Walk the Landscapes of All Creatures Great and Small - Yorkshire Dales Inn-to-Inn
|Accommodations||Hotels, Small Inns|
|Group size||5 - 12|
Jun 24, 2023 - Jul 01, 2023
|Single Supp Cost||
In the early 1950s, Alf Wight took his son on a circle ramble through the Yorkshire Dales countryside. They walked the fields and fells of two of the most quintessentially beautiful valleys in Yorkshire, the Swaledale, and Wensleydale, staying in youth hostels along the way.
Alf Wight is more famously known by his pen name James Herriot. His semi-autobiographical books, including All Creatures Great and Small, based on his experiences as a veterinarian in Yorkshire from the 1940s – 1970s, became wildly popular and later adapted into well-known films and TV series.
Reminiscent of the walk Alf Wight took with his son, the James Herriot Way is now a 52-mile route, not only through the areas where Wight most loved to walk but to our favorite corner of Yorkshire Dales. Staying largely within the boundaries of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, our 8-day trip connects our favorite inns with our favorite walks. Starting and ending in the market town of Richmond, this is a route of meandering rivers, tumbling waterfalls, high windy moorlands and rolling green farm fields checkered with endless stonewalls. Medieval castles, stalwart stone barns, and quiet country villages punctuate these landscapes that have been worked and walked for ages. Add to the mix full English breakfasts, cheese and pickle sandwiches, fish and chips, and sticky toffee pudding and you have the makings of a classic Yorkshire ramble!
Day 1: Rendezvous at the Manchester Airport – Transfer to Richmond
Rendezvous at 11:00 am at Manchester Airport. Group transfer to our hotel in Richmond. This is about a 2-hour drive. Still possessing an air of quaint antiquity, the town of Richmond is dominated by an 11th century Norman cliff-top castle and boasts a large cobbled marketplace with the ancient church of Holy Trinity as its centerpiece. A mixture of stone and brick buildings spread down the hillside in a maze of narrow streets waiting to be wandered. We will have a chance to explore the lovely market town of Richmond before beginning our walk Welcome dinner.
Day 2: Richmond to Reeth
Just outside Richmond, we enter the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and from here the walk to Reeth is one of variety. The landscape of limestone escarpments, rich meadows, and “leafy becks” serve as a backdrop for the two lovely villages and priory we will pass along the way. We will end our day in Reeth, once the center of extensive mining activity and now a pleasant, thriving village. Breakfast and dinner included.
Day 3: Reeth to Thwaite
Today we’ll have a wonderful riverside walk along the River Swale. Meandering beside the river’s edge and then turning up through rich, green pastures checked with dry stone walls, our route will take us to the villages of Gunnerside and Muker before ending in the tiny hamlet of Thwaite. Breakfast and dinner included.
Day 4: Thwaite to Hawes
Leaving Thwaite, we join another well-known, long-distance footpath, “The Pennine Way”, and begin our climb up the north side of Great Shunner Fell. After reaching the summit at 2,363 feet, we’ll have a long, gradual descent into Wensleydale. Coming into the little hamlet of Hardraw, we may want to stop for tea and scones or pop into the Green Dragon for a pint before continuing the last 20 minutes to our country hotel, once an Edwardian manor house, set amidst old English gardens with expansive views of the valley. Breakfast and dinner included.
Day 5: Rest Day
The day can be spent exploring the nearby market town of Hawes or relaxing at our wonderful Edwardian hotel. Located at the upper end of the Wensleydale Valley, Hawes is an attractive market town. Its attractive main street is lined with old stone buildings, cafes, pubs, and shops. The Wensleydale Creamery, famous for its cheese, is located here, as is the Dales Countryside Museum. Breakfast and dinner included.
Day 6: Hawes to Aysgarth
From the hotel, we head uphill to the little hamlet of Sedbusk then across fields and farmland to the village of Askrigg, passing the water of Mill Force on the way. Askrigg is old Norse meaning Ash Tree (askr) Ridge (hryggr). Once a bustling market town and a hub for the brewing, clock-making and woolen industries, Askrigg has become more fondly know for serving as the filming location for Herriot’s fiction town “Darrowby” in the BBC TV series, All Creatures Great and Small.
