A beautiful 4-day walk through James Herriot country

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The Perfect Introduction To Long Distance Walking

At 52 miles (84 km) the Herriot Way is normally walked over four days, each of approximately 13 miles (21 km). If you’ve never tried a multi-day walk before, the Herriot Way could be just what you’re looking for.

The path runs through some of the best scenery in the Yorkshire Dales; including the world famous Wensleydale and picturesque Swaledale. Ample accommodation is available at the end of each stage and you’re never far from a pub or tea room, to keep you fuelled along the way.

Country Walking Feature

... surely among the great little long-distance paths of the world...

Guy Proctor
Editor, Country Walking Magazine

The Herriot Way was featured in the August 2021 edition of Country Walking – the UK’s best selling walking magazine.

The eight-page spread investigates this “world-class walk in James Herriot’s Yorkshire Dales” and descibes how the route is intertwined with the life of Alf Wight, the real-life James Herriot.

As well as describing the walk, the article also provides many insights into the life of the world-famous veterinary surgeon, from his roots, to his life in the Dales and his unlikely first meeting with ‘himself’ (in the shape of Christopher Timothy) in a back street of Reeth.

The magazine is no longer available in the shops, but you can buy a back issue using the link below – make it a lovely companion to the guide book.

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Visit "All Creatures Great & Small" Filming Locations

Alf Wight worked all across North Yorkshire but the heart of his practice was in the Yorkshire Dales and particularly Swaledale and Wensleydale. These two beautiful valleys form the borders of the Herriot Way.

The original BBC TV series recreated many of the locations from his books in the villages we pass through on the Herriot Way. The route passes through Hawes, Hardraw and Askrigg which were all prime filming locations for “Darrowby” and “Skeldale House” from the series.

Your Companion Guide

Walking the Herriot Way” is your complete guide to this stunning walk through the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. Packed full of useful planning information, an accommodation guide and detailed route notes, this pocket sized guide book will see you safely around the 52-mile circular route.

The book really is your walking companion and it fits easily into a jacket pocket or the side pocket of a pair of trousers.

It's All About The Detail

The pocket-sized guide book is 18cm x 11cm, weighs 120g and is designed to make your journey as pleasurable as possible and that means leaving nothing to chance! The book is rigorously researched and that detail permeates each page, whether it’s the facilities available in each village, or who lived and worked in the ruined buildings we pass, right down to the type of gate or finger post that’s coming up!

Planning Guide

The book comes with a detailed planning section, including an itinerary planner, public transport and accommodation guide, advice for beginners and so much more!

Route Notes

Our route notes are incredibly detailed and provide step by step guidance along the route. Every gate, every stile and every change of direction is provided, making navigation simple.

Annotated Maps

The guide is provided with a detailed set of strip maps, with the route highlighted. Maps are provided in a PDF format so they can be printed full size and carried in a weather-proof map case.

Look inside....

Herriot Way Holiday Providers

Happy Walkers' Testimonials

Herriot Way in the News!

'The Herriot Way' Trailer

A new film, focusing on the scenery, history and people along the Herriot Way is due for release later this year, having been delayed from its original production date due to the COVID pandemic.

Film maker Chris Linke and his wife Lorena have long been fans of the James Herriot books and TV Series and hope to share their passion for the walk and for the area with a wider audience through this new project.

A trailer for the film has just been released and we are happy to have been given permission to share this with all our readers and visitors.

Herriot Way Information Pack

If you’d like to know more about the Herriot Way, complete the form below and we’ll send you an information pack via email. We won’t share your details with anyone! As an anti-spam mechanism, please enter the number 7 in the second field of the form.

Tell Us About Your Walk

If you’ve walked the Herriot Way, please share your experience with other walkers, or tell us of any issues with the book or the route notes! Use the form below.

23 Responses

  1. Now completed the walk in the first 4 days of September. Little sunshine but at least no rain. First of all you must be congratulated on the detailed route descriptions but permit me please to make the odd comment on changes since the last edition (5th ?).Hawes to Keld para.8.. The ladder stile has gone but a gate exists to enter the road.Para 20, the stile has gone. On entering Thwaite I was distressed to fine that the Kearton Hotel and Tea shop etc is now up for sale. I learned that the old owners had improved and extended this business for over 30 years and sold it around 7 years ago. The new owner has lost interest and it is now on the market. My planned tea stop was lost ! I took the low route to Reeth having done the higher path previously.Para 10 mentions a muddy track to a metal gate. This is actually a wooden gate now. On to Gunnerside. Both tearooms are now closed. Mary Shaws does not seem to have been open for a long time and Ghyllfoot was closed in a bank holiday week. Thankfully the Kings Head was open. On to Reeth. Over the new suspension bridge but there is a path diversion now due to the path the far side having been washed away. Due to very low cloud and mist I decided to take the short cut from Grinton although I did divert through Dents Houses. Very impressed with this bothy. A fire was laid and a stack of logs available to use. On then to Castle Bolton and a return to my starting point of Aysgarth. Used MickledoreTravel for the whole package and found them excellent throughout. Evening meals taken at the George and Dragon in Aysgarth, the White Hart in Hawes, Keld Lodge (which is fully licenced) and the Black Bull in Reeth.. All very good but the White Hart was outstanding .In Reeth the Buck Hotel is closed. I heard that the pub is brewery-owned but the last tenant had gone bankrupt.

