Christmas floods devastate North
Further floods produced by the warmest winter on record have
the north of England, including Lancashire, West Yorkshire and
The Met Office issued two severe weather warnings, meaning danger
to life, for rain in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Almost a month's
rainfall is likely to fall in one day in some places. The
Environment Agency said affected residents should "take action now".
Worst affected so far is the River Ribble, though every river in
Lancashire exceeded record levels, the Environment Agency said. The
agency also issued 'severe flood warnings' for the River Calder in
the Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Todmorden and Sowerby Bridge areas.
The River Aire burst its banks in several places causing
widespread flooding. At Saltaire, at the start of A
Dales High Way, Roberts Park became a lake and there
was flooding at Salts Mill, as well as a number of homes and
businesses along the riverside at Shipley.
More rain is expected overnight.
Photo shows the Dales High Way footbridge across the River Aire
early Saturday afternoon - just hanging on.
26 Dec 2015
Floods renew ancient waterfall
Heavy rainfall across North Yorkshire has reignited a regional
waterfall for the first time in hundreds of years.
For the first time in living memory water has cascaded over the
rim of Malham Cove, recreating a scene first witnessed at the end of
the last Ice Age, when it is believed glacial melt waters gouged out
the Dry Valley above and carved the familar spectacular limestone
ampitheatre. The waters had long ago disappeared underground.
It is believed to have become the highest unbroken waterfall in
England after water began shooting over its 80 metre-plus high cliff
due to freak weather on Sunday morning.
The occurrence comes after Storm Desmond tore through Britain,
bringing strong winds and heavy rain to the region and causing
Cumbria to declare a major incident. The army was called in to help
evacuate residents as Carlisle and Appleby suffered severe floods,
with over 2,000 properties flooded and 60,000 homes left without
power. There has been major transport disruption throughout the
Flash flooding also affected Skipton and Settle, all important
towns along A Dales High Way.
The Environment Agency said more than a month's average rainfall
was recorded in 24 hours on Saturday. Area manager Lisa Pinney said:
"We have spent £45m on flood defences in Cumbria since 2009. Those
defences did an important job this weekend in giving us time to
ensure we could get warnings out. There is no doubt the flooding
would have been a lot worse if the defences hadn't been in place."
Anyone walking A Dales High Way at this time is advised to
avoid the last section along Hoff Beck which has suffered from
flooding, until the damage has been rectified. Take to the road from
Great Asby (see Grot Spots here for
details), or pick up the Coast to Coast route at Ravenstonedale Moor
and head for Kirkby Stephen.
7 Dec 2015
New Pennine Way film
A couple of walkers enjoying the Heart of the Pennine Way have
made a video blog of their journey, to celebrate the National
Trail's 50th anniversary.
Following the route of the Mid Pennine Way - 165 miles from
Hebden Bridge to Hadrian's Wall, David Halsall and Bridget Izod have
recorded their experience through fine weather and foul, using the
newly published guide book from Skyware Press. And on the murky high
point of Cross Fell they were joined by Chris and Tony Grogan with
"We wanted to join them at the highest point with a flask of
coffee and some cake, though we had trouble finding them in the
thick mist" said Chris.
This is the fifth film of a Skyware long distance trail that the
duo, both members of the Friends of A Dales High Way,
have made. Others include walking The Dales Way, A Dales High Way,
Lady Anne's Way and the Coast to Coast Path.
A number of the spots visited were familiar from previous trails:
spectacular Malham Cove from A Dales High Way; windy Cam Fell from
the Dales Way; bustling Hawes from Lady Anne's Way and beautiful
Keld on the Coast to Coast walk.
A small proportion of the production costs for the 14-minute film
were met by a grant from the Yorkshire Dales National Park's
Sustainable Development Fund.
1 Dec 2015
Offroaders come unstuck on Ilkey Moor
Police are trying to trace the drivers who abandoned their 4x4
vehicles on Ilkey Moor.
vehicles became stuck in the deep mud last Wednesday near Whetstone
Gate on the ridge of Rombalds Moor between Keighley and Ilkley,
close to the route of A Dales High Way.
Local resident Richard Barton found the vehicles near the track,
with their wheels stuck in boggy ground, as he walked with friends
on Thursday morning.
He said: “I have seen vehicles on the Ilkley-Keighley track, but
the only ones I have seen on the moor have been shooting party
“The moor here is very boggy and the vehicles appear to have
attempted to keep moving by driving with two wheels on the paved
footpath, which they have damaged. It clearly didn't work.”
