Baildon Welcomes High Way walkers
Baildon Walkers Are Welcome group have chosen
A Dales High Way to launch their first
Walkers met up this morning at 9 a.m. to join walk leader
Paul Robinson for a 17-mile hike over Rombalds Moor to Ilkley
and Addingham, before crossing Skipton Moor for Skipton.
A Dales High Way was devised 10 years ago by Baildon Walkers
are Welcome Vice-Chair, Chris Grogan, and her husband Tony.
Chris is also secretary of the Friends of A Dales High Way and
has had a busy year organising a number of 10th anniversary
Some walkers had planned to leave the walk at Ilkley, whilst
another group were planning to join up with the walk at White
Wells for the final stretch to Skipton.
Baildon was awarded Walkers Are Welcome status in
2013 and have proved to be one of the more active groups in the
region. They organise a number of guided walks for all
abilities, from local town trails and family-friendly shorter
walks, to longer hikes.
The national Walkers are Welcome scheme started 11
years ago in Yorkshire. Hebden Bridge was the first Walkers are
Welcome town. Now there are over 100 towns and villages
accredited as Walkers are Welcome communities – including
Baildon, of course.
1 Sept. 2018
Rail strike blow to Trail plans
The announcement of new rail strikes has disrupted plans for
the final two Anniversary Walks by the Friends of A
Dales High Way.
With 7 of the 9 planned walks along the full length of A
Dales High Way - Walk the Trail 2018 - already
completed, the final two walks were scheduled for
the Saturdays of August 25th and September 8th.
But a series of strikes by the RMT rail union on Northern
services are earmarked for three consecutive Saturdays:- August
25, September 1 and September 8.
The walk planned for August 25th has been pulled back a week
to August 18th, as it involves using the Western Dales bus from
Dent which only operates on a Saturday. The walk heads from
Sedbergh over the Howgill Fells to Newbiggin-on-Lune, and
involves a stunning six-mile ridge walk with some of the finest
views in the Yorkshire Dales.
The final walk has been pushed on one day to Sunday September
9th, which will involve a much later start and finish. The walk
sets out from Newbiggin-on-Lune to cross the Orton Fells heading
down into the Eden Valley to finish at Appleby.
Chris said: "It's a real shame, as we have had to hastily
re-arrange the dates, which means a number of walkers who had
planned to join us will no longer be able to. But so far the
walks have been a
hugely enjoyable experience for all concerned."
14 Aug 2018
Shooters target birds of prey
Despite the breeding success of the Peregrine Falcons nesting
at Malham Cove, there is growing concern at the persecution of
birds of prey by game shooters.
North Yorkshire has the unwanted record of having more
confirmed incidents of raptor persecution than any other county
in England, with 54 incidents between 2012 and 2016 in which
species such as peregrine falcons, red kites and hen harriers
have been shot, poisoned and even caught in spring-loaded pole
traps that have been outlawed since Victorian times. North
says such crimes are particularly prevalent in areas where land
is managed for driven grouse shooting.
In a bid to tackle the problem, in February this year North
Yorkshire Police launched Operation Owl.
On Friday Andrew Sells, the Chair of Natural England,
welcomed efforts by the shooting community to safeguard and
conserve hundreds of hectares of land for wildlife, when he
spoke at the 60th Game Fair at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire. He said despite this work “more needs
to be done to ensure there is a balance between shooting and
Earlier this month a dead Red Kite was found near Bolton
Abbey by walkers. Initial tests indicated there was a piece of
shot in the body.
Doug Simpson, Yorkshire Red Kite Co-ordinator, said: “This
latest incident brings the total confirmed Yorkshire red kite
illegal persecution victims up to 42 since releases began in
1999. Thirteen of these birds having been shot. It is sickening
that a small minority of people appear intent on breaking the
law by targeting these birds, which have become an integral part
of our beautiful North Yorkshire countryside.”
In March this year The Yorkshire Dales National Park
Authority (YDNPA) published an ‘evidence report’ on birds of
prey persecution – which was first presented to a wildlife crime
summit held at the Authority’s offices in Bainbridge.
