The new Summer Newsletter from the Friends of A Dales High
Way is now available.
Though things have been quiet over the last three months due
to Covid-19 restrictions, there's still plenty to celebrate over
the last year.
Building Bridges is the theme of an article from our
Secretary Chris Grogan on the conflicting pressures on rural and
urban communties following the pandemic.
There's a feature on the Top Ten Wildlife you might
expect to spot on the walk, and excerpts from social media of a well-known TV celebrity who has been exploring
Dales High Way country over the winter, in ALL weathers!
There's also the latest news updates and a tough Dales High
Way Wordsearch to keep you entertained.
Like so many other volunteer organisations this year, the Friends' committee held their Annual
Meeting by Zoom.
But as restrictions begin to ease and the
prospect of B&Bs and pubs re-opening in the near future, walkers
will once again return to enjoy the wonderful landscapes of the
Yorkshire Dales and Eden Valley.
1 July 2020
Top Gear's High Way Spin
A trio of supercars have been touring Dales High Way country,
as the BBC filmed an episode of the TV series Top Gear this
On Tuesday the Station Inn at Ribblehead, a favourite with Dales High Way walkers, posted several pictures and added:
"So after almost three months of isolation following closure on
March 23rd today we were delighted to welcome the team Top Gear
to The Station Inn who used our car park as a base whilst
filming for the upcoming new series. A great bunch and a manic
day for both them and their cars. The Yorkshire weather mainly
held off and even the RAF popped by to take a look!!
"Hopefully we will eventually get a green light to open The
Inn so everyone can enjoy this fabulous place !!"
Unfortunately Top Gear presenter Paddy McGuinness came a
cropper shortly afterwards running his red Lamborghini Diablo
off the road and into a field on the way to Hawes. Fortunately
he was unhurt. The TV star wrote on Instagram he had had a "bit
of a prang" but insisted things were "all nice and bonny".
Dales High Way walkers generally enjoy the countryside at a
more leisurely and safer pace.
18 June 2020
Crowds Return as Lockdown Eases
Large crowds are flocking back to Yorkshire Dales honey-spots
as the government eases restrictions on the Covid-19 Lockdown
The relaxation of rules comes at the end of a Spring which
has proved to be the sunniest in England since records began.
The National Park Authority re-opened car parks in mid May,
following the government's new guidelines on exercise and
leisure, which permitted travel for any distance to walk. As
expected, Horton-in-Ribblesdale and Malham in particular proved
On the following Bank Holiday weekend, car parks quickly
filled and there were real problems with traffic at Malham.
The National Park Authority is urging travellers to check
their Car Park Status Webpage in the Dales before travelling.
Last Thursday Mark Sadler, Communications Manager with the
National Park said "Experience of recent weekends indicates that
car parks in the south of the National Park – especially Malham
and Horton-in-Ribblesdale – fill up early and quickly. We would
therefore recommend, in addition to regularly checking the
status of car parks, that people consider using car parks and
walks in other parts of the National Park. "
By Saturday afternoon, though, most of the car parks were
already full (see image).
Footpaths are open for walkers, including A Dales
High Way, though at the moment only for day walks.
Campsites are expected to be the first accommodation sites to
open in the near future. B&Bs, hotels, restaurants and pubs are
likely to be the last to reopen their doors to travellers.
But it is a good time to restart planning.
1 June 2020
This week would have seen the 9th annual Ride2Stride Walking
and Music Festival, but Covid-19 has meant the busy programme
has been put back to 2021.
This week-long free festival of walks, talks and music
covering Dales High Way country using stations along the line of
the world-famous Settle-Carlisle railway has proved to be
incredibly popular, attracting participants from across the
country and the globe!
One of the special features of this years' programme was the
inclusion of a complete long distance trail for the first time -
the Six Peaks Trail was to be covered on four consecutive days.
This challenging 48-mile hike takes in 6 major peaks,
including the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks of Pen-y-ghent,
Ingleborough and Whernside, along with Great Knoutberry, Swarth
Fell and Wild Boar Fell. With a total ascent of over 3
kilometres, this is not for the faint-hearted.
The first day from Settle to Horton on Wednesday would have
taken in Pen-y-ghent. Thursday would have been especially tough
taking in both Ingleborough and Whernside to finish at
Ribblehead. Today was to have crossed Blea Moor and over Great
Knoutberry to finish in Garsdale. Tomorrow would have seen the
final leg crossing Swarth Fell and the magnificent Wild Boar
Fell before dropping to Kirkby-Stephen.
Each leg would offer the comfort of a pub to finish and music
from some of the best session musicians in the region. Anyone
completing all four legs would have received a special
certificate of achievement.
Alas, this year we can only dream, but why not join Bridget
and David on their video diary of day 3 filmed in 2016 (above), and
See you all next year hopefully!
