Whernside footpath repairs completed
Work to repair a 200 metre section of path on Whernside,
above Bruntscar, has now been completed.
The section of path takes a battering from thousands of boots
each year, as a part of the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge
route. It is also a popular alternative route into Dentdale for
Dales High Way walkers.
£46,000 was needed for the repairs, and an appeal was
launched by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA)
in November 2017, as part of the British Mountaineering
Council’s Mend Our Mountains appeal.
Rewards on offer to donors included copies of the new edition
of A Dales High Way Companion, provided by publishers Skyware
Kate Hildich, YDNPA Area Manager for the Southern Dales, said
"I am pleased to be able to let you know that not only have we
been successful in raising £46,409, but that the works have now
also been completed on site. The works will of course take a bit
of time to ‘bed in’ and for the surrounding vegetation to
recover, but all feedback has been incredibly positive about the
improvements that have been made."
Photo shows the path before repairs.
1 June 2019
Wildlife walk celebrates public transport champion
A celebration of the life and interests of Dr John Disney was
held on Saturday, with four walks around Settle followed by a
reception at the Royal Oak.
John was a passionate advocate of integrated public
transport, a keen walker and a co-ordinator of the Friends of
the Settle Carlisle Line public walks programme. He died
suddenly on Saturday 20th October 2018, aged just 58.
The walks took in sections of A Dales High Way,
including an 8 mile walk to Austwick via Oxenber Wood, rich in
wild flowers at this time of year. John had a passion for
walking, gardening, the countryside and rural affairs.
John, born in 1960, was educated at Ilkeston Grammar School,
Nottingham University obtaining a degree in Mathematics followed
by a doctorate at Trent Polytechnic. He went on to be a senior
lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, specialising in
Business and Quality Management.
John was active in many circles. He was a member of the Royal
Statistical Society, a board member of the Dales and Bowland
Community Interest Company and supporter of the Friends of the
Settle-Carlisle Line. He had a special relationship with the
Derbyshire and Yorkshire Dales and campaigned actively to
maintain integrated rail and bus services into hard to reach
public spaces. Frequently he was consulted as an expert witness
on topics including HS2, rural rail and bus services, road user
charging and workplace parking. He also contributed to radio and
TV regarding such matters and was shortly to give evidence to
the House of Commons Transport Select Committee Inquiry into the
state of rural bus services.
12 May 2019
Friends lead visit to Crags, Caves & Kilns
After a week of sunshine, grey skies greeted
The Friends of A Dales High Way as they
led a walk above Settle to Attermire Scar, Victoria Cave and the
Hoffmann Kiln on Friday. But the sudden change in the weather failed to dampen
spirits, and the entire troupe finished off the day with a
celebratory drink or two in the Lion Inn.
The walk, part of this year's Ride2Stride Walking Festival,
set off 30 minutes late due to a train failure at Leeds. A steep
climb to the southeast by Preston's Barn, onto Stockdale Lane
and up beside Sugar Loaf Hill was rewarded with a short coffee
break to enjoy the stunning views of Attermire Scar and
Warrendale Knotts. A further sharp climb then to Victoria Cave
itself, where excavations have revealed evidence of the earliest
modern human occupation in the area some 11,000 years ago,
together with bone fragments of lion, hippopotamus and elephant
from before the last ice age!
After a lunch break at Jubilee Caves, the walkers headed down
to Stainforth, stopping along the way to admire the spectacular
long drop waterfall of Cattrigg Foss.
The incredible site of the Craven Lime Works, with a walk
through the eerie cavernous Hoffmann Kiln, provided a further
stopping point, before an easy afternoon ramble on a section of
A Dales High Way alongside the
River Ribble back to Settle.
Walk leader Chris Grogan said "Thanks to everyone who came
along. It's good to see old friends and new faces enjoying A
Dales High Way together."
4 May 2019
Ilkley Moor open again
Ilkley Moor is now open for
Dales High Way walkers again
after firefighters began winding up their operations.
With rain expected later today, the immediate danger has
passed, though walkers should still take care.
The actual route of A Dales High Way is unaffected, though
the fire came right up to the track as it descends down from
Ilkley Moor to White Wells (see photo).
