial lake high up on the moors. One of only eight upland alkaline lakes in Europe and designated as a National Nature Reserve (NNR), it is unusual in that the water cannot sink into the impermeable slate below. Home to a number of rare species, the tarn is a rare site of open water in otherwise leaky limestone country. We walk across the Dales down to Malham Cove with its famous limestone pavement, wonderful views and 70-metre high, natural amphitheatre of gently curving white limestone. Both of these imposing features were created in previous ice ages and show the awesome power of nature. We continue walking down to Malham village in time for lunch. The route crosses over some step stiles, is rocky at times underfoot, involves a number of steps and is largely downhill. If you are used to walking with poles it is worth bringing them. It is possible to opt out of this walk and still see the tarn and cove.

This afternoon you can choose to potter around the village or join us on a 6km circular walk taking in Gordale Scar. One of the jewels in the crown of the National Park, this hidden gorge and falls has inspired artists, writers and visitors for hundreds of years. Finally, we drive back to our hotel in Settle.

This morning's walk is at the upper end of easy grade and will take approximately 2 to 3 hours and will cover a distance of 8 kilometres with a total ascent of 40 metres and descent of 210 metres. The optional afternoon walk will take approximately 3 hours and will cover a distance of 6 kilometres with 220 metres of total ascent and descent. All combined the total walking today is about 6 hours, 14km and graded moderate.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 5 - Ribblehead Viaduct train ride. Wensleydale Creamery visit. Walk Pennine Way. Sheepdog demonstration

A slightly later start this morning sees us catching the train from Settle towards Carlisle over the Ribblehead Viaduct, an impressive piece of Victorian engineering set beautifully amid nature between the Yorkshire Three Peaks. Please note this is not the steam train. After this 400-metre span across Batty Moss, the train heads into a tunnel and onto Garsdale Head where we jump off and drive to the charming market town of Hawes - home to Wallace and Gromit's favoured delicacy, Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese. We visit the creamery and learn about how they make the wonderful cheeses, their interesting history and business back-story. This is not a private tour and others may join us. We plan to have lunch (not included) in the creamery before our afternoon walk.

This afternoon we walk on the Herriot and Pennine Way within the beautiful Wensleydale Valley on circular walk from Hawes to Hardraw. We will stop for a drink in the typical Dales pub at Hardraw (used in All Creatures Great and Small). Finally, in the late afternoon we walk to a sheepdog demonstration by a local farmer who shows how these remarkable dogs learn their craft - from puppies through to seasoned pros. Again, please note that this is not a private demonstration and others may join us. It's an amazing sight and a fitting end to a great week in God's Own County! On our drive back to Settle we hope, time permitting, to get a view of the Ribblehead Viaduct.

Today's easy-graded walk will take approximately 3 hours and will cover a distance of 7 kilometres with a total ascent and descent of 120 metres.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 6 - Trip ends at York Railway Station

The trip ends this morning after breakfast. For those interested we will drop you off at York Railway Station at 11am, a 1.5hr drive from Settle. If you have parked your car in Masham, you could catch a train from York to Thirsk then it is a 15-mile taxi ride to Masham.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Climate and country information

United Kingdom


The UK has a temperate but very variable climate. In general the summers are warm with July and August being the warmest. The winters are cool and the lowest temperatures are recorded during January and February. Whatever the season it is advisable to be prepared for rain!

Time difference to GMT



3 Pin Flat





Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.

Settle - Museum of North Craven Life - free entrance


Yorkshire has a temperate climate and you can expect changeable weather from sunshine to windy days and rain. A good quality waterproof jacket is essential and we recommend waterproof trousers. We recommend hiking trousers, plenty of layers, warm hat and gloves and sunhat. If the forecast is good T shirts and shorts will be fine. Come prepared!


Bring a pair of waterproof walking boots or walking shoes that are broken in (trainers are not suitable). Can be wet underfoot at times. Bring a comfortable pair of shoes, sandals or trainers for when you are not hiking.



Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and a waterproof rucksack large enough to carry what you need for the day - waterproofs, warm layer, water, picnic, sun-cream, phone etc.


You will need a small rucksack, thermos or water bottle. Insect repellent, suncream, good quality sunglasses and a lip salve with sun protection are all useful. You may find walking poles helpful on the optional walks as they involve more ascent and descent and on the descent from Malham Tarn to Malham.


Explore leader
At your discretion you might consider tipping your Tour Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.

United Kingdom

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Lunch price
Dinner price
Beer price
Water price
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Pounds Sterling.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Carry a combination of UK Sterling cash, ATM and credit cards.
Where To Exchange
Your tour leader will advise you on arrival.
ATM Availability
ATM's are widely available in main towns.
Credit Card Acceptance
Widely accepted.
Travellers Cheques
Can be exchanged at most banks and post offices.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, On Foot, Train

Accommodation notes

Kings Head, Masham
The King's Head is a classic hotel in an 18th century Georgian inn, overlooking the market square, offering warm rooms and an oak-beamed restaurant and bar. Carefully renovated to combine traditional Georgian splendour with modern day comforts, all rooms are ensuite and WiFi is available.

Golden Lion, Settle
Set in the heart of charming Settle, the Golden Lion dates from a 17th century coaching inn and has a bar, residents lounge and restaurant. Wi-Fi is available in public areas. All rooms are carefully renovated for modern comforts, have ensuite facilities, Smart TV and tea and coffee-making facilities.

Arrival and departure information

This trip starts and ends at York Railway Station. Public car parking is available at the NCP York Station. It is also possible to leave your car in Masham, then at the end of the trip from York you can catch a train to Thirsk, followed by a 15-mile taxi ride to Masham. If joining the trip in Masham please do let us know so that we are not waiting for you at York Railway Station at 11am.

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.

Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

UK: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Minimum age restrictions

For our group tours, the minimum age is 16. The minimum age on Family trips varies between 7 and 11 - please check the 'Family information' section of the trip page for more information. 


Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here


It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.

Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.


Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Ability to swim


United Kingdom


Nothing compulsory, we recommend protection against tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.

Walking and Trekking information
WYO Walking Chart
Walking grade
Trek details
We walk for 2 to 4 hours each day, on a mixture of surfaces mostly easy going with some rocky trails. The included walks are mostly on the flat. There is some hillier terrain on day 4 from Malham Tarn downhill to Malham that also involves crossing step stiles (possible to opt out of this walk). The optional walks on day 3 into Settle and day 4 to Gordale Scar are on hillier terrain. The order of the days may be changed in accordance with the weather. We have graded this trek as Easy. Including the optional walks, we have graded days 3 and 4 as Moderate.
Additional Information

Dates, prices and booking

📢 Prices may change - book now and today's trip price is guaranteed in our price promise


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