1 May 2020
Rights of Way remain open to locals
Public footpaths will remain open for local walkers, in order
to exercise safely during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
A Dales High Way is closed to
long-distance walkers for the time-being, but sections remain
open to locals who live along the route.
Last week the Yorkshire Dales National park Authority spelt
out clearly its position on public footpaths in the area. In a
published statement, Mark Sadler, Communications Manager with
the YDNPA, said: "We have received concerns from some members of
the public about rights of way remaining open at the present
"At present we believe public rights of way in the Yorkshire
Dales National Park provide an opportunity for local people to
take exercise, physical and spiritual, and get some fresh air in
these difficult times. These paths should not be blocked or
"It is also important to stress that people should not be
making special journeys to access them. Travel to exercise is
NOT essential travel and people should not be travelling to do
their daily exercise."
There was major concern at the number of people driving up to
Malham and other areas a fortnight ago.
The statement continues "Where rights of way pass close to,
or through residential and agricultural properties, it is
important that the existing Government advice regarding social
distancing and hand washing is adhered to."
Nick Cotton, Member Champion for recreation management said:
“Walking or cycling in the Yorkshire Dales, carried out
responsibly, with social distancing from other people, is an
excellent way to maintain our physical and mental health. These
are both vital components in keeping our strength and
maintaining our spirits through the Covid-19 crisis. The days
are getting longer and we should channel the energy of
springtime to help us face the future with positive feelings of
rebirth and renewal”
3 April 2020
Dales Events fall to Coronavirus
Outdoor events in Dales High Way country have been
postponed or cancelled due to the spread of Coronavirus.
With infections expected to peak in May, some events have
been pushed back to late summer, by which time it is hoped the
pandemic will have run its course.
The annual Three Peaks Fell Race which was due to be
held on the 25th April this year, has been rescheduled for
Saturday 26th September.
Organisers said "Our main concern over the infection risk was
the start and finish area where we have upwards of 1,200 people
in the marquee used for registration and the prize giving.
"Our decision should make it easier for people to plan other
events and avoid unnecessary travelling. The revised date of
26th September 26 will be confirmed as soon as possible. We are
working with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to
avoid clashes with other events planned for that weekend."
The 58th Fellsman Race, due to be held also on the
25th and 26th April, has been cancelled completely. The 61-mile
route starts in Ingleton, crossing Ingleborough and Whernside
before passing through Dentdale and on into Wherfedale to finish at
Threshfield. Around 400 runners participate.
Organisers said " This is not a decision we have taken
lightly and we are aware that many will be bitterly
disappointed. We wished to make the decision ourselves, before
it could be made for us."
The Punk Panther Ultra-marathon race along
A Dales High Way, originally scheduled for
Saturday May 9 - 10, involving up to 200 runners, has closed to
entrants until further notice.
HF Holidays have closed their country houses until at least
the end of April, which will mean that their planned Dales
High Way Walking Holiday for that month will have to be
re-scheduled or cancelled altogether.
All pubs and cafes along the route have now closed and great
efforts are being made by Walking Holiday providers and B&B's to
rearrange any planned bookings.
The 2020 Ride2Stride Walking Festival has been
cancelled for this year, though dates for next year have been
confirmed. Guided walks by the Friends of the
Settle-Carlisle Line (FoSCL), Friends of Dale Rails
(FDR) and the Ramblers have all been postponed
until after the current crisis.
Original article UPDATED: 21 March 2020.
14 March 2020
New edition of Route Guide
The third edition of A Dales High Way Route Guide is now
Fully updated, the slim book is specially designed for use as
the primary route guide for the walk.
The route is set out in a series of detailed strip maps at a
scale of 1:25,000. The book is robust, pocket-sized and the
detailed route maps carry instructions ON the maps themselves.
Each copy comes in an optional but handy, weather resistant
Colin Speakman, well known author and fell walker and
chairman of the Dales Way Association said: “It is a
particularly lovely route and because it is at a higher level to
the Dales Way, offers a different kind of experience. It
is also offers a marvellous introduction to the extended
Yorkshire Dales and Westmorland Fells National Park."
A Dales High Way is entering its twelfth year as a long
distance trail, and is proving increasingly popular with walkers
looking for an adventurous and challenging route.
This May it is to host an ultra-marathon race for up to 200
runners, who have to complete the 90-mile route in under 36
hours. The event is being organised by Punk Panther.
A Dales High Way Route Guide (Third Edition). ISBN:
978-1-911321-06-4 (Skyware Ltd) Feb 2020. £8.99
1 Mar 2020
Storms batter Dales High Way Country
Just as the flooding from Storm Ciara begins to subside, more
flooding is likely on its way with Storm Dennis.
Many areas along the route of A Dales High Way have been
affected, with flash flooding in Appleby, Dent and Saltaire.
River levels have now dropped, but many paths remain muddy and
Over 100mm of rain fell in an 18 hour period on Sunday - one
month's worth in a single day. Many trains were cancelled,
including those on the Settle-Carlisle line. Storm Dennis is
expected to bring high winds and about 80mm more rain this
weekend, but with rivers already high and the ground
waterlogged, more flooding seems inevitable.
