Friends events at ride2stride Walking Festival
The Friends of A Dales High Way have helped organise two
events for ride2stride 2015 - the Settle-Carlisle
The first is a moderate 7-mile circular walk from Settle visiting
amazing Hoffman Kiln industrial relic on the way to Stainforth,
returning along the banks of the River Ribble on a section of
A Dales High Way. The walk leaves Settle
station at 11.44 am on Tuesday April 28th, and is led by Colin
Speakman - well known Dales author, creator of the Dales Way and
founder of the Yorkshire Dales Society.
The second is an evening talk on Lady Anne's Way by
author and creator of the long-distance trail Sheila Gordon. This
walk shares a short section with A Dales High Way from its starting
point in Skipton, following in the footsteps of the remarkable Lady
Anne Clifford on a 100-mile trip visiting many of her ancient
castles and halls. The talk will be held in the Friends Meeting Hall
in Settle on Wednesday April 29th starting at 7.30 pm. There is a
charge of £3.00 which includes refreshments.
This is the fourth year for the incredibly popular walking
festival, which sees accommodation in the area book up very quickly,
so don't leave it too late. Fortunately this year the Royal Oak in
Settle is also offering accommodation, and we have it on good
authority that the newly refurbished Falcon Manor Hotel should have
rooms ready by March 2015.
15 Dec 2014
Sedbergh Welcomes Walkers
A new organisation in Sedbergh has been launched to promote the
area for walkers and cyclists.
The Sedbergh Area Walking and Cycling Group was
officially launched at the town’s community information centre, with
the unveiling of their new website, the Sedbergh Gateway.
The website, which was declared open by Sedbergh Parish Council
chairman Dr Hilary Hodge, features walking and cycling routes as
well as useful information about bike hire, local groups, tips for
families, public transport, accommodation and shops. Both
A Dales High Way and the Dales Way are featured as
Long Distance Trails.
"This is just what Sedbergh needs," said South Lakeland district
councillor Evelyn Westwood. "The western Dales and the Howgills have
always been popular destinations, but this new project, and the
website, will help us to engage yet further with visiting walkers
The group is also applying for official accreditation as a
Walkers Are Welcome town.
Local residents and businesses came up with the idea to encourage
visitors to enjoy the western Dales and to encourage locals to make
the most of the stunning landscape on their doorstep.
Carole Nelson, secretary of the new group, explained: “One of the
group’s big ambitions is to create a recognised walking trail,
through Dentdale and Sedbergh, that would follow the footsteps of
George Fox, the early Quaker, in 1652."
2 Dec 2014
Path improvements on Sharp Haw
A group from the Friends of A Dales High Way visited
weekend, to see how improvements to the path are standing up to the
recent wet weather.
The works were carried out over the summer by rangers from the
Yorkshire Dales National Park, led by Cat Kilner. Small stones have
been packed under the turf in places where erosion has become a
problem to support the track.
Tony Grogan of the Friends said “This path is popular locally
with both walkers and runners, and it makes a nice half day circular
route from the Craven Heifer. The area can become quite wet and
muddy, but the path strengthening on the southern side seems to be
working well. The National Park rangers are to be congratulated on
their efforts here.
“The real problem faced by walkers on A Dales High Way comes on
the descent across Flasby Fell to the north, where for a short
stretch the ground becomes quite boggy, particularly after heavy
rain. We had a walk across the route earlier this year with the
rangers to take a look, but it’s difficult to see how the path can
be improved easily.”
The group enjoyed a walk from Skipton to Hetton along the route
of A Dales High Way, before visiting the
famous Angel Inn and catching a bus back to Skipton.
Further discussion on possible areas of improvement is expected
at the Friend’s Annual General Meeting this weekend.
“To be honest, there aren’t many problem areas along the route,
though one or two spots can get quite muddy after prolonged heavy
rain” said Tony. “Our approach so far has been to suggest possible
alternatives to these sections via the website, and now we’re
looking to work with the various authorities along the route and our
own volunteers to see where further improvements can be made.”