A Keighley Police spokesman said it appeared one of the vehicles
had been driven on to the moorland but got stuck, and the other two
vehicles unsuccessfully tried to pull it out.
The spokesman added: “It’s been recorded as criminal damage
because there are trespass issues. There are large ruts in the
ground, and paving slabs have been knocked out of line.
“Efforts are being made to talk to the owners of vehicles.”
22 Nov 2014
New walking holiday from Wandering Aengus
Walking Holiday company Wandering Aengus have added
A Dales High Way to their growing list of
self guided walking holidays.
They are offering several packages to suit the needs of most
walkers - from a 6-day, 7 night holiday for just £515 per person, to
a 9-day, 10 night holiday for £725. Each package includes bed and
breakfast accommodation in guest houses, inns or hotels along the
way, with luggage transfers in between, as well as maps and
guidebooks, route notes and an emergency contact number.
Wandering Aengus is a small and friendly Cumbrian holiday
company, set up by Pete and Karen Royall in 2001 to provide "quality
walking holidays to those who love mountains and places of natural
beauty", mainly in the Lake District and Northern England.
Pete said "We love the concept of Long Distance Footpaths - to
wander "through hollow lands and hilly lands", each day discovering
a brand new part of the world. Add to this a fine mountain challenge
or high level stride over moor and ridge, and you have the essence
of a Wandering Aengus Trek. This is why when we heard about the
Dales High Way, we just had to walk it and offer it to our clients."
Pete was born and raised in South Lakeland and spent 10 years
leading treks and expeditions to the Himalaya, Karakoram and the
South American Andes before establishing Wandering Aengus. Karen is
the organising genius behind the company: previously a successful
Executive P.A. in the City of London, she has also trekked and
climbed in the Indian Himalaya, and in Pakistan's formidable
Karakoram Mountains under the shadow of K2.
Wandering Aengus is the latest walking holiday company to offer A
Dales High Way - others include Brigantes, Sherpa Van, Contours and
North West Walks.
Photo shows Pete and Karen's dogs Ellie and JJ, surveying the
scene from the summit of Ingleborough.
12 Nov 2015
Yorkshire Dales National Park extension approved
After a frustrating three year wait, the government has
approved the proposed extensions to the Yorkshire Dales and Lakes
The new designations will come into force in August next year,
but there is as yet no new money to cover the additional costs faced
by the National Park Authorities.
The extension to the Dales National Park includes an area to the
west, taking in Barbon, Middleton, Casterton and Leck Fells, the
River Lune, and part of Firbank Fell and other fells to the west of
the River Lune.
To the north the Park will take in the Cumbrian areas of the
Orton Fells, the northern Howgill Fells, Wild Boar Fell and
Walkers on A Dales High Way will now
find themselves inside the newly extended National Park as far as
Hoff, less than 3 miles to the finish at Appleby-in-Westmorland. The
new extension recognises the similar geological features and shared
cultural ties of the landscape which is followed by the trail.
In her letter announcing the decision, Environment Secretary Liz
Truss noted "The YDNP was designated in the 1950s, and much of the
land proposed for inclusion by Natural England had previously been
earmarked for potential inclusion at that time. However the land was
not previously included due to an emphasis on administrative
boundaries and main roads in determining the boundaries at that
Liz Truss arrived at Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes on Friday to
announce that the two parks would be expanded to create the largest
seamless stretch of protected landscape in England. She said “I
wanted to make sure that we got on with this because it’s a
fantastic opportunity for the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District
and it will make sure that we protect this vital, beautiful
landscape for generations to come.”
The Yorkshire Dales Park Authority gets 79% (£4m.) of its funding
from Government, but has seen a 38 per cent cut to its government
grant since 2010. The new extension will add 188 square miles to the Park,
increasing its size by a quarter.
27 Oct 2015
National Park faces further cutbacks
The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is bracing itself
a further round of cuts when the government's Comprehensive Spending
Review is published on November 25th.
National park authorities have had their budgets cut by 40 per
cent in real terms since 2011 - and now the Chancellor has warned
that spending could be sliced by a further 25 to 40 per cent over
the next four years.
Dales National Park Chairman Peter Charlesworth said: “Our
funding from central Government is now worth only three fifths what
it was back in 2010. Over the last five years we have lost
programmes such as transport and education and had to significantly
reduce our activity in others.
