Hello HikeMania

Good question - its depends what your preferred scenery is I suppose. If you wanted higher level walking you wouyldn't be thinking of a section of the Dales Way so I base most of my comments on the best scenic sections of the Dales Way.

Personally, I would not want to miss Wharfedale at all so I would start at Bolton Bridge near Bolton Abbey and follow the Wharfe through Strid Wood and along through Barden, Burnsall and Grassington. Then take the slightly higher level section to Kettlewell along the limestone tops overlooking Wharfedale. Then pick up the Wharfe again through Buckden, Hubberholme and all the way to Beckermonds. That's about 30 miles.

Here comes the poser? If you like walking over a slighly boggier section but with great views (if the cloud is high) of the 3 peaks of Yorkshire then continue to Ribblehead past Cam Farm - that's your 40 miles. The road section along the upper part of Dentdale is not the best walking on the Dales Way but there is a higher level alternative over the Craven Way into Dentdale with great views(again if the cloud is high).

Dentdale is pretty but I would suggest not as good as Wharfedale but the section from Sedbergh along the River Lune is picturesgue with the Howgill Fells as the back drop to your right. Beyond beck Foot it is fields and partial river walking most of the way to Bowness with the odd highlight on the way.

I suppose what I suggest is Bolton Bridge to Beckmonds then Sedbergh to Beck Foot. I hope this helps.

PS. I'm going up to Wharfedale on Wednesay for 3 days - it's a great place with plenty of high, mid and low level walking options.