Dales Way


The Dales Way had been sold to us as being an easy as well as a very beautiful walk, devoid for the most part, of the barrenness and the harshness of other walks like the Coast to Coast or Pennine Way and consequently better for it. Personally, I’m not sure I agree with that. I like to get up high, I like to be tested as to whether I can complete the days march without killing myself, I like to be amongst mountainous scenery and I like to have to get the compass out every now and again. So the question, quite rightly, should be asked as to why we did it. The answer is because it was different, but better, no, not for me.

Would I do it again? My immediate reaction would be, no, because at times it was a trudge and a slog in horrendous conditions. Also I didn’t like the overriding attitude of the people in that particular area.

If the weather could be relied upon I would do it again as I could imagine some of the areas we passed through being very beautiful on a sunny day, stopping by the river for a rest or food stop. I would certainly choose one or two alternative B&B’s in the hope that they were better than the ones we chose, but overall, with the exception of Low Raisgill, they weren’t that bad, just different with some weird ways.

Would I recommend others to do it? It is an ideal first long distance path so, yes, but I would be concerned that it might put a novice off doing another path, due to the eccentricities of some of the characters we happened to meet, but perhaps we were just unlucky.

I did enjoy the walk and I am glad that we did it, so, I hope that I have not painted too black a picture but it is my/our honest and open account of our walk, with the conditions we experienced and the situations we were faced with. I have written how I really felt at the time, not sanitising it in any way. There were occasions where situations perhaps affected me in one way, whereas others, might have reacted differently, but that is people, that is life.

I think the biggest issue was that it was just so very different to our previous two walks and a bit of a jolt to the system. But, on one level it was good to experience what we did as it will help us to further refine the way we do things. It will also serve as a reminder, ‘to expect the unexpected’!

At any rate, it couldn’t have been that bad as I have already started planning our next walk, the West Highland Way – bring it on!

Now where did I put that midge repellent……


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