A man has been charged with arson over one fire on the moor. Crews were called to the West Yorkshire spa town on
Saturday, where they fought fires in two areas of the moor
covering 25,000 sq m.
On Monday evening West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
tweeted out a stern message, after fire crews reported that
people were still lighting barbecues up there.
A group of four women walkers who had arrived from the USA to
walk the trail were lucky to get down into Ilkley on Saturday
before the fire caught hold. On Sunday they had to make use of
their OS maps and guide books, along with helpful local advice,
to get back onto the trail beyond Addingham reservoir, but they
arrived safely in Skipton.
24 April 2019
Fire devastates Ilkley Moor
A fierce fire has devastated a section of Ilkley Moor
overnight and firefighters are still dealing with the aftermath.
Walkers have been asked to stay off the moor for the next
couple of days until the fire is firmly under control.
The fire, believed to have started accidently on the hottest
day of the year so far, took hold on the northern slopes of the
moor around White Wells, above the town of Ilkley.
A West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said:
"Twelve pumps are still in attendance at incident, currently we
are using seven jets and beaters, specialist wildfire units are
also in attendance and a helicopter will be assisting with
overhead water attack."
Walkers setting out on A Dales High Way should avoid the
first section over the moor between Saltaire and Addingham until
the all-clear is given. Those heading for Ilkley should catch a
train directly from Shipley or Leeds and follow the riverside
Dales Way path from Ilkley to Addingham.
Alternatively, the Leeds-Liverpool canal can be followed all
the way from Saltaire to Skipton (16 miles), with the option of
leaving it at Silsden (after 9 miles) to take a short bus ride
over to Addingham (Bus 62, hourly on Sunday, half-hourly
A Dales High Way can then be rejoined at Addingham.
Generally, if you come across a fire whilst walking on
moorland, you should turn around, retrace your steps and get
down quickly from the moor.
UPDATE: 24 April - the route of A Dales High
Way is now open again (see above).
21 Apr 2018
Friends lead walk for Ride2Stride
The Friends of A Dales High Way are leading a walk
on Friday, 3rd May as part of the 2019 Ride2Stride
Walking Festival. All are welcome.
The 9-mile circular walk starts at Settle Railway Station at
10.22 a.m., meeting the train from Leeds, and will be led by
Crags, Caves and Kilns is described as "an excellent walk
from Settle visiting Attermire Scar and returning via the
Hoffman kiln. "
The walk takes in sections of A Dales High Way
and is described as
"moderate", but walkers can expect some steep climbs, especially
in the first part of the walk.
Chris said "This is a stunning walk with some fantastic views
and lots to look at along the way. It's a long steep climb from
Settle to Victoria Cave but we think it's worth it and there
will be plenty of short stops for walkers to take a breather on
The walks are free, just turn up for the start on the station
There are 30 led walks in this years programme, with music at
various venues along the line every evening.
14 April 2019
Peregrine Viewpoint re-opens at Malham
A viewpoint will open at Malham Cove on Friday for people to
watch the world’s fastest animal, the peregrine falcon, up
The opening will mark the start of the 17th year of the
Malham Peregrine Project, a partnership between the Yorkshire
Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and the RSPB.
The free public viewpoint is at the base of the Cove, where
Information Assistants and a team of volunteers will be on hand
to show people the birds through telescopes.
It will be open from 10:30 to 16:30 five days a week, from
Thursday to Monday (closed Tues and Weds), from Fri 5th April
until Mon 5th August.
RSPB Area Manager Anthony Hills said: ““We’re excited for
another season at Malham Cove. As the fastest animal on the
planet, the peregrines are incredible to watch. Each year there
is something new to discover about these special birds and it is
like a soap opera watching them raise their family on the Cove
face. And it’s not just the peregrines either, we get regular
views of other wonderful wildlife such as green woodpeckers,
redstarts, wheatears and kestrels.”
(Photo: Malham Peregrine Project).
2 April 2019
The First Dales Way Walk
Next week marks 50 years since the very first public walk
along a section of our big sister trail - The Dales Way.
