New Group for Dales High Way walkers
Social media has always played an important part in letting
people know all about A Dales High Way. The Friends' have their
own Facebook Page which they use to pass on the latest
information about the trail.
However, more recently Facebook Groups have grown in
popularity, allowing members to communicate directly with each
other, to ask and answer questions and to share tips, photos and
So the Friends have launched a brand new Dales High Way
Group, which is open to anyone who has or plans to walk or run
The first batch of members are already engaged in sharing the
latest news with each other and those who are currently on the
"I really love to see people's photos and hear their tales,"
said Chris Grogan, who administers the Group.
" I am sure the Group will be very useful for those planning
to tackle the challenge that is A Dales High Way. It is a great
way of letting walkers engage directly with each other, sharing
tips, answering queries and supporting those setting off for the
New members have to request to join the group and are
approved by the admin Chris. It's a very easy process.
8 July 2021
Friends' Summer Newsletter 2021
The new Summer Newsletter of the Friends of A Dales High
Way is now available as a downloadable pdf file.
It's been a strange year, but thankfully we are beginning to
get back towards some sort of normality, and walkers are
returning to walk A Dales High Way
Julia Pearson, who chairs the Friends, considers what wild
treats can be found along the Way, as she bumps into some
walkers just setting out along the route for the second time.
There's an in-depth account of the very first Ultra-marathon
race along the trail, run by Punk Panther Marathons. Winner
Daniel Hendriksen completed the 90-mile run in under 21 hours!
The Friends' were on hand running the checkpoint at
Bradford Council has been busy with some important upgrades
to the route that falls in their patch, along with improvements
on Ingleborough courtesy of the Yorkshire Dales National Park
The return to full normality - expected on June 21st - has
been put on hold for at least a month, as there are worrying
signs of a further wave of infections. But hopefully the
roll-out of vaccinations will help us get there soon.
In the meantime, get back out on the Fells once more and
enjoy the summer!
19 June 2021
New footway alongside busy Otley Road section
A potentially dangerous short road section near the start of
A Dales High Way has been made safe, thanks to work by Bradford
Council's Highways department.
The 200 metre road section leads from Weecher Reservoir onto
Bingley Moor. Traffic along this stretch is very fast and the
only verge on one side was difficult on foot due to a drainage
ditch. This has now been stabilised and filled over with gravel,
and bollards have been erected to separate it from the traffic.
The improvement had been requested by walkers from the
local Walkers are Welcome groups and the Friends of A Dales
High Way. The section is used by other local trails, including
the Welcome Way and Bradford Millenium Way.
Originally it was anticipated that walkers' groups would raise
money towards the cost of the work, but in the end the council
received additional government funding to cover the full cost.
This means a much safer passage for walkers. Our thanks must
go to Kevin Whittaker of Bradford Highways in particular for
making this happen!
1 June 2021
Runners complete first Dales High Way Ultra
17 runners set off on the first Dales High Way Ultra,
organised by Punk Panther Ultra Marathons, with 12
finishing the gruelling race on Sunday morning.
Jason Millward set a blistering pace throughout the race, and
as he was tracked dropping from the Howgill Fells it looked
certain that he'd smash the record set only 2 days before. Alas,
Jason was forced to withdraw at the final stage.
First to finish was Daniel Hendriksen, in just 20 hours 56
minutes. Daniel then went on to complete the 100 mile circuit
taking in the additional High Cup Nick circular!
Second place on the Dales High Way went to Mark Kennedy, who
came in 2 hours later. Second spot on the long race went to
Andrew Merrick, who came in alongside
the first woman to finish, Jane McCarthy, who set a new woman's
record for the route at 23 hours and 2 minutes. Both also went on to
complete the 100 miles.
Javid Bhatti was the other runner to complete 100 miles, with
a further 8 runners completing the 90-mile Dales High Way.