It says, “The collation of breeding data, the number of
confirmed persecution incidents and the absence of some species
from large areas of potentially suitable habitat provide
compelling evidence that illegal persecution is limiting the
populations of peregrine and hen harrier in the National Park,
and is preventing the colonisation of the area by red kites.
“There has not been a successful Peregrine nesting attempt on
any of the monitored grouse moor sites since 1997, with birds
now absent from the majority of sites that were occupied in the
1990s. This is in stark contrast to the success of nest sites
away from grouse moors. There is no natural
explanation for this difference.
“Despite large areas of potentially suitable nesting habitat,
there has not been a successful hen harrier nesting attempt in
the National Park since 2007. In addition, 11 (19%)
of the 59 hen harriers that were satellite tagged by Natural
England at sites across northern England and Scotland between
2002 and 2017 are classed as ‘missing, fate unknown’ in the
1 August 2018
Anniversary Walk reaches half-way point
Walk the Trail 2018 - a series of day walks following
High Way - has now passed the half-way point.
The event, organised by the Friends of A Dales High Way
to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the long-distance
began in May with a group of 14 walkers tackling the first
section from Saltaire to Ilkley.
Since then, a varying group of 22 walkers have completed 4
more sections, with the last yesterday being a stunning 11 mile walk
from Settle to Horton-in-Ribblesdale under a sweltering sun.
The next walk takes place on Saturday, July 28th. It's a 10.5
mile hike from Horton-in-Ribblesdale, climbing the mighty
Ingleborough before a steep descent to Chapel-le-Dale and a long
walk to Ribblehead along the lower south-eastern flank of
Anyone wanting to join the group needs to book in advance.
The remaining sections are all classed as strenuous and
involve a full days walking at a fairly brisk pace. The
remaining walks all take place from the Leeds to Carlisle train
leaving leeds at 7.48 a.m.
Future walks will also involve service bus, hired mini-bus or
taxi connections, with fares payable. Hence pre-booking is
Photo shows walkers at Weets Top (Gordan Tasker).
15 July 2018
Woofers walk the High Way
An entertaining new book by two dogs, Mollie and Digger, and
their human companion Julie Campbell, tells of their
fund-raising walk on A Dales High Way.
"The book tells the tale of our adventures along A Dales
Highway, plus some of our favourite trig pillar and reservoir
walks in and around the Yorkshire Dales" explains Julie. "It
contains lots of photos, a few maps, and we have also got some
cartoons and poems in there. Of course there is plenty of doggie
Their long distance walk is split into eight day walks,
spread over a year. They have lots of adventures and a few
scares - getting lost, being chased by cattle, yomping in bogs,
getting lost again, all whilst bagging a few trig points and
reservoirs along the way. They finished their walk exhausted but
"We would highly recommend this walk. It took us a while to
finish it but we loved every minute of it".
Trig Point Trekkers & Reservoir Dogs By Mollie,
Digger and Julie Campbell costs £10 plus £1.50 postage. You can
buy it by clicking the "shop now" button at the top of the Walk for
Wildlife and Woofers Facebook page, or just message Julie for
other options. Proceeds from the book go to support a number of
local wildlife and dog rescue organisations.
This is their second book; Tales of Two Sprollies includes
accounts of previous long distance walks, including The Dales
Way and Lady Anne's Way.
1 July 2018
Malham Peregrine chicks take flight
The young Peregrine chicks at Malham Cove have taken to the air,
with the first fledging last Monday (June 11th) - the day after
members of the Friends of A Dales High Way visited!
The adult male will allow the young birds to stay around for
a few months before kicking them out, so there's still time to
go and see them.
A free public viewpoint, at the base of the Cove, is open
from 10:30 to 16:30 five days a week, from Thursday to Monday
(closed Tues and Wed) until 30 July. RSPB and YDNPA staff
or volunteers are on hand to show people the birds through
Jamie Brown, 25, from East Morton near Keighley, became the
quarter of a millionth visitor to the peregrine falcon public
viewpoint in May this year.
The Malham Peregrine Project is a partnership between the
RSPB and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and
is now in its 16th year.
