Skip to main content
Walking in a hay meadow A group of people walking along a stone path through a hay meadow on a sunny day

Short walks

Starting out

If you find walking a challenge or your group includes a wheelchair or buggy then have a look in our Access for all section

If you are planning to walk with your dog please visit Dogs and the Dales page for useful tips.

Wherever you walk, please take your litter home with you, strictly no barbecues, and always follow the Countryside Code.

Staying safe 

It’s brilliant to get out into the great outdoors but it is also vital that you stay safe. Find out what you need to do before heading out into the hills and what to do in an emergency in Take care while you’re here.

You should also make sure you’ve got appropriate footwear and clothing appropriate to the weather conditions. There’s more in Take care while you’re here.

Here you will find short walks, audio trails, and details of each of our Three Peaks. There are also our ‘miles without stiles’ walks, which are perfect if you’re out with pushchairs, or are less mobile.

Walks up to 2 miles

walking-boots
Credit: Stephen Garnett

Ribblehead audio trail

An audio trail exploring the stunning Ribblehead viaduct and the history of its construction. Download the audio here and download the map here

This short walk starts from the railway station at Ribblehead and explores the fascinating history surrounding the construction of the railway and, in particular, the stunning Ribblehead viaduct.

During construction the Ribblehead area was a small town with construction camps, bars, a post office and hospital. This audio trail will bring this period to life and help you appreciate this dramatic period.

  • Location: Chapel-le-Dale; Ribblesdale

Devil’s Bridge wander

A short circular walk taking in the River Lune, Devil’s Bridge and Kirkby Lonsdale

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Lune Valley

Walk – Stainforth and Catrigg Force

One of the Dales lesser known waterfalls is visited on this lovely short circular walk.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys)
  • Location: Ribblesdale

Walk – Sedbergh to Stone Hall

A short circular walk that takes you past the Castle Haw castle site, and provides wonderful views over Sedbergh and the valley.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys)
  • Location: Garsdale; Lune Valley

Walk – Aysgarth woods and waterfalls

A short walk through the woods and returning by the spectacular Aysgarth Falls.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys)
  • Location: Wensleydale

Walk – Reeth Low Common

A short circular walk giving great views over this part of Swaledale.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys)
  • Location: Swaledale

Walk – Sedbergh and Millthrop

A walk along the valley bottom from Sedbergh including a lovely riverside section.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys)
  • Location: Dentdale; Garsdale

Miles Without Stiles Walks up to 2 miles

Rebecca Carpenter, one of our Dales Volunteers, surveying rights of way

These routes are suitable for wheelchairs users, buggies, or even dogs that can’t negotiate stiles easily. They are all under 2 miles.

Please note: the PDF files will not open in Firefox, Safari or using Preview on Mac OSX. To view them please use a supported browser (such as Google Chrome or Internet Explorer).

Walk – Burnsall – a miles without stiles walk

An easy access route starting in Burnsall and following the River Wharfe. A 700m length of a popular section of the Dales Way runs between the village of Burnsall and Loup Scar. The route is well surfaced and level. There are two kissing gates along its length which can be difficult for scooters.

Whilst walking along the river, look out for pied and grey wagtail, dipper, common sandpiper and oystercatcher.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Wharfedale

Walk – Malham Cove – a miles without stiles walk

Starting at the National Park Centre, follow the road through the village. At the phone box, go through the gate to follow the unsurfaced woodland trail alongside the stream then continue on the road to just beyond Town Head Barn where the gradient reaches 1 in 6.

The footpath to the cove is a well-surfaced track of compact stone with a general width of at least 150cm. The first 25m of the route has a gradient of 1 in 6. From here, the footpath levels out and does not exceed a 1 in 8.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Malhamdale

Walk – Buckden – a miles without stiles walk

Follow the steep footpath out of the car park. Cross the road and carry on down the unsurfaced track to reach Dubbs Lane. From here follow the road across the river. The two routes start on either side of the road once over the bridge.

Walking south, this 1km level footpath runs alongside the River Wharfe. The surface is constructed of a mixture of stone flags, aggregate and grass with a general width of 1m. Walking north, the footpath is a mixture of grass and compact aggregate.

Whilst walking beside the River Wharfe, look out for kingfisher, oystercatcher, dipper and sand martin.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Wharfedale

Walk – Grinton – a miles without stiles walk

Grinton is one of the 87 lead smelt mill sites known in the Yorkshire Dales. It is of national importance and is a scheduled monument.

