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

A Dales High Way

News en route

The First Dales Way Walk

Grandsire Viewpoint near the end of The Dales Way

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 take part.”

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 success.

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!

See the Dales Way Association website here.

16 March 2019

Spirit of the Medieval Hunter

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 Skipton Castle.

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 woodland."

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 Moor.

See Anna and the Willow's work here, the Woodland Trust here, and see the Skipton Alternative Routes here.

1 March 2019

Dales High Way with Three Peaks

Pen-y-ghent approach from Stainforth

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!"

See Ian's blog here, and see the Pen-y-ghent option here.

14 Feb 2019

First cold snap of 2019

Ingleborough webcam jan 2019

The first real cold snap of this winter has finally taken hold over the Yorkshire Dales, with snow blanketing Ingleborough (see picture).

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."

See the Ingleborough Webcam here, and the Cave Rescue Organisation here.

1 Feb 2019

£2.2 million for Westmorland Dales

Dales High Way walkers near Sunbiggin Tarn, Ravenstonedale Moor

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 projects."

See the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership here.

14 Jan 2019

More News >

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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!
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

Dales High Way Lapel Badge thumbprint Dales High Way Lapel Badges

Celebrate your Dales High Way walk with this beautiful high quality enamel lapel badge.



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