Five amazing walks in the Yorkshire Dales

Check out these circular trails in the southern and western area of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. They are all between 8 and 10 miles long and will take 4-5 hours to complete. The walks include visits to some of the region’s most beautiful places such as Bolton Abbey, Simon’s Seat, The Strid, Trollers Gill, Gordale Scar, Janet’s Foss, Malham Cove, Ingleborough and Stainforth Force.

The southern and western area of the Yorkshire Dales National Park

One Ordnance Survey map covers these superb Yorkshire Dales routes

The best map to use is the Ordnance Survey map of the Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western Area, reference OS Explorer OL2, scale 1:25,000. It clearly displays footpaths, rights of way, open access land and vegetation on the ground, making it ideal for walking, running and hiking. The map can be purchased from Amazon in either a standard, paper version or a weatherproof, laminated version, as shown below.

RECOMMENDED MAP
Standard Ordnance Survey map of the Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western Area, reference OS Explorer OL2, scale 1:25,000.
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RECOMMENDED MAP
Weatherproof Active Ordnance Survey map of the Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western Area, reference OS Explorer OL2, scale 1:25,000.
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Walk 1 – Bolton Abbey and Simon’s Seat

North from Wooden Bridge on the Bolton Abbey Estate to the Valley of Desolation by way of Posforth Bridge and Posforth Gill. Through the woods of Sheepshaw Plantation to emerge onto Barden Fell, then across the moorland on the stone track all the way to Simon’s Seat. South-west to Lower Fell Plantation below Flask Brow and west down to the River Wharfe via Howgill. Further south-west to Barden Bridge along the Dales Way, which follows the course of the river on its east side. Across the bridge and south-east, this time on the other side of the River Wharfe, back to Bolton Abbey via The Strid and Strid Wood. A 9-mile walk in the Yorkshire Dales.

The lower and most impressive of two waterfalls in Posforth Gill
The footpath and beck through the Valley of Desolation
Triangulation pillar on Simon’s Seat

Walk 2 – Burnsall and Trollers Gill

South-east out of the village of Burnsall along the Dales Way, following the course of the River Wharfe, to the hamlet of Howgill on the east side of Stangs Lane. North-east along Howgill Lane to a point between Eastwood Head and Dalehead Farm, then briefly north across meadowland to High Skyreholme. West along the minor road to Middle Skyreholme before heading north alongside Skyreholme Beck to Trollers Gill. Following a climb out of the valley at Gill Heads, it’s south-west back to Burnsall via Kail Lane (Track) and Hartlington Bridge. An 8-mile walk in the Yorkshire Dales.

Burnsall Bridge over the River Wharfe
Old Man’s Scar at the end of the Skyreholme Beck valley
The Trollers Gill limestone gorge

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Aquapac Kaituna waterproof map case, reference 808. Ideal for keeping Ordnance Survey maps clean, dry and always at hand.
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Walk 3 – Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn

South from Malham along the Pennine Way to Mires Barn before heading in a north-easterly direction to Janet’s Cave and Janet’s Foss. After a visit to Gordale Scar it’s west from Gordale Bridge along the Dales High Way to Shorkley Hill and north to Malham Tarn by way of Malham Lings and Great Close Hill. South from the tarn, again following the Pennine Way, to the top of Malham Cove via Watlowes, then after climbing down to the bottom of the cove it’s back to Malham via Cove Road. A 9-mile walk in the Yorkshire Dales.

Malham Tarn
The Watlowes dry valley between Malham Tarn and Malham Cove
The top of Malham Cove

Walk 4 – Clapham and Ingleborough

North from Clapham to Trow Gill via Ingleborough Cave, then a climb to Little Ingleborough and the summit of Ingleborough. East down the mountain along the Dales High Way to Nick Pot and south across the limestone landscape to join the Pennine Bridleway near Long Scar. Finally south back to Clapham by way of Long Lane (Track) and A Pennine Journey. A 10-mile walk in the Yorkshire Dales.

Beautiful stone bridge over Clapham Beck
Ingleborough Cave
The Trow Gill dry gorge

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Nebo NE6822 Redline 6000 lumens flashlight. Perfect for walking in the dark. Waterproof, rechargeable and extremely bright.
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Walk 5 – Attermire Scar and Stainforth Force

South-east out of Stainforth along the Pennine Bridleway to Catrigg Force (Waterfall), then south around the edge of Winskill Stones Nature Reserve to meet a minor road and cattle grid. Further south past Victoria Cave, beneath Brent Scar and Attermire Scar, to Attermire Cave, before heading west along the Dales High Way to Settle. North on the Ribble Way to Stackhouse followed by a riverside stroll to Stainforth Force (Waterfall). An 8-mile walk in the Yorkshire Dales.

Catrigg Force (Waterfall) created by Stainforth Beck about a mile east of Stainforth
Victoria Cave just north of Brent Scar and Attermire Scar
The view over to Warrendale Knotts opposite Attermire Scar

Look at these walking guides

Three very good paperbacks from the Amazon Cicerone store. There are many others to choose from. Although I make up my own walking routes, I regularly look at these guides for inspiration.

RECOMMENDED WALKING GUIDEBOOK
Walking in the Yorkshire Dales. North and East Walks. Howgills, Mallerstang, Swaledale, Wensleydale, Coverdale and Nidderdale.
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RECOMMENDED WALKING GUIDEBOOK
Walking in the Yorkshire Dales. South and West Walks. Wharfedale, Littondale, Malhamdale, Dentdale and Ribblesdale.
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RECOMMENDED WALKING GUIDEBOOK
The North York Moors. 50 walks in the North York Moors National Park. Includes the Lyke Wake Walk.
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