This 750m route runs from the Grinton to Leyburn road to the remains of the smelt mill and back again. The track is a compact mix of aggregate and grass with a general width of 200cm. The track to the smelt mill has some gradients reaching 1:8. There is a small add on loop at the end of the route. This requires a shallow water crossing and a short, 60m, gradient of 1:6.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Swaledale

Walk – Gordale Scar – a miles without stiles walk

An easy access route into the towering cliffs of Gordale Scar. This 600m footpath runs from Gordale Bridge to Gordale Scar. The route is well surfaced and level and has a general width of 100cm. Whilst walking the route, look out for peregrines and dippers.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Malhamdale

Walk – River Rawthey – a miles without stiles walk

Starting from the Joss Lane car park in Sedbergh, turn left and follow the footpath to join Long Lane. Turn left onto Long Lane and cross the road at the zebra crossing by the police station. Turn right onto the A684 and follow the footpath to the school entrance. From here the surface is a mixture of concrete and compact earth with a general width of 100cm. There is one accessible kissing gate along the length of the route. The section of the footpath along the river is relatively flat. However, the descent from Settlebeck School has gradients reaching 1:7.

Whilst walking along the river, look out for heron, dipper and goosander as well as nuthatch, tree creeper and long-tailed tit in the trees and hedges. In the late autumn look out for salmon jumping at the weir.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Lune Valley; Rawthey Valley

Walk – Killington – a miles without stiles walk

An easy access walk alongside the River Lune not far from Sedbergh.

Killington New Bridge Local Nature Reserve is owned and managed by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. It consists of a steep woodland bank running down to the River Lune which flattens out at the top to provide a narrow strip of grassland, scrub and diverse hedge which is partially laid. Salmon occur in the river and there is a strong likelihood that mammals such as otter and badger use the wood.

Access to this 575m level footpath is through an accessible kissing gate. The surface is constructed of compacted aggregate with a general width of 120cm.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Lune Valley

Walk – Reeth – a miles without stiles walk

An easy access route from Reeth to the River Swale.

Starting on the village green, take the flagged alleyway between the Black Bull and Kings Arms public houses. After 40m the alleyway turns into a tarmacked lane leading to Langhorne Drive. Turn left onto Langthorne Drive and then right at the end following the signpost to the Swing Bridge. From here the route is unsurfaced with some gradients reaching 1:6.

Whilst walking along the river, look out and listen for heron and dipper on the river as well as nuthatch, tree creeper and greate spotted woodpecker in the trees along the river bank.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Swaledale

Walk – Malham Tarn – a miles without stiles walk

This 2.5km footpath starts at the National Trust car park. The first 500m of the route are rough grass up to a gradient of 1:10. From here, the route joins a well-surfaced track with a general width of at least 300cm. There is a wheelchair accessible boardwalk loop providing access to the nature reserve at the Water Houses end.

The tarn is said to be the highest marl lake in Britain and is rich in submerged aquatic plants. Whilst walking round the lake, look out and listen for great crested grebe, moorhen, coot, tufted duck and teal.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Malhamdale

Walk – Hawes – a miles without stiles walk

Starting at the car park, follow the road through Hawes, crossing Gayle Beck. After approximately 60m from the bridge, turn left up the cobbled footpath signposted to Gayle. The next 70m of this route are cobbled with a gradient of 1:7. After this point, the footpath levels out with some slight gradients up to 1:10. Most of the length is constructed of stone flags at a width of 100cm. There is a rest area halfway along the route.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Wensleydale

Walk – Aysgarth Falls – a miles without stiles walk

The first 500m of this 1.5km footpath runs through Freeholders’ Wood and has great views of the Middle Falls. The surface here is compact aggregate and the width of the footpath is at least 100cm. All gates are fully accessible and there are benches along the route.

From here, a flight of seventy steps provide access to the Lower Falls. Alternatively, the footpath continues for a further 1km along an unsurfaced grass route.

A further 600m route can be followed from the start along an
unsurfaced track through the woodland.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Wensleydale

Walk – Cotter Force – a miles without stiles walk

Known as ‘the valley of the waterfalls’, Wensleydale harbours many delights for the visitor. Cotter Force, west of Hawes, is a lovely secluded waterfall in a wooded setting. It is a series of about six waterfalls with the largest single drop being about 1.5m. This 490m level footpath alongside the beck is constructed of compact stone with a general width of 100cm. There are three benches evenly spaced along the footpath.

