A Dales High Way: a 90 mile walk across the glorious high country of the 

Yorkshire Dales

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News en route

New bunk barns for Ingleborough section

The introduction to A Dales High Way Route Guide says, “Accommodation is generally plentiful except at Chapel-le-Dale”. Thankfully this is no longer the case and walkers now have the choice of pub, B&B, campsite or bunk barn accommodation.

Broadrake Bunk barn
Broadrake (above) and Gauber (below)
Gauber Bunk Barn
This year has seen the opening of two new bunk barns, one at Broadrake which is directly on the route of A Dales High Way on the path between Chapel-le-Dale and Blea Moor signal box. The other, Gauber Bunk Barn, is on the roadside just after the Ingleborough alternative at Ribblehead.

These days Bunk Barns are not the rough and ready accommodation some people might imagine. These two certainly aren’t.

Broadrake Bunk Barn is run by Mike and Rachel Benson and opens for guests on July 1st. It’s a beautifully converted agricultural building attached to their old farmhouse. From the entrance hall a wide, glazed staircase leads up to a large open plan room complete with the original exposed beams. There is a kitchen area in one half and a lounge with comfy sofas in the other. There is a small snug off this room with a sofa and bookcase; there is also an upstairs toilet. It’s not all dormitories either. There are 2 four-bedded rooms and 2 twin rooms at Broadrake and Rachel says, “We can provide lifts for the footsore down to the local pub where the food is excellent. DIY breakfast provisions are included for Dales High Way guests’ use and hot breakfast baps and packed lunches can be provided by arrangement.”

Gauber Bunk Barn is also very attractively renovated and sleeps 12 in three separate rooms, one of which has a double bed. Logs are available for the wood burning stove and the owners Jon Radda and Katie Hawkins provide bedding, towels and a basic breakfast for just £21 per person per night. The lively Station Inn at Ribblehead is just 10 minutes walk away for Dales High Way walkers looking for a pint and an evening meal.

Katie told us, "Dales High Way walkers can be assured of a warm welcome at Gauber Bunk Barn. Surrounded by stunning views and situated right on the Dales High Way alternative route we offer excellent facilities, warm, comfortable bunk rooms and a cosy lounge."

See details of Gauber Bunk Barn here and Broadrake Bunk Barn here.

24 June 2016

Ingleborough path repair target success

The Mend Our Mountains crowdfunding campaign run by the British Moutaineering Council (BMC), which ran through March, April and May, succeeded Swine Tail approach, Ingleboroughin raising more than the £100,000 target towards urgent path repair projects on some of Britain's most iconic peaks.

The specific campaign to repair the Swine Tail approach to Ingleborough on the route of A Dales High Way, raised an additional £2,460 above the target of £10,000. The path also lies on the route of the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge route.

Steve Hastie, Yorkshire Dales National Park Ranger for the Three Peaks area, said: "Over the years this path has become very badly eroded and a wide scar now blights the side of arguably Yorkshire’s finest mountain, making walking unpleasant and undermining the local ecology.

"We have tried several path construction techniques over the years, including coconut matting, stone pitching and cobbled steps. But the sheer pressure of use and several wet winters meant none of them have been effective, and the topsoil continues to be lost.

"The whole Ingleborough massif is a Special Area of Conservation with European importance and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is also of significant archaeological interest, with the remains of an ancient hilltop sanctuary on its summit."

The campaign was supported by Skyware Press, publishers of the Dales High Way guidebooks, who donated 10 signed copies of their latest Heart of the Pennine Way book as rewards, raising £300 towards the total.

Dave Turnbull, the Chief Executive of the BMC, thanked supporters of the campaign, telling them: "Thanks to your help we smashed our target, raising almost £104,000 in total. This is a fantastic result and an indication of the depth of affection which many walkers, climbers and outdoor users feel for the environment and their willingness to help maintain it.

"The support of Skyware Press both helped us to offer compelling rewards to backers and showed that Mend Our Mountains had the support of recognised brands, businesses and adventure providers, essential prerequisites for the success of a campaign like this."

Chris Grogan of Skyware Press and Friends of A Dales High Way, gave a well received presentation of the long distance trail to a meeting of the BMC Yorkshire Area on 11 April in the middle of the campaign. She said "We're really thrilled to have been able to support this campaign in this way. Ingleborough is such an iconic mountain and climbing it is one of the highlights of A Dales High Way. We need to do all we can to look after it."

See our previous posting here, and the BMC's Mend Our Mountains campaign here.