Race organiser Ryk Downs said: "The race started in
torrential rain, which lasted until Settle, and the timing meant
everyone had to go through the Howgills in the dark, which was a
huge challenge. All runners thoroughly enjoyed themselves saying
that the route was stunning, yet brutal to run, especially in
the conditions. They all said they would be back next year,
several experienced runners saying it was the best race they had
The Friends of A Dales High Way ran the Settle
checkpoint and had a great time. The Friends received a generous
donation of £170 from the race organisers.
Photos: (top) Daniel Hendriksen presented with the Winner's
Trophy by Ryk and Beverley Downes. Jane McCarthy receives the
Women's Trophy and Andrew Merrick Runner-up Trophy from
organisers Ryk Downes and Steven Brown (bottom left) and David &
Bridget from the Friends at the Settle checkpoint (bottom
14 May 2021
New record set before race begins
A new Fastest Known Time record for running the route of
A Dales High Way has been set just
hours before the Punk Panther Ultra marathon set off.
The record - an incredible 20 hours 31 minutes 23 seconds was
set by Mark Kerry as he ran into Appleby at 7.45 pm on Friday
night. Mark, a "Montane Ambassador", had set off from Saltaire
in the dark at 11.13 pm on Thursday night, running with a
support crew including a rota of pace runners.
He was blessed with good weather conditions.
After Chris Grogan congratulated him on his achievement, Mark
replied "Had such a great day out. Fantastic route."
Meanwhile, the first Punk Panther runners left Saltaire just
after 6 am Saturday morning, as rain started to fall. Heavy rain
is forecast for the duration, making this a very tough
challenge, but the runners were all cheerful and in good
Photo shows Mark Kerry.
8 May 2012
"Stunningly Brutal" Dales High Way Ultra
Runners are gearing up to take part in the Dales High Way
Ultra marathon next week.
The race covers the whole 90-mile Dales High Way - a route
described as "stunningly brutal" by one runner after a recce of
the route for the organisers last July.
Runners have up to 36 hours to complete the race, with an
optional additional 10-mile loop up to High Cup Nick at the end,
for those wanting to push the limit to 100 miles.
The race was initially planned for last May, but had to be
cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Due to current restrictions, all checkpoints will be
outdoors, and only 21 runners are expected to participate. They
will leave Saltaire on Saturday morning, May 8th on a staggered
start from 6 a.m. onwards.
The race is organised by Punk Panther Ultra Marathons UK,
led by Ryk and Bev Downes. The races are professionally
organised, with established checkpoints along the route and
qualified medical support. Each runner also carries a tracker so
that their progress and position can be followed throughout.
Competitors can gain 5 or 6 points towards qualification to
the prestigious Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB). The UTMB race
involves around 106 miles (170km) of running and a
circumnavigation of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western
Members of the Friends of a Dales High Way will be
running the race checkpoint at Settle on Saturday
Photo shows Ryk Downes and Helen Clayman set off to recce the
route in July last year.
1 May 2021
Gentleman Jack filmed in Saltaire
Saltaire, at the start of A Dales High Way,
once more became a film set as a section of the mill was made over
into a busy street scene.
Work on the set continued for several weeks, building shop
fronts, including a pub, a tailors and a chemists.
place over two days this week, with parking in lower Saltaire suspended
for the duration. A
huge white crane, with Warner Brothers set lighting and rigging
written on it, was also at the filming location.
The new second season of the BBC/HBO drama, created by Sally
Wainwright, covers the further adventures of 19th century
landowner Anne Lister, played by Suranne Jones. Timothy West is
amongst actors in the new series.
Other scenes were filmed nearby at Haworth Moor's Penistone
Country Park in February.
16 Apr 2021
Glovershaw Beck improvement
A recently repaired section of path alongside Glovershaw
Beck, near the start of A Dales High Way,
has been improved further.
The path was originally repaired with an innovative "green
revetment" last August, after floods had washed away a section
But further flash flooding over the winter had caused a
partial collapse of the new banking. The original contractors returned to fix the problem, and over two days
re-engineered and extended the revetment with a more contoured
The beck floor has also been cleared.