Whilst walking the route look out for dippers, grey wagtails, redstarts, long tailed tits and kingfishers.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Wensleydale

Walk – Grassington – a miles without stiles walk

An easy access walk by the River Wharfe close to the lovely village of Grassington.

A gate at the lower end of the car park gives access to a walled lane. The route here is well-surfaced with some gradients reaching a 1:7. Follow the river to the right along an unsurfaced route. From here, turn right onto the main road into Grassington where the first 50m are a 1:6 gradient.

Take a moment to look at Linton Falls when by the river. The falls mark the line of the North Craven Fault.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Wharfedale

Walk – Bolton Abbey – a miles without stiles walk

An easy access walk at the delightful Bolton Abbey alongside the River Wharfe.

For the first 1.8km of the route, the surface is compact stone at a width of at least 200cm. There are passing places and accessible benches along the full length of the route. Most of the route is flat with some areas having a gradient up to 1:10. From here, the route is unsurfaced with some gradients reaching 1:6.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Wharfedale

Walks from 3-5 miles

Photo – Paul Harris

Walk – Buckden to Starbotton

A walk linking two lovely villages – Buckden and Starbotton, going along the valley side and back along the river.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys)
  • Location: Wharfedale

Walk – Hawes to Sedbusk

A short walk visiting the nearby village of Sedbusk, and the hamlet of Hardraw where you can visit the spectacular Hardraw Force.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys)
  • Location: Wensleydale

Walk – Settle and Attermire Scar

Hidden behind the town of Settle is the beautiful area of Attermire Scar with the important site of Victoria Cave.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys); High level route (visits fellsides)
  • Location: Ribblesdale

Walk – Hawes and Aysgill Force

This walk takes you past the home of Wensleydale cheese, through the tiny streets of Gayle and up to the lovely waterfall of Aysgill Force.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys)
  • Location: Wensleydale

Walk – Grassington meadows

A walk through the meadows above the Wharfedale town of Grassington.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys)
  • Location: Wharfedale

Walk – Malham Moor

A chance to see the quieter side of Malham with a walk over the moors above the Tarn.

  • Features: High level route (visits fellsides)
  • Location: Malhamdale

Walk – Malham Tarn circular

A circuit around the stunning Malham Tarn taking advantage of National Trust owned open access land.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys); High level route (visits fellsides)
  • Location: Malhamdale

Walk – Malham Landscape Trail

A classic Dales walk taking in Janet’s Foss and the majestic Malham Cove. A short side trip can be made to include a visit to Gordale Scar.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys)
  • Location: Malhamdale

Walk – Reeth and Healaugh

A short circular walk from Reeth to Healaugh in Swaledale, with a return along the riverside.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys)
  • Location: Swaledale

Walk – Grass Woods

A classic walk along the River Wharfe, taking in Linton Falls, Gaistrills Strid and the lovely Grass Woods.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys)
  • Location: Wharfedale

Walk – Muker, Keld and the Corpse Way

A fantastic walk through upper Swaledale visiting villages, waterfalls and passing through the meadows that make the area famous.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys)
  • Location: Swaledale

Walk – Grassington to Hebden

A short circular walk between Grassington and a lovely Dales village, Hebden.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys)
  • Location: Wharfedale

Walk – Buckden, Cray and Hubberholme

A longer walk taking in a lovely high traverse in upper Wharfedale.

  • Features: High level route (visits fellsides)
  • Location: Langstrothdale; Wharfedale

Walk – Orton Scar

A super walk climbing from the pretty village of Orton up to Beacon Fell Monument.

  • Features: High level route (visits fellsides)
  • Location: Orton Fells

Walk – Westhouse Walks

A selection of three short walks near Ingleton exploring the countryside and finding the Sherlock connections.

  • Location: Chapel-le-Dale; Kingsdale; Ribblesdale

Walk – Smardale Gill

A very accessible longer walk which uses a section of old railway line to take you to the superb Smardale Gill nature reserve.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Orton Fells

Walk – Kettlewell to Starbotton

A wonderful Wharfedale circuit high along the valley and then back along the river.

  • Features: High level route (visits fellsides)
  • Location: Wharfedale

Grassington audio trail

This audio trail will take you on a voyage of discovery through 10,000 years of history around Grassington. The walk takes you through farmland which is being carefully managed for its historic features and wildlife.

