Official website of the Dales Way Association (DWA)

Dales Way Association

Welcome to the Dales Way Association

The Dales Way is a long distance footpath of about 80 miles (128 km) situated in the north of England and running from Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere.

Photo of Dales Way: Up Wharfedale from Conistone Pie

By following as far as possible riverside paths, it offers a scenically attractive route from urban West Yorkshire to the Lake District, which any reasonably fit family can undertake in a week's holiday. Although not always well served by public transport the Way, by following natural and sometimes ancient lines of communication, passes through many villages, and so accommodation is not a problem, although it is advisable to book in advance.

Walker on Dales Way

The Dales Way Association was established in 1991 to help support, maintain and promote the Dales Way Long Distance path.


50 years of the Dales Way

50 years of the Dales Way 

We are celebrating 50 years of the Dales Way in 2019.

Amongst the events planned for the year are:

* A Re-enactment of the first public Dales Way Walk from Ilkley to Bolton Abbey.

This historic event took place on March 23rd in 1969 - with over 120 walkers participating! We'd like to see as many of the original walkers who are still around, as well as others who have walked the trail since then. The walk will be lead once again by Colin Speakman and is planned for Saturday 3rd August 2019. (Note - no dogs please, other than registered assistance dogs).

* A Mobile Exhibition of 50 years of the Dales Way.

The exhibition will be on show at the Manor House, Ilkley, from August 3rd, and tour afterwards. As well as displays on the ROUTE and the HISTORY of the Dales Way, the exhibition will feature stories of the PEOPLE who have walked the Way:- your stories – your memories, your photos, your tales of wonder or woe. Our archivists, Kath Doyle and Gordon Tasker are working on the exhibition.

* Dales Way lecture with local author Colin Speakman.

Thursday 15th August 2019 8pm – 9.30pm Tickets £8 including refreshments Booking via the Manor House website is essential to avoid disappointment.

* An Ultra Marathon run along the full length of the Dales Way.

The race will be run over 36 hours, starting in the Lake District and finishing in Ilkley. It is being organised by Punk Panthers and will feature up to 250 competitors, both runners and fast walkers. The race will start on the morning of Saturday, 17th August 2019. Full details from the Punk Panthers website here.

* Friends of DalesBus - Dales Way 50th Anniversary: Harrogate to Ilkley Link walk.

SATURDAY 31ST AUGUST, 16 miles, Strenuous! -  Start: from Harrogate Bus Station – meet 1010. Finish: Ilkley c1830-1900. For full details see

* Friends’ Coffee Morning - 50 years of the Dales Way.

Friday 30th August 2019 10.15am – 12 noon Booking via the Manor House website is essential to avoid disappointment

* A History Recording Project to digitize the paper records of the Dales Way Associaton.

The year long project will aim to scan all the Committee Minutes and Newsletters produced by the Association since it's formation, and make them available to members via the website as an important historical resource.

* 50 Years of the Dales Way - a special limited edition souvenir booklet

- by Colin Speakman & Tony Grogan, £4.99, now available to buy online from Skyware Press here.

See full details of 50 YEARS OF THE DALES WAY here.

1 July 2019

In Brief

The Dales Way Association;