Malham Cove is one of the most successful peregrine nest
sites in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, with at least 59
young raised since a pair first nested in 1993.
(Photo: Malham Peregrine Project).
17 June 2018
New Guide to Three Peaks
Walkers on A Dales High Way who
find themselves crossing Ingleborough on a Saturday afternoon
are often surprised by the sheer numbers of people they meet on
The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge - climbing Pen-y-ghent,
Ingleborough and Whernside in an arduous 24-mile circuit - is
now so popular that it is not unusual for a thousand people to
set off from Horton-in-Ribblesdale on a Saturday morning. Many
large charities now depend on their annual Three Peaks
A new Route Guide to the Yorkshire Three Peaks has been
published by Skyware Press, designed to help walkers get the
most from their adventure and to find their way easily and
safely around the route. It is also aimed
at addressing some of the issues associated with the thousands
who visit the area every year.
With an estimated 70,000 walkers annually climbing the peaks,
pressure on parking in Horton and the early morning disruption
to residents has become a major problem. In 2012, Horton Parish
Council engaged Colin Speakman to look at the traffic issues in
the village. He recommended people being encouraged to travel to
the area by train.
“A major opportunity,” said Colin “is to work with Northern
Trains ... to encourage many more Three Peaks walkers to travel
to the area by train, including using the railway to park and
ride, thereby reducing their carbon footprint and also pressure
on car parking space in the village.”
Though the new guide works just as well wherever you start,
it encourages walkers to use the very early morning train, which
leaves Leeds at 5.17 am on weekdays and 6.20 am on Saturdays.
arriving at Ribblehead at 6.37 am weekdays and 7.51 am on
Saturday. Whernside is climbed first, then Ingleborough,
leading down to Horton-in-Ribblesdale. Penyghent follows, then
there is a seven mile trek over Horton Moor to finish back at
So, if you've had enough after Pen-y-ghent you can
nip back into Horton and save yourself that final stretch whilst
still enjoying having topped all three peaks!
A proportion of proceeds of the guide will be donated to the
Three Peaks Project.
1 June 2018
Walk the Trail from Saltaire
There's still time to join the
Friends of A Dales High Way as
they walk the first section of the trail this Saturday.
The 7.5 mile walk starts at Saltaire, outside Victoria Hall
(140 metres up Victoria Road from Saltaire railway station),
leaving at 10.30 a.m.
Chris Grogan will lead walkers along the canal towpath to
Hirst Wood lock, then up through the ancient Trench Woods onto
The trail continues alongside Glovershaw Beck up to Weecher
Resvoir, crossing onto Bingley Moor, Burley Moor and Ilkley
Moor. There's a steep descemt to White Wells and down into Ilkey
town centre to finish, returning by train to Saltaire.
The Friends plan to lead walks along the whole 90-mile trail
in nine sections over the coming year, using public transport
where possible to get to and from each section. Booking is
Chris Grogan said "We couldn't think of a better way to
celebrate our 10th anniversary than walking the trail once more
with our friends."
17 May 2018
Over 100 walkers from across the globe gathered on the
station platform at Settle on a bright May Day morning for the
launch of this years' Settle-Carlisle Walking Festival -
Four walks departed from the railway station in different
directions, two on their way to the Courtyard Dairy at Feizor
for a cheese making talk, with an easy 5-mile or a
moderate 10-mile option. There was also a 7-mile exploration of
Surprising Settle, taking in the amazing Hoffman Kiln near
Stainforth and a visit to the 17th century Folly in the town
centre. A 15-mile strenuous hike to Malham Tarn topped off the
days offerings for more serious walkers.
In the evening Chris Grogan entertained a packed house at the
Friends Quaker meeting House with her illustrated talk From
Hill Farm to Hiker, and the evening was rounded off nicely
with lively folk music at the heaving Royal Oak.
There's a further 6 days' packed with walks, talks and music,
so there's plenty of time to jump on the train and join the fun!
2 May 2018
New Friends' Newsletter
The Spring 2018 edition of the Friends of A Dales High Way newsletter is now available.
