Walking the Dales Highway

June 16th – 26th 2010

The favourites June 26, 2010

Filed under: Other — helenjbillingham @ 11:32 am

We have had an amazing 12 days, with weather I could only have dreamt of. The highlights – spending 10 hours a day outdoors (Monday in the office is going to be he’ll) – spotting a Kingfisher – view upon view upon view – getting a better suntan than I do in Spain (rucksack marks excepted) – superb food and hotels – indescribable peace and solitude – and so many more. Here are some favourites:

Favourite walk – Airton to Settle through beautiful Malham Cove.

Favorite view – up over Blea Moor with Whernside to one side, Pen y Ghent to the other and Dentdale laid out before you.

Favourite moment – looking across Ribbleshead and the viaduct from the Station Inn garden.

Favourite meal – Gusto in Settle, for atmosphere as much as food.

Favourite hotel – all so different and hard to compare. Ignoring Leeds and Manchester as they are not officially walk hotels – in third place, King William IV Guest House, for style and the most comfy duvet ever. In second place, The Station Inn, for unpretentious charm, breathtaking isolation, and incomparable location. First place to The Dalesman, Sedbergh, for getting all things right – great room, great food, lovely place.

To anyone who may happen across this blog, and undertakes this trip, if you have just half a good as time as we did, it will be a great holiday. Bye bye the Dales Highway – thanks for the memories, we’ll miss you.


Velvet Manchester

Filed under: The Hotels — helenjbillingham @ 11:25 am

This was our last night of our 25th anniversary holiday, so we spoiled ourselves with Velvet. The room was beautiful. High ceilings, brick walls, great wallpaper, a sleigh bed, big tall windows, smart bathroom, huge mirrors – all very stylish. We enjoyed a lazy morning with fresh coffee in bed before making our way to the station and home.




Filed under: Other — helenjbillingham @ 10:42 am

We caught the 9.35 train out of Appleby and watched our walk rewind before our eyes as the train trundled back to Leeds. Like excited children, we spotted hills we walked over, places we stopped for lunch, rivers and canals we walked by, even a hotel we stayed one night. That’s an amazing end to a fabulous walk.



The Royal Oak Appleby June 24, 2010

Filed under: Food,The Hotels — helenjbillingham @ 8:45 pm

It’s an expensive one – £95 for a standard room – so expectations were high. And the Royal Oak Appleby doesn’t disappoint. It is too far out of town, I didn’t check that. But the room is very big, with a huge bed, a lovely bathroom, ipod docking station, and patio doors onto a semi-private garden.



Really relaxed ramble – Day 9 Ravenstonedale to Appleby

Filed under: The walking — helenjbillingham @ 6:33 pm

OK so it was 15 miles, not counting the trek up to the station to see the steam train, and the long walk to the hotel. But it was a lovely, gentle, walk through English countryside today. A perfect end to a fabulous journey.

If you remember, officially we should have been staying in Newbiggin. So we had a two mile walk before we really got going. A bit trudgy along roads and would have been hard work last night. Really recommend our version.

From Newbiggin we start a 4 mile stretch over Ravenstonedale Moor. It is a lovely open moorland, lots of limestone pavements, rolling flatish hills and heather. Sunbiggin Tarn is a nice reward for your efforts and a handy view stop before the only climb of the day. Up to 470m.



The Black Swan – the pub is the hub June 23, 2010

Filed under: Food,The Hotels — helenjbillingham @ 7:57 pm

I’m quite good at this choosing hotel business – we have found another star here. Admittedly it is pretty much the only place you can stay in Ravenstonedale, but the official Dales Highway route actually bypasses Ravenstonedale, finishing for the day at Newbiggin under Lune. With no pubs there, that wasn’t an option.



It wasn’t low and it wasn’t flat – Day 8 Sedbergh to Ravenstonedale

Filed under: The walking — helenjbillingham @ 7:46 pm

See map

Slightly gippy ankles and slightly gippy knees, we are choosing the soft options on this walk if they are available. So today we had the choice of a 6 mile ridge walk, which would probably have been spectacular, but rose to 750 metres, or the alternative ‘low route’.

I would be interested to know just how much we climbed. The low route went up to 500 metres anyway, and pretty much none of it was flat – constant undulations. I suspect the high route may have been easier!



The Dalesman Inn

Filed under: Food,The Hotels — helenjbillingham @ 7:27 pm

Sedbergh is a small town, I expected more somehow. But we had picked the best place in town to stay the night. The Dalesman Inn is classy. The room was gorgeous – the nicest so far. Huge with beams, a sofa and a really nice bathroom. The toiletries were supplied by the Sedbergh Toiletry Company – and smell heavenly.



A perfect 26 hours – Day 7 Ribbleshead to Sedbergh June 22, 2010

Filed under: The walking — helenjbillingham @ 7:03 pm

See map

I’d like to say this was my favourite day, but you would all get bored by that. Instead, I’m going for my favourite 26 hrs in time.



Station Inn – a room with a view June 21, 2010

Filed under: Food,The Hotels — helenjbillingham @ 7:46 pm

If you don’t know about the Settle to Carlisle railway or the Ribbleshead viaduct, then this won’t mean much. But we are staying tonight in the Station Inn, right under said viaduct.