    1. Roy, thanks for the detailed route notes. I was aware of the Swing Bridge diversion, but not the others you mentioned. I will be sure to update the book.
      Regards, Stuart

  2. Walked The Herriot Way in mid September 2020. Although we regularly walk in The Dales , we wanted a short walking break with not having to travel too far & not too many stop overs. So being fans of All Creatures Great & Small we decided on The Herriot Way over 3 days! We travelled up & set off from Grinton YH & finished Day 1 in Askrigg. It was a Tuesday (all planned to coincide with the TV programme (sad aren’t we!) & ate at The Kings Head aka The Drovers Inn. What a glorious sunny first day we had walking over the moors to Castle Bolton (stunning views down into Swaledale), onto Aysgarth Falls & finishing the day in Askrigg. Next moring was a little cooler & we set off to Mill Force, which is a fabulous little waterfall.walking onto Sedbusk & Hardraw Force where we had lunch. We decided to miss out Hawes as we have visited before & saved a few miles for the climb up Great Shunner Fell. Turned murky up there, so was a head down keep on going sort of walk. Once we reached the summit the sky cleared & we could see our way forward & down ( a long stoney walled lane) into Thwaite. We stayed in Angram at a glorious B & B who also provided an evening meal. Last day & a sunny one, walked up the valley to Keld (alternative to walking back to Thwaite & Kisdon Hill), picked up the C2C path – fabulous old lead mining area – went a bit wrong around Surrender Smelt Mill which meant a death defying descent to cross a stream, but eventually picked up the path walking into Heaulaugh & through the valley into Reeth & back to the start at Grinton. A great walk which we thoroughly enjoyed & highly recommeded.

  3. I Walked these paths many years ago! When James Herriot was still sitting in his living room typing away.
    Now living here in the States I want to bring my Grandchildren Over to the UK and walk this route with them as I did so many years ago.
    They have shared all the ACGS series with me over their lifetime. And like me love the mans work!
    So now I will love to order “WALKING THE HERRIOT WAY” and have it sent to my parents due to this awful covid dilemma. So that my grandchildren can enjoy this well thought out guide to James Herriot favorite places!
    What a wonderful idea !!!
    As Siegfried would say “well done”

    1. Hi Cherie, I do hope you manage to return and bring your grandchildren to walk the summer meadows of the Dales. If you order through this website you can have the guide book sent to a UK address – just enter it into the delivery address section when you order! I will be visiting Swaledale in a couple of weeks and I’m really looking forward to getting back there after our long enforced absence. Best, Stuart

  4. My wife, two friends and I did the walk anti clockwise, Wednesday to Saturday this week past.We only had the clockwise book, being unaware that there was an anti clockwise version. Thus It was an interesting orienteering exercise. The only real difficulty we experienced, while trying to find our way, was where you cross the Gunnerside Beck, crossing the slab foot bridge beside the beautiful old arched ruin. We descended down into that valley via a route indicated by a sign saying “Keld” It wasn’t a good way to descend. Your way would have been to descend slightly further on. I tried to rely on my OS map to get out of the Gunnerside valley and foolishly thought the path initially followed Blind Gill. I quickly learned my mistake, even although there were a lot of boot prints that indicated others had been that way before. We then took the path down Gunnerside Gill past Dolly Lead level to the footpath that strikes off North just before the waterfall at Botcher Gill Gate. We thoroughly enjoyed the trail.
    Using your descriptions, we marked the route out on the 2.5 inch to the mile OS Explorer map and that was also a help.

  5. Me and a friend who are relatively fit but have never done any multiple day walks with gear have just completed this walk in 4 days with ~12kg rucksacks….Amazing walk!. The first day is a nice flat starter along the river to get your body going, followed by the 2nd day up Shunner fell which we found tiring but perfectly fine. The 3rd day started with quite a steep climb which killed our legs early, leading to a longer lunch stop at Gunnerside gill before heading up another steepish climb onwards. The 4th day we found ok, although really just a moor walk which we found a little boring to finish on….. Theres only so much moorland you (we) can enjoy in one trip. All 3 nights were wildcamped in the villages, just setup out of town quite late on, had no bother at all from angry farmers with all locals being very friendly indeed.