“Next year’s rights of way budget will be nearly half that
pre-cuts. Could it be that in future we just concentrate on a few
select footpaths and have no option but to let the rest
The budget for all 15 of Britain's national parks amounts to just
69p per person a year - the price of a packet of crisps - and, for
the Yorkshire Dales National Park, just 6p.
“Unfortunately we’re now in a challenging period of not knowing
for some time what the size of any cuts to our Defra core grant
might be”, said Peter.
“The waters are further muddied by the continuing absence of any
announcement about the proposed boundary extension. In the meantime,
the thing that we do still have control over is achieving our own
objectives, including those we’ve set ourselves for raising our own
This year, Members of the Authority approved a fundraising
strategy with a core aim to move away from a reliance on the
Government grant which currently makes up 77% of the Authority’s
income. By 2020 this figure is likely to have been reduced to less
than 60%, with the other 40% coming from the Authority’s own
The UK’s 15 national parks have teamed up to form a new company,
the National Parks Partnership Ltd, in a bid to find new solutions
to the funding crisis.
18 Oct 2015
Extreme adventurer in Dales High Way country
The extreme adventurer and former Special Forces officer
Grylls is facing criticism over his latest ITV show Britain's
Biggest Adventures in which he explores the Yorkshire Dales.
The film features Grylls abseiling down Malham Cove, exploring
Gordale Scar, and diving into the River Ribble at Stainforth - all
places familiar to walkers on A Dales High Way.
But his exploration of the Long Churn cave system has brought
criticism from the Clapham-based Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO).
CRO chair Heather Eastwood said “Bear Grylls is Chief Scout and
is an inspirational figure to many young people but both ITV and
Bear Grylls himself have shown a total lack of responsibility by
portraying some of the activities in the light that you choose to
“To depict caving as something that you can just turn up and do
is both irresponsible and dangerous.
“The fact that he had no safety equipment in the form of
appropriate clothing, a helmet and a reliable hands free torch,
which are a basic necessity in caving, was an elementary mistake.
“I and many of my colleagues feel that ITV has disregarded safety
and common sense in favour of sensationalising the activities to
Long Churn Cave is often used as a ‘beginners cave’, but can
prove dangerous in stormy weather when it fills with water. In 2007,
a man and woman both drowned in the same incident, and in 2008 two
separate groups were trapped in the cave during storms, although no
lives were lost.
In 2014 CRO attended 73 call-outs, including eight cave-related
ones. Of those, two involved people who were physically stuck, one
fall, one who had become marooned due to a lost rope and one who was
overdue after losing their way.
3 October 2015
Star Party at Settle
The dark skies of the Yorkshire Dales offer a great
to see the wonders of the night sky - stars, planets, galaxies and
the Milky Way.
Settle is celebrating this fantastic dark sky panorama with a
day-long Star Party on Saturday, October 10th, with events for all
the family throughout the day and evening.
Settle Stories are bringing in the experts, the
scientists, the people who know everything there is to know about
the stars, along with the dreamers and the artists who tell the
myths and stories of the stars.
Rod Hine - president of the Bradford Astronomical Society, will
guide you through an Introduction to Astronomy; there will
be Solar telescopes on hand through the day and in the evening the
Society will offer telescopes and help to view the night-time
wonders of the heavens.
An indoor planetarium - Star lab - is on hand throughout the day
with an astronomer and storyteller to guide you through the science
and stories of the stars.
Settle Stories have commissioned two new storytelling shows with
international storyteller Cassandra Wye. One for adults and one for
families. Join Cassandra and discover evocative stories that will
take you to another world where anything can happen and probably
There are also Rocket Workshops for the kids, exhibitions, a Star
Bar and much much more.
27 Sept 2015
Ingleborough path repairs
Major work is being undertaken on the footpath up to
above the shooting hut ruin where A Dales High Way
joins the popular Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge Route. Reclaimed
stone flags have been flown in by helicopter for the work.
Park Ranger and Three Peaks project Manager Steve Hasty
explained: "We will be flagging two sections of previously subsoiled
path to the west of the shooting hut. The work is being funded
by a significant grant from HF Holidays 'Pathways Fund'.
"The footpath through the Allotment is part of the main Three
Peaks challenge route and is a popular route to Ingleborough summit
from Horton in Ribblesdale. Each year approximately 50,000
people complete the Three Peaks using the Allotment path.