17 Nov 2014
Gordale Scar given away
Gordale Scar is to be given away by its owners Craven Council.
The deep cut natural ravine, an Ice Age wonder, is an almost
compulsory minor diversion for walkers on A Dales High
Ownership is to be handed over to Kirkby Malhamdale Parish
Council, who had requested that they be given ownership of the 5.26
hectare site, after it emerged that the site had originally been
registered as belonging to Craven Council by mistake.
Andrew Whelan, Craven Council’s estates surveyor, said: “The
parish council approached us wanting to take ownership from us. Our
legal department has investigated historical ownership of the land
and confirmed that the parish council should have been the
registered owners of it historically. When it was registered, for
some reason it was registered to us rather than them. It is just a
paper exercise to correct the ownership details at the Land
Registry. We do not anticipate anything changing.”
A report to Craven Council’s Policy Cttee recommended the
transfer and gave a value of £30,000 to the site, which is
registered, strangely, as a Village Green. But no charge is to be
made for the transfer.
A public footpath runs up alongside the waterfall deep within the
scar, and is a popular scramble for walkers.
Phil Dewhurst, clerk of the parish council, said: “It brings
absolute clarity to the fact that it is definitely part of Kirby
Malhamdale Parish Council. We can then make sure we take the
necessary actions to safeguard Gordale for the parish and safeguard
4 Nov 2014
The top of Penyghent has been given a bit of a makeover, courtesy
of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Natural England and the
Friends of the Three Peaks.
A Friends outing to view the results on Wednesday met with the
gale force conditions as the back end of Hurricane Gonzalo passed,
but thankfully all the group returned safely.
The eroded surface at the top of Penyghent has been restored and
flagged with stone slabs from old Lancashire mills. In recognition
of how busy the path gets, the flags have been laid double width to
allow walkers to chat whilst getting their breath back after the
steep climb through the gritstone.
The work was undertaken early last year by Access Ranger Nathan
Allen and Three Peaks Ranger Josh, working in all kinds of
conditions, from glorious sunshine to thick snowshowers! (see the
The work is just a sample of the ongoing maintenance of the
Yorkshire Three peaks route, including the section across
Ingleborough which is on the route of A Dales High Way. With many
charities using the Three Peaks Challenge Route as a fundraiser, the
route gets some heavy bootfall. In one 4-hour period last summer
over 1800 walkers were counted on the route.
The Three Peaks Project, which looks after the landscape and is
managed by the National Park Authority, is self financing and
depends on money from membership of the Friends of the Three Peaks
and other donations. A recent Yorkshire Three Peaks phone app is
also proving a big success, with over 1600 sold – a bargain at just
Although only Ingleborough lies on the official route, many
walkers on A Dales High Way plan in an additional day or a route
diversion to take in all three of the Yorkshire Peaks: Ingleborough,
Whernside and Penyghent.
23 October 2014
5th decade for Ilkley Literature festival
The 41st Ilkley literature Festival is now well underway with
for everyone, including walkers on A Dales High Way.
Clair Balding will be helping to wind the festival up on Sunday
19th October, with a talk about her new book Walking Home.
Clair’s Radio 4 programme Ramblings is currently featuring
her walk along the Dales Way and she is joined by our own Chris
Grogan on next week’s programme.
Colin Speakman, co-founder of the Dales Way Association and the
Yorkshire Dales Society is talking about 60 years of the Dales
National park on Thursday 16 October.
There are plenty of big names on show, including Will Self,
Sheila Hancock, James Naughty, Margaret Atwood, Ken Livingstone and
Festival director Rachel Feldberg said: “This is the beginning of
our fifth decade – so if last year was about looking back, this year
is going to be about looking forward.”
With over 240 events scheduled for the two and a half weeks of
the festival, there’s plenty to choose from.
