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#3421 - 21/05/05 05:14 PM The good the bad and the vey expensive.
Ambler Offline
Member

Registered: 21/05/05
Posts: 5
I have just completed the Dales Way walk...from Ilkley to Buckden. This is the most beautiful country and a magnificent 4 days. The walk is well planned, well maintained and all in all, the equal of any easy grade walk in the world (maybe better signage along the track would be useful).

Sherpa Van is a very well organised crowd and I strongly recommend them. It was such a shame that the potential is so sorely let down by the accomodation.

In Ilkley we stayed at the Riverside Hotel. THE smokiest drinking/eating environment in the Dales area. Ordinary food and about 50 pounds/couple. Friendly staff.

Next stop was Appletreewick. A charming, helpful host but the New Inn itself is just far too expensive for the standard offered. The solution is to raise the standard, not just drop the price. And by this I am not just referring to shared bathrooms. The whole place needs renovating (it can be done whilst still retaining the charm).

Off to Grassington and the Black Horse Hotel...trumpetting "New Management". Almost no-one in this hotel seemed to have worked in a hotel before. Very earnest, very nice but just not professional. And the beds must date from decades ago...the matresses are diabolical. The food was woeful. Prepared by a cook no doubt (as opposed to a chef) and not inexpensive.

Last night was Buckden at The Buck Inn ...92 pounds per double! More expensive than London and seriously.... The floorboards didn't just squeak...they groaned and clattered. The food was just pathetic. And the 2 amateur chaps who run the place were the final straw.

We had a stunning 4 days but the best things in life were free...the walk. Try to avoid the places we stayed in and you might do OK. There is a nice looking YHA in Kettlewell and in every village we visited, there was at least 1 place that looked better than our choice, usually several.

If you walk like this in Austria, you will eat and sleep like a king for far less expense. Why are the standards frequenty so low in hotels in the UK and the prices so high?

[This message has been edited by Ambler (edited 21 May 2005).]

[This message has been edited by Ambler (edited 27 May 2005).]

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#3422 - 23/05/05 08:33 AM Re: The good the bad and the vey expensive.
noj Offline

Full Member

Registered: 19/11/04
Posts: 94
Loc: London
http://www.sherpavan.com/data/feedback_intro.asp

The best way to ensure improving standards is to post your comments at the link above so that other walkers can benefit from your experience when selecting their accommodation.
Re the email you sent to the office. Sherpa can only provide the info for walkers to make informed decisions. We dont manage or control any of the hotels or have any influence over the quality of service other than via your comments.

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#3423 - 23/05/05 02:45 PM Re: The good the bad and the vey expensive.
kevanliz Offline
Member

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 163
Loc: London
Unfortunately we are pre-booked into B+B for our Dales Way trip in June but know what to expect - we hope!
It is sadly true to say that standards of hotels are not in keeping with prices in many parts of the UK.

Limited availability and high demand in season pushes prices through the roof, it also prevents many people from making regular visits. Many country pubs stop serving food between 2 and 7 pm whilst the chef goes into the 'twilight zone'. Those that do offer food are generally booked up every weekend so the 'casual visitor' usually has a bit of a struggle to find anywhere to eat, and don't mention Vegetarian outside North London.

After recently spending 90 a night for an average room in Malham we decided enough is enough and bought a tent to enable us to go out of London as much as possible without all of the cost.

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#3424 - 23/05/05 03:16 PM Re: The good the bad and the vey expensive.
Ambler Offline
Member

Registered: 21/05/05
Posts: 5
Good luck with the trip. The walk makes the whole thing worthwhile despite the patchy accommodation. The sad fact is that in the UK (especially) the hoteliers/accommodation owners, in areas where demand is high, frequently rip customers off. They know return business is rare anyway and that there is always another unsuspecting victim lining up to fill the beds/tables. Pity there is no "licensing" authority.

Quote:
Originally posted by kevanliz:
Unfortunately we are pre-booked into B+B for our Dales Way trip in June but know what to expect - we hope!
It is sadly true to say that standards of hotels are not in keeping with prices in many parts of the UK.

Limited availability and high demand in season pushes prices through the roof, it also prevents many people from making regular visits. Many country pubs stop serving food between 2 and 7 pm whilst the chef goes into the 'twilight zone'. Those that do offer food are generally booked up every weekend so the 'casual visitor' usually has a bit of a struggle to find anywhere to eat, and don't mention Vegetarian outside North London.

After recently spending 90 a night for an average room in Malham we decided enough is enough and bought a tent to enable us to go out of London as much as possible without all of the cost.



[This message has been edited by Ambler (edited 23 May 2005).]

[This message has been edited by Ambler (edited 23 May 2005).]

