Pocket Routes

The Tributaries Walk

The Tributaries Walk is a 93-mile (150 km), eight day, circular walk focused on the rivers, streams and becks that flow through the valleys of the Yorkshire Dales. Beginning in Settle, the trail explores beautiful valleys and the high heather-clad moors that separate them. Visiting as many ‘dales’ as possible, the route meanders; picking out waterfalls, hidden caves, rocky escarpments and old pack-horse bridges. The guide book encourages interaction and includes a quiz to help walkers get the most out of their visit.

The route visits fifteen different ‘dales’ and each one has one or more rivers or streams running through it. Crossing between dales takes you over some wonderful high moorland and mountain terrain, past remote tarns and the trail visits some of the most picturesque villages anywhere in the country. The diversity of scenery and terrain makes this path a firm favourite with everyone who has walked it.

The Tributaries Walk guide book is a 150-page guide that has everything a walker could need to plan, prepare and walk the eight day route through Yorkshire’s limestone country. Detailed walking instructions take you step by step through the route, ensuring you can navigate with ease and confidence. A comprehensive town and village guide provides information about the facilities, services and amenities in each of the settlements the route passes through, including public transport links to get to and from the start.

 

Tributaries Walk Book

The route is described in detail in the Tributaries Walk guide book. You can order a copy of this pocket-sized paperback, using the [Buy me] button. 

Route Overview

Day One:
Settle to Ingleton

Distance: Approx 11 mls / 18 km
Height Gain: Approx 1,400 ft / 427 m
High Point: Giggleswick Scar (999 ft / 304 m)
Refreshments: Clapham (6 mls / 10 km)

Day Two:
Ingleton to Dent

Distance: Approx 12 mls / 19 km
Height Gain: Approx 2,300ft / 701 m
High Point: Whernside (2,415 ft / 736 m)
Refreshments: None

Day Three:
Dent to Garsdale Hd

Distance: Approx 12 mls / 19 km
Height Gain: Approx 1,900ft / 579 m
High Point: Dent Fell (1,785 ft / 544 m)
Refreshments: None

Day Four:
Garsdale Hd to Muker

Distance: Approx 13 mls / 21 km
Height Gain: Approx 2,000ft / 610 m
High Point: Gt Shunner Fell (2,349 ft / 716 m)
Refreshments: Thwaite (8 mls / 13 km)

Day Five:
Muker to Askrigg

Distance: Approx 13 mls / 21 km
Height Gain: Approx 2,600ft / 823 m
High Point: Melbecks Moor (1,898 ft / 579 m)
Refreshments: Gunnerside (7 mls / 11 km)

Day Six:
Askrigg to Yockenthwaite

Distance: Approx 13½ mls / 23 km
Height Gain: Approx 2,000ft / 610 m
High Point: Stake Moss (1,837 ft / 560 m)
Refreshments: Cray (10 mls / 16 km)

Day Seven:
Y'thwaite to Arncliffe

Distance: Approx 8 mls / 13 km
Height Gain: Approx 1,200ft / 366 m
High Point: Horse Head (1,952 ft / 595 m)
Refreshments: Litton (5½ mls / 9 km)

Day Eight:
Arncliffe to Settle

Distance: Approx 12 mls / 19 km
Height Gain: Approx 2,200ft / 671 m
High Point: Kirkby Fell (1,711 ft / 522 m)
Refreshments: None

Tributaries Walk Route Map

Photo Gallery

The gallery includes a selection of images from the route. The photos have been taken over a number of years, at different times of year and in varying weather conditions. They present the many aspects of the walk you can expect to see when you walk it. Click an image to open a larger slideshow.

Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the most frequently asked questions about this walk, with answers.

The Tributaries Walk is a 93-mile, eight day, circular long distance walk exploring the rivers and valleys of the Yorkshire Dales.

As its name suggests, the route is focused on the rivers, becks and gills that flow through the valleys of the Yorkshire Dales. Beginning in Settle, the trail explores beautiful valleys and the high heather-clad moors that separate them. Visiting as many ‘dales’ as possible, the route meanders; picking out waterfalls, hidden caves, rocky escarpments and old pack-horse bridges. The guide book encourages interaction and includes a quiz to help walkers get the most out of their visit.

The guide book describes the walk in a clockwise direction. The baggage services provided by Brigantes Holidays also work in a clockwise direction.

The walk has so many highlights, but the high path above the River Swale as you leave Muker and ascend up the wonderful Swinner Gill is spectacular, as is the ascent of Satron Moor on the way into Askrigg, high above the diminutive Oxnop Gill. If limestone pavement is of interest, then there is none better than that above Malham Cove, a wonder in its own right and a sight that everyone should experience at some point.

The route visits fifteen different ‘dales’ and each one has one or more rivers, becks or streams running through it. Crossing between dales takes you over some wonderful high moorland and mountain terrain, past remote tarns and the trail visits some of the most picturesque villages anywhere in the country. The diversity of scenery and terrain makes this path a firm favourite of anyone who has walked it.

The walk was originally devised by Mike Schofield, founder of Brigantes Walking Holidays. He wanted to create an interactive long distance path that walkers could engage with, through the use of questions throughout the text of the book, the answers to which could be found along the way. When Mike’s notes were turned into this guide book, that idea was adopted by the author.

None of the sections are longer than 14 miles, due to the way the accommodation is spaced along the route. The route involves a total of approximately 93 miles (150 km) with an overall height gain of around 15,000 feet (4,572 m). The longest section is the sixth, at 13½ miles (22 km) between Askrigg and Yockenthwaite. There are some exposed sections and good navigation skills are required if the high route option is taken over Whernside, on Day 2.

Getting to anywhere in the Yorkshire Dales typically requires a car, or a series of train and bus journeys. The Tributaries Walk however is well served by Settle train station, as it sits right on the route. Accommodation is plentiful in most overnight stops except one, where advance bookings should be made before departure. Campers may have to extend some days and divert uphill if you wish to wildcamp.

The second day from Ingleton to Dent offers plenty of route options, including an ascent of Yorkshire’s highest mountain, Whernside. The lower level, valley route through Kingsdale on the other hand, allows for a visit to Yordas Cave, the ancient home of a baby-eating giant.

The route visits fifteen different ‘dales’ and each one has one or more rivers, becks or streams running through it. Crossing between dales takes you over some wonderful high moorland and mountain terrain, past remote tarns and the trail visits some of the most picturesque villages anywhere in the country. The diversity of scenery and terrain makes this path a firm favourite of anyone who has walked it.

If you don’t see the answer to your question above, or in the comments below, then please feel free to ask it. All questions will get a response and even if you’re completely new to multi-day walks, there’s no such thing as a silly question, so please ask away!

Tell Us About Your Walk

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

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