There are lots of events for children and young people with three
of the UK’s leading children’s fiction writers appearing: Lauren
Child, Michael Morpurgo and David Almond, as well as an afternoon of
Many of the events are already fully booked, so it’s best to book
7 Oct 2014
High Way comic tale
A unique graphic account of one couple’s experience along
High Way has been published by illustrator and author
Katie’s latest issue of The Green Bean, a beautifully
hand crafted comic-zine issued bi-monthly as a limited edition, is
given over to a two-week walking holiday in the Yorkshire Dales.
Katie said: “Last September, my partner Luke and I walked most of
A Dales High Way during a two week trip to Yorkshire. A year later,
I finally got it together to make a special issue of my regular
comic, The Green Bean, documenting the trip.”
As well as walking a good chunk of A Dales High Way, Katie
includes other walks taking in Mallerstang, Wensleydale and
Wharfedale, inspired by other Skyware Press guidebooks.
Chris Grogan of Friends of A Dales High Way said:
“People often contact us to tell us about their walk, but I don’t
think I’ve ever had such a lovely tribute as this. Katie’s work is
quite beautiful and I shall treasure it.”
Katie’s other work includes her autobiographical first graphic
book Lighter Than My Shadow, published in 2013 by Jonathon
Cape, which was very well received by reviewers.
19 Sept 2014
Dales High Way on new OS Dales map
A Dales High Way is one of two new routes to be included for the
first time on Outdoor Leisure Map OL2 Yorkshire Dales Southern and
Western Areas. It will be feature on the updated OL19 Howgill Fells
and Upper Eden Valley map early next year.
OL2 - Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western areas
The cover of the new edition of OL2 map shows the iconic
Ribblehead Viaduct under which the route of A Dales High Way passes
before skirting Whernside to head through Dentdale to Sedbergh and
the Howgill Fells.
Friends of A Dales High Way chairperson Julia Pearson said, “We are delighted that the route is now on the map. It will
introduce more people to the pleasures of walking through the
glorious Yorkshire Dales. The whole world saw how beautiful the
Dales are during the Tour de France and now they want to come and
see for themselves.”
Co-creator of the trail Chris Grogan said, “Long distance walking is a great way to experience a landscape
and benefits the local communities as well. Spending a few days on a
trail and staying in towns and villages along the way means that
walkers not only enjoy the countryside but the great Yorkshire
A Dales High Way is one of two new long-distance Recreational
Routes to be included: the other is the Pennine Journey, a 247-mile
circular route from Settle to Hadrian’s Wall and back based loosely
on a solitary walk Alfred Wainwright undertook in 1938.
1 Sept 2014
Dales Way Ramblings
A Dales High Way gets a mention in a
new series of BBC Radio 4’s Ramblings in the autumn. Clare
Balding spent a wet and
week walking the Dales Way with various guests, including our own
The 45-year old Dales Way is the High Way’s more famous sister
and was the first long distance walk Chris Grogan tackled. Chris is
now secretary to both the Dales Way Association and
Friends of A Dales High Way.
Chris joined Clare on the section through Dentdale to Sedbergh on
Tuesday along with fellow Dales Way Association committee member
Kath Doyle. Both the Dales Way and Dales High Way share a short
section near Dent. Chris talked about how the Dales Way had inspired
her and husband Tony to devise their own long-distance route.
Chris has walked part of the Dales Way with Clare Balding before,
along with Dales Way creator Colin Speakman and his wife Fleur. That
was in back in 2011. Clare was so taken with the walk she vowed to
Colin and Fleur joined Clare on the final day of their Dales Way
walk into Bowness-on-Windermere.
15 August 2014
Appleby Castle backdrop for Macbeth
There’s a chance to watch two of Shakespeare’s greatest plays
live in the grounds of Appleby Castle next week.
