News en route
The First Dales Way Walk
Next week marks 50 years since the very first public walk
along a section of our big sister trail - The Dales Way.
On Monday, March 10th, 1969, the Yorkshire Evening Post
carried a major news feature outlining “A new Dales Way …. from
Ilkley to Lakeland“.
The article began: “Leeds, Harrogate and Bradford may soon by
linked to the Lake District by footpath. It is all part of a
projected new Dales Way mapped out by the West Riding branch of
the Ramblers Association.
“If you are interested, if you have a longing for fresh air
after this long dark winter of discontent, now is the time to
polish your best walking boots and get out your rucksack.
“You can become involved in this wonderful scheme by
presenting yourself at Ilkley Post Office on Sunday March 23, at
10.15 a.m. On that day members of the Ramblers Association are
to walk along the first 10 miles of the new Dales Way from
Ilkley to Burnsall, and members of the public are invited to
That cold March Sunday, over 130 people gathered to take part
in the first ever public walk along a section of the Dales Way.
Colin Speakman led them for the 12-mile trek to Burnsall, where
they caught pre-arranged buses back to Ilkley. It was a huge
That inaugural walk has been celebrated every decade since.
In 2019 the 50th anniversary of that first walk will take place
on Saturday, 3rd August.
The popular riverside trail was the inspiration for it's
tougher younger sister - A Dales High Way!
16 March 2019
Spirit of the Medieval Hunter
The route that most Dales High Way
walkers follow out of Skipton climbs steeply up Park Hill and
quickly offers great views back over Skipton Castle and forwards
to the distinctive peak of Sharp Haw.
There is another way though, an alternative route below the
castle walls and up through Skipton Woods where walkers are
greeted by a huge willow sculpture.
Skipton Woods are an ancient woodland and the sculpture,
‘Spirit of the Medieval Hunter’ with her bow and arrow,
reflects their past as the hunting and fishing grounds for
She was created last year by Anna and the Willow, a talented
artist from Ripon. Deeper in the woods is a willow pony.
Anna said "Ive been blown away by all the amazing feedback
and really pleased the sculptures sit so well in the ancient
The woods are cared for by the Woodland Trust, and
their permissive trails make a great alternative escape from
Skipton. Follow the Sougha Gill track to make
your way up and rejoin A Dales High Way by the A65 for Tarn
1 March 2019
Dales High Way with Three Peaks
An increasing number of walkers tackling A Dales High Way are
taking in all of the Yorkshire Three Peaks along the route -
Pen-y-ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside.
The official Dales High Way route includes only one of the
Three Peaks - Ingleborough - but offers Whernside as
an option. However, Pen-y-ghent does not feature.
It is possible, though, to include Pen-y-ghent in Section
Three, which runs from Settle to Chapel-le-Dale. The
suggested Pen-y-ghent - Three Peaks Alternative adds 4 miles, with an additional 300 metres of ascent, taking
around 2 hours extra. However, it also gives the opportunity to
break the Section at Horton-in-Ribblesdale.
Typical of this group of walkers is Ian, who flew up from the Channel
Islands last summer to walk the trail and has just posted a blog
about his adventures. "It is a tweaked version of the DHW,
missing out the first few miles and instead starting at Ilkley,
but aiming to include all of the Yorkshire 3 peaks. That's the
plan anyway" he said.
The Pen-y-ghent - Three Peaks Alternative cuts from
the main Dales High Way route at Stainforth Bridge, heading up
through Stainforth to join the Ribble Way, climbing to Moor Head
Lane and continuing north along the ridge to join the Pennine
Way. It then follows the Pennine Way up to the summit of Pen-y-ghent and
down to Horton-in-Ribblesdale, before heading for Ingleborough
to rejoin A Dales High Way above Crummackdale.
Did Ian have a good time?
"What a walk it has been. I am a relative novice when it
comes to long distance walks but this must be up there as one of
the best trails in England. Many have highlights but also some
‘by the numbers’ sections, but here every day had something
special, a unique feature, an achievement, an icon" he said.
"The 3 peaks formed the main event, but the appetizer was the
Malham area and the dessert the Howgill Fells. That’s a
sumptuous 3 courses!"
14 Feb 2019
First cold snap of 2019
The first real cold snap of this winter has finally taken
hold over the Yorkshire Dales, with snow blanketing Ingleborough
After a fairly dry summer last year the winter so far has
been quite mild. The current cold spell is expected to continue
through into next week.
Though winter conditions can make for some exciting walking
along A Dales High Way, great care is needed on higher ground
and in icy conditions underfoot.
On Sunday, January 27th a walker showing signs of mild
hypothermia was helped down from Ingleborough by the volunteers
from the Clapham based Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO).
On the following day another walker was injured on Malham
Cove. The CRO incident report states:
"A walker (m,72) slipped and fell on the limestone pavement
and sustained a suspected fractured right ankle. The team
responded and splinted the injured limb, and then put the
casualty onto a stretcher for a carry to the team vehicle. He
was then transported to a waiting road ambulance at Malham
visitor centre, from where he was transferred to hospital.
"Whilst dealing with this incident a team member slipped and
fell, injuring his right wrist. No treatment was required at the
scene, but a subsequent check at hospital revealed a fracture to
the lower right forearm."
1 Feb 2019
£2.2 million for Westmorland Dales
A £2.27 million National Lottery grant has been awarded to
the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership scheme,
with the aim to reveal, conserve and celebrate the rich geology,
wildlife, cultural heritage and spectacular limestone landscapes
of the Westmorland Dales.
The area lies to the north of the Howgill Fells in Cumbria,
extending over 200 sq km from Maulds Meaburn in the north to
Tebay in the south-west and Ravenstonedale in the south-east.
The final stretch of A Dales High Way
passes right through the heart of this area, which became part
of an extended Yorkshire Dales National Park in 2016.
A total of 21 projects will be delivered by a partnership of
organisations over a four year period.
There will be opportunities for volunteers to survey the
unique heritage and long distance routes of the Westmorland
Dales through desk and field survey with the Yorkshire Dales
National Park and other partners. Heritage routes include drove
roads, green lanes, and public rights of way; long distance
routes include the Coast to Coast, Lady Annes’s Way
and Pennine Bridleway. Volunteers will assess
routes for essential improvements, record features and research
each route’s unique history.
This remote and beautiful pastoral landscape has a unique mix
of habitats and remarkably intact pattern of historical
settlements and features. It has 79 Scheduled Monuments, 19
Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and two National
Nature Reserves. However, it has been largely ’hidden’ for the
last 70 years, tucked away between the Lake District and
Yorkshire Dales National Parks.
David Evans, development officer at Friends of the Lake
District who are acting as lead body on behalf of the
Partnership said: “We can’t wait to get started on the delivery
of the scheme. We’ve worked with volunteers, community
organisations, interest groups, farmers, landowners and
businesses throughout the planning phase to help shape the
14 Jan 2019