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 2021

New Online Map Tools to aid Trail Planning

Dales High Way Route map and features

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 needed."

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 used sparingly.

"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 primary navigation.

See the new online detailed mapping here.

13 Feb 2021

Surprising Lockdown Stats for Dales National Park

Light pollution photo shows National Park Dark Sky Reserve

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 Reserve.

See all the reports for the 2021 Dales National Park Management Plan Annual Forum here, and join the Dales Dark Skies Festival, 12-28 February, here.

1 Feb 2021

Ingleborough Rescue Highlights Concerns

Ingleborough rescue on Jan 10 2021 by CRO - photo Paul Moore

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 navigation.

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 weather conditions.

"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.

See the Cave Rescue Organisation here

14 Jan 2021

New Year - New Hope

HF Holidays

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 numbers.

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 term.

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.

See the latest Yorkshire Dales National Park Covid-19 update here.

4 Jan 2021

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