GB Theatre Company are performing the plays on the 7th and 8th of
August as part of the 450th anniversary celebrations of William
The Comedy of Errors is probably Shakespeare's earliest
work and captures the genius and creativity of the young playwright.
Macbeth is a dark, grim tragedy that portrays ambition,
fate, deception and treachery depicting a deep understanding of the
complexity of human nature. Featuring stunning sword fighting scenes
it will move and entertain all ages.
GB Theatre Company performs classic plays in spectacular open-air
gardens at historic locations around the UK and Europe. Established
in 2010, by Gillian Roca and Barrie Palmer, the Company has an
excellent reputation for staging outstanding drama.
This year the Company is celebrating its fifth anniversary and is
delighted to announce the renowned actress Felicity Kendal CBE is
joining the Company as its Patron.
The shows are the latest in a string of events taking place at
the historic castle since it re-opened to the public last year after
a 12-year closure.
2 August 2014
Dales National Park celebrates 60th birthday
Special guests from the country’s National Parks will be visiting
sites at the heart of A Dales High Way in
October, as the Yorkshire Dales National Park celebrates its 60th
Yorkshire Dales Society, along with the National Park Authority, is
hosting this year’s National Parks Societies Annual Conference, but
far from harking back over the last 60 years the theme is definitely
one of looking forward. Young people and their experiences of
living, working and volunteering in the Yorkshire Dales are central
to the 3 day event.
There are visits to Malham village and the surrounding farming
communities; a stop at the excellent family run Town End Farm Shop
in Airton, a hike into three Peak country to explore the impact of
quarrying and much much more.
The venue is the fabulous Coniston Hotel and delegates can look
forward to good food and even better after dinner entertainment with
talks from both the National Park’s Chief Executive, David
Butterworth, and the Authority’s Chairman, Peter Charlseworth. The
charismatic Gary Verity, the man who bought Le Tour to Yorkshire,
will talk about the impact of the Grand Depart on the area.
19 July 2014
Grand Depart hits A Dales High Way
A few spots on the first stages of A Dales High Way
were perfect for watching the Grand Depart as Yorkshire went Tour
Hundreds of thousands of people turned out along the route, which
passed through Ilkley, Addingham, Skipton and Hetton on its way up
through Swaledale and on to finish at Harrogate.
was officially declared “full” long before the colourful sponsors’
caravan promenade swept along the High Street at around 11 o’clock,
a couple of hours before the cyclists arrived.
But many folk walked up along the Grassington Road for the best
views of the cyclists as they climbed out of the town.
Skipton, like Ilkley, was a designated “Tour Hub” and was geared
up for a full four-day festival, with big screens showing the tour
live through-out the day.
Anyone watching the spectacle on TV could not have been unmoved
at the stunning images of the Yorkshire Dales as helicopter mounted
cameras swept along the route.
What a great success for the region.
5 July 2014
Midge Ure for Dentdale Festival
Dentdale Music & Beer Festival, the fabulous annual free festival
on by the community of Dentdale, has been pulling in one or two big
names of late, as well as the usual varied assortment of excellent
lesser known names.
This year is no exception, with the festival being rounded off on
Sunday afternoon by Midge Ure, formally of Ultravox and well known
for his work with Save the Children and BandAid.
Midge now concentrates on solo work, and his performance is
likely to feature material from his forthcoming new album
The festival will also be featuring a new beer celebrating the
25th anniversary of the success of the campaign to save the
Settle-Carlisle railway. The golden ale, Ruswarp, has been
brewed for the Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line by Eden Brewery.
The festival runs on the weekend of 27th-29th June. Once again
Dent is likely to be heaving, so if you haven't already booked your
camping spot, you may be too late. But the festival is running
busses up to Dent railway station, making a day visit to the
Walkers on A Dales High Way who have
arranged a stop-over for the event are in for a real treat!