You will pass through Lea Green Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which is a designated for its species rich limestone grassland flora and limestone pavement. The farmer is sensitively managing this field to allow the limestone-loving wild flowers and grasses to flower and set seed during the summer months.

Bastow Wood is also a SSSI managed to provide a fine balance between allowing natural regeneration of tree species to occur and maintaining the open grassland areas .

We always recommend that you bring an Ordnance Survey map if you are going for a walk in the National Park. Grassington is covered by Explorer OL2. You will need footwear suitable for rough, muddy ground and waterproofs are also a good idea depending on the weather. You can download the audio here.

  • Location: Wharfedale

Swaledale audio trail

This audio trail covers upper Swaledale discovering the village of Muker and the River Swale. Beginning in Muker in Swaledale this audio trail takes you on a lovely riverside walk.  The valley is famous for its hay meadows but you will also discover some of the interesting historic buildings in the area, and the reason for the local walk known as the Corpse Way. You can download the audio here.

  • Location: Swaledale

Stainforth audio trail

An audio trail from the village of Stainforth taking in Stainforth Foss, Langcliffe and the Hoffman Kiln.

This audio trail begins from the car park in the village of Stainforth. There are toilets and a picnic area at the start. The walk takes you alongside the River Ribble taking in the waterfall of Stainforth Foss, to reach the delightful village of Langcliffe.

The highlight of the return journey is a visit to the stunning Hoffman Kiln at Langcliffe. This is a stunning reminder of the industrial past of this part of Ribblesdale. You can download the audio here

  • Location: Ribblesdale

Bainbridge audio trail

This audio trail starts and finishes in Bainbridge where the village surrounds a large green and explores this part of Wensleydale. It takes in the delightful village of Askrigg and the many mills that used to form an important part of the industry of the valley. You will also discover part of the old railway line which ran through the valley and some of the historic buildings in these two villages.

Before you set off, print out a copy of the walk route. An up-to-date Ordnance Survey map is also recommended – Explorer OL30 is the one for this area. You should wear strong shoes or walking boots and take wet weather gear. You can download the audio here.

  • Location: Wensleydale

Nethergill Farm audio trail

This audio trail in remote Langstrothdale has been produced in partnership with farmer Chris Clark. You will hear his voice on the audio, talking about some of his farm’s special features. Chris asked us to create this trail to showcase the conservation work he is undertaking. This was done as part of the Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) scheme that he entered the farm into in 2011.

The trail is on private land and accessible by permit only. Please contact the farm on 01756 761126 or email Fiona Clark to get a permit and a map of the route. We are sorry but dogs are not allowed.

We also always recommend you bring a map if you are going for a walk in the National Park. Nethergill Farm is covered by Ordnance Survey Explorer map OL2. You will need footwear suitable for rough, muddy ground and waterproofs are also a good idea. You can download the audio here.

  • Location: Langstrothdale

Walk – An open access walk – Malhamdale

A circular walk using the Pennine Way and open access land with views of Malham Tarn.

  • Location: Malhamdale

Miles Without Stiles Walks from 3 – 5 miles

These routes are suitable for those in wheelchairs, buggies or even walking dogs who can’t negotiate stiles easily. They are all 3-5 miles.

Please note: the PDF files will not open in Firefox, Safari or using Preview on Mac OSX. To view them please use a supported browser (such as Google Chrome or Internet Explorer).

Walk – Bolton Abbey – a miles without stiles walk

An easy access walk at the delightful Bolton Abbey alongside the River Wharfe.

For the first 1.8km of the route, the surface is compact stone at a width of at least 200cm. There are passing places and accessible benches along the full length of the route. Most of the route is flat with some areas having a gradient up to 1:10. From here, the route is unsurfaced with some gradients reaching 1:6.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Wharfedale

Walk – Grassington – a miles without stiles walk

An easy access walk by the River Wharfe close to the lovely village of Grassington.

A gate at the lower end of the car park gives access to a walled lane. The route here is well-surfaced with some gradients reaching a 1:7. Follow the river to the right along an unsurfaced route. From here, turn right onto the main road into Grassington where the first 50m are a 1:6 gradient.

Take a moment to look at Linton Falls when by the river. The falls mark the line of the North Craven Fault.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Wharfedale

Walk – Ivelet Moor – a miles without stiles walk

An easy access walk with tremendous views of Swaledale.

