Describe the trail in a nutshell…
A 95-mile, seven day, circular long distance walk exploring the rivers and valleys of the Yorkshire Dales.
Describe the trail in more detail…
As its name suggests, the Tributaries Walk is focused on the rivers, becks and gills that flow through the valleys of the Yorkshire Dales. Beginning in Ingleton, 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, with a final map challenge to test the grey matter.
What are the highlights?
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 day 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.
What is it you love about this trail?
The route visits thirteen 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.
Any history or background worth mentioning?
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.
How challenging is it?
The walk builds up from the first day of 10 miles to the final day of 17 miles. No single day is particularly difficult, but the final two days cover 34 miles and over 5000 feet of ascent. There are some exposed section and good navigation skills are required if some of the high route options are taken.
What’s the accommodation and transport like generally?
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, as this is primarily a low level route.
Which direction would you recommend walking it in?
The guide book describes the walk in a clockwise direction and the day lengths build up as you progress in this direction. The baggage services provided by Brigantes Holidays (www.brigantesenglishwalks.com) also work in a clockwise direction.
If you only do one day-walk on the trail it should be…
The first 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.