12 June 2014
New Dales High Way fingerpost on Shipley Glen
On a wet Thursday morning Julia Pearson, chairperson of the
Friends of A
Dales High Way, led a party of volunteers up onto Shipley Glen to erect the
first dedicated Dales High Way fingerpost along the route.
The spot is at a split in the path, which sometimes causes confusion for
walkers on the trail.
The fingerpost had been prepared at Bradford Council's Countryside
workshop in Shipley, with the help of Countryside rangers there. But the
routing of the sign was undertaken by Julia herself - and what a great job
Julia said: "I'm really pleased to have been able to help make such a
smart sign for the early stages of A Dales High Way.
I hope DHW walkers find it helpful and that other walkers are inspired to
explore the route. Thanks to the BEES volunteers for digging a very deep
hole, then filling it in again!"
The volunteers from Bradford Environmental Education Service soon had a three-foot deep hole dug into the hard, rocky
ground, and the post was firmly installed. Well done guys and many thanks!
29 May 2014
Malham loses vital bus service
A vital daily bus service to Malham is to be lost when bus
Pennine Motors ceases trading at the end of the week.
The operator runs daily early morning and evening services on
weekdays to the popular Dales village from Skipton. These are the
most useful for walkers.
Now only two weekday busses, operated by North Yorkshire County
Council, remain. These run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with the
last bus returning from Malham at 1.35 pm.
In a statement the operator said: “It is with regret that as from
close of business on the 16th May, 2014 Pennine Motors will no
longer trade as a bus company.
“This is due to the free travel payments from North Yorkshire
Council being reduced by 20% and another bus company running too
many buses on our main bus route between Skipton and Barnoldswick.
“I am sure you will appreciate that this has been a very
difficult decision for myself and my family as my Grandfather
founded the business in 1925 together with his brother and brother
in law, but unfortunately it is no longer financially viable.
“I would like to thank all our loyal customers for their
unwaivering support over the last 88 years.”
However, a new Saturday bus will ensure a better weekend service.
The volunteer-led Dales & Bowland Community Interest Company has
introduced a new Saturday bus service linking Harrogate, Skipton and
Malham – Cravenlink bus 75. This provides a last afternoon return
time of 4.55 pm on the Saturday, with a last return bus at 4.30 pm
on a Sunday.
The Saturday service is being underwritten by the Dales and
Bowland CIC, whose Chairman Chris Nash of Skipton said “I believe
that there is a market for such a service and hope that it will be
supported on such a scale that it becomes financially viable”.
However its continuation beyond October depends upon the number of
12 May 2014
Join Friends for anniversary talk
Friends of A Dales High Way have teamed up with the
Settle-Carlisle Line to promote an illustrated talk about the
remarkable six-year campaign to save the world famous
Settle-Carlisle railway line from closure.
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the success of that
The talk, by author and journalist Stan Abbott, takes place on
Friday, May 2nd at Victoria Hall in Settle. The event starts at 7.15
pm and costs just £3.00. It is part of this year's Ride2Stride
Walking Festival, which kicks off tomorrow.
Following the Beeching report, the line was run down in
preparation for closure. When the closure notice was finally
announced in 1983 a remarkable campaigning group was formed,
bringing a host of organisations together under the umbrella of the
Joint Action Committee.
On 11th April 1989 transport secretary Michael Portillo finally
announced the line's reprieve. He has since admitted that it was the
best political decision he ever made.
Two anniversary trains have already been run this month to mark
the anniversary, the first which carried both Portillo and Stan
Abbott alongside a host of other people who were instrumental in the
Without their success, it is doubtful that A Dales
High Way would exist today.
28 April 2014
Tree planting to "cool" rivers
Hundreds of new trees have been planted alongside the River
over the winter, in a bid to help keep the river "cool" in hot
The planting has taken place on spots such as the approach to
Stainforth Force, on the route of A Dales High Way.
Some new fencing and gating has been introduced, but the the route
of the long-distance trail remains unaltered.
