DalesBus is a network of bus services which interconnect with each other and with trains at a key places, to make multiple journey options possible.
If you're starting out from outside the area, you may need to travel to one of the key interchange points first. Skipton is a destination in its own right, and DalesBus also links from Skipton to places such as Bolton Abbey, Grassington, and Malham, which in turn offer further travel options. So for example, If you live in the Burnley or Colne area the Pendle Wizz bus runs to Skipton, and from the Keighley area the Dalesway 66 bus also runs to Skipton, where you can then change buses on to your onward DalesBus service. From even further afield, the Witchway X43 from Manchester connects with the Pendle Wizz at Burnley, and theShuttle 662 from Bradford links through Bingley to Keighley for the above mentioned Skipton services.
Car owners, particularly walkers with cars, can make great use of DalesBus. Apart from the better views afforded to bus passengers, linear walks can be made – perhaps crossing from one dale to another, or covering sections of the Dales Way or Pennine Way long distance paths - instead of having to return to your start point for your car. You don’t even have to return to the same bus route; for example, park at Skipton, catch the bus to Malham, take one of the bridlepaths to Settle, and catch the train or bus back to Skipton from Settle.
An example of a challenging linear walk using DalesBus is from Scar House Reservoir in Nidderdale (Nidderdale DalesBus 821) to West Burton in Wensleydale (DalesBus 875 on the main B6160 road) walking via Braidley in Coverdale – around 9 miles with 5 hours available between buses. Easier options, such as between Buckden and Kettlewell along the Dales Way - around 4 miles - with a cut off option available midway at Starbotton, and several bus service options, make linear walking available to people of most abilities. See how many routes you can find!
Malham Catch bus from Skipton (or Settle on summer weekends). Small village with pubs, cafes, and visitor centre. Classic walks to visit Malham Cove, Janet's Foss and Gordale Scar. Starting point for longer walks to Settle, or along Mastiles Lane to Kilnsey Crag (bus from Kilnsey to Grassington for Skipton connections for your return journey).
Settle, Ingleton, Kirkby Lonsdale Small market towns with a range of cafes and pubs situated along the main Skipton to Lancaster bus route. From Leeds in West Yorkshire, trains run through to Skipton, Giggleswick and Settle where the bus to Ingleton and Lancaster can be picked up. Ingleton is famous for its waterfalls walk (admission fee), but there is a wide range of other footpaths in the area.
Ingleborough Cave and Gaping Gill From Clapham (served by train and Craven Connection bus 581), walk through the woods to Ingleborough Cave (admission fee) or continue beyond through Trow Gill to visit Gaping Gill – the source of the water emerging from Ingleborough Cave.
Sedbergh Famous for secondhand book shops and with a selection of cafes and pubs, Sedbergh is best accessed on Saturdays by Western DalesBus S1 from Garsdale station on the Leeds – Skipton – Settle – Carlisle railway or Kendal. The bus also passes through the village of Dent, famous for its folk festivals and cobbled streets.
Keld, Thwaite, Muker and Gunnerside The many waterfalls at Keld can be seen on one of Swaledale's classic walks between Muker and Keld. Alternatively you could use one of the footpaths from one village to another, or just sit back and enjoy the bus journey (buses 30, 830 and 831) through the dale.
Reeth The largest village in Swaledale with a choice of cafes, pubs and ice cream (buses 30, 830 and 831) .
Richmond Market town with castle (admission fee). There is a 3 mile circular walk from Richmond which takes in the ruins of Easby Abbey further down the river Swale.
Hawes The market town in the hills. Visitor centre, creamery, rope makers, cafes and pubs. Nearby villages of Gayle and Hardrow, famous for its brass band competition and waterfall accessed through the pub (admission fee). Served by buses from several directiosn including a dedicated bus link to the Leeds - Settle – Carlisle line at Garsdale station.
Ribblehead As well as the daily train services, Summer Sunday Northern DalesBus 830 serves Ribblehead station between Ingleton and Hawes. Situated in the shadows of the famous Three Peaks, there is nothing much here except for the railway viaduct and the pub, so do make sure you are well wrapped up when visiting this wild area. There is a small visitor centre in the railway station buildings (check opening times), and a good track leads from the road to pass underneath the viaduct to view the structure and passing trains. A good starting point for tougher walks, and the Three Peaks challenge walk passes through.
Bainbridge A traditional small dales village with its village green and pub (buses 156, 856 and 875). Just over a mile away is the larger village of Askrigg used for filming the first television series of All Creatures Great and Small half a century ago. An approximately five mile round trip will take you to the shores of Semerwater, reached by walking along back roads or footpaths paralleling the River Bain - one of Britain's shortest rivers.
Aysgarth Falls Alight at the Falls Corner (bus 856 or 875), and walk down the steep hill on the road or through the church yard via some steps until you reach the river Ure. The upper falls can be seen from the bridge. Continue up the hill on the other side of the river to reach the visitor centre, and further through the woods the middle and lower falls can be seen.
Upper Wharfedale Don’t forget the honeypot destinations of Bolton Abbey, Burnsall and Grassington. They are all accessible by DalesBus without having to pay parking charges. In turn, these destinations are linked by bus and the Dales Way footpath to Kettlewell, Starbotton and Buckden. See if you can find the mice carved in the wooden pews in St Michael & All Angels Church, Hubberholme, a mile beyond Buckden. Services 72, 74, 873, 874 and 875 link Skipton and Ilkley with Upper Wharfedale destinations.
Stump Cross Caverns Located on the Pateley Bridge to Grassington Road (bus 822) about 2 miles from west of Greenhow (bus 821), this is another show cave and visitor centre (admission fee). After a visit, those still feeling energetic may be happy to walk the 5 or 6 miles from the caverns to catch a different bus home from either Burnsall or Barden.
Fountains Abbey Fountains Abbey (admission charge) is a World Heritage Site, set in 323 hectares (800 acres) of beautiful countryside near Ripon in North Yorkshire. It offers an unparalleled opportunity to appreciate the range of England's heritage - with a.Cistercian abbey, elegant Georgian water garden and medieval deer park. It is served by buses 139, 822, 825 and YorBus.
Washburn Valley Summer Sunday Nidderdale DalesBus 821 gives access to many of the paths and villages skirting the Yorkshire Water Reservoirs in this less frequented valley north of Otley. The area can also be accessed on Saturdays using the Blubberhouses stop on the Skipton – Harrogate bus route (59). It is also possible to make linear walks from this area across the moors in all directions, for example to Otley, Ilkley, Bolton Abbey, Burnsall, Greenhow, Pateley Bridge and Harrogate for a different bus home.
Important If you are new to DalesBus and not sure about the location of the bus stop for your return journey, please ask the driver on your outward route. Sometimes the same driver will be operating your return service and will be able to look out for you. Bus stop signs in rural areas do not always exist, and to confuse matters some roads have bus stop signs that may not served by your bus. If in doubt find a safe place for the bus to stop and give a clear hand signal for the driver to stop. Take time to get to know the network and enjoy the freedom it provides. Why not tell us about your favourite days out by DalesBus?