It is hoped the new look revetment will better carry the
surge of flood water when it returns. The repair has come just as
walkers begin to return for the new season.
2 April 2021
View from the Riverbank
Three presentations on different environmental projects in
the Eden Valley are on offer to all this spring, hosted by
EDEN Rivers Trust (ERT).
View from the riverbank features three virtual talks
via Zoom – river restoration, natural flood management and the
eradication of invasive non-native species. It will begin with
River restoration in the Upper Eden, Thursday, March 18,
6.30-7pm, with Lev Dahl, River Restoration Manager, who gives an
exclusive virtual tour of a couple of recently completed river
restoration projects in the Upper Eden.
Natural flood management in the Pennines follows
on Thursday 22 April, with Dr. Jenny Garbe, the Trust's Natural
Flood Management Project Manager, on covering leaky dams, tree
and hedge planting, and how they all contribute to reducing the
risk of flooding to Eden’s Communities at Risk.
Finally Ditching the invasive species in Trout Beck and
beyond on Thursday 20 May, with Dr. Jenny Garbe, Trout
Beck Project Manager and Jenni Payne, Volunteer Coordinator, who
will talk about their battle against one of Eden’s most prolific
alien invaders – Himalayan balsam.
The projects cover the Upper Eden valley, where A
Dales High Way enters its final stage, finishing
at Appleby-in-Westmorland. This part of the Westmorland Dales
became part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park in August 2016.
Each 30-minute talk will be followed by a Q&A session where
you can ask your burning questions. Joining in is easy, though
you will need to register in advance to book your place. Once
you have registered, you will be sent a confirmation email with
the details of how to log in.
15 march 2021
Government Roadmap - when can Trail Walking Resume?
Walkers planning to tackle A Dales High Way this summer can
begin planning in earnest, with the new government roadmap
offering a potential timeline for the easing of current
The 4-part roadmap suggests that by 17 May hotels, B&Bs and
hostels can re-open, and by as early as 12 April walking
holidays will be possible for those hiring holiday cottages or
All the proposed dates are given as the earliest for each
step change, subject to the success of the ongoing vaccination
program and the continued reduction in the infection rate.
Travel restrictions remain in the initial stage, with some
restrictions lifted on 8 March. By 29 March the "Stay at Home"
rule ends, but the advice to only travel locally remains in
Step 2, on 12 April, expect an easing of travel restrictions,
with non-essential retail opening and pubs, restaurants and
cafes able to offer outdoor service. Self contained
accommodation - holiday cottages and some camping facilities,
will become available.
Step 3, on 17 May, sees outdoor events and entertainment
open, with outdoor gatherings of up to 30 people allowed.
Hotels, B&Bs and hostels reopen with pubs, cafes and restaurants
able to offer table service indoors.
By 21 June, Step 4, all restrictions are expected to be
Social distancing and Covid-19 hygiene rules will continue
1 March 2021
New Online Map Tools to aid Trail Planning
Some new online map tools have been developed to help those
planning to walk A Dales High Way.
The new map features have been developed by Skyware Press,
who publish the Dales High Way Route Guide and Companion, and
are free to use on this website.
Tony Grogan, co-author of the books and a director of
Skyware, said: "We have been offering an online map of the route
for some time, which allows people to zoom in and pan around and
explore the route in detail. But, taking advantage of the
current lockdown restrictions, we have spent some time adding
new features, which we hope will help those planning and walking
the route in the future."
The online map uses Ordnance Survey Map API mapping which
shows topographical detail at several different zoom levels and
allows users to explore the whole route with ease.
"There is a new feature which shows the Skyware strip-map
coverage, as shown in the Route Guide, allowing the coverage to
be seen in a wider context.
"There is also an new Geolocation Tracking feature, which is
aimed at users of mobile devices like modern smartphones, which
are GPS enabled. This allows you to track your position relative
to the route, and hopefully will help reassure walkers when
There are a couple of caveats: the geolocation tracking
feature uses mapping which requires a good strong signal to
download - which may be sometimes unavailable along the trail,
especially in more remote locations. This feature also tends to
drain battery charge quicker when in constant use, so should be
"These are still in early development, so we'd very much
appreciate any feedback. Email us at "friends (at) daleshighway
(dot) org (dot) uk and let us know what you think" said Tony.
