Lady Anne's Way Highlights: The Yorkshire Dales

Skipton to Kirkby Stephen in 6 Days Walking Code: LAD7

Concentrating on the dramatic and rugged section of Lady Anne's Way through the Yorkshire Dales, this route starts by following the river Wharfe along ancient tracks into Wensleydale. The path then takes the high route over the fells known as Lady Anne's Highway into Mallerstang, finishing in Kirkby Stephen.

This is the first half of the Lady Anne’s Way, and the most dramatic section through the Yorkshire Dales which will suit those wanting to do the walk in 2 parts. Starting at Lady Anne’s birthplace, Skipton Castle, the route follows the river Wharfe through picturesque limestone villages. The trail then takes a high route over the fells from Wensleydale into Mallerstang with its wild and dramatic scenery, finishing in Kirkby Stephen. This is the most challenging section of the Lady Anne’s Way but with shorter days.

Miles Km
Day 1 Travel to Skipton for your first nights accommodation
Day 2 Skipton to Burnsall 12 19
Day 3 Burnsall to Buckden 16 26
Day 4 Buckden to Askrigg then transfer to Hawes 12 19
Day 5 Transfer back to Askrigg then walk to Hawes 6 10
Day 6 Hawes to Outhgill then transfer to Kirkby Stephen 12 19
Day 7 Transfer back to Outhgill then walk to Kirkby Stephen 5 8
Day 8 Depart from Kirkby Stephen after breakfast

Wharfedale: Skipton to Buckden

The route starts at Skipton with its well preserved Medieval castle, the birthplace of Lady Anne Clifford. This section is dominated by the majestic River Wharfe which you will follow from the imposing ruins of Lady Anne’s Barden Tower to the tiny village of Buckden nestling at the foot of Buckden Pike. At times the trail wanders along by the side of the river through broad-leafed woodland and beautiful meadows, passing picturesque villages and the typical Dales scenery of dry-stone walls and isolated barns. At other times the path takes you high up onto the fell-side, entering limestone country and passing the remains of Iron Age settlements with superb views across to Littondale and back down into Wharfedale. All along this section of the trail there are plenty of opportunities to buy refreshments in quaint teashops or cosy village inns.

Wensleydale: Buckden to Hawes

Truly up hill and down dale, this is another very varied section as the trail leaves Wharfedale behind and crosses the moorland of Stake Allotments on part of an old roman road with stunning views across to Addlebrough. The path then drops down into Wensleydale where you will encounter Nappa Hall which once belonged to Lady Anne, before entering the charming market town of Askrigg, famous for its use in the television series “All Creatures Great and Small”. Now following the River Ure, you are once again walking through the quintessential Dales Country scenery of flower filled meadows divided up by limestone walls and barns. Hawes is one of the highest market towns in England and famous for its cheese and the Dales Countryside Museum.

Lady Anne’s Highway and Mallerstang: Hawes to Kirkby Stephen

A dramatic section, this part of the path begins with a climb up onto Cotter End (500m). It then contours round on a ledge above the valley with excellent views across to the Dandrymire viaduct on the famously scenic Settle to Carlisle railway line. You are now on “Lady Anne Clifford’s Highway”. This route has been used since prehistoric times. It was later adopted by the Romans and then used by packhorses and drovers on their way to the markets in the Dales. The path follows the headwaters of the River Ure until at Hellgill you leave Yorkshire behind and enter Cumbria, or Westmorland as it once was. The trail then picks up the River Eden and descends into the dramatic Mallerstang Common with views across to the imposing Wild Boar Fell. Here you will find St Mary’s Church and the romantic ruins of Pendragon Castle both of which were once restored by Lady Anne. Then pleasant valley walking leads you to Kirkby Stephen which boasts an interesting church with cloisters to shelter market folk, and the famous Saxon Loki Stone.


This route is within the grasp of any reasonably fit walker who can follow a map! Lady Anne’s Way spends much of its time in valley bottoms, alongside rivers and through woodlands, but it also involves some more remote sections over moorlands, rather than mountains.

Terrain: A mixture of wooded valleys, riverside paths, and remoter moorlands. A bit of everything the Dales (and Eden Valley) have to offer!

What’s it like underfoot? The paths and tracks are reasonably well defined and maintained. Sections can be muddy in wet weather.

How much up & down? The route climbs and descends on most days – with three days having up to 300m (1000 ft) of ascent. The maximum altitude is over 1800ft between Buckden and Askrigg.

Signposting: None. You will need to use your route description and map.

Navigation: The paths are well defined over most of the route, but you will need to be able use a map and compass in case the mist is down over the moors. On some valley sections the route follows quieter, less travelled footpaths, which can be less well defined at times.

Weather: You may be lucky enough to encounter warm, dry weather over the whole route and enjoy dry paths and tremendous views, but you must be prepared because the weather can change quickly. Good clothing and waterproofs are essential!

