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

Yorkshire Dales

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Westmorland Dales Day

The Westmorland Dales are celebrating their inclusion in the newly extended MallerstangYorkshire Dales National Park.

A day of events in Kirkby Stephen, which becomes the northern gateway to the Yorkshire Dales, takes place on Sunday 31st July. There will be a series of guided walks from the town before a Celebratory Ceremony which will be held in the Parish Church, Welcome to the Westmorland Dales with guest speaker John Dunning and music from Kirkby Stephen Silver Band.

Kirkby Stephen Town Council is working with partners Howgill Harriers, Kirkby Stephen & District Walkers are Welcome, British Cycling and Cumbria Classic Coaches to offer free organised runs, walks, cycles and coach trips around Kirkby Stephen and the northern extension of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Breakfast is being sold by the Nateby Women’s Institute at the Masonic Hall from 9am and may be booked with your walk if you are interested before departing for your walk.  Afternoon tea is available from 1.30pm to 4pm.

Ann Sandell, chair of the Kirkby Stephen and District Walkers are Welcome, said: “We are delighted that these parts of our beautiful area have been recognised and we look forward to welcoming everyone on Westmorland Dales Day or at any time.”

Walks are free but booking is essential.

See walk details here and a full events list here.

26 July 2016

New Friends newsletter

The new annual newsletter from the Friends of A Dales High Way (FDHW) is now available to download.

Rick Hill (BMDC) and Friends on the 2016 surveyThis year's newsletter focuses on the detailed Route Survey undertaken by the Friends, which aims to highlight any problems with access or waymarking along the 90-mile trail.

The survey concluded with a walk of the very first section from Saltaire to Addingham with a group from the FDHW and Rick Hill - a member of Bradford Metropolitan District Council's Rights of Way department. This proved particularly useful, and adds to other similar route walks with rangers from Cumbria County Council in October 2012 and rangers from the Yorkshire Dales National Park in July 2014.

Copies of the Survey report have been sent to each of the four authorities which are responsible for sections of the route: Bradford Metropolitan District Council; North Yorkshire County Council; the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and Cumbria County Council.

The newsletter also features the imminent extension of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, which will take in most of the northern end of the trail, leaving three quarters of the route within the National Park.

Other features include accommodation updates, the Mend Our Mountains campaign, news round-up and an excellent article on the increasing popularity of A Dales High Way by the celebrated rural campaigner Colin Speakman; "The Yorkshire Dales are increasingly recognised as an international destination for sustainable tourism, of which A Dales High Way is an outstanding example."

Download the 2016 e-newsletter here (pdf).

12 July 2016

Cobbles reinstated in Victoria Square

The original cobbled square on Victoria Road, Saltaire, bounded by four lions, is being reinstated as a final part of a £720,000 restoration scheme. Victoria Square, as it was once known, is the starting point for A Dales High Way.

Cobbles reinstated on Victoria SquareThe restoration scheme, which is now nearing completion, has seen the whole pedestrianised length of Victoria Road reflagged with Yorkstone, with new lamp posts, bins and signage installed.

More controversially, a number of trees planted in the 1950's were removed, opening up the vista down Victoria Road as it was originally when built by Sir Titus Salt.

Another aspect of the Victoria Square Setts Scheme, as it is called, will be better disabled access across this part of the road with near-level access between road and pavement along the central section.

A council spokesman said the setts would improve the appearance of the area, making it appear more like a public square again and complement the setting of the surrounding listed buildings.

A combination of new and reclaimed setts has been chosen to reflect the historic sett design elsewhere in Saltaire and also to provide good colour contrast for people with a visual impairment and smoother access for people with mobility impairments or those using buggies, he said.

Bradford Council Deputy Leader Coun Val Slater said: “We ask businesses, residents and visitors to bear with us while the work is carried out but we are sure that any short-term disruption to traffic will be well worth it in the end.

“The UNESCO World Heritage Site Saltaire is a wonderful asset to the Bradford district and it is our responsibility to make sure that we make the best of it for now and the future.

“We are sure that the improvements to Victoria Road will be fully appreciated by everyone.”

Work is expected to take six weeks.

See our previous posting here

1 July 2016

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

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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

Explore its rich history, geology and culture

Return with a breathtaking train ride along England's most beautiful railway

More than just a walk

Dales High Way Guide Books

"Promoted through a superbly illustrated Companion booklet, rich in local geology, history and wildlife, with detailed OS-based maps in an excellent Route Guide, the Dales High Way is a sure-fire winner for all keen Dales walkers."
- Colin Speakman
Yorkshire Dales Review

David & Bridget walk a Dales High Way

Dales High Way - the film!

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Nicola with Certficate & Guestbook at Appleby TIC

Dales High Way Certificate & Guestbook

Don't forget to call in at the Appleby Tourist Information Centre when you finish your walk to sign the Guestbook and collect your Certificate.
Appleby TIC in the Moot Hall

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