  6. I walked the route on my own this weekend over two days, starting and finishing in Hawes, with a stopover at Grinton Lodge YHA.
    Really enjoyed it and used only the maps (guidebook was in my bag but I managed with just the maps).
    Unfortunately I didn’t get to admire the scenery from Great Shunner Fell as the clag was well and truly down so I’ll have to use that as an excuse to go back another day.
    I’ve done quite a few long distance routes but so far I’d say this one has the best scenery and I’d definitely recommend it.

  7. My wife and I have just completed The Herriot Way using the Kindle book download and taking four days on the walk. We started at Aysgarth. The directions and the attention to detail within was outstanding. Only had to look at OL30 once! The only part we struggled with was actually locating grouse butts 7 and 8 after High Harker Hill. They are very well hidden. Day 3 is also hard work if you take the high route through the lead mines from Keld to Reeth. We both thoroughly enjoyed the experience and are now planning our second LDW. My wife wants to know if you’ll do directions for every other trail?!!
    Thanks and well done on the guide.
    Kevin & Margaret Duncombe

  8. Will be doing this Walk with a Work colleague on Sunday the 8th January 2017.
    We are aiming for under 16 Hours and is a Warm up for the Dales Way 80 Miles we will be attempting in one go to Raise Money for a Work Colleague.

  9. My friend and i decided to try the walk as a long distance challenge and managed it in 2 days. Although this defeats the object of seeing the fantastic scenery and taking in the breathtaking views, it is a great challeng Aysgarth to Twaite was a good 22 mile hike and Twaite to Aysgarth was both challenging and exciting. I will definately be back to the area and take my time (a few days at least) to enjoy Swaledale.

    1. Just wanted to say the book was great. Myself and Julie found we needed only to follow the book and not the OS map.

  10. This walk is an ideal pre-season warm up for a regular long distance walker or in my case an ideal one if your other half isn’t as keen a walker as you are. My wife and I completed it last week and the scenery is truly stunning and the waterfalls, due to recent rain, were in full spate and spectacular. There are ideal lunch stops on all 4 days and plenty of other pubs/tea rooms along the way to keep the missus happy. Stayed at Cornlee guest house at the start, youth hostels at Hawes and Grinton and even a Yurt at Keld which was great. Took a OS map with me but didn’t really need it as guide book is so easy to follow and fits nicely into a jacket pocket. On day 3 we did take the low level route as described in the C2C guidebook as weather was a bit iffy and wanted to visit Muker and Gunnerside where tea and cake is plentiful.
    Many Thanks Stuart.

  11. My wife and I have done the Herriot Way twice now, and enjoyed both equally. Your superb guide was invaluable , never went wrong and the information made the walks really interesting. Thanks for the hard work you have put into the guidebook, I can not compliment it highly enough. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone.

  12. I did the Herriot Way as my first solo walking trip and could not have done it without this excellent, invaluable book. Not one wrong turn, which for me is a miracle! Contemplating doing the longer Dales Way next. Stuart, have you a similar guide/route for the Dales Way?

  13. I purchased the anticlockwise version of the book; it looked great on a tablet. I also got a wellthumbed backup copy from the kindest of hosts at Herriots Hotel in Hawes where I used their drop-off and pickup service to complete the walk. It was the end of July 2014. The weather was great: sunshine, dramatic clouds, a few drops of rain one afternoon. The walk was unsurpassable. I promise you I could not have done it without the book. You read ahead 3 or four next stages, then stuff the book in your pocket and forge ahead with confidence, fully trusting the guide, enjoying the scenery, taking pictures of a bird or rock or sheep or barn or grand vista… Until you need to get your bearings again. A rare experience.

  14. This book gave me the confidence to do my first multi day walk, it was so detailed i did’nt use
    my maps at all. Just bought the second book By Stuart The Tributaries Walk, hoping to do it in October.

  15. This book is fantastic and is a’ must have’ for this walk. The book was so easy to follow, keeping us on the right path. While I have no doubt we would have got between the four main points, your book took us along some paths that I don’t think we would have found. At times it felt you were the 5th member of our team!
    For anyone thinking of doing the Herriot way – take this book!
    Many thanks, Chris

  16. Stuart, your book is just fabulous!
    I found it so detailed and with the maps I always felt confident and safe on the Herriot way, especially around those grouse butts where it can be really hard to see any path. I look forward to using it again another time.
    Well done.

  17. We found the route description in particular really accurate, detailed and helpful. It would be really hard to get lost with it! The narrative also had some really interesting information about the area we were walking through.

  18. I have to pay you a big compliment for your nice book. There’s a lot of work standing behind it and it shows from every page how much you care about the Herriot Way.

  19. Your book is so incredibly detailed, down to the last blade of grass and yet with the maps, you get a complete overview of the walk and only need to look at the text intermittently.

  20. I wanted to say how good we found the book – it really is excellent. The accompanying maps are great and ensured we found our way through the grouse butts on Greets Hill! I cannot speak highly enough of your book. The narrative was excellent with many hidden gems of ‘inside information’. The attention to detail made it an invaluable guide

    Thank you!

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