All Holidays
Accommodation Overnight Bed and Breakfast accommodation in selected hotels, farmhouses, village inns, guest houses and family B&Bs.Full English or Continental breakfast.
Guidebook A detailed guidebook with route information, maps, photos and background information.
Information of Services Along the Route A comprehensive Service Info sheet, including services such as cash points, banks, post offices, village shops, inns, cafes and taxis.
Maps 1:25000 OS maps covering the entire route
Personal Itinerary A personal itinerary setting out each overnight stop, including large scale maps of each accommodation, to ensure you find it easily.
Emergency Telephone Support If you get in to difficulties during your holiday, we are always available to help, even out of office hours.
12.5% discount at Cotswold Outdoors We will issue you with a 12.5% Discount Card valid at all Cotswold Outdoor stores, and online, for the whole year on confirmation of your booking.
Luggage Transport We will transfer your luggage between each overnight stop – if you leave your luggage at the accommodation when you set off in the morning, it will be moved on to your next B&B. You only need to carry a small day sack with the clothes and provisions you require during the day’s walk.
Packed Lunches
Provided for each day’s walking and recommended on this holiday as there will not always be a handy shop or cafe on the route.
Off Road Parking If you are travelling by car we can usually arrange off road parking for the duration of your trip. (There may be a small charge for this).
Arrangement of return transport We can also arrange your transfer back to your car, (or advise you when public transport is a better option)!
What’s not Included
Evening Meals Your evening meal isn’t included in the package, but we include full details and recommendations for each evening meal in your itinerary. You will normally be within walking distance of a pub and/or restaurant, or where there is good food available at the accommodation, we’ll book that for you. Allow about £20.00 per night.
Transport to the Start & Away from the Finish Have a look at the “Travel Info” tab above for suggestions. If you’re still struggling, get in touch and we’ll help you sort it out.
Travel Insurance Even if you are based in the UK travel insurance is worth having.

Good accommodation and friendly hosts are an essential part of any holiday. We understand this and go out of our way to find the best. We put a great deal of effort into hand picking our accommodation and matching it to individual customer requirements. As well as visiting the accommodation ourselves, we ask all our customers to complete a short evaluation on each night’s accommodation, which then gives us an insight into the day-to-day operation and lets us spot any potential issues before they become a problem.

We use a variety of accommodation. Over the course of your trip you might stay in a village inn, a bed and breakfast in a converted barn, a Victorian guest house, or on a working farm. In selecting the accommodation we look for helpful, friendly hosts with good quality, characterful accommodation close to the trail. Occasionally we may use a chain hotel.

We always try to arrange en suite accommodation, i.e. rooms with their own bathrooms for each night of your stay. However, in some of the more remote locations accommodation is limited and occasionally we may have to book rooms with shared bathrooms for one or two nights of your holiday, (especially if the booking is made at short notice), but we will always let you know if this is likely to be the case.

We are happy to book single rooms on our holidays but cannot normally book more than two for any one group. Single room bookings include a supplement.

General travel information on the Lady Anne’s Way will be in your holiday pack including train and bus timetables where available.

Detailed instructions on getting to your first night’s accommodation by car, or on foot from the nearest train or bus station, will also be included in the holiday pack on individual accommodation maps.

To view train times please visit the trainline website where you can also purchase tickets in advance. For information on bus timetables please visit traveline

If you require secure car parking whilst walking this route, please contact us for detailed information – we can usually arrange car parking in Skipton and you can return to your car by public transport or taxi transfer.

Getting There:
By Air:
The nearest airports are Manchester International (MAN) and Leeds Bradford (LBA). From Manchester you can take a train to Leeds and connect to Skipton from there.
By Public Transport: Skipton has a train station, and is easily accessible from the north and south via Leeds. There are trains from London, which take around four hours.
By Road: Skipton is situated in the Yorkshire Dales on the A65. The nearest city is Leeds (17 miles). There are National Express coach routes to Skipton.

Returning from Kirkby Stephen:
The train station is 1.5 miles from the town centre – a list of taxi numbers are included in your holiday pack. Kirkby Stephen is on the northern rail line with connections to most UK cities.

There is a direct train back to Skipton (journey time approx. 1 hour 15 minutes)


With its beautiful and well preserved medieval castles, cobbled streets and its location on the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Skipton is a nice place to spend an extra day. It is a friendly small town with a market four days a week, you can explore the castle or take a boat trip on the canal.


Hawes is a bustling market town, lying in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and surrounded by spectacular scenery. With many craft workshops, antique and speciality shops and restaurants on offer, it’s the perfect place to spend a well-earned rest day. This picturesque town is home to the famous Wensleydale Cheese and the renowned Dales country side museum.

Kirkby Stephen

Kirkby Stephen is a traditional market town of historic buildings, cobbled yards, quaint corners and interesting shops. It is situated in a landscape of pastoral rural scenery with wild uplands. Being remote from large towns and population centres, Kirkby Stephen has developed a strong and self-sufficient identity and a vibrant sense of community.

Prices GBP (£)
Accommodation, map & guidebook only £849
with Luggage Transport £927
with Packed Lunches £915
with Luggage & Lunches £988

Other Options

Extra Nights (per night) £90
Single Supplement (per night) £63
Solo Luggage Supplement (per day) £0