The planting has been undertaken by the Ribble Rivers Trust,
a charity which was set up in 1997 in an attempt to restore the
surrounding flora and wildlife of the river to its former glory.
The Trust says: "The UK Climate Projections have predicted that
by 2050, the average summer air temperatures could rise by as much
as 4°C. Along with it, water temperatures in our rivers and streams
will also increase. The optimum water temperature for salmonid
survival is reportedly between 10 and 15°C, while the critical limit
set by the European Inland Fisheries Advisory Committee is 21.5°C.
Exceed this limit for a few consecutive days and the oxygen levels
in the water will become severely depleted, possibly resulting in a
fish kill and a reduction in populations of other riverine species
that rely on them for food.
"Our electrofishing surveys in 2012 told us that the average
water temperature in the Ribble Catchment over the summer months was
13.7°C, however the highest temperature recorded was 18.2°C, only 3
degrees below the critical limit. Therefore, as the UK continues to
warm, action needs to be taken to keep our rivers cool.
"Trees seem to be the best solution. Not only do they shade the
water from direct sunlight, they also bring other benefits too, such
as providing habitat for wildlife, buffering diffuse pollution and
stabilising riverbanks to prevent excessive erosion. Furthermore,
trees soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, providing a much
needed means of carbon sequestration."
22 April 2014
Dales High Way on OS maps
The route of A Dales High Way is now been included on the latest
Ordnance Survey maps as a long- distance recreational route.
The route will appear on both Landranger maps, at a scale of
1:50,000, and the more detailed Explorer Maps at 1:25,000.
The route has been included on the OS digital maps service
available online, and will be included on printed maps as and when
new print runs are produced. This is likely to mean the route will
appear firstly on the popular Yorkshire Dales series OL2 and OL19.
The process of including a new long distance route on OS maps is
a detailed and rigorous one. Routes must be supported by guidebooks,
must be well waymarked and must have the support of all the local
authorities along the route for inclusion.
Local authorities like the Yorkshire Dales National Park
Authority have their own strict guidelines when it comes to
supporting long distance recreational routes. The routes must have
a “responsible body” to oversee, promote and help maintain them;
must have been monitored for a period of at least five years and
must be able to show an economic benefit to the communities through
which they pass. The route must also, of course, be entirely on
public rights of way or other areas of open access.
The Friends of A Dales High Way have been working
closely with rights of way officers at all the local authorities
along the route: Bradford Metropolitan District Council, North
Yorkshire County Council, the Yorkshire Dales National Park and
Cumbria County Council.
Julia Pearson, chair of the Friends, said: “It is very exciting
to see the Dales High Way appear on OS maps. Not only will this be a
reassuring navigational aid, but it is a real testament to the
increasing popularity of Dales High Way amongst long distance
walkers. And the words on the map are a great way to introduce the
route to more walkers so hopefully even more people will be enjoying
this great route in the years to come.
“Friends of A Dales High Way would like to thank the Rangers and
Rights of Way officers from Bradford, North Yorkshire and Cumbria
Councils and from the Yorkshire Dales National Park for all their
help and support to enable FoADHW reach this ambitious landmark in
the development of A Dales High Way”.
2 April 2014
Skipton best place to live in UK
The market town of Skipton – “the gateway to the Dales” – has
crowned the best place to live in the UK by the Sunday Times.
The Sunday Times judges put it in top spot out of 101 entries for
its ideal combination of low crime rates, “top class” schools, great
transport links, “buzzing” high street, pretty and reasonably priced
property and beautiful surrounding countryside.
“Skipton is a worthy winner,” said home editor Helen Davies. “We
love it for its big-hearted, buzzy life.”
Skipton MP Julian Smith said he was over the moon: “The judges
described all the attributes we know Skipton has, whether it is
access to the Dales, quality of its schooling or its high street.
“I think the title is very, very richly deserved and I pay
tribute to the community groups, councils and civic leaders as well
as the community at large who have played a role in making Skipton
the best place to live in Britain. I am a very proud local MP.”