On Monday, March 10th, 1969, the Yorkshire Evening Post
carried a major news feature outlining “A new Dales Way …. from
Ilkley to Lakeland“.
The article began: “Leeds, Harrogate and Bradford may soon by
linked to the Lake District by footpath. It is all part of a
projected new Dales Way mapped out by the West Riding branch of
the Ramblers Association.
“If you are interested, if you have a longing for fresh air
after this long dark winter of discontent, now is the time to
polish your best walking boots and get out your rucksack.
“You can become involved in this wonderful scheme by
presenting yourself at Ilkley Post Office on Sunday March 23, at
10.15 a.m. On that day members of the Ramblers Association are
to walk along the first 10 miles of the new Dales Way from
Ilkley to Burnsall, and members of the public are invited to
That cold March Sunday, over 130 people gathered to take part
in the first ever public walk along a section of the Dales Way.
Colin Speakman led them for the 12-mile trek to Burnsall, where
they caught pre-arranged buses back to Ilkley. It was a huge
That inaugural walk has been celebrated every decade since.
In 2019 the 50th anniversary of that first walk will take place
on Saturday, 3rd August.
The popular riverside trail was the inspiration for it's
tougher younger sister - A Dales High Way!
16 March 2019
Spirit of the Medieval Hunter
The route that most Dales High Way
walkers follow out of Skipton climbs steeply up Park Hill and
quickly offers great views back over Skipton Castle and forwards
to the distinctive peak of Sharp Haw.
There is another way though, an alternative route below the
castle walls and up through Skipton Woods where walkers are
greeted by a huge willow sculpture.
Skipton Woods are an ancient woodland and the sculpture,
‘Spirit of the Medieval Hunter’ with her bow and arrow,
reflects their past as the hunting and fishing grounds for
She was created last year by Anna and the Willow, a talented
artist from Ripon. Deeper in the woods is a willow pony.
Anna said "Ive been blown away by all the amazing feedback
and really pleased the sculptures sit so well in the ancient
The woods are cared for by the Woodland Trust, and
their permissive trails make a great alternative escape from
Skipton. Follow the Sougha Gill track to make
your way up and rejoin A Dales High Way by the A65 for Tarn
1 March 2019
Dales High Way with Three Peaks
An increasing number of walkers tackling A Dales High Way are
taking in all of the Yorkshire Three Peaks along the route -
Pen-y-ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside.
The official Dales High Way route includes only one of the
Three Peaks - Ingleborough - but offers Whernside as
an option. However, Pen-y-ghent does not feature.
It is possible, though, to include Pen-y-ghent in Section
Three, which runs from Settle to Chapel-le-Dale. The
suggested Pen-y-ghent - Three Peaks Alternative adds 4 miles, with an additional 300 metres of ascent, taking
around 2 hours extra. However, it also gives the opportunity to
break the Section at Horton-in-Ribblesdale.
Typical of this group of walkers is Ian, who flew up from the Channel
Islands last summer to walk the trail and has just posted a blog
about his adventures. "It is a tweaked version of the DHW,
missing out the first few miles and instead starting at Ilkley,
but aiming to include all of the Yorkshire 3 peaks. That's the
plan anyway" he said.
The Pen-y-ghent - Three Peaks Alternative cuts from
the main Dales High Way route at Stainforth Bridge, heading up
through Stainforth to join the Ribble Way, climbing to Moor Head
Lane and continuing north along the ridge to join the Pennine
Way. It then follows the Pennine Way up to the summit of Pen-y-ghent and
down to Horton-in-Ribblesdale, before heading for Ingleborough
to rejoin A Dales High Way above Crummackdale.
Did Ian have a good time?
"What a walk it has been. I am a relative novice when it
comes to long distance walks but this must be up there as one of
the best trails in England. Many have highlights but also some
‘by the numbers’ sections, but here every day had something
special, a unique feature, an achievement, an icon" he said.
"The 3 peaks formed the main event, but the appetizer was the
Malham area and the dessert the Howgill Fells. That’s a
sumptuous 3 courses!"
