Walks In Upper Wensleydale Using The Little White Bus Service
One of the northern dales this offers a mixture of gentle rural scenery at the lower end leading to upland fells. The area contains the picturesque communities of Leyburn, Bainbridge, Askrigg and Hawes. There are many walking possibilities and good public transport access and the following walks mostly make use of Settle Carlisle rail connection and the Little White Bus service which runs services between Garsdale Station Hawes, Gayle, Hardraw and the surrounding villages [on demand]. I've already looked at the Garsdale Head area in some detail on the Moorcock Inn page and so the intention here is to look lower down the dale. To contents Back to Yorkshire Dales Contents Page
From the west the Little White Bus connects with the Settle-Carlisle Railway line at Garsdale. In addition there are various buses emanating from Northallerton and the Wensleydale Railway is trying to re-establish a link into the valley.
Information: Equipment: All walks have significant exposure even in Summer. Full equipment including boots, waterproofs, map and compass would be advisable
Maps Ordnance Survey OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central and OL19 Howgill Fells and Upper Eden Valley
Travel Information - Rail: www.northernrailway.co.uk- Leeds-Settle-Carlisle timetable - National Rail enquiries Tel 08457 484950
Train services (Mon -Sat) - Normal morning departure is the Leeds 0849 Shipley 0902 arriving at Garsdale at 1020. The usual return train from Garsdale toward Leeds is 1727 [Sat]
Also, it is useful to realise that there may be cheaper variations of fares by purchasing a combination of tickets for any journey. For instance, by booking a return ticket to Keighley (within the Metro area) taking advantage of Metro off peak fares on weekends and then Keighley to Garsdale this can result in a saving. These can be checked out beforehand using the internet on sites such as http://www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Worth a visit is the Friends of the Settle and Carlisle Line website which covers the historical facts as well as other useful information on guided walks etc. The Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line have two shops located on Settle and Appleby Stations.
Bus Services : A useful link for travel services in the Dales www.dalesbus.org The principal services are the Little White Bus [see below] from Garsdale Station to Hardraw Hawes and Gayle and the 156 services from Gayle via Hawes to Bedale also operated by Little White Bus. See below.
On Sundays the service is operated as part of the Dalesbus network and through tickets are available from the Little White Bus  to the 856 [connection in Hawes Market Place] to give easy access to Aysgarth Leyburn and Northallerton. Additional villages each side of the main road can be accessed on a Sunday using the Dales Connect service which is bookable in advance via the Upper Wensleydale Community Office.
The Little White Bus provides a daily service [including Sundays as the 855] between Garsdale Station and Hawes via Hardraw and will go on to any of the nearby villages by request. The Little White Bus is a 16 seater minibus and can be hailed from anywhere on route but it might be advisable to phone. The bus connects with the southbound and northbound trains. The service is operated by Upper Wensleydale Community Partnership Tel 01969 667400 or contact the driver mobile on 0752 895 7451 - see the link from www.dalesbus.org. The Little White Bus also provides the on demand Dales Connect service on a Sunday.
Little White Bus also provides the Monday to Saturday 156 service from Gayle / Hawes to Leyburn.
Western Dales Bus: Another useful service is the S1 Western Dales Bus service from Dent station to Sedbergh which runs on Saturdays and as the S2 on Summer Sundays. On Tuesdays the bus provides the S3 service from Dent/ Sedbergh to Hawes and return.
Wensleydale Railway - details of the service operated by the Wensleydale Railway currently from Leeming Bar to Redmire -17 miles. The service can be used for walks in the Castle Bolton and Aysgarth areas. There is a bus service No 73 connecting Northallerton to Leeming Bar. The Wensleydale Vintage Bus runs between Garsdale station and Redmire several times a week for most of the year (details on the Wensleydale Railway website).
This page was last updated on 07-Feb-2019
©John Carey 2010