News en route
New Online Map Tools to aid Trail Planning
Some new online map tools have been developed to help those
planning to walk A Dales High Way.
The new map features have been developed by Skyware Press,
who publish the Dales High Way Route Guide and Companion, and
are free to use on this website.
Tony Grogan, co-author of the books and a director of
Skyware, said: "We have been offering an online map of the route
for some time, which allows people to zoom in and pan around and
explore the route in detail. But, taking advantage of the
current lockdown restrictions, we have spent some time adding
new features, which we hope will help those planning and walking
the route in the future."
The online map uses Ordnance Survey Map API mapping which
shows topographical detail at several different zoom levels and
allows users to explore the whole route with ease.
"There is a new feature which shows the Skyware strip-map
coverage, as shown in the Route Guide, allowing the coverage to
be seen in a wider context.
"There is also an new Geolocation Tracking feature, which is
aimed at users of mobile devices like modern smartphones, which
are GPS enabled. This allows you to track your position relative
to the route, and hopefully will help reassure walkers when
There are a couple of caveats: the geolocation tracking
feature uses mapping which requires a good strong signal to
download - which may be sometimes unavailable along the trail,
especially in more remote locations. This feature also tends to
drain battery charge quicker when in constant use, so should be
"These are still in early development, so we'd very much
appreciate any feedback. Email us at "friends (at) daleshighway
(dot) org (dot) uk and let us know what you think" said Tony.
These tools should only be used as an aid; walkers on the
route should use the Route Guide or map and a compass for
13 Feb 2021
Surprising Lockdown Stats for Dales National Park
There were some very surprising results from visitor surveys
in the Yorkshire Dales National Park through the Covid-19
pandemic last year.
Despite severe lockdowns in early spring and late autumn,
visitor numbers overall remained high, with more first time
visitors to the National Park and many more younger visitors.
The surprising stats were laid out by Kathryn Beardmore,
director of Park Services, at the virtual meeting of the Park's
Management Plan Annual Forum, which was held on 20 January.
Typically, only 44% of visitors are under 55 years old, but
last year this shot up to 70%. For many this was their first
visit to the Park, including a third of visitors to Malham and a
half of visitors to Aysgarth.
Walking was one of the chief attractions, with as many
visiting Malham Cove in between July and October as any other
year, and more walkers climbing Pen-y-ghent in this period than
previous years. Over 80% reported being "extremely satisfied"
with their visit, despite many facilities being closed.
Pre-Covid tourism figures showed a steady increase between
2015 and 2019, with a 30% increase in staying visitors in the
summer months (April to September), and a very welcome 40%
increase in the winter months (October to March). Undoubtedly
the award of International Dark Sky Reserve status for the
National Park last December can only help.
PHOTO: Light pollution photo shows National Park Dark Sky
1 Feb 2021
Ingleborough Rescue Highlights Concerns
Concerns that people are ignoring Covid-19 restrictions to
visit the Yorkshire Dales were highlighted this weekend when two
walkers had to be rescued from the summit of Ingleborough.
Volunteers from the Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO)
based in Clapham were called out by North Yorkshire Police at
4.30 pm on Sunday, after a couple of walkers had lost their way on the
summit due to low lying fog, ice and snow.
The CRO noted that the couple, who had driven up from
Rochdale, had set off at 1 pm, wearing lightweight jackets and
smooth-soled footwear as well as using Google Maps for
Superintendent Mike Walker said: “This couple were incredibly
fortunate to have come through this experience without injury
and be able to tell the tale. We very clearly advised members of
the public this weekend to stay at home and when taking
exercise, stay local to stop the spread of Covid.
"Quite simply driving miles and miles, out of your village,
town or city to visit an open space is not a necessary journey
and is not acceptable. Neither is arriving at a challenging
walking location, inexperienced and unprepared in treacherous
"By making an irresponsible and ill-informed decision, the
safety of others such as the Cave Rescue Organisation volunteers
is also put in jeopardy and if any injury resulted, pressure
upon already stretched NHS resources."
On the same day another walker was rescued from the hillside
below Blua Crags, above Settle, after she slipped on steep, frozen
ground, sustaining a suspected ankle fracture.
14 Jan 2021
New Year - New Hope
After a year to forget, at last there's hope that 2021 will
be different. Today the new Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine begins
being administered to people across the country.
The government intends that over 20 million of the most
at-risk citizens will have been vaccinated by April. With their
current record of delivering on plans though, that seems
optimistic. But by early summer we should be able to return to
long-distance walking, even walking holidays - as we did briefly
in the late summer of 2020.
It comes at a time when second wave infections and
hospitalisations due to the new Covid-19 strain are passing the
peak of the first deadly wave last April. But hopefully this
will begin to be reversed as the vaccine is rolled out in
At the moment, only local people are eligible to go out
walking along sections of A Dales High Way. North Yorkshire now
falls within tier 3, Cumbria falls within tier 4. In these tiers
you should avoid travel outside your local area. These
restrictions look likely to be tightened, at least in the short
But now is the time to be optimistic and start planning for
the summer, when hopefully once again we can set off across the
glorious high country of the Yorkshire Dales and Eden valley.
4 Jan 2021
Ingleborough path repairs near completion
Work to repair the steep section of footpath between
Chapel-le-dale and Ingleborough, which rises from Humphrey
Bottom to the foot of the Swine Tail summit section, is expected
to be completed by Christmas. The path is now open for walkers
again whilst contractors finish various landscaping tasks..
This tricky section has provided many a hair-raising moment
for walkers on A Dales High Way, but the new blocked paving
looks much easier to negotiate.
The former stone pitching, in place since 1986, was crumbling
and has been removed, to be replaced with large gritstone
blocks. The blocks were sorted by the contractors - Terra Firma
Environmental Ltd - from a nearby boulder field on the flanks of
Ingleborough, stacked in helicopter bags and airlifted
onto the public footpath at the end of July 2020.
The works then started in August 2020 along with a closure of
the steepest section of the High Lot public footpath. A
temporary diversion 1 km further along the north-eastern ridge proved unpopular with 3 Peaks Challenge walkers.
Rob Ashford, National Park Area Ranger for Malhamdale &
Ribblesdale who is overseeing the project, said "Removal of the
existing stone pitching, installation of the new stone pitching
with the large gritstone blocks, drainage and associated
landscaping has been ongoing since August and we're coming to
end of the project. We're hoping the footpath
will be finished and open for Christmas, although the recent
snowfall has made it a bit harder for the contractors."
16 Dec 2020