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#3425 - 23/05/05 07:03 PM Re: The good the bad and the vey expensive.
Sharon Offline
Member

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 95
Loc: Reading, Berks.
I've completed 6 LDWs now and have learned that, in general, B&Bs are far better value for money, friendlier, more obliging people, and are far superior in accommodation terms than anything I've ever stayed in which has the nerve to call itself a "hotel" .... and as for pub accommodation - the pits.

There are plenty of good B&Bs on the Dales Way - particularly good were Romany Cottage in Buckden, Station House in Grassington, River View in Cowgill(?), Dentdale and Brantrigg in Sedbergh.

Good luck with the walk!

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#3426 - 23/05/05 07:28 PM Re: The good the bad and the vey expensive.
Ambler Offline
Member

Registered: 21/05/05
Posts: 5
Now you tell me!! NOW I see the theme emerging. Pub accommodation is the pits. OK.

Quote:
Originally posted by Sharon:
I've completed 6 LDWs now and have learned that, in general, B&Bs are far better value for money, friendlier, more obliging people, and are far superior in accommodation terms than anything I've ever stayed in which has the nerve to call itself a "hotel" .... and as for pub accommodation - the pits.

There are plenty of good B&Bs on the Dales Way - particularly good were Romany Cottage in Buckden, Station House in Grassington, River View in Cowgill(?), Dentdale and Brantrigg in Sedbergh.

Good luck with the walk!

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#3427 - 27/05/05 10:03 AM Re: The good the bad and the vey expensive.
tonyk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 16/02/04
Posts: 1033
Loc: UK
I have to agree with Sharon that private B&B is far better value for money than pubs or hotels.Most of the pubs I have stayed in have been dirty and the food left a lot to be desired even though it was edible.Hotels are no better.Anyone can call a large house a hotel and charge exhorbitant rates.Most times I carry a tent and am just as comfortable in a field provided the weather is settled.Represents value for money and its far healthier to spend a couple of weeks completely outdoors than sleeping in a fusty room each night.You can always get Sherpa to transport the tent if you don't feel like carrying it.

I have to agree with Ambler that the standard of accomodation on the continent puts most in the UK to shame.I have stayed in Pensions in Switzerland that are comparable with high class hotels in the UK.

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#3428 - 27/05/05 03:52 PM Re: The good the bad and the vey expensive.
kevanliz Offline
Member

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 163
Loc: London
backpacked the Dales Way 26 years ago. a few nights under the stars is Ok but not sure i could do a whole week.

Thing is if we all know that rooms offered by pubs and 'hotels' in the UK are so bad why don't we do something about it?

Anybody care to send there top or worse 5 overnights? I often put comments on Tripadvisor.co.uk about places i stay in but it really only covers larger towns and hotels.


This year we are staying in the following fine until proven otherwise establishments.

Anybody have any thoughts on them?

Ilkley - Craiglands Hotel
Burnsall - Manor House
Buckden - Buck Inn
Ribble Head - Station Inn
Sedbergh - Bull Hotel
Kendal - Castle Green Hotel

The Buck Inn used to be OK in the 80's
Station Inn - last visited a few weeks ago in middle of 3 peaks walk and regret pre-booking - view from loo may be great but the dining room smelt of old dog.

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#3429 - 27/05/05 04:12 PM Re: The good the bad and the vey expensive.
Ambler Offline
Member

Registered: 21/05/05
Posts: 5
See my comment about the Buck Inn (et al) above.

I think a list is a good idea ..both good and bad places (beware...owners submit good reviews themselves). It is the only way people can share experiences. It's expensive to use these pubs/hotels/b&b's. Better if they are reviewed.


Quote:
Originally posted by kevanliz:
backpacked the Dales Way 26 years ago. a few nights under the stars is Ok but not sure i could do a whole week.

Thing is if we all know that rooms offered by pubs and 'hotels' in the UK are so bad why don't we do something about it?

Anybody care to send there top or worse 5 overnights? I often put comments on Tripadvisor.co.uk about places i stay in but it really only covers larger towns and hotels.


This year we are staying in the following fine until proven otherwise establishments.

Anybody have any thoughts on them?

Ilkley - Craiglands Hotel
Burnsall - Manor House
Buckden - Buck Inn
Ribble Head - Station Inn
Sedbergh - Bull Hotel
Kendal - Castle Green Hotel

The Buck Inn used to be OK in the 80's
Station Inn - last visited a few weeks ago in middle of 3 peaks walk and regret pre-booking - view from loo may be great but the dining room smelt of old dog.


[This message has been edited by Ambler (edited 27 May 2005).]

