• Victoria Bowers

Hiking The Herriot Way

Updated: May 14

To celebrate the start of Spring, my sister and I planned our first hike. This hike involved The Herriot Way, a 52 mile circular route cutting through Wensleydale and Swaledale.

As this was our first experience of hiking, we couldn’t be happier that the forecast was clear skies for the Yorkshire Dales that week. We were able to adjust our backpacks accordingly, making them a lighter load for the trip.

We ended up doing around 60 miles in total as we diverted off path a few times but always managed to find our way, with gratitude to friendly locals and noted landmarks. Each day was around 12-14 miles, depending on where our feet and curious minds guided us.

One of the most exciting experiences on the trip was climbing Great Shunner Fell, the highest point in Wensleydale sitting at 716 metres above sea level. The wind was so loud that you couldn't hear anything else and my voice was croaky after trying to converse on the mountain top. I am certain that I continued to shout long after the descent.

We saw incredible views from the mountain top and visited multiple waterfalls along the route including; Aysgarth Falls, Kisdon Force and Hardraw Force. We climbed through an endless amount of stiles and spotted hundreds of lambs bathing with their mothers in luscious green pastureland.

The hike is still challenging at times with many hill climbs, varied terrain and many diversion routes. It's worth every blister and every lost turn. I can imagine in wet weather, this hike would be rather uncomfortable for some of the days due to seeing little in regards to shelter or refreshments for many miles at a time.

If you ever get a chance to complete The Herriot Way, I would love to hear about it.

I am all geared up for my next hike!

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