The planning of the Welcome Way started in 2015 as a collaboration between the three ‘Walkers are Welcome’ (WAW) communities of Otley, Burley in Wharfedale and Baildon in West Yorkshire. Bingley joined the project at a later stage when an extra 9-mile loop was added to the route. The entire project has incorporated sections of each of their previously published self-guided walking routes, resulting in this spectacular long-distance circular walk.
The name ‘Welcome Way’ was chosen to reflect the four communities belonging to the nationally accredited ‘Walkers are Welcome’ scheme.
The route passes through stunning moorland landscapes, alongside rivers and reservoirs, across farmland, through woodland and local communities, affording the walker the opportunity to experience an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The walk is divided into three sections of 11, 10 and 7 miles with numerous access points along the way. It is waymarked in both directions, is easy to follow and can be done in short or long sections, and takes advantage of easily accessible public transport connections. The route passes through the centre of each WAW community allowing walkers to become familiar with their unique history and amenities.
The 52-page guidebook is available for purchase from local outlets and from this website. It includes maps and route descriptions for each section of the route, information about each WAW community, historical information, accommodation and transport links.
The route is regularly monitored and the guidebook will be revised as necessary in the future.
We welcome your comments about your experience of walking the route and about the usefulness of the guidebook. Please send your comments to us by filling in the contact us form.
Support and Sponsorship
The project is supported by the local authorities of Nidderdale AONB, North Yorkshire County Council, Bradford Metropolitan District Council and Leeds City Council. Improvements to the route have been made possible with the help of Bradford Countryside and Rights of Way Service and generous donations from Ramblers Holidays Charity Trust, West Yorkshire Long Distance Walkers Association, and West Riding Ramblers.