[This message has been edited by Ambler (edited 27 May 2005).]

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#3430 - 27/05/05 06:37 PM Re: The good the bad and the vey expensive.
Gregg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 18/01/05
Posts: 369
Loc: Cotati, CA, USA
I completed the Dales Way a month ago and was charmed by the whole experience although totally different from my C2C walk last year. So much more civilization and, of course, all the riveride walking, the Wharfe, Dee and Kent.

As for accomodations, Ilkley is surprisingly expensive - couldn't find a single for under 35 pounds. However, Roberts B&B had a nice ensuite room and good breakfast. Helpful host!

In Burnsall, Wharfe View Farm was very comfortable with a great breakfast for 25 pounds.
Nice lounge with a roaring fire!

Romany Cottage in Buckden had an average room but an incredible breakfast. Tim and Gwen were wonderful hosts - 26 pounds single.

I opted for the Station Inn because I'm a railway buff, and glad I did. Large room with sink and shower. Great pub with wide choice of real ales including Black Sheep and Theakston's Mild (a dark stout). Restaurant served great food, I had a wonderful lamb shank. However, the breakfast was the pits. Worse food and coffee I had on the whole walk. But the view from the loo of Ribble head viaduct was the best! Room 29 pounds.

Yew Tree Cottage in Sedbergh was a winner. Anne was a personable and knowlegeable host. The room was large and beautiful with a good breakfast. House full of antiques, 22 pounds.

Grayrigg's Punchbowl House was the nicest place to stay in the walk with a wonderful breakfast and the best coffee. Downside is that there is no pub nearby. Bring your own food or take a taxi, like I did with other roomers, to the nearest pub. Only 26 pounds single for a huge room with sink.

The next three nights were spent in Ambleside at How Head B&B for only 20 pounds per night. Val and Frank were great hosts and served a very good breakfast. Downside was no sink in the room. But it is a 500 yr old historic house and served as a good base for day walks in the Lake District.

I agree with others in this thread that B&B's are the way to go and that Pubs/Inns and Hotels are a poor bet. I hope this information helps others stay on track when planning their walk.

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#3431 - 09/06/05 09:11 AM Re: The good the bad and the vey expensive.
JL Offline
Member

Registered: 16/02/05
Posts: 8
Can't agree - just finished Dales Way and stayed at some top pubs - White lion at Cray, Sun Inn at Dent wouldn't advocate Jolly Angler at Burneside though.

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#3432 - 12/06/05 08:08 PM Re: The good the bad and the vey expensive.
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
I agree with JL, ive done lots of LDWs stayed in a whole variety of B&Bs, hotels and campsites. Isnt the whole experience about the walking, countryside, meeting and sharing experiences with other like minded people. Having a beer after a hard days walking etc. You then go to bed (whatever that is) which is occasionally neccesary, but hardly the most important part of the adventure. Personally, I'd put up with (and have) anything, just to get out there and do it! Ive never in all my experience let sub standard accomodation even register with me, as all the other fantastic benefits more than compensate.
Dave.

[This message has been edited by Slogger (edited 12 June 2005).]

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#3433 - 12/06/05 10:10 PM Re: The good the bad and the vey expensive.
Sharon Offline
Member

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 95
Loc: Reading, Berks.
But when you've paid good money ....... ?

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#3434 - 12/06/05 10:41 PM Re: The good the bad and the vey expensive.
Ambler Offline
Member

Registered: 21/05/05
Posts: 5
Slogger...you are just the kind of guest the pubs dream of.


Quote:
Originally posted by Slogger:
I agree with JL, ive done lots of LDWs stayed in a whole variety of B&Bs, hotels and campsites. Isnt the whole experience about the walking, countryside, meeting and sharing experiences with other like minded people. Having a beer after a hard days walking etc. You then go to bed (whatever that is) which is occasionally neccesary, but hardly the most important part of the adventure. Personally, I'd put up with (and have) anything, just to get out there and do it! Ive never in all my experience let sub standard accomodation even register with me, as all the other fantastic benefits more than compensate.
Dave.

[This message has been edited by Slogger (edited 12 June 2005).]

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#3435 - 13/06/05 07:33 PM Re: The good the bad and the vey expensive.
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
You dont have to pay a fortune for B&B so long as you look around enough which is easy with the internet and phone. I walked the West Highland Way 2 years ago, excellent accomodation for an average 22 per night. You would have to be real unlucky or just plain careless to find your planned accomodation is sub standard every night. Unless you are the type that expect silver spoons and a water bed, and if so mind you dont step in any puddles, wouldnt want to mess up those highly polished boots, would you!
Dave.

[This message has been edited by Slogger (edited 13 June 2005).]

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