The town is a popular overnight stop for walkers on A
Dales High Way. It’s also a popular tourist
attraction, with its beautifully preserved medieval castle,
colourful canal basin and award-winning high street.
20 march 2014
Park relief over government planning decision
Government proposals to allow agricultural buildings like barns
be turned into homes without the need for planning permission have
been modified to exclude the national parks.
The announcement brought relief to the Yorkshire Dales National
Park Authority, which feared the proposals would cause "irreversible
harm" to the beautiful scenery of the National Park.
Peter Charlesworth, Chairman of the Park Authority, said he was
"delighted" at the announcement last week by Planning Minister Nick
Boles that Government changes to planning rules would not apply in
the Yorkshire Dales National Park, which contains an estimated 6,000
Following the announcement, he said: "We are delighted that the
Government has listened to the concerns of England's national parks
and others and has modified its proposals accordingly, allowing
national parks to retain local planning control.
"We're now going to be getting on with implementing the spirit of
the National Planning Policy Framework – to promote sustainable
development in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This will, no
doubt, include the conversion of some barns to houses, but only
where they're in suitable locations.”
Jon Avison, Chairman Designate of the Yorkshire Dales Society,
said: "We are over the moon that the collaborative work of the
Society and the National Park Authority has helped to persuade the
minister to change his mind on this very important policy. It would
have had a potentially devastating impact on the landscape and the
character of the Yorkshire Dales."
Picture courtesy of the Yorkshire Dales National Park
10 March 2014
Wettest winter on record
The UK has suffered the wettest winter on record, the Met office
from December 1 2013 to February 19 2014 show the UK had 486.8 mm
(19.2 inches) of rainfall, the highest figures recorded in the last
This time the south of the UK suffered the worst, with widespread
2012 proved the wettest year on record so far, but there have
been major flooding incidents in 2009, 2007 and 2005.
Campaigners have called for more action to tackle climate change,
which is widely thought to be behind the increasing weather
extremes. Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Guy Shrubsole
said: "Extreme weather is becoming more common; four out of the five
wettest years on record have taken place since the year 2000.
"The climate is changing before our eyes, and still the
politicians fiddle - the more fossil fuels we burn, the more it
floods. The Government needs to close the gaping half-billion pound
hole in its flood defence plans and redouble efforts to tackle
Prolonged and heavy rainfall can make it tough going for walkers,
particularly those tackling a long-distance route like A
Dales High Way. But with a little bit of prior
research and preparation, it shouldn’t spoil the enjoyment of
walking such a trail. Walkers are advised to check out the advice on
the worst affected sections of the route.
23 Feb 2014
Ride2stride Festival programme out
The final programme for ride2stride 2014, the
Walking Festival, is out now.
This year’s week-long festival of walks, talks and music along
the fabulous Settle-Carlisle railway line runs from Tuesday April
29th to Monday May 5th. It features the usual mix of events,
including 30 led walks from stations along the line that are all
free. No need to book in advance, just turn up at the start station
at the allotted time.
There are three fascinating talks, including one by author Stan
Abbott, who’s book “the Line that Refused to Die” tells of the
inspiring and ultimately successful campaign to save the
Settle-Carlisle line from closure. April 2014 marks the 25th
anniversary of the line’s reprieve. The talk is sponsored jointly by
the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line and the Friends
of A Dales High Way. Talks cost £3.00
And to round off each evening, there will be folk sessions in a
variety of pubs along the line, tied to some of the day’s walks.
These are also free, with bucket collections towards the musicians’
At the festival launch on Tuesday there’s also the chance to join
a free guided tour of the recently restored Settle Water Tower, as
featured on Channel 4’s Restoration Man.
So get the diary out and book those dates now.
