The Swale Way

RC permissive footpath HudswellThe 77 mile Swale Way follows the length of the River Swale in North Yorkshire from its confluence with the River Ure near Boroughbridge to its source at the head of Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  It is a walk of contrasts -  along the way it passes through the historic market towns of Boroughbridge, Thirsk and Richmond with their numerous tourist attractions; it passes famous battle sites and historic parkland;  through lush meadows and dramatic gorges; and travels the length of Swaledale, considered by many to be the most beautiful of all the Yorkshire Dales .

Along the way you will find friendly village pubs and tea rooms, and a range of accommodation options.  It can be walked in one go over a series of days with overnight stops along the way (we’ve broken it down into 6 days); or by basing yourself in Boroughbridge and/or Richmond and using public transport to get from start and finish points of each days walk. Alternatively it can be walked as separate day walks using public transport to get back to your starting point.

There is an option to extend the walk in to Cumbria and to the market town of Kirkby Stephen from where a return to Boroughbridge can be made via the Yoredale Way.

The Swale Way was originally conceived by John Brock of the Ramblers Association in 1995 and the pen andwaw ink drawings reproduced in the route descriptions are from original artwork by Richard Collier.  This website and the route described is collaboration between the Walkers are Welcome towns of Boroughbridge and Kirkby Stephen and is based on the original route.

This website contains downloadable route maps and PDF walk descriptions.  This website is run by volunteers therefore we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions in any of the route descriptions.  However if you do find any errors or suggestions for improvements please advise us by email to and we will correct these as and when an opportunity arises.