The Lake District may be the queen of lakeside walks well but nowhere does pleasant strolls alongside a river better than the Dales . There are very few standing areas of water in the Dales but plenty of fast and slow flowing rivers.
The rivers in the main Dales are all very different and display their own character.
Encouraged by an excellent day on the Ure last week these are my Top 10 riverside walks.
One of the joys of this full day walk is you can see the riverside section from the escarpment to the north of the River Ure as you approach Aysgarth Falls from the Castle Bolton area. The riverside section is idyllic and looks it.
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Mallerstang is wild, untamed with a fascinating history. Its rare to see anyone away from the immediate environs of Kirkby Stephen but the privileged few who do venture further are treated to 2 ruined castles and an area steeped in mythology.
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There is some very pleasant walking along the Wharfe near Grassington but my enjoyment comes from the lovely villages that pepper its banks; Thorpe, Hebden, Linton and the queen of them all Burnsall.
Upper Swaledale is one of my favourite places in the Dales; this walk takes in a lovely section of the Upper Swale as well as a short sharp climb up Kisdon Fell with great views of the rivers embryonic meanderings.
The lovely setting in a deer park overlooking the River Ure of Jervaulx Abbey is the start and finish of a 6 mile walk through country estates and tranquil riverside, where the River Ure exits Wensleydale
The side valley of Littondale is one of my favourites; a quiet dale full of character, a U shaped valley with easy walking and a a few small hamlets with traditional pubs and fine ale.
Arkengarthdale points due north from Reeth in Swaledale and is a great place to explore. The river itself is not as fascinating as other places but the walk is; enjoy the villages, farms, flowers and wildlife in this hidden corner of the Dales.
River walking tends to be better in their upper reaches but Nidderdale is the exception. The walk near Dacre Banks is lovely and peaceful; a walk perfect even in the winter months.
Probably the most popular of all the riverside walks, the best time to take on the walk is after some rain, the fast flowing Wharfe has a magnetic power that always fascinated me.
An unusual river walk as it takes in a large section of walking where the river has no water! However coupled with the tumbling beck at Gordale Scar this is a Dales classic which should not be ignored.
Enjoy your riverside walking
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