The newsletter focuses on the 10th anniversary of the
long-distance trail and the events that have been organised to
In particular, a series of led walks along the entire length
of A Dales High Way - Walk the Trail 2018
- is announced with an invitation to join the Friends on this
sectional epic adventure.
The walks will take place from mid-May, every fortnight or so, making use of the
excellent public transport links along the route, particularly
the Settle-Carlisle railway.
Also included is a full roundup of the improvements to the
trail that have been undertaken by rangers for the 4 responsible
authorities along the route, and others. Work by the landowner
to clear a notoriously boggy section above Addingham, in
particular, has made a huge improvement.
This edition's Top 10 features Bridget and David's best tips
for long-distance walkers - the things they wished they'd known
before they set off....
There's also a selection of news highlights from
over the last 12 months, and a review of Colin Speakman's
biography of the father of geology Adam Sedgwick.
All this and it's FREE to download and enjoy.
14 April 2018
More trail improvements around Addingham
Rangers from Bradford Council have carried out additional
improvement works along A Dales High Way
A new fingerpost and waymark on the path below Addingham
Moorside clears up any confusion at a fork in the track, and a
new kissing gate beyond replaces a stile.
The improvements are part of a series of works carried out by
access officers for the four authorities along the way,
following a detailed survey undertaken by the Friends of A
Dales High Way which was submitted in 2016.
But it's the muddy fields above Addingham that have been the
source of most of the complaints we hear, in particular the
short stretch along The Street just above Addingham.
Believed to be the line of the old Roman road between Ilkley and
Elslack (near Skipton), the broad grassy path had become
overgrown, with the narrow remaining track often churned by
A particular wet year in 2012 highlighted this. Walker John
Parkinson noted "Parts of the walk were very wet underfoot
(although it barely rained on us); not just bog but very
unpleasant deep mud particularly around Addingham..."
After enjoying a "fantastic walk" along the trail Trevor Wain
noted: "Worst moment? Perhaps the deep, glutinous, boot sucking,
energy sapping mud of the path from Street Farm to the A65 at
Addingham where too many cows in a confined corridor had
produced a quagmire."
Early last year the landowner began clearing the overgrown
vegetation, and the difference is astonishing. A broad wide
green lane now leads to the crossing of the A65, and though
still muddy in places, it is easy to avoid these spots. This
short stretch is now a delight. Our sincere thanks go to the
2 April 2018
Crummack Dale walk to kick off anniversary events
Chris Grogan will lead a moderately easy 5 mile walk through
Crummack Dale, taking in a lovely secluded section of
A Dales High Way, as the first in a series of
events helping to celebrate the trails' 10th official birthday!
The circular walk starts and finishes in Austwick on
Saturday, March 24th. Meet at 10.30 a.m. at Austwick Village
Hall - all are welcome and the walk is free.
This walk follows fields, tracks and lanes between Austwick
and Wharfe, before heading for the lower slopes of Crummack
Dale, passing the pretty little clapper bridge at Wash Dub to
return to the start. The walk is moderately easy but may be
stony or wet underfoot.
Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome. Meet at Austwick
Village Hall, Main Street, Austwick LA2 8BJ (beside Village
Shop/Post Office). Toilets are available. Please park with
consideration on village roads.
After the walk, Chris will give her popular illustrated talk
A Taste of A Dales High Way in the Village Hall,
starting at 2.15 p.m. The cost is just £3 and includes a cup of
tea and a biscuit.
This event has been organised by the Friends of the Dales
(formally known as the Yorkshire Dales Society), a
membership charity which
campaigns for the protection and enjoyment of the Yorkshire
The long distance route was officially launched in 2008 with
the publication of the first edition of A Dales High Way
Route Guide. Its popularity as a high level trail crossing
the Yorkshire Dales soon grew and it is now estimated around
1,000 walkers tackle the route each year. The trail is now
way-marked and included as an official Long Distance
Recreational Route on OS Explorer and Landranger maps.
More events are being planned by the Friends of A Dales
High Way over the coming months.
