James Herriot Way Finger Post
Stone Barn Swaledale
Holding the Gate Yorkshire
Walking up Swaledale
Reeth Yorkshire Dales
Walking into Wensleydale
Stone House Gardens
Aysgarth Falls
Bolton Castle Yorkshire Dales

Self-Guided James Herriot Way

Circular walk through the heart of the Yorkshire Dales

Trip Details

Location Yorkshire Dales, England
Length 8 days
Grades Moderate, Strenuous
Accommodations Hotels, Small Inns
Group size 1 - 12+
May 01, 2024 - Oct 15, 2024
Land Cost
Single Supp Cost

Hiking Trip Summary

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 – to the 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, this 8-day itinerary connects some of 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 self-guided Yorkshire ramble!


Show itinerary

Additional Information

Singles within a group: If you have an odd number of hikers in your group, or have a group member who prefers a single room, a single supplement of $450 will apply. 

Land Cost for Solo Hiker: $3,425


  • General consulting regarding hiking dates, abilities, and itinerary
  • Travel information on getting to and from the starting point
  • All accommodations
  • All breakfasts (Full English)
  • 2 dinners
  • All transfers as described in the itinerary
  • Daily luggage transfer
  • Detailed trail maps
  • Detailed trail notes, including additional information covering various aspects of your trip (i.e., lunches, laundry, water, hotel routines, alternate transportation)

The above may change, depending on your final confirmed itinerary.


Airfare, lunches, 5 dinners, optional/individual transfers between inns or individual excursions, items not on set dinner menus, beverages, insurance, tips to drivers, and items of a personal nature.


This hike includes luggage transfers between accommodations. You will only need to carry a small day pack with the clothing and items 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 elevators. See our sample packing list.


Most evenings will be spent in or near small towns and villages. The hotels and country inns along this route are some of our favorites. They are all comfortable and welcoming and full of local ambiance. All rooms will be double occupancy with private bathrooms. Breakfasts and dinners are served at the hotels and inns. Some days it's possible to stop at a pub or tea room for lunch, other days lunches will picnic-style along the trail.


This standard self-guided itinerary starts and ends in the market town of Richmond on the border of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. 


The closest airport to the start and end of the trip is Manchester Airport, England. From Manchester. Richmond is easily reached by train, then bus or taxi.


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, through which this route travels, protects the area's unique landscape, ecosystem, and heritage lending it a feeling of timelessness. This is a classic walk across some of the most beautiful and iconic landscapes of England, perfect for every hiker who would appreciate good solid walking through tranquil countryside.  

For those who have hiked in the Alps, but haven't yet walked in England, you might find the navigation engaging in a refreshing way. The footpaths are well indicated, however, the paths themselves may not be well defined. While it's difficult to go too terribly wrong, you'll find keeping your map in hand more necessary. 


If you would like to receive more information or a customized itinerary, including elevation gains, loss, and distances, please contact us. We're also happy to provide a list of past participants willing to share honest insights into their travel experiences with us.

Reserving This Trip

A non-refundable 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.

Before registering for this, please read our Terms and Conditions in their entirety and then refer to our Self-Guided Trips page for specific information regarding the process.

The balance is due 90 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, 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.

Reserve Your Spot

Related Trips

Self-Guided Across the Berner Oberland Hike
Quintessential Swiss hiking inn-to-inn
Self-Guided Dolomites Hut Hike
Hike the Italian Dolomites Hut-to-Hut on the Alta Via 1
Self-Guided Hiker's Haute Route
Chamonix to Zermatt
Self-Guided Hikes in Switzerland
The best of Swiss day hiking
Self-Guided Provence Inn-to-Inn
Haute Provence to the Luberon
Self-Guided Tour du Mont Blanc Hike
Hike the world's premier hut-to-hut route self-guided


“Once again, another wonderful trip. Hiking through the pastureland was gorgeous and so easy on the feet!  I was in total heaven.”      

Kate P., Camden, ME

“Loved, loved, loved this trip- would do it again.”

Julie M., CT