Dales Way - Day 6 of 6 - Patton Bridge to Bowness. Last day of an amazing hike across North England

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Day 6 - Saturday 25th July Patton Bridge to Bowness-on-Windermere We were excited to be up for our last day. After delicious bacon sandwiches and coff...

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Day 6 - Saturday 25th July Patton Bridge to Bowness-on-Windermere

We were excited to be up for our last day. After delicious bacon sandwiches and coffee in our yurt we left in the rain at 8.40pm. We went through more fields, past further farms, crossing the A6 road at 9.30am, the Lakes looking more welcoming with every step. We past Burneside at 10.15am, then follows a delightful walk along the River Kent. Going over the bridge by the Handsome brewery-with takeouts available-and through the village of Bowston. We followed the sign on right to Staveley. After a very wet morning the sun shone, and it was a lovely walk by the river. At 11.30am we reached the road, turned right, then ignoring the signs on the left for Dales Way we arrived at 12pm in Staveley.

Staveley, is maybe not as pretty as other places we visited, but it can be used for a final nights stay. Hawkshead brewery has its home here, as well as pubs, a Spar shop, cafe, and a public toilet. After buying some food in the Spar we left at 12.30pm, passing the railway station, crossing the A591 main road, and picking up a sign to Bowness 5.5 miles. We walked across rough grazing land, past farms, until suddenly the view of Windermere appears. The final path leads past the slate seat (sister of the one seen in Ilkley) "for those who walk the Dales Way," with lovely views. We followed the road that runs steeply towards the lake, turning left to arrive in Bowness itself.

We felt that a rather disappointing end awaits in Bowness. On arriving one is instantly plunged back into the real world of people, cars and queues for shops and cafes. This being a Saturday at the end of July maybe we should not have been that surprised. Along with lots of people, there seemed to be hundreds of ducks, geese and swans all along the water's edge. I asked in the tourist information office where was the end of the Dales Way? The lady did seem surprised at the question, she replied that the Hawkshead shop used to issue certificates, and there is a map of the walk adjacent to the office and referred to the bench we had noticed on the way down through the woods just above the town. We found it disappointing that nothing more was at the end. Obviously the walk is not popular enough to merit anything more.

We walked to the collection point of Lakes Village Taxis Drop off, on Lake road. Picked up our rucksack, and carried the bag uphill to Windermere train station, to catch the train back to our home in Manchester.

Distance 13.76 miles 22.14km

Duration of Walk Hours 6.10

Average Pace Min/km 26.54

Steps 37855

Elevation gained 1116 feet 340m


The Dales Way is a beautiful walk, and one that we would recommend, especially if you are new to multi-day walking - providing you get the weather. If you only have a

short time for the walk, I would definitely recommend the first two days up Wharfedale as the prettiest, or four days from Ilkley to Sedbergh.

The Coast to Coast walk goes from west to east, a natural way to walk in England with the prevailing winds from the Atlantic on your back. The Dales Way can be walked in either direction, but is most popular from east to west. I am not sure why, but there must be a reason. Train communications are good either way, so it can't be this.

We booked Sherpa transport for bags in advance, they transport rucksacks, suitcases, and even camping equipment weighing up to 20kg clearly labelled to the next destination. We have used this service on various of our walks, and feel it is good value for money at £8.50 per bag. Then a day sack is all that is needed. Alternatively as this is not a particularly arduous walk a full pack can be carried.

Read more advice and web addresses on our web site www.hikingwithdaveandbarbara.vom
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