The Swale Way

Beta Testers needed! If you’re planning on walking the Swale Way before the end of June 2017 and you’d like to test the route notes for any sections I’ve completed so far, then please use the comments form at the bottom of the page to let me know. I will send the you the most recent set of notes and would ask that you feedback any errors, comments, or suggestions based on your experience of using them. In return, you’ll receive a free copy of the book upon publication.


The 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; 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.

The Swale Way was originally conceived by John Brock of the Ramblers Association in 1995. The route was then revised to take advantage of the Open Access legislation, by members of the Walkers are Welcome towns of Boroughbridge and Kirkby Stephen. The guide book draws heavily on these sources as it traces the Way through one of Yorkshire’s most iconic landscapes.

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