News en route
£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
Cold plunge at White Wells greets New Year
Day got underway with the traditional cold water
bath at White Wells, overlooking Ilkley.
Volunteers signed up at the White Wells cafe before walking
next door and taking the steps down into the murky water. The
first to tackle the Ilkley challenge was Sandra Gale, who was
followed by families and people of all ages.
Charli Oliver, 19, from Perth, in Western Australia, was
joined by her boyfriend Matthew Lloyd and 15-year-old sister,
Amy (see photo (c) Bradford Telegraph & Argus)
"It wasn't as bad as I was expecting," said Charli, who
claimed the water was about six degrees centigrade. "My sister
said she couldn't breathe when she got in because it was so
White Wells is a spa bath situated on Ilkley Moor, on the
route of A Dales High Way. It was
built in around 1700 as an open air spa bath, later baths were
enclosed and a single plunge pool survives today.
The current tenants have been there for nearly 20 years, but
there are fears that the historic building could fall into
disrepair, following council plans to double the rent.
Previously the site stood empty for some time.
Town councillor Anne Hawkesworth said: "At that time the
cottage was empty because a tenant could not be found. The
security costs were exorbitant and a solution had to be found.
It was decided that the answer was probably to find a tenant who
would act as a caretaker on a nominal peppercorn rent- in
reality who else would live up there - I certainly wouldn't."
She said the arrangement also included a requirement to open
the cafe at specific times.
2 Jan 2019
Ride2Stride 2019 Programme
The programme for next year's Ride2Stride - the
Settle-Carlisle Walking and Music Festival - is now
available online. The festival runs from April 30th to May 6th.
The popular festival of walks, talks and music along the
world famous railway line is now in its 8th year. There are 31
led walks on offer, ranging from a 2 mile tour of the iconic
Ribblehead Viaduct, to a 15 mile strenuous hike from Ribblehead
to Horton crossing mighty Ingleborough.
Chris Grogan is leading a walk on behalf of the Friends
of A Dales High Way on Friday, May 3rd,
taking in sections of the long-distance trail around Settle. The
8.5 mile moderate circular walk from the town's station takes in
the Crags, Caves and Kilns to the east of the town, with some
steep climbs, before returning along the riverside. It starts at
10.22 to meet the train departing from Leeds at 09.19, with an
expected return in time for the 16.28 train back to Leeds, after
a short refreshment stop in the pub.
There are also three talks on offer in Settle through the
week, as well as the lively music sessions each evening in pubs
along the line from Appleby southwards. Especially welcome is
the return to The Station Inn at Ribblehead on a Saturday night.
There was a brief moment in summer when it seemed the 2019
R2S festival might not happen, due to a number of logistical
problems faced by a denuded steering group, but these issues
were soon resolved and a new festival committee was established
to take things forward.
The walks are free and no pre-booking is required. Just turn
up at the designated railway station for the start.
ride2stride.co.uk for the 2019 R2S Festival Programme. An
archive of the R2S programmes from 2012-2018 can be seen at
22 Dec 2018
Ingleton start option for Three Peaks
A new start and finish for the Yorkshire Three peaks
Challenge is being promoted by Business and Festival
leaders in the town of Ingleton.
The proposed new challenge route will be super tough -
adding almost 6 miles to the distance, and extra ascent.
The proposal has come in response to problems caused to
residents in the village of Horton-in-Ribblesdale, the most
popular staring point for the challenge.
Debby Kuhlmann, chairman of the Ingleton Area Business Group
said: “Over recent years due to an increase in the number of
walkers Horton-in-Ribblesdale has become inundated and is
struggling to cope. It was decided to launch Ingleton’s Three
Peaks and promote Ingleton as the place to start and finish the
Carl Lis, ward representative for Ingleton and chairman of
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority said he supported the
plan. “I think it will bring more visitors to Ingleton which
can’t be a bad thing, though I think the longer distance making
the walk over 29 miles will probably only attract perhaps 100
people each weekend. "
The proposed route leaves Ingleton Community centre car park
and heads for Ingleborough summit via Crina Bottom. The route
then follows the traditional way anti-clockwise through Horton,
over Pen-y-ghent, on to Ribblehead and over Whernside, coming
down to the Hill Inn. Turning right, the route then follows the
road down to Chapel-le-dale, picking up the narrow back lane for
a 4-mile trek back to Ingleton.
If it catches on, it will take some pressure off
Dales High Way walkers on a busy weekend as they
descend from Ingleborough to Humphrey Bottom.
2 Nov 2018
Leeds-Settle-Carlisle Line launch
The launch of a new website for the
Friends of the
Settle-Carlisle Line (FoSCL) has introduced a major change for
the 4000-member support group.
The website strap-line has now been extended to read "The
Leeds-Settle-Carlisle Line", helping emphasise the fact that the
line is part of a major mainline railway. A new display at Leeds
station showcases this.
Former FoSCL chairman Richard Morris, who helped develop the
new website, said: "We wanted to make it clear that we're
responsible for 72 miles of a unique mainline railway, and not a
privately run heritage railway that just runs steam trains."
The organisation itself is unlikely, however, to change its
The railway offers walkers on a A Dales High Way unique
access to the long-distance trail.
The Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line were originally
formed in 1981 to campaign against a proposal to close the
famous historic and scenic route. In 1989 the Government decided
that the line must remain open. Since then FoSCL has acted as a
user group to improve facilities and services for passengers.
The last two years or so have proved turbulent for the
organisation, with mounting disquiet from some volunteers and
members who have felt alienated over some recent decisions. Next
May's Annual General Meeting may see several changes at the top,
when the current Chairman steps down.
Photo shows the new display at Leeds station (© Drew Haley).
19 Nov 2018