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 Archive 2018

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.

Beyond Victoria Cave

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.

See ride2stride.co.uk for the 2019 R2S Festival Programme. An archive of the R2S programmes from 2012-2018 can be seen at ride2stride.org.uk

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.

Ingleton's Three Peaks Challenge route

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 challenge."

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.

See the new Ingleton's Three peaks Challenge website here, and our previous posting here.

2 Nov 2018

Leeds-Settle-Carlisle Line launch

Leeds-Settle-Carlisle signage, (c) Drew Haley.

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 name accordingly.

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).

See the new FoSCL website here.

19 Nov 2018

Visit Eden

A new promotional video highlighting the attractions of the Eden valley and surrounding area was premiered at the seventh annual Eden Tourism Summit held at the Shap Wells Hotel last month.

The video was met with a definite seal of approval from over 100 businesses who attended the Summit. ITV Border were there for the day and provided great coverage on the news, including a live broadcast at 6pm.

" We worked in partnership with Mulholland Media to produce the 3 minute video, which gives the visitor a taste of what Eden has to offer. This is a new marketing medium for us and we plan to record more footage throughout the year, to update the video seasonally."

Eden is a beautiful corner of Cumbria in the north of England, taking in the lakes and mountains around Ullswater, part of the Lake District National Park and the moorlands of the North Pennines around Alston, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In between, the River Eden flows through the rolling countryside of the Eden Valley, including the Westmorland Dales - part of the recently extended Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Dales High Way walkers who end their journey in this beautiful corner of Eden, will undoubtedly enjoy seeing what other delights the area has to offer.

See Visit Eden here

2 November 2018

Otley venue for anniversary fair

Finish of A Dales High Way 10th anniversary walk

Otley Walkers Are Welcome are celebrating their own 10th anniversary next month with a Walkers Fair, which will feature talks by original trail authors Colin Speakman and Chris Grogan.

Colin will talk about 50 years of the Dales Way - now one of the most popular long-distance walking trails in the country.

Chris will be talking about her upbringing on a Dales hill farm and how that led her to create A Dales High Way.

Mike Bartholomew of the West Riding Ramblers will talk about disabled access to the countryside.

As well as a variety of stalls, there will be the opportunity to share experiences, photos, and maps about trails in Britain or anywhere in Europe. "Walkers will tell walkers about routes and areas they know: English, Scottish and Welsh trails, the Italian Dolomites, Lapland, France and Germany, etc, etc. Walking groups and interest organizations like the Ramblers will be represented."

The fair takes place on Sunday 18th November at the Otley Courthouse from 11am till 4pm.

Chris has enjoyed a busy year celebrating A Dales High Way's 10th anniversary, with a series of talks about the trail at various venues, and a number of led walks, which have all gone well.

The highlight of the year was undoubtedly the series of led walks along the entire route, all achieved using public transport. 22 walkers joined the event overall, starting off from Saltaire on a bright May morning, and ending with a triumphant September finish at Appleby-in-Westmorland (see photo above).

See Otley Walkers Are Welcome here. See the 10th anniversary events here.

19 October 2018

Companion support for Mend Our Mountains

Eroded path on Whernside

You can support the current Mend Our Mountains campaign and pick up a signed copy of the new edition of A Dales High Way Companion as a reward.

The current crowd-funding campaign has just three weeks to run, with a target of £20,000 towards the £46.000 fund for the improvement of a busy path leading to the summit of Whernside from Bruntscar. This is a popular route for both Three Peaks walkers, and Dales High Way walkers taking the Whernside optional route.

Other rewards on offer include a handcrafted oak finger post sign with inscription, a day out with a National Park Ranger, a helicopter ride or an overnight stay in a local luxury hotel.

In 2016 Skyware Press, who publish the Dales High Way guide books, supported a similar successful campaign to raise £17,000 for path repairs on Ingleborough. Chris Grogan said "Walkers have had so much pleasure over the years from walking A Dales High Way and we feel it's important to help put something back into keeping these paths in good condition."

The rising popularity of the Three Peaks Challenge Route is now causing major headaches for residents of Horton-in-Ribblesdale.

With an estimated 100,000 walkers taking on the challenge each year, Richard Welch, a North Yorkshire County councillor for Ribblesdale, told the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) residents feelings were running high. "Every weekend it is absolute pandemonium. The Three Peaks walk is making people's lives a misery." he said.

A new Yorkshire Three Peaks Route Guide, produced by Skyware Press this year, advocates starting and finishing the route at Ribblehead, making use of the early morning train service from Leeds.

YDNPA members have agreed to look at possible alternative start points, routes and other options.

See the Mend Our Mountains crowd-funding appeal here. See the new Yorkshire Three Peaks Route Guide here.

1 October 2018

High Way the hard way

A new women's record has been set this week for running A Dales High Way by Catherine Bradley-Richardson, who covered the 90-mile long distance trail in just 35 hours!