"The route through the Allotment was engineered in the early
1990’s using the subsoil or path inversion technique. Two
sections of the path on steeper ground have become very difficult to
use due to a combination of heavy footfall and water damage.
Walkers are now avoiding the path and trampling the fragile
vegetation to the sides, with the inevitable result that the path is
"This project will see the line of the path re-built and
re-profiled using a 360 excavator, with stone flags laid as steps to
provide the walking surface. The sides of the path will be
landscaped and turfed by hand using volunteers.
"This is a technique that has been used successfully elsewhere in
the Three Peaks. Due to the cost of the reclaimed flags and
the requirement usually to lift the flags to site using a
helicopter, the technique has a high capital cost. However it
has the long-term advantage of creating a very stable path with
extremely low maintenance requirements and is considered a much more
"The work is in two sections of 76m and 40m totalling 116m."
This story features as part of an update report to the state
of A Dales High Way to be found in the new Autumn Newsletter
No. 2, which you can download as a pdf file from the
Friends of A Dales High Way page here.
10 Sept 2015
Settle Folk Festival
The second Settle Folk Festival gets underway this weekend - and
festival is the brainchild of well known folk musician Mike Harding,
who lives in nearby Langcliffe and runs regular music sessions at
the Lion Inn. This year the anticipated musicians costs of around
£2,500 have been covered in advance thanks to the fund raising
efforts of Mike and his happy band of volunteers.
The main festival concerts take place at the Victoria Hall, and
even though the events are all free, tickets must be booked in
advance. There will also be impromptu music sessions and workshops
at the pubs in Settle, and dancing in the Market Square.
Events include BILL LLOYD and friends (Thursday); Ceilidh with
MIKE HARDING and house band THE WILLIAM SMALL ORCHESTRA, followed by
Late night dancing with THE DUNCAN McFARLANE ROCK N’ ROLL FOLK BAND
(Friday); SHEESHAM AND LOTUS AND SONS (Saturday); with the
1 Sept 2015
Sedbergh Welcomes Walkers – official!
Sedbergh is celebrating becoming one of the latest
to win Walkers are Welcome status.
The news was announced on Monday this week and celebrated at a
Walkers are Welcome northern gathering in Kirkby Stephen.
For walkers Sedbergh is the gateway to the Howgill Fells and the
western Yorkshire Dales. There is an extensive network of footpaths
and tracks that cover the nearby fells and riverbanks. It is also an
essential stopping point for walkers on both A Dales
High Way and the Dales Way.
The Walkers Are Welcome initiative was launched in 2007,
with Hebden Bridge being the first town to be accredited. Since then
over 100 towns and villages have joined the scheme, including
Ilkley, Bingley and Baildon at the start of A Dales High Way.
Julia Bradbury, broadcaster and walking enthusiast, said “The
Walkers Are Welcome Scheme is a truly innovative project. It’s such
a simple concept: set up an accreditation scheme for walk-friendly
towns, then encourage the towns to network together for support,
advice and ideas. That simplicity has led to jaw dropping success…”
14 Aug 2015
Yorkshire Dales tops for wildlife
The Yorkshire Dales National Park is one of the top places in the
for wildlife, according to a new report published by National Parks
As well as having some of the largest areas of limestone pavement
in the UK, the Yorkshire Dales National Park is home to more than
1,000 species of moths, around 100 species of nesting birds, over 25
species of butterflies and more than 30 species of mammals –
including rare red squirrels and dormice.
There is a species of moss that grows nowhere else in the world
and a species of bat (the brown long-eared bat) that has ears three
quarters the length of its head and body. The limestone crags of
Pen-y-ghent and Ingleborough are home for the rare Purple Saxifrage
(shown in photo).
There are also hundreds of plant species. In fact, the Yorkshire
Dales contains the only wild site in the country where the beautiful
Lady’s-Slipper Orchid grows and almost a third of England’s
remaining upland hay meadows, which are rich in wildflowers.
Andrew Colley, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s
Member Champion for the Natural Environment, said: “Look at a
flower-rich meadow in the Yorkshire Dales and you get a very
different picture from the one often associated with modern,
intensive farming. More than any other part of England, this area is
still dominated by magnificent, semi-natural wildlife habitats and
is still managed by the sort of low intensity, ‘High Nature Value’
farming systems that are particularly valuable for wildlife.