12 June 2016

Appleby Horse Fair 2016

The 2016 annual Appleby Horse Fair got underway yesterday with thousands of Appleby Horse Fairgypsies, travellers and tourists flooding the Cumbrian market town in bright sunshine.

The town, which is still recovering from the devastation of the winter floods, welcomed the visitors which swell the towns population from 2,500 to an estimated 30,000.

RSPCA staff removed about half a tonne of dangerous debris from the River Eden at the spot popular for the washing of horses, including gates, fence posts and rusty farm equipment last week.

RSPCA chief inspector Rob Melloy said on Wednesday: “It could have been a real danger to horses and people. It is something we usually do before the Fair starts, which I’m not sure people realise, but this year we wanted to put extra emphasis on it given the recent floods. We’re expecting the weather to be good for this fair, and it’s likely there will be a lot of horses, and people, in the water, so we’re doing another sweep today. Of course anyone going into the water does so at their own risk.”

Dr Robin Hooper, Chair of the Multi Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group (MASCG) for Appleby Fair said yesterday: “Appleby Fair starts in earnest this morning with Fair Hill opening and once again I would like to praise the Gypsy and Traveller community for listening to our appeal not to arrive too soon for this year’s Fair. The number of early arrivals has reduced again when compared to last year, with initial numbers down by about 10%. The lower number of motorised caravans arriving early helps minimises the impact of the Fair on rural communities and allows more grazing for bowtops as they make their way to Appleby."

The fair is an important community gathering and is believed to be the biggest in Europe. Most of the travelling community camp on Fair Hill above the town, bringing their horses down to the river to wash them.

These days the fair is a generally well managed affair, though there is still a touch of the wild west about the whole spectacle.

See our previous posting here, and catch a flavour of the Fair with the Guardian here.

3 June 2016

OS map coverage complete

The entire route of A Dales High Way is now available on current OS maps in Explorer 288print, shown as a Recreational Path.

The full route covers five OS maps, though most of the route is found on just two: OL2 - Map of Yorkshire Dales - Southern & Western Area, Whernside, Ingleborough & Pen-y-ghent; and OL19 - Map of Howgill Fells and Upper Eden Valley.

Most of the first section across Rombalds Moor can be found on Explorer 297 - Map of Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley, Harrogate & Ilkley Moor.

The start of the route at Saltaire is shown on Explorer 288 - Map of Bradford & Huddersfield, East Calderdale.

A very small section intrudes into OL41 - Map of Forest of Bowland Pendle Hill, Clitheroe & Settle, though most walkers will manage without this map.

A Dales High Way was born in 2007, with the first official guidebook published in 2008. Initial waymarking of the route was completed in July 2013 and the entire route appeared on OS digital maps in March 2014, thanks to the support of all the local authorities along the route, including Bradford District Council, North Yorkshire County Council, the Yorkshire Dales National Park authority and Cumbria County Council.

The route began to appear on printed maps as they were updated, with the first being OL2, the Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western areas in August 2014.

See the OS coverage here, and our previous post here.

25 May 2016

Ride2stride great success

The 2016 Settle-Carlisle walking festival - ride2stride - attracted record numbers R2S at High Cup Nick - John Woodof walkers to Dales High Way country, despite some very varied weather.

Over 100 walkers turned up for the festival launch at Settle railway station on Tuesday to join one of three walks. Dr. David Johnson was "gobsmacked" to find 50 walkers on his geological and archaeological trail from Settle to Feizor Thwaite.

The Friends of A Dales High Way sponsored a tour to Appleby Castle on the Wednesday, along with the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line (FoSCL), which attracted over 40 people and had to be split into two groups. The tour was enjoyed by all and is likely to be repeated in the future.

Friday saw the exciting finale of the first stage of the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race at Settle, and on Saturday some 800 runners faced a challenging climb over snow capped mountain tops on the annual Three Peaks Fell Race from Horton-in-Ribblesdale, passing through Ribblehead and Chapel-le-Dale.

Diane Taylor of the Festival committee said: "It's been a fantastic week.

"We have had a lot of returners this year - people who come very year -and they tell us it is the combination of the fantastic Yorkshire Dales and the fact that they can leave their cars at home to access the walks by train, and end each day with live music, that brings them back".

Photo shows High Cup Nick (photo courtesy John Wood).

See Ride2stride here, and the Craven Herald report here.

6 May 2016

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A Dales High Way

An exhilarating Dales High Way waymark90 miles across the glorious high country of the Yorkshire Dales

Walk this spectacular landscape from Saltaire to Appleby-in-Westmorland

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David & Bridget walk a Dales High Way

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Dales High Way Certificate & Guestbook

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