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Herriot Way - Self-Guided

at a glance

Day 1 Arrival day - Aysgarth -
Day 2 Aysgarth – Hawes - 13 miles (21 km)
Day 3 Hawes – Keld - 13 miles (21 km)
Day 4 Keld – Reeth - 12 miles (19 km) or 13.5miles if “low route” (22 km)
Day 5 Reeth – Aysgarth - 14 miles (23 km)
  • Grade: Grade 2
  • Total Distance - 52 miles
  • Place to Place
  • Maps provided
  • 4 nights B&B Twin Room Basis
  • Available to solo walkers
  • Baggage transfer
  • Emergency back up
  • Loan GPS for trip

Holiday Options

  • Single room supplement - £160.00
  • Solo walker supplement - £312.00 (price includes single room supplement) please call to book
  • GPS rental - £25.00
  • Station pick up from Ribblehead - £50.00 per booking upto 4 people
  • Station drop off to Ribblehead - £50.00 per booking upto 4 people

The Herriot Way is a 52 mile (84km) long-distance path that runs through some of the best and most varied scenery in the Yorkshire Dales; including the world-famous Wensleydale and the picturesque Swaledale. The walk starts and finishes in Aysgarth and visits Askrigg, Hawes, Keld, Reeth, and Grinton. It is fast becoming one of the iconic long-distance walks in the U.K.

The walk is named after James Herriot, the fictional name given to the real-life veterinary surgeon who lived and worked in the Dales for many years. In life, James Herriot was really Alf Wight and the Herriot Way is based on a walking holiday he took with his son Jimmy around the Youth Hostels of Aysgarth, Grinton, and Keld.

We complete the walk over four days and will visit beautiful valleys, high open fells, and rolling, heather-clad moorland. The route crosses one of the highest points in Yorkshire, Great Shunner Fell, visits historic monuments, and passes through a barren industrial wilderness laid bare through lead mining over the centuries.

Although the route is predominantly on well-defined paths a reasonable level of fitness and navigational skill is needed especially in poor weather conditions.

Accommodation is in well-appointed bed and breakfasts, inns, and small family-run hotels. Breakfasts are provided and evening meals can be taken in restaurants or pubs close to the accommodation.

What better way to experience the Dales than by completing the fantastic Herriot Way.



Day 1 - Arrival day 
Day 2 - Aysgarth to Hawes - 13 miles (21 km)
Day 3 - Hawes to Keld - 13 miles (21 km)
Day 4 - Keld to Reeth - 12 miles (19 km)
Day 5 - Reeth to Aysgarth - 14 miles (23 km)

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Day 1 Arrival day - Aysgarth -

Your first night accommodation is in Aysgarth. If you arrive by train, we can arrange for you to be collected from Ribblehead station, please see supplement. You will be able to enjoy a hearty evening meal at one of the local hostelries.

Day 2 Aysgarth – Hawes - 13 miles (21 km)

Today you will follow the route initially along the River Ure, which it follows closely along wide meadows and a disused railway track until turning into Askrigg. This is the village that was used to film the James Herriot TV series. From Askrigg the route travels down the Wensleydale valley , through lush green fields, down narrow, secluded lanes to the village of Hardraw with its famous waterfall and then into Hawes, the highest market town in Yorkshire.


Day 3 Hawes – Keld - 13 miles (21 km)

Follow the Pennine Way as you leave Hawes and climb up the side of Great Shunner Fell, the third highest mountain in Yorkshire. The path is mostly paved to the summit shelter and (weather permitting) fantastic, wide-ranging views across the surrounding dales and hills are enjoyed. The path drops down into Swaledale and the picturesque village of Thwaite before skirting the lower slopes of Kisdon to arrive in Keld. This remote village is the meeting point of three long distance walks –The Herriot Way, The Pennine Way and the Coast to Coast –and as accommodation here is at a premium you will be transferred back to Hawes.