This 11km route follows a well-surfaced track over the heather moorland. The route is at least 200cm wide with some short sections of gradients reaching 1:6.

Whilst walking, look out and listen for moorland birds including red grouse, meadow pipit, golden plover, curlew, lapwing and skylark.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Swaledale

Walk – Grimwith – a miles without stiles walk

An easy access walk around Grimwith Reservoir high in the Yorkshire Dales.

The route to the east follows a well-surfaced track to a width of at least 200cm. There are some gradients reaching 1:8 to access the water’s edge but most of the route is relatively flat. The first section of the route to the west passes over the dam and is unsurfaced. From here, the track is surfaced with some gradients reaching a 1:6.

Grimwith Reservoir is one of the best places to see wildfowl in the Yorkshire Dales so take along your binoculars and you might see wigeon, teal, greylag and Canada geese on the water.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Wharfedale

Walk – Old Gang – a miles without stiles walk

An easy access walk close to Reeth which takes you to the remains of the Old Gang lead mine workings.

The smelt mill at Old Gang, in Arkengarthdale, was built in the early nineteenth century. A huge open-sided peat house, reputed to hold three years’ worth of fuel, was built nearby.

The first 3km of the route runs alongside Old Gang Beck to the remains of Old Gang Smelt Mill. The track to the smelt mill is at least 200cm wide and is surfaced with a well-compacted aggregate. The steepest gradient is a 1:10. From here the track becomes more undulating but the views along Swaledale are well worth it for those who like a challenge.

Whilst there, look out and listen for buzzard and raven in flight.

  • Features: Accessible route
  • Location: Swaledale

Walks from 6-10 miles

Photo – Paul Harris

Linear walk – Dent to Ribblehead

Journey through and over the Blea Moor Tunnel – part of the classic Settle – Carlisle railway line – in a day. Walk just over nine miles, though the beautiful pastures of Dentdale and gain a fine vista of the Three Peaks as you drop down to Ribblehead station. For public transport details see Traveline Yorkshire.

  • Features: High level route (visits fellsides)
  • Location: Dentdale; Ribblesdale

Linear walk – Horton to Settle

Use the Settle – Carlisle railway to view the expanse of Ribblesdale before walking the seven miles back to Settle. Walk through riverside pastures before ascending to higher limestone pastures with great views beyond the National Park boundary towards the Forest of Bowland. For public transport details see Traveline Yorkshire.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys); High level route (visits fellsides)
  • Location: Ribblesdale

Linear walk – Kettlewell to Grassington

Ride the bus to Kettlewell in style before embarking on a seven mile return walk to Grassington, through meadows and over ancient pastures offering fine views across the Wharfedale. For public transport details see Traveline Yorkshire.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys)
  • Location: Wharfedale

Linear walk – Bolton Abbey to Grassington

Try something a little different with this nine mile one-way walk along riverside pastures to Grassington. You can then catch the bus back to Bolton Abbey. For public transport details see Traveline Yorkshire.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys)
  • Location: Wharfedale

Linear walk – Swaledale

Ride the bus through picturesque Swaledale to Gunnerside and then walk the six and a half miles back to Reeth, through riverside meadows. For public transport details see Traveline Yorkshire.

  • Features: Low level route (mostly valleys)
  • Location: Swaledale

Open Access walk – Cumbria

Spectacular views of the Howgills, Three Peaks and Dentdale.

  • Location: Dentdale; Garsdale

Open Access walk – Swaledale

A remote walk with fine views of Cumbria and Brockholes waterfalls.Features: High level route (visits fellsides)

  • Location: Swaledale

Three Peaks

Walk – Ingleborough

A route to the summit of Ingleborough from Clapham taking in some fantastic limestone scenery – the caves of Ingleborough, Gaping Gill and the impressive Trow Gill.

  • Features: High level route (visits fellsides)
  • Location: Ribblesdale

Walk – Pen-y-ghent

Many people’s first peak. A classic circuit from Horton-in-Ribblesdale with good paths, great scenery, and the impressive Hunt and Hull Pots on the way down.

  • Features: High level route (visits fellsides)
  • Location: Ribblesdale

Walk – Whernside

Starting from the impressive Ribblehead Viaduct this route takes you to the highest point in Yorkshire – Whernside.

  • Features: High level route (visits fellsides)
  • Location: Chapel-le-Dale; Ribblesdale