High waters in Glovershaw Beck, near the start of A Dales
High Way, have swept away revetments and parts of the path that
were only repaired after flooding in 2017. At the moment the
path is still passable with care, but that may change soon.
Walkers along this part of the route are advised to consider
Chris Grogan of the Friends of A Dales High Way said "Though
we believe the trail as a whole is still open, at this time it
is probably best to avoid some of the low level, farmland paths
which have been flooded. They are likely to be very muddy. And,
of course, higher level sections should not be tackled in high
winds and heavy rain. Please check in advance and take care out
The worst affected paths are in the lower, arable areas of
the trail. Walkers should be aware of potential problems -
Grotspots - and the options before setting off on the trail.
UPDATE: 2 Mar 2020 - This section of path is now
subject to a temporary closure notice by Bradford Council, until
repairs can be made. Please use the suggested alternatives until
14 Feb 2020
£1.2 million for Skipton High Street
Skipton has scooped over £1.2 million of government funding
to boost its Skipton High Street Heritage Action Zone (HAZ)
The money from Historic England is part of a £95 million pot
to revitalise the nation's high streets.
Craven County Council will oversee the project. Its Policy
committee members were told the overarching theme of the Skipton
HAZ was to "start the process of changing the profile of users
of Skipton town centre towards a greater focus on young people
and families" and make it more walking and cycle friendly.
A breakdown of the grant shows £258,480 spent on a
performance venue at the town hall, £150,000 on Coach Street
public square and improving its accessibility, £35,000 on
ginnels (making safe routes linking the high street to secondary
retail areas and which are currently unlit, litter-strewn and
have uneven surfaces), £85,000 on creating youth markets on the
setts and £600,000 on an Otley Street Arts House.
Pedestrianising some areas and encouraging more accommodation
in the high street was also suggested at the Policy committee
The programme is spread over four years and Heritage England
have made it clear they want the design to cover four threads -
community engagement, physical intervention, conservation and
heritage and a cultural programme.
Skipton is a popular overnight stop for walkers on
A Dales High Way. Skipton High Street was voted "Best in Britain" in 2009 by the
Academy for Urbanism and the town itself was deemed the "best
place to live in the UK" by the Sunday Times in 2014.
1 Feb 2020
Dales Rail Trails 2020
Walkers can enjoy exploring Dales High Way country at their
leisure with the help of a brand new edition of Dales Rail
Trails which is published this month.
The new edition features 32 walks from stations along the
world-famous Leeds-Settle-Carlisle railway - 18 circular walks
of between 6 and 12 miles long, with an additional 14 linear
walks linking stations along the line. Each route has detailed
large-scale mapping at a scale of 1:25,000, with descriptive
notes and full colour photographs. Each route has been
re-surveyed to bring it bang up-to-date.
Chris Grogan, co-author of the guidebook, said "This is our
favourite walking country and we loved every minute of the work
producing this book. We worked with fellow walk leaders from the
Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line (FoSCL) to check the routes,
and we continue to help lead many of the routes as part of
FoSCL's free led-walks programme."
The book also includes details of 2 long distance trails: the
very popular 24-mile Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge Route and
the altogether tougher 48-mile Six Peaks Trail.
Publication of the first edition in 2011 inspired the
creation of the Ride2Stride Walking Festival, which continues to
go from strength to strength. This year's Festival will include
four FoSCL led walks on consecutive days covering the whole Six
Peaks Trail - a tough challenge indeed!
Dales Rail Trails, by Tony & Chris Grogan, costs £9.99 and is
available online from Skyware Press, or from the FoSCL shop at
15 Jan 2020
Farmland to woodland
The upland landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales are likely to
change dramatically in the future, if suggested moves are taken
to tackle the climate crisis.
The former chief scientific advisor to the government, Prof
Sir Ian Boyd, has called for half the UK farmland to be switched
from farmland to woodland, mostly in upland areas which are
unsuitable for growing crops. He said such a change would see
cattle and sheep production fall by up to 90%, with subsidies
used instead for storing carbon.
"It would be much better to store carbon and water, grow
trees and make land available for people to improve their
health" he said.
Tree planting along riverbanks and feeder streams, such as
the River Ribble, is already being employed to help reduce
flooding. Restoration of blanket bogs on moorland such as
Rombalds Moor is also being actively promoted.
In May a report from Rewilding Britain called for 25% of the
nation to be returned to natural habitat.
Surprisingly, Brexit might prove a catalyst for change. The
current EU system pays farmers grants according to the amount of
land they own. The government plans to shift farm subsidies
towards what it calls "public money for public goods" - a
principle supported by Rewilding Britain.
Photo shows tree planting along the Ribble near Stainforth,
courtesy of the Ribble Trust.
1 Jan 2020