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Yorkshire Dales: exploring Swaledale, Wharfedale, Littondale and Wensleydale in 2021

Updated: Jan 8, 2022

One of the joys of living in York is being so close to some of my favourite places, the Yorkshire Dales being one of them. I thought I’d share photos of my walking and cycling trips over there this year.

I’ve done day trips to Swaledale, Grassington, Buckden, Arncliffe and Semerwater.

In September I made the most of the Indian summer to go camping near Hawes, in Wensleydale. It’s an area I don’t know that well, apart from visits to The Wensleydale Creamery.

Grassington river walk

A 14 mile walk along the River Wharfe and fields. Grassington, Burnsall, Linton.

April 2021

This was my first further afield walking trip after winter lockdown. I was so in need of fresh inspiration, hills and wide open spaces. Driving through Nidderdale, the first view across the Yorkshire Dales had the same effect as the first glimpse of seeing the sea did as a child. I’m from the Midlands and a holiday to the coast was always a treat. I realise I’m very lucky living where I do but I’d felt very penned in. After all, my work relies on the inspiration of the Yorkshire countryside and beyond.

The walk from Grassington to Burnsall is one I’ve done a few times. On leaving the Yorkshire Dales National Park car park, the footpath leads towards Linton Falls and then along the river Wharfe. Just the sound of the water along the river chilled me out and restored that sense of calm. Sand martins swooped across the river, in and out of the sand banks.

At Hebden suspension bridge the footpath crossed the river. On reaching Burnsall, I had lunch by the river before walking back towards Linton through the fields. It was a joy to hear the unmissable call of curlews. The warmth of the sun was heavenly, so back in Grassington I could resist walking along the river in the opposite direction, past the limestone pavement, for a paddle in the river.


A 38 mile cycle ride through Reeth, Muker and Keld to Tan Hill.

April 21

I just adore Swaledale, both for cycling and walking. As some restrictions were still in place, it meant hotels and B&Bs were still closed. The area was blissfully quiet.

Towards the end of April we had a glimpse of an early spring. Starting at the Dales Bike Centre in Fremington, I cycled through Reeth, along the road to Muker and Keld. Some of my favorite views are from the road from Thwaite and Angram. The perfect spot for lunch to the sound of curlews. The view that inspired one of my latest linocut prints, Swaledale II.