These tools should only be used as an aid; walkers on the
route should use the Route Guide or map and a compass for
13 Feb 2021
Surprising Lockdown Stats for Dales National Park
There were some very surprising results from visitor surveys
in the Yorkshire Dales National Park through the Covid-19
pandemic last year.
Despite severe lockdowns in early spring and late autumn,
visitor numbers overall remained high, with more first time
visitors to the National Park and many more younger visitors.
The surprising stats were laid out by Kathryn Beardmore,
director of Park Services, at the virtual meeting of the Park's
Management Plan Annual Forum, which was held on 20 January.
Typically, only 44% of visitors are under 55 years old, but
last year this shot up to 70%. For many this was their first
visit to the Park, including a third of visitors to Malham and a
half of visitors to Aysgarth.
Walking was one of the chief attractions, with as many
visiting Malham Cove in between July and October as any other
year, and more walkers climbing Pen-y-ghent in this period than
previous years. Over 80% reported being "extremely satisfied"
with their visit, despite many facilities being closed.
Pre-Covid tourism figures showed a steady increase between
2015 and 2019, with a 30% increase in staying visitors in the
summer months (April to September), and a very welcome 40%
increase in the winter months (October to March). Undoubtedly
the award of International Dark Sky Reserve status for the
National Park last December can only help.
PHOTO: Light pollution photo shows National Park Dark Sky
1 Feb 2021
Ingleborough Rescue Highlights Concerns
Concerns that people are ignoring Covid-19 restrictions to
visit the Yorkshire Dales were highlighted this weekend when two
walkers had to be rescued from the summit of Ingleborough.
Volunteers from the Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO)
based in Clapham were called out by North Yorkshire Police at
4.30 pm on Sunday, after a couple of walkers had lost their way on the
summit due to low lying fog, ice and snow.
The CRO noted that the couple, who had driven up from
Rochdale, had set off at 1 pm, wearing lightweight jackets and
smooth-soled footwear as well as using Google Maps for
Superintendent Mike Walker said: “This couple were incredibly
fortunate to have come through this experience without injury
and be able to tell the tale. We very clearly advised members of
the public this weekend to stay at home and when taking
exercise, stay local to stop the spread of Covid.
"Quite simply driving miles and miles, out of your village,
town or city to visit an open space is not a necessary journey
and is not acceptable. Neither is arriving at a challenging
walking location, inexperienced and unprepared in treacherous
"By making an irresponsible and ill-informed decision, the
safety of others such as the Cave Rescue Organisation volunteers
is also put in jeopardy and if any injury resulted, pressure
upon already stretched NHS resources."
On the same day another walker was rescued from the hillside
below Blua Crags, above Settle, after she slipped on steep, frozen
ground, sustaining a suspected ankle fracture.
14 Jan 2021
New Year - New Hope
After a year to forget, at last there's hope that 2021 will
be different. Today the new Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine begins
being administered to people across the country.
The government intends that over 20 million of the most
at-risk citizens will have been vaccinated by April. With their
current record of delivering on plans though, that seems
optimistic. But by early summer we should be able to return to
long-distance walking, even walking holidays - as we did briefly
in the late summer of 2020.
It comes at a time when second wave infections and
hospitalisations due to the new Covid-19 strain are passing the
peak of the first deadly wave last April. But hopefully this
will begin to be reversed as the vaccine is rolled out in
At the moment, only local people are eligible to go out
walking along sections of A Dales High Way. North Yorkshire now
falls within tier 3, Cumbria falls within tier 4. In these tiers
you should avoid travel outside your local area. These
restrictions look likely to be tightened, at least in the short
But now is the time to be optimistic and start planning for
the summer, when hopefully once again we can set off across the
glorious high country of the Yorkshire Dales and Eden valley.
4 Jan 2021