“As a result, we are bucking the national trend with some of our
most important bird species like Lapwings, Curlews and Black Grouse,
because the populations are stable here while they are in decline
nationally. That’s part of what makes the Yorkshire Dales National
Park such a great place for people to visit and enjoy.”
Walkers on A Dales High Way naturally
enjoy a personal close up view of the limestone pavements and flower
rich meadows through the Yorkshire Dales.
1 August 2015
Cave archaeology for Virtual Museum
The remains of lion, elephant, rhinoceros and hippopotamus that
once roamed the Yorkshire Dales will feature in an
new project to digitize and preserve the rich archaeological cave
archives from Victoria Cave at Attermire.
The Under the Uplands project, run by
DigVentures and based at Lower Winskill Farm near Settle, will
run until December 2016 and will rely heavily on the work of
volunteers to undertake the work of digitizing, enhancing and
interpreting the archive, before making it publically available.
A new community-led excavation of a previously unexcavated cave
site - Haggs Brow Cave, Settle, will also be undertaken. The project
has won Heritage Lottery funding of £100.000.
Commenting on the award, Lisa Westcott Wilkins, DigVentures’
Managing Director, said: ‘Some of the objects we’ve seen from past
excavations at Victoria Cave are mind-blowing: bones of spotted
hyaenas and their prey such as elephant, rhinoceros and
hippopotamus, complete skulls of brown bears, rare Ice Age hunter’s
tools, and a medley of beautiful Roman decorative objects. It is
imperative that the excavations and the finds from the cave are made
accessible, which is why we are so excited about the Virtual
Archaeologist and farmer Tom Lord is the custodian of the archive
at his home at Lower Winskill Farm. His grandfather Tot Lord was
involved in early excavations of Victoria and other caves.
Tom said: ‘Victoria Cave tells of times the Dales were truly
wild. The excavations found amazing evidence of top Ice Age
predators and their eco-systems, and an incredible human story
reaching back nearly fifteen thousand years. But cave environments
and their archaeological sediments are extremely vulnerable. Most of
the damage is unintentionally caused by recreational activities such
as climbing and walking, and casual cave exploration. It is vitally
important that we share this information with as many people as
possible, and that a Cave Archaeology Toolkit is developed that will
help visitors to enjoy these very special places without putting
them in danger.’
Picture shows Tom Lord showing guests around Lower Winskill
13 July 2015
Dentdale Festival scorcher
This year's Dentdale Music & Beer Festival is proving to be
another scorcher, with the small Dales village of Dent packed out
with happy festival goers.
This years free 3-day folk festival features a number of popular
acts, including the resident festival favourites The Dog Roses,
Sunday's headliner Sarah Gillespie and Saturday afternoon's
highlight Bella Gaffney and her new Bric-a-Brac Band
Sarah began her acoustic music career a few years ago at the
famous Topic Folk Club in Bradford. After another popular spot last
year, Bella picked up some new band members in an impromptu session
at the Condor Farm campsite.
Needless to say, both main campsites were fully booked up by the
start of the festival, but once again the Community Transport bus
was on hand to collect and drop day visitors at the railway station
4 miles up the dale.
A very special treat for any Dales High Way
walkers passing through!
28 June 2015
New cafe at Little Stainforth
A new cafe/bar and restaurant has recently opened at Little
directly on the route of A Dales High Way.
The Maudsley family, who own and run Knight Stainforth
caravan and camping park, have created a new reception area,
shop, restaurant, games room and function room from what was
previously an old farm building.
The Knight’s Table is open to the general public as well
as to people staying on the park, so passing walkers are welcome to
pop in for a coffee or a snack.
Chris Maudsley, who runs Knight Stainforth with his brother and
both their wives, told us, “A lot of our campers are walking A Dales
High Way. The cafe means that they won’t have to carry food if they
don’t want to – they can enjoy a meal right here on site.”
The family are also considering opening a bunkbarn and ensuite
bedroom accommodation in the future, which will be great for Dales
High Way walkers. Stainforth is an ideal place to spend the night
before heading over Ingleborough and into Chapel-e-Dale.
18 June 2015
Appleby Horse Fair begins today
The 2015 Appleby Horse Fair began
today as thousands of
and Travellers poured into the normally quiet Westmorland town for
the annual event. The Appleby Horse Fair is the biggest such
gathering in Europe, and attracts a further 40,000 visitors who come
to enjoy the week-long spectacle.
