Camping on the Dales Way

Q. Is it possible to camp along the Dales Way. We have only found BB\Hotel accommodation.

From Ilkley to Bowness could cost us £345 each!

Please help

Bill Randles, Eaglescliffe

A. There are campsites along The Dales Way - a close study of the OS maps will reveal their locations (see Appletreewick, Dent, Sedbergh).

There's a camping field in Kettlewell which doesn't appear to be marked on the map - at the start of the path to Black Dyke.

There's also a YHA at Kettlewell and a bunch of bunk barns/independent hostels in the Dales from Bolton Abbey to Dent.

Mike Knipe, Crook

A. Camping isn't really a problem on The Dales Way as we discovered last year. Most landowners and bunk barn owners will (9 times out of 10) allow you to pitch for the night if you ask them nicely.

Wild camping is also an option if you are discreet and move on in the morning.

It may be worth your while doing a recky by car and organising your overnight stops, so at least you have peace of mind and avoid been stuck on a fell at midnight with a Pot Noodle for company.

Enjoy yourself

Stefan Reeves, Ripon

A. Camping The Dales Way over 5 days

Got home last night after a 5 day Dales Way trip camping in a two man tent with my other half. I'm posting this as I struggled to find good info online about camping options before setting off. In short, it is possible to camp the Dales Way using 'official' (rather than 'wild') camping all the way. Here is how we did it:

Night One - Wood Nook Farm - Grassington is the hardest place to find a campsite and this is the nearest one that we could find. It's two miles off the route, so not ideal, but it has hot showers and a little shop. We were charged 8pp. The midges were awful, so be prepared for that, but otherwise the site is good. Alternative options would be to stop after 12 miles at Appletreewick (Mason's campsite is right on the route) or Kettlewell, which also has a campsite almost on the route - but it's 22 miles from the start so would make for a very first day unless you broke the journey at Appletreewick and took two days to get there.

Night Two - Swarthghyll Farm (about 1.5 miles past Oughtershaw). Although they don't list camping on their website, Freya (the owner) was more than happy to take 5pp and let us camp in the field. There is an indoor toilet, sink with hot and cold water and a good hot shower included. Best to call in advance, but not essential I wouldn't think. I asked if we could buy a hot evening meal/breakfast but the answer was no, so we had to carry food from Kettlewell.

There is also camping available on the field in front of the B&B at Beckermonds. This is a better bad weather option as Swarthghyll Farm is 396 metres (1300 feet) up and very exposed to the elements. A number of people were also wild camping on the stream between Yockenthwaite and Beckermonds. This is an alternative if you run out of energy on the climb up to Outershaw and you don't mind not having a shower.

Night Three - Dent - Two campsites in Dent. The C&C Club one charge 11pp. The other (which is left at the George and Dragon Pub. You can see it to your left as you approach the village) charge 5pp - hot showers included. You'll have no problems camping in Dent and no need to pre-book.

Night Four - There are plenty of camping options in the Grayrigg/Patton area listed on the Dales Way Association website. We opted for Low Barn which is on the Shaw End Estate. This was an excellent choice and I'd heartily recommend it. Camping in the walled garden was 8pp, no hot shower but you do get a cracking view out over the Howgill Fells, a friendly welcome and a clean toilet and wash basin in the house. We pre-ordered an evening meal (8pp for a huge lasagne with salad which was served at a table in the cosy caravan which lives in the garden). A full pot of tea and bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast was 4. In total 20pp for camping, evening meal and breakfast. We thought it was well worth it.

Hope that's of some us to people planning the walk. It is a fantastic walk and well worth doing. Ideally, I'd have allowed an extra day and done it over 6 days to get the most out of it, but I didn't have that luxury due to work.

Happy walking! :)

Nick Batty, Huddersfield

A. Campers welcome at our place which is just after Grayrigg. We are at Law Barn, Patton Bridge. Caravan also available and evening meals and breakfast on request. Please see our listing on Dalesway Association. Look forward to meeting you from Kate and family.

Kate Reed, Kendal

A. We have walked the Dalesway twice and both times have [wild] camped at a farm at Grayrigg Foot thanks to the friendly helpfullness of the owners, they allowed us to use their utility room for toilet and washing facilities and even brought out very welcome tea and cakes as we pitched. We suggested they open up for camping officially and have just heard that they are doing just that which should provide a very welcome stop between Burneside and Sedbergh where there is very little else. We cannot recommend them highly enough.

Jo Edwards, Oakworth

A. It is no longer possible to camp at Pinfold. Caravans and Tourers only.

Frank Loy, Sheffield

A. I walked the Dales Way (East to West) in September 08 and the camp sites I used were as follows: Masons Campsite, Appletreewick (5) - adjacent to the path, largeish campsite with good facilities, handy for Appletreewick pubs Heber Farm Campsite, Buckden (2) - very basic, camp in a sheepfold and only facilities are the National Park public toilet block in the village but handy for The Buck Inn. Small detour from the path back into Buckden village. Ewegales Farm Campsite, Cowgill (4) - quite basic facilities but there is a shower (although your 20p doesn't last long!). Nowhere to eat or buy food so you have to be provisioned for your own meal(s). Route path actually passes through this campsite's field. Pinfold Campsite, Sedbergh (5) - large caravan and campsite with excellent facilities. Welcome respite from more 'basic' sites. Small detour along river from route but well worth it. Burneside Hall Farm, Burneside (2) - not an official campsite but the farmer permits camping in the beautifully situated field by the duckpond. Basic facilities - toilet and cold water sink with access to an outside hot tap too. Adjacent to route path just before Burneside village. Hope this is helpful.

Ian Roe, Pontefract

A. Wild Camping and The Law in England, Scotland and Wales.

Tents cannot be pitched just anywhere because every piece of Britain is owned by some individual or some organisation and according to the strict letter of the law permission must be obtained prior to pitching tent and camping.

In practice however, this is often impractical and wild camping is usually tolerated in the more remote areas - typically, more than half a day's walk from an official campsite or other accommodation providing you:

In Scotland, the current access legislation (which came into effect in early 2005) is explicit about your right to wild camp on hill land. However, there are exceptions. Since March 2011 you are not permitted to wild camp between Dryman and Rowardennan on the shore of Loch Lomond. See Loch Lomond Wild Camping Ban for more information.

There appears to be an exception to this with respect to camping in Dartmoor National Park where the right to wild camping is actually enshrined in the National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act, 1949 amendment Dartmoor Commons Act, 1985 - see Wild Camping in the UK for more details.

For the definitive answer with respect to wild camping in Scotland see the answer supplied by the Scottish Natural Heritage

For a few (tongue in cheek) tips on wild camping see Some Wild Camping Tips.

NB. cannot offer any advice on suitable locations for wild camping - but click here for walks from exisiting campsites.

Hope this helps

Mike (Editor)

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