16 march 2018
Speakman on Sedgwick
Walkers on A Dales High Way can't
fail to notice the huge granite slab that sits on the cobbled
market place in the centre of Dent, with its simple engraving:
Adam Sedgwick 1785 - 1873. The memorial fountain
commemorates the life and work of Adam Sedgwick - one of the
founders of modern geology and Dent's most famous son.
The fascinating story of Sedgwick's life and work is told in
the definitive biography Adam Sedgwick, Geologist and
Dalesman by Colin Speakman - creator of the Dales Way.
First published in 1982, the book has been reissued in 2018 by
the Yorkshire Geological Society and Gritstone Press.
Sedgwick was the son of the Dent vicar who went on to study
mathematics, classics and theology at Trinity College,
Cambridge. A deeply religious man, he was ordained a deacon in
1817 and the following year was appointed Woodwardian Professor
of Geology, even though as he remarked himself "I knew
absolutely nothing of geology". That soon changed though, with
Sedgwick carrying out important research work all over Britain,
in what became known as the historic age of geology.
Sedgwick decoded the complex geology of the Lake District and
became friends with Wordsworth.
In Wales he studied the oldest known rocks in Britain, formed
in a period over 488 million years ago which he called the
Cambrian. They contained the earliest known fossils, which no
doubt influenced one of his field research students - Charles
Darwin. Darwin's later work "On the Origin of the Species"
would, however, appal Sedgwick's deeply religious convictions.
But for fans of the Yorkshire Dales, it is his 19th century
accounts of his beloved Dentdale that hold particular
fascination. His campaigning book "A Memorial to the Trustees of
Cowgill Chapel" in 1868 even led to an intervention by
Queen Victoria and an act of Parliament to change the chapel's
name as registered by the church authorities.
The book is beautifully written and produced, and this timely
new publication marks 200 years since Sedgwick's historic
appointment as Woodwardian Professor of Geology.
"Adam Sedgwick, Geologist and Dalesman" by Colin
Speakman. ISBN 978-0-9955609-4-0, published jointly by
Cooperative & The Yorkshire Geological Society
You can see Colin give an illustrated talk on Adam
Sedgwick at the
Ride2Stride Walking Festival 2018. Friday, May
4, 14.15. Friends Meeting House, Settle. £3.00 includes light
refreshments, sponsored by
the Friends of the Dales.
1 March 2018
Paths restored above Skipton
A stretch of path on A Dales High Way
has been restored following work to extend the Golf Course above
This shares a short section of the route with the newly
waymarked Lady Anne's Way - a 100-mile long distance
trail from Skipton to Penrith.
The path has been resurfaced in places, with new gates
installed, and re-waymarked throughout, thanks to the work of
officers at North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) Rights of Way
department and Skipton Golf Course.
In addition, the Tarn Moor Estate has established some new
permissive paths which may help Dales High Way walkers. Nicky
Bunting, Rights of Way Officer for the Craven and Nidderdale
area of the NYCC, said : " The path that may be of interest to
(Dales High Way walkers), runs from Skipton Golf Club, west
along an attractive enclosed track, then north through the
woodland burial ground to meet Brackenley Lane. This cuts out
330m of road walking."
After crossing the first part of the golf course, A Dales
High Way continues north through double stiles towards
Brackenley Lane, alongside the new Golf course extension.
A new permissive enclosed track runs west from the double
stiles (SD 9879 5319) to link up with a new footpath alongside
Grassington Road. Before this, however, a walkers' gate on the
right leads into the green burial grounds of Tarn Moor
Memorial Woodlands, opened in 2002. A fine permissive path then
meanders north to rejoin Brackenley Lane near to the junction
with Grassington Road above the Craven Heifer.
The new paths "are intended to be long-term permissive paths"
and add to the new public footpaths alongside Grassington Road
that were opened just a few years ago. Dales High Way walkers
now have several optional routes from Skipton to choose from.
Photo shows new gate and waymarks onto Brackenley Lane, with
Sharp Haw and Rough Haw in the background.