From Askrigg, we up through the little hamlet of Newbiggin and on to the high pastures just below Carperby Moor. Long with expansive views of the valley, we’ll see evidence of the old lead mining days as we hike under the limestone outcroppings of Ivy Scar. Our walk ends in the village of Carperby, where Alf Wight honeymooned with his wife at the Wheatsheaf Hotel in 1941. Breakfast and dinner included.
Day 7: Aysgarth to Reeth to Richmond
Our day begins with a hike down to Aysgarth Falls, a three-tiered fall along the Ure River running over the course of nearly a mile. From Aysgarth, our route takes across the fields to Bolton Castle, one of England’s best-preserved medieval castles. Mary, Queen of Scotts, was imprisoned here after the Battle of Langside. Our climb continues up Black Hill, down to Apedale Beck and up again to the crest of Greets Hills. If the weather is with us, we will lose our views Wensleydale only to be greeted by those of Swaledale as we descend through telltale signs of the old Apedale Lead Mine and across gross hunting terrain. The familiar sight of Reeth tells us our walk is nearing its close. Ending in back in on the village green of Reeth, we’ll then be transported back to our hotel in Richmond having come full circle. Breakfast and Farewell dinner.
Day 8: Transfer to the Manchester Airport
Following breakfast, we transfer to the airport arriving at about 11:00 am. Travel time is approximately 2 hours. Please allow for travel time when making plans.
If you wish to have your own room, there is a single supplement charge. Please let us know if you would like a single at the time of registration. If you are traveling alone and would like to share a room, we will match you with a roommate. If there is no one with whom you can share, there is a forced single charge of $300.
Airfare, lunches, optional/individual transfers between inns or individual excursions, items not on set dinner menus, beverages, insurance, tips to guides, items of a personal nature.
This hike has luggage transfer each day. You will only need to carry a small day pack with the clothing and accessories you will need for the day. We recommend that you keep your luggage to a size that you can easily manage yourself, given our accommodations may have narrow hallways and no elevator. See our sample packing list.
While this trip includes luggage transfer, it is not vehicle supported. Participants should be in a physical condition appropriate to the strenuousness of this hike. It is, however, possible to skip a day of hiking and take a taxi to the next hotel. This extra cost is not included in the price of the trip.
Most evenings will be spent in or near small villages or hamlets. The hotels and country inns along this route are some of our favorites. They are all comfortable and welcoming and full of the ambiance of local culture and tradition. All rooms will be double occupancy with private bathrooms. Breakfasts and dinners are served at the hotels and inns. Lunches are picnic-style along the trail, with the occasional stop at a pub or tea room.
It is easiest to fly to Manchester, England. However, there are frequent trains from London; just be sure to allow for extra travel time.
Manchester airport at 11:00 am on Day 1 for a group transfer to our hotel in Richmond.
Group transfer to the Manchester Airport. We will arrive at the airport at about 11:00 am.
Unlike our trips in the Alps, our James Herriot Way involves more distance than it does elevation gain and loss, yet each day provides good solid hiking and ends at comfortable accommodations. The Yorkshire Dales National Park, which this route travels through, protects its unique landscape, ecosystem and heritage giving the small villages en route retain a feeling of timelessness. This is a classic walk across some of the beautiful and iconic landscapes of England, perfect for every hiker who would appreciate good solid walking through tranquil countryside.
If you would like to register or would like to receive more information, including a detailed itinerary (including elevation gains, loss, and distance), please contact us. We're also happy to provide a list of past participants willing to share honest insights into our guided trips in England experience.
A deposit of $500 along with your completed registration forms will reserve a space on your requested trip. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express card as well as personal checks. To make a deposit, you may either follow one of the “Reserve a Trip” links below, give us a call at 1-888-845-5781, or include your payment information in the area provided when completing your registration forms.
The balance is due 75 days prior to departure for most of our trips. When applying less than 75 days prior to departure, full payment is due. For final payments, we accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, as well as personal checks.
As confirmation of receipt of your deposit, we will send you a comprehensive packet of information pertaining to your trip, an invoice for final payment and additional information including release agreement form, medical information form, travel information, and packing list. Upon receipt of final payment and no later than 30 days prior to your trip start, you will receive trip rendezvous information and a list of accommodations. Returning trip participants will receive a 5% discount on most trips.
Receipt of all forms will finalize your registration.
“The area was so green and bucolic, and the small towns were so charming with their inviting pubs and winding cobblestone streets. We couldn’t get enough of the idyllic small hamlets tucked into rolling green hills covered with sheep.”