Walkers finishing A Dales High Way this
week are in for a surprise and a treat, though finding accommodation
is going to be nigh impossible.
For the last six years the Fair has been overseen by a Multi
Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group (MASCG) which has helped reduce
problems and improved relations between visitors and locals.
Billy Welch, a Gypsy and Traveller representative on MASCG, said:
“I would like to personally thank the Gypsies and Travellers who are
making their way to Appleby Fair for responding positively to our
message about not arriving too soon for this year’s event. The
number of early arrivals has greatly reduced; this has helped to
make more spaces available at temporary stopping places for bowtops
and for horse grazing.
“This reduction has made a really positive difference to the
local communities in Cumbria, for the Police and the other public
agencies involved in MASCG. It is something that we hope we can
repeat in future years, as we all work together to make the Horse
Fair safer and more enjoyable for all concerned.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Sean Robinson, from Cumbria Police
said: “The start of Appleby Horse Fair has gone to plan. We will be
hosting the first Community Group Meeting tonight, where local
people and Gypsy and Traveller representatives can raise any areas
The RSPCA has warned dog owners not to bring their pets to the
Horse Fair. RSPCA Chief Inspector Rob Melloy said: “Dogs should not
be brought to the Horse Fair at all; it is quite simply not a place
for them. Horses can get “spooked” by dogs and dogs can get trampled
by horses. We also don’t want to see any dogs being left behind in
vehicles either. I don’t know what it takes for people to get the
message that dogs die quickly in hot vehicles. It happens so fast.
So do your dog a favour, leave it at home.”
4 June 2015
Countryfile comes to Saltaire
Saltaire, at the start of A Dales High Way,
a special edition of the BBC’s Countryfile this week, when
presenter Anita Rani returns to her home turf of Bradford to explore
the countryside on the edge of the city, discovering the rural gem
right on her doorstep.
Anita was born and bred in Bradford and fondly remembers escaping
the city to explore the Moors. It’s a journey that city dwellers
have taken in these parts for well over 150 years. Anita visits the
Victorian village of Saltaire, designed to integrate natural beauty
into the urban landscape and built by rich mill owner Titus Salt, to
house his workforce. The idea was to give them a utopia away from
the pollution and disease of Bradford. Anita explores the village –
and its rules - with the help of local historian, Maria Glot. Then
she meets Jamie Roberts and his three alpacas, to find out why their
unusual wool was so significant in Saltaire.
Anita continues her journey from town to country on Britain’s
oldest working tramway. Now approaching its 120th birthday, this
tram was built to take people from Roberts Park in Saltaire, and
surrounding mill towns, deeper into the countryside. At the top of
the tramway lies Baildon Moor. Victorians used to flock here in
their thousands to escape the pollution of the industrial towns.
Today, Baildon Moor is used by over 50 activity groups, from bird
watchers to horse-riders and fell runners.
18 May 2015
Ride2stride draws to a close
The fourth annual Settle-Carlisle Walking Festival -
ride2stride 2015 - drew to a close yesterday after a week of
led to some challenging moments on some of the walks, but failed to
The Friends of A Dales High Way helped promote two
events in conjunction with the Yorkshire Dales Society: a 7-mile
walk from Settle to visit the remarkable Hoffmann Kiln, returning
along A Dales High Way, led by Colin
Speakman; and a talk by author Sheila Gordon about how she created a
popular long-distance trail Lady Anne's Way, a trail which
shares a short section from Skipton with A Dales High Way.
There was the usual mixture of walks, talks and music, with the
daily music sessions especially giving the whole week a true lively
festival atmosphere. Walkers from across Britian and beyond,
including America, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands, enjoyed a
great week in the Yorkshire Dales and Eden Valley.
Chris Grogan, secretary of the ride2stride organising committee,
said "Despite a couple of blustery and wet days, the weather has
been generally good and certainly everyone has thoroughly enjoyed
themselves. It's been great to meet some old friends, but there have
been a lot of new visitors too this year. We've also enjoyed some
fabulous music sessions, especially over the weekend. All in all
another terrific festival"
For those who missed the festival, many of the walks feature in
Dales Rail Trails, a guidebook to circular and linear walks
from the famous Settle-Carlisle railway, written and produced by
Chris and Tony Grogan, which includes sections along A Dales High
5 May 2015
A new way to tackle an old friend
Today marks the 50th anniversary of Britain’s first long-distance
and the event is being celebrated with the publication of
Heart of the Pennine Way, a guidebook for a 165-mile walk
along the Mid Pennine Way from Hebden Bridge to Hadrian’s Wall.