14 Feb 2019
First cold snap of 2019
The first real cold snap of this winter has finally taken
hold over the Yorkshire Dales, with snow blanketing Ingleborough
After a fairly dry summer last year the winter so far has
been quite mild. The current cold spell is expected to continue
through into next week.
Though winter conditions can make for some exciting walking
along A Dales High Way, great care is needed on higher ground
and in icy conditions underfoot.
On Sunday, January 27th a walker showing signs of mild
hypothermia was helped down from Ingleborough by the volunteers
from the Clapham based Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO).
On the following day another walker was injured on Malham
Cove. The CRO incident report states:
"A walker (m,72) slipped and fell on the limestone pavement
and sustained a suspected fractured right ankle. The team
responded and splinted the injured limb, and then put the
casualty onto a stretcher for a carry to the team vehicle. He
was then transported to a waiting road ambulance at Malham
visitor centre, from where he was transferred to hospital.
"Whilst dealing with this incident a team member slipped and
fell, injuring his right wrist. No treatment was required at the
scene, but a subsequent check at hospital revealed a fracture to
the lower right forearm."
1 Feb 2019
£2.2 million for Westmorland Dales
A £2.27 million National Lottery grant has been awarded to
the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership scheme,
with the aim to reveal, conserve and celebrate the rich geology,
wildlife, cultural heritage and spectacular limestone landscapes
of the Westmorland Dales.
The area lies to the north of the Howgill Fells in Cumbria,
extending over 200 sq km from Maulds Meaburn in the north to
Tebay in the south-west and Ravenstonedale in the south-east.
The final stretch of A Dales High Way
passes right through the heart of this area, which became part
of an extended Yorkshire Dales National Park in 2016.
A total of 21 projects will be delivered by a partnership of
organisations over a four year period.
There will be opportunities for volunteers to survey the
unique heritage and long distance routes of the Westmorland
Dales through desk and field survey with the Yorkshire Dales
National Park and other partners. Heritage routes include drove
roads, green lanes, and public rights of way; long distance
routes include the Coast to Coast, Lady Annes’s Way
and Pennine Bridleway. Volunteers will assess
routes for essential improvements, record features and research
each route’s unique history.
This remote and beautiful pastoral landscape has a unique mix
of habitats and remarkably intact pattern of historical
settlements and features. It has 79 Scheduled Monuments, 19
Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and two National
Nature Reserves. However, it has been largely ’hidden’ for the
last 70 years, tucked away between the Lake District and
Yorkshire Dales National Parks.
David Evans, development officer at Friends of the Lake
District who are acting as lead body on behalf of the
Partnership said: “We can’t wait to get started on the delivery
of the scheme. We’ve worked with volunteers, community
organisations, interest groups, farmers, landowners and
businesses throughout the planning phase to help shape the
14 Jan 2019
Cold plunge at White Wells greets New Year
Day got underway with the traditional cold water
bath at White Wells, overlooking Ilkley.
Volunteers signed up at the White Wells cafe before walking
next door and taking the steps down into the murky water. The
first to tackle the Ilkley challenge was Sandra Gale, who was
followed by families and people of all ages.
Charli Oliver, 19, from Perth, in Western Australia, was
joined by her boyfriend Matthew Lloyd and 15-year-old sister,
Amy (see photo (c) Bradford Telegraph & Argus)
"It wasn't as bad as I was expecting," said Charli, who
claimed the water was about six degrees centigrade. "My sister
said she couldn't breathe when she got in because it was so
White Wells is a spa bath situated on Ilkley Moor, on the
route of A Dales High Way. It was
built in around 1700 as an open air spa bath, later baths were
enclosed and a single plunge pool survives today.
The current tenants have been there for nearly 20 years, but
there are fears that the historic building could fall into
disrepair, following council plans to double the rent.
Previously the site stood empty for some time.
Town councillor Anne Hawkesworth said: "At that time the
cottage was empty because a tenant could not be found. The
security costs were exorbitant and a solution had to be found.
It was decided that the answer was probably to find a tenant who
would act as a caretaker on a nominal peppercorn rent- in
reality who else would live up there - I certainly wouldn't."
She said the arrangement also included a requirement to open
the cafe at specific times.
2 Jan 2019