Ready to book? Or looking for more information? Click on a button…book online
|Day 1||Arrival day - Aysgarth -|
|Day 2||Aysgarth – Hawes - 13 miles (21 kilometres)|
|Day 3||Hawes – Keld - 13 miles (21 kilometres)|
|Day 4||Keld – Reeth - 12 miles (19 kilometres) or 13.5 miles if “low route” (22 kilometres)|
|Day 5||Reeth – Aysgarth - 14 miles (23 kilometres)|
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.
You will complete the walk over four days, visiting 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)
Unfortunately, this is not a dog-friendly holiday.
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.
If you arrive by car, you may be able to leave your car at your first night’s accommodation for the duration of your trip, subject to availability. Alternatively, there is on-street parking available around the green.
You will be able to enjoy a hearty evening meal at one of the local hostelries.
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.
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.
You will be transferred back to Keld after breakfast. This is simply a stunning day’s walking whether you take the high or low route. The “high route” takes in numerous sites of former lead mining operations some of which date back to pre-Roman times and you can enjoy 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.
Tonight, you spend your evening in Reeth.
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.
Alternatively, you can book an extra night's stay in Aysgarth.
(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) Cost of car parking for the duration of your trip.
(C) Personal clothing and equipment.
(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!
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 highly recommended, especially with cover to include Covid 19.
If you have not organised appropriate insurance yet, please do so before you travel.
If you have to cancel your holiday due to ill health we can issue you with a receipt for any monies paid so you can make a claim.
The accommodation on the tours are in Inns, family-run hotels, and Bed and Breakfasts. We endeavour to provide en-suite accommodation.
Double – One double bed for two people.
Twin – Two single beds each for one person.
Single – A room with a single bed for sole occupancy. We do our best to reserve a double bedded room for sole occupancy where possible but if this is not available, then your room may have a single bed in it.
Holiday booking, payments and planning all very efficient. The documentation, accommodation, transfers, mapping provided in the 'Welcome Pack' afforded plenty of detail. The standard of accommodation was good and in all cases our hosts were amenable to arrange breakfast to allow for an early start to the day. The only problem encountered was on day 2. A road bridge at Appersett was closed (It looked as if it could be a while before works are completed!) as a result over an hour was spent in finding an alternative route that added more than two miles to the days walk. This would not have been a problem had it not been a day when we were due for a taxi transfer. Of course out in the sticks it was a while before we were able to get a signal to call and change the transfer timing. As always - another enjoyable Sheperds walks holiday.
What a great walk. It was challenging in parts, with walks up the dales, then across sections of moorland and what beautiful dales. I liked the fact it was not all signposted and one had to follow the map. The book was incredibly helpful and I think it actually may have been quite challenging without the book.
My brother in law David and I recently walked the Herriot Way (July 2023). It was everything we expected of Shepherds Walks, friendly and helpful office team, great organisation, first class information packs, excellent accommodation and the weather amazing ( not sure if that was Jane's doing). I am not a new customer, I've walked several other classics with Shepherds Walks and each one was like our last one, excellent. We have just booked the St Cuthbert's Way and can't wait, one thing's for sure we need have no worries about the organisation, Shepherds will see to that all we need to do is pray for good weather.
We had a fabulous time, thank you for organising everting so well.
A lovely mix of riverside walking, wild flowers in the hay meadows, hills and moorland, aided by perfect weather and nice pubs.
The printed maps really helped and the gps gave us confidence that we were going the right way.
Fabulous walking holiday, the walking was varied ranging from a gentle first day walking by rivers, through fields full of lambs and over dry stone wall stiles.
The other days were hilly and gave us glorious walking and views across the moors, although sadly it was very foggy going up Great Shunner Fell so no views at all!
The maps, GPS file and guidance were excellent and we particularly appreciated the information about cafes along the route!
We could not fault the taxi and luggage transfers as all went very smoothly.
The pre-booked accommodation was superb ranging to OK. The Aysgarth Falls Hotel was amazing - fabulous rooms and breakfasts and lovely staff. Cocketts Hotel was comfortable with good breakfasts and the added bonus of a bath and robes - very welcome after long days walking. The Kings Arms in Reeth had good food - good breakfasts and well priced tasty pub food in the evening. However, the room was too small.
Overall a great holiday.
The Herriot Way proved to be a most enjoyable route and the maps and travel information provided by Shpeherds Walks were excellent.
I was able to download the GPX files to my Garmin GPS without difficulty.
The route over Great Shunner Fell followed by the ascent of Kisdon proved challenging for my 74 year old knees on a hot day.
The taxi/luggage transfers with James Peacock were very reliable.
The excellent luggage labels supplied by Shepherds Walks proved their worth on our last morning when over a dozen cases were left in the stairwell of the inn.
The accommodation in country inns was fine and the friendly George and Dragon in Aysgarth where we started the walk, was able to provide a car parking spot for the duration (at a fee).
If we were to repeat such a walking holiday, I would be pleased to consider using Shpeherds Walks again.
This Herriot Way Circular was a special and auspituos walking holiday for me. I knew it is going to be hard walking over 20 km a day and it was. I was not entirely sure I will make it to the end but I did. I knew I will do my best and hoped that my will power combined with inbread endurance might help. What I was completely unaware of was that Shepherds Walks will send me an guardian angel. I am talking about Mark, my guide. Not only is he well experienced and professional in everything he is doing, but he is a great communicator and compassionate human being. Without him my holiday could have been a failure. As it is I am happy to plan more holidays in Yorkshire, and yes it was Mark's enthusiasm and knowlege about the Dales, which made discover and fell in love with the region. Thank you Mark! Thank you Shepherds Walks.
Thank you very much for organizing such an excellent holiday for E, A and myself. We were blessed with perfect weather. All the accommodations were good and the luggage transfers went flawlessly. Likewise the taxi journeys between Hawes and Keld were prompt and efficient. I found all the information in the Welcome Pack most helpful including the maps and the guide. We opted for the low level route between Keld and Reeth and that was our favourite walk of the four days. We had some lovely bar meals in the evenings.