12 Feb 2018
Malham Cove hits top 3 UK walks
Malham Cove, on a popular section of A Dales High
Way, won through to the top three of ITV's 100
Favourite UK Walks.
Julia Bradbury presented the 2½ hour prime-time
T.V. show on Tuesday, which featured the top 100 UK walks as
voted in a programme sponsored by ITV, the Ramblers,
Ordnance Survey and Julia Bradbury's own The Outdoor
Based on the results of the largest survey ever conducted into
the UK’s hiking habits, the top 100 have been voted for by more
than 8,000 walking enthusiasts.
Julia said “Walking is one of Britain’s best loved pastimes,
with around nine million of us enjoying pulling on our hiking
boots and heading for the great outdoors every month… This could
be your next big adventure – you’re going to be blown away.”
The third spot route, which takes in Malham village, Janet's Foss,
Gordale Scar and Malham Cove, was introduced by ITV's Dales'
presenter Ade Edmundson.
Topping the 100 walks list was Helvellyn in the Lake
District, followed by another mountain peak - Snowdon in Wales.
A Dales High Way includes sections of other walks in the top
100 list: at number 25 was Ingleborough and at number 81 was the
Leeds-Liverpool canal from Saltaire to Skipton.
1 Feb 2018
New edition of Companion
A brand new edition of A Dales High Way Companion
has just been published and is now available.
The new edition includes updates and is now in colour
throughout, with 162 full colour photos in its 116 pages.
The book is the perfect companion and illustrated guide to
A Dales High Way - the popular long
distance trail from Saltaire in West Yorkshire, to
Appleby-in-Westmorland in Cumbria, which celebrates its official
10th anniversary this year..
The book includes a detailed description of the route, but
more importantly it explores the fascinating geology, history,
culture and wildlife of the places visited. It is designed to
help you get the maximum enjoyment from your walk, whether it's
finding rock art carved by our Stone Age ancestors, spotting an
early purple orchid or visiting the best preserved medieval
castle in England.
This book complements the original Route Guide and is best
read alongside it.
As co-author Chris Grogan describes it; “It’s the book you
read in the pub to plan for your next day’s walking.”
A Dales high Way Companion, by Tony & Chris Grogan. 2nd
ISBN: 978-1-911321-00-2 . Published by Skyware Press,
1 Jan 2018, price: £11.99.
12 Jan 2018
10 years of A Dales High Way
2018 sees the 10th anniversary of the 90-mile
Dales High Way trail.
The long distance route was officially launched in 2008 with the
publication of the first edition of A Dales High Way Route
Guide. Its popularity as a high level trail crossing
the Yorkshire Dales soon grew and it is now estimated around
1,000 walkers tackle the route each year.
The route was originally developed by Chris and Tony Grogan, with their own first complete walk of the finalised
trail in 2007. The website went live in 2008.
There have been a number of notable milestones along the way:
- Brigantes became the first company to offer a baggage
courier service and holiday booking service for walkers on
the route in May 2009;
- November 2009 saw the establishment of the Friends
of A Dales High Way, which helps promote, develop and
maintain the route;
- July 2013 saw the completion of the way marking of the
- March 2014 saw its inclusion as an official Long
Distance Recreational Route on OS Explorer and Landranger
- August 2016 saw the extension of the Yorkshire Dales
National Park take in the northern section of the trail,
leaving three quarters of the trail within the National
A number of events are being planned to help celebrate the
anniversary, including led walks and talks by co-founder Chris
Grogan, in association with the Friends of the Dales
and the Friends of A Dales High Way.
On Saturday 24 March Chris will lead a 5 mile walk along a
section of the trail through Crummackdale - meet 10.30 am at
Austwick Village Hall - before giving an illustrated talk at
2.15 p.m. (£3).
She will also give the talk as part of the
Ride2Stride Walking Festival in Settle on Tuesday May 1st,
7.30 p.m. at the Friends Meeting House (£3). She will lead an 8
mile Walk with a View from Ribblehead along an iconic
section of the trail on Saturday, May 5th (meet Ribblehead
station 12.02 p.m.).
Other events are planned for later in the year. Watch this
space for details.
1 Jan 2018.