The Mid Pennine Way is essentially an abridged version of
Britain’s toughest National Trail – the 268-mile Pennine Way. It is
formed by taking the two end stages of the Pennine Way, undoubtedly
the most difficult stages both physically and logistically, and
putting them to one side. That cuts out Edale to the Calder
Valley and Hadrian’s Wall to Kirk Yetholm, a total of
just under 100 miles.
The remaining 165 mile route is a glorious trail along the
backbone of England, from the wild moors of West Yorkshire to the
rich southern borders of the Northumberland National Park.
It features almost all the highlights to be found along the
Pennine Way, including the stunning limestone country of the
Yorkshire Dales, the dramatic waterfalls and wild open moors of the
Durham Dales and the very best section of the Hadrian’s Wall World
Co author Chris Grogan said: “When we were planning a fortnight’s
walking holiday, we looked at the Pennine Way but knew we couldn’t
walk it all. So we came up with a new way to tackle an old friend -
the Mid Pennine Way. It worked for us - we thoroughly enjoyed our
Mid Pennine Way adventure and we would recommend it whole
Chris, who also co-devised A Dales High Way,
said that the Mid Pennine Way could be tackled in several stages
using the beautiful and iconic Settle to Carlisle railway to access
the route at key points. And for those who don't like to leave any
unfinished business, the guidebook includes additional detailed
mapping to the whole of the 268-mile Pennine Way National Trail.
The book will be officially launched tomorrow in Hebden Bridge,
as part of the celebrations to open the new Hebden Bridge Loop
that links to the Pennine Way.
A proportion of the proceeds from the sale of each book will go
to the Yorkshire Dales National Park, to help maintain the Pennine
April 24 2015
Pennine Way at 50
Britain's first and toughest National Trail celebrates it's 50th
birthday later this month, and features in a new 4-part BBC TV
documentary which begins tonight on BBC Yorkshire.
explorer Paul Rose walks the trail, from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk
Yetholm on the Scottish borders, crossing through the heart of the
Yorkshire Dales along the way.
The Pennine Way even shares a short section with A
Dales High Way - the path along the Dry Valley of
Watlowes above Malham Cove.
The Pennine Way was the brainchild of Tom Stephenson - rambler
and socialist campaigner - who first proposed A Pennine Way from
the Peaks to the Cheviots in a newspaper article in 1935. The
route was finally opened as Britian's first long distance footpath
30 years later, on April 24 1965 at an event on Malham Moor attended
by over 2,000 people.
10 April 2015
New OS map features Dales High Way
Ordnance Survey have published a new version of their OL19
Explorer map - Howgill Fells and Upper Eden Valley - which
features A Dales High Way as a
With the route of A Dales High Way already being included in a
new version of their OL2 Explorer map - Yorkshire Dales -
Southern & Western areas - last year, this means that most of
the long distance trail is now covered by OS mapping.
The new map features the trail as it crosses the Howgill Fells
from Sedbergh on to it's finishing point in Appleby-in-Westmorland.
Chris Grogan of the Friends of A Dales High Way said:
"We have seen the popularity of the trail increase year on year and
it's great news at last to see that people will now be able to
follow almost all the route on OS mapping. They should, of course,
still use the guide books which provide so much more additional
information about the walk."
31 March 2015
Pubs get a toast
The Eden Valley Tourism team chose a theme that is close to
heart of many walkers to celebrate English Tourism Week 2015 –
Pubs play a crucial role in the life of the Yorkshire Dales and
Eden Valley, both for locals and visitors alike. The Friends of
A Dales High Way was just one of the groups invited to the
Midland Hotel in Appleby today to see Rory Stewart MP launch Drovers
Gold, a new beer from Eden Brewery.
The Midland is a favourite with walkers, being situated right by
the railway station. Landlord Clive Bissland said, “We enjoy
welcoming Dales High Way walkers at the end of their walk, whether
they call in for a drink or a meal or they stay the night with us
before catching the train home”.
Before heading for the pub, walkers can call at the Tourist
Information Centre to collect their Dales High Way
certificates. What finer way is there to end a long distance walk?
Photo shows the Midland Hotel’s Clive Bissland and Eden
Brewery’s Jason Hill being filmed for TV at the event.
6 Mar 2015
Two new treats at