A tired Catherine at the finish!

Catherine, who works for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, set off on Sunday morning, September 2nd. She had pacer support from three runners for the first half, up to Ribblehead, but finished the run on her own, late Monday afternoon.

Her actual running time was 27 hours 19 minutes, with some refreshment and rest stops along the way, where she had road support at various locations.

Catherine had originally intended to join three runners who tackled the trail in 2016, including a colleague at the National Park. "I was unable to do it with Matt Neale due to injury 2 years ago...so let’s see what happens!" she said before the start.

In November 2016 three men, Matt Kneale, Mark Collinson and Dave Dixon completed the run in just 26 hours.

Catherine said "It is such a fabulous and varied route. It really does show off the Yorkshire Dales superbly! Although the weather was poor from Sedbergh onwards it was still very enjoyable! I was glad to have previously reccied the Howgills section as it was thick fog and driving rain in Monday morning."

Wow. Well done Catherine!

See the 2016 run report here.

9 Sept. 2018

Baildon Welcomes High Way walkers

Baildon Walkers are Welcome, 1 Sept 2018

The Baildon Walkers Are Welcome group have chosen A Dales High Way to launch their first Challenge Event.

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 events.

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.

See Baildon Walkers are Welcome here.

1 Sept. 2018

Rail strike blow to Trail plans

Approaching the Howgill Fells

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."

See Walk the Trail 2018 here, and the RMT announcement here.

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 Yorkshire Police 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 conservation.”

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 Yorkshire Dales.”

Read the YDNPA report here, and see more about Operation Owl here.

1 August 2018

Anniversary Walk reaches half-way point

Walkers gather at Weets Top

Walk the Trail 2018 - a series of day walks following A Dales 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 trail, 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 Whernside.

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 essential.

Photo shows walkers at Weets Top (Gordan Tasker).

See Walk the Trail 2018 here

15 July 2018

Woofers walk the High Way

Trig Point Trekkers

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 nonsense too".

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 happy.

"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.

See Walk for Wildlife and Woofers Facebook site here.

1 July 2018

Malham Peregrine chicks take flight

Pergrines at Malham

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 telescopes.

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).

See the Malham Peregrine Project twitterfeed here, and Nature the Dales facebook page here.

17 June 2018

New Guide to Three Peaks

Yorkshire Three Peaks Route Guide

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 summit.

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 fundraiser.

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 Ribblehead.

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.

See the Yorkshire Three Peaks Route Guide here, and the Three Peaks Project here.

1 June 2018

Walk the Trail from Saltaire

Trench Woods near 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 Shipley Glen.

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 essential.

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."

Full details and how to book on Walk the Trail 2018 here.

17 May 2018

Ride2Stride 2018

Ride2stride 2018 Settle station

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 - Ride2Stride 2018.

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!

See Ride2Stride website here.

2 May 2018

New Friends' Newsletter

Newsletter 5 Spring 2018

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 celebrate.

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.

Download the Friends Newsletter No. 5 as a pdf here. See details of Walk the Trail 2018 here.

14 April 2018

More trail improvements around Addingham

Trail improvements above Addingham

Rangers from Bradford Council have carried out additional improvement works along A Dales High Way above Addingham.

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 cattle.

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 landowner concerned.

See our previous posting here, and the Dales High Way Grotspots here.

2 April 2018

Crummack Dale walk to kick off anniversary events

Clapper Bridge, Crummack Dale

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 Dales.

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.

See the Anniversary Events programme here, and the Friends of the Dales website here.

16 march 2018

Speakman on Sedgwick

Colin Speakman on Adam 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.

Adam Sedgwick, Geologist & Dalesman

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 Gritstone Writers Cooperative & The Yorkshire Geological Society 2018, £12.00.

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 Skipton.

New gate onto Brackenley Lane

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.

See the Dales High Way Skipton Route Options here, and Lady Anne's Way here.

12 Feb 2018

Malham Cove hits top 3 UK walks

Ade Edmundson on top of Malham Cove

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 Guide. 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.

See the Top 100 Favourite Walks here.

1 Feb 2018

New edition of Companion

A dales High Way Companion 2nd edition

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 Edition.
ISBN: 978-1-911321-00-2 . Published by Skyware Press,  1 Jan 2018, price: £11.99.

See more details here, and buy it online direct from the publisher here.

12 Jan 2018

10 years of A Dales High Way

2018 sees the 10th anniversary of the 90-mile Dales High Way trail.

Walkers on A Dales High Way - Rombalds Moor

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 entire route;
  • March 2014 saw its inclusion as an official Long Distance Recreational Route on OS Explorer and Landranger maps;
  • 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 Park.

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.

See the Friends of the Dales website here, and Ride2Stride here.

1 Jan 2018.

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