Day 4 Keld – Reeth - 12 miles (19 km) or 13.5miles if “low route” (22 km)

You will be transferred back to Keld after breakfast. This is simply a stunning day’s walking whether you take the “high route” taking in the numerous sites of former lead mining operations some of which date back to pre-Roman times and enjoying the wonderful views of Swaledale. If the weather is inclement the “low route” – known as the Royal Road to Reeth – is just as special following the Swale through lush meadows and woods all the way to Reeth, once the centre of the extensive lead mining activity and now the “capital of Swaledale”. There are several hotels and public houses to relax in and enjoy a well earned drink to reward yourself for your exertions.

Day 5 Reeth – Aysgarth - 14 miles (23 km)

Today you leave Reeth and follow the River Swale to Grinton where you start to climb out of Swaledale. The path winds its way through glorious heather and open moorland around Gibbon Hill and then along the rough but easy Apedale Road. After Dent’s Houses the path drops steeply down to the village of Castle Bolton and the atmospheric remains of the famous castle. More fields and back lanes lead to the impressive falls at Aysgarth and back to our starting point.

If you need to travel home by train, we can arrange for you to be collected and taken to Ribblehead station, please see supplement.


(A) Bed and breakfast accommodation (twin or double share basis).
(B) Route map and instructions specific to your trip, including emergency contact numbers sent to you in the post.
(C) Luggage transfers between accommodations.
(D) Emergency back-up service from Shepherds Walks Holidays mobile telephone number.


(A) Any additional transfers not mentioned in the dossiers.
(B) Personal clothing and equipment.
(D) Insurance.
(E) Lunches and evening meals.
(F) Single room option (if required, see supplement price).


The Shepherds Walks Representative will:

A) Be available should you have any problems during your trip
B) Arrange the transportation of your luggage.
C) Provide transfers as necessary to your car / station if specified in your booking or itinerary.

We are here to offer you the best holiday you could ever imagine and we aim to do this through the personal service that we offer.

Make your holiday run smoothly – We are here for you. Our sole objective is for us to help you. We are here at any stage of your holiday and even in the planning stages. We tailor things to your requirements, not those of the masses.

We don’t cut corners - We want to see you again and want you to speak highly of Shepherds Walks Holidays. This is why we are literally willing to go that extra mile. The information you receive at every stage will be clear and leave you asking no questions.

We have personally walked all the trips we offer - We know exactly what you are going to embark on and can advise you on any aspects of your holiday over and well above what many of our competitors can.

Press choose to walk with us – Shepherds Walks Holidays are asked to deliver a very high percentage of the trips for journalists in the region. When the Tourist Boards are approached by a journalist wanting to visit the area who do they ask to provide their holiday or take them out walking? Shepherds Walks.

We have had press trips on all our routes and the articles speak for themselves.

Protected Holiday - All our holidays are protected through the operation of a Trust Account.

We are close at hand if you need us – We are a local business and if you need us at any time during your holiday just ask. If you are on a self guided trip we often will catch up with you, even over a drink one evening, just to make sure everything is going well. It’s better to iron out any little problems during your holiday, rather than hearing about them when you are back at home.

We enjoy great relationships with your accommodation providers and they will help us to help you

As we are literally on the doorstep we know the best places to stay. Often we will have block booked the best accommodation the previous year. We want our customers to stay in the best possible accommodation. As we know the proprietors personally and we liaise with them regularly they will go that extra mile to help us to help you whilst out on your route.

That is why Shepherds Walks has won awards and has helped people relax and totally enjoy their visit to this wonderful part of the country. We are willing to go that extra mile!

Do I need travel insurance?

If you are coming to the UK from overseas it is a condition of our tours that you are covered by medical and personal travel insurance that includes repatriation to your home country. If you are a UK resident medical and personal travel insurance is also recommended. If you have not organised appropriate insurance yet, please do so before you travel.

What type of accommodation will we be staying in - self guided trip

The accommodation on the tours are in Inns, family-run hotels, and Bed and Breakfasts. We endeavour to provide en-suite accommodation.

What is a Double, Twin and Single room?

Room descriptions

Double – One double bed for two people.

Twin – Two single beds each for one person.

Single – A room with a single bed in.

Herriot Way - Self-Guided photo's

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