9 Feb 2014
New Flasby Fell Route Options
An alternative route to the crossing of Flasby Fell, just beyond
Skipton, has been added to A Dales High Way
The alternative offers an easy route in bad weather, particularly
after prolonged rainfall, as has been experienced lately. The
descent from Sharp Haw across Flasby Fell can become boggy underfoot
in such circumstances.
The alternative route runs parallel to the main route, to the
south west, using a hardened forest track. The trees here have been
recently cleared and open views across Ribblesdale are available
Most people will still choose to climb Sharp Haw, which though a
humble peak of only 359 metres height, offers superb panoramic
views. Here an optional link route offers an alternative to Flasby
This Flasby Fell alternative joins a handful of other bad-weather
route options, devised by the Friends of A Dales High Way
to help walkers facing a few Grot Spots which appear along
the trail after prolonged periods of heavy rain.
In the near future the Friends hope also to promote schemes to
improve sections of the main trail at these spots.
23 January 2014
Coach walks for A Dales High Way
If you fancy walking A Dales High Way this spring then
you might consider joining Amanda
Burton of A.S. Coaches who is organising a leisurely day's walk
once a fortnight, by coach.
Amanda told us, “Following the great success we had walking the
Dales Way as a series of day walks last year, we’ve decided to tackle
A Dales High Way.”
With return transport provided and an experienced guide this is an ideal
way to tackle a long distance path in a friendly group at a
leisurely pace. The walks will start on May 3rd with the 8 mile section from
Saltaire to Ilkley.
Further dates booked so far are:
- Sat May 3rd - Saltaire to Ilkley (8 miles)
- Sat May 17th - Ilkley to Skipton (11 miles)
- Sat May 31st - Skipton to Malham (12 miles)
- Sat June 14th - Malham to Stainforth (10 miles)
- Sat June 28th - Stainforth to Chapel-le-Dale (11 miles)
Each day costs £15, including coach travel from the Pateley
Bridge area, Grassington or Skipton. Amanda says “We try to be
flexible about pick ups so please phone and talk to us.”
For more information or to book a place please ring Amanda at A.S.
Coaches on 01423 711252 or email
13 Jan 2014
New Route Guide for Coast to Coast Walk
Today sees the publication of a new Coast to Coast Route
to coincide with the waymarking of Alfred Wainwright’s classic walk
for the first time in 40 years.
From the Irish Sea at St. Bees Head, the Coast to Coast Walk
winds its way across northern England, 190 miles or so, to the North
Sea shoreline at Robin Hood's Bay. On the way it passes through
three National Parks: the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the
North York Moors.
It shares a short section with A Dales High Way,
near to the isolated Sunbiggin Tarn. When Wainwright filmed his walk
with the BBC in 1989 at the age of 81, Sunbiggin Tarn was still the
site of an annual invasion by 10,000 nesting black headed gulls.
They disappeared in 1998, never to return. To this day, no-one knows
Wainwright set about thinking about his own long-distance trail
in the 1960s, after walking the Pennine Way – a walk he didn’t
really enjoy. He began to flesh out the details in 1970, devising a
route across the North York Moors. He toyed with the idea of
following the newly created Dales Way into Yorkshire, but in the end
opted for a more northerly route across the Westmorland Fells.
Finally he worked a route over his beloved Lakeland Fells.
Wainwright’s original guidebook was published in 1973 and his
walk is now by far the most popular long distance trail in Britain,
and one of the world's great walks. Wainwright died in 1991 and his
ashes were scattered on Haystacks, overlooking his Coast to Coast
When Wainwright filmed his Coast to Coast Walk with
the BBC in 1989, Sunbiggin Tarn was still host to an annual
nesting population of 10,000 black headed gulls. They
vanished in 1998.
The new Coast to Coast Route Guide contains full colour
large-scale strip maps of the entire route, and should make the
practical task of route-finding easy. It is published by Skyware
Press, publishers of a number of long-distance walk guides in
Yorkshire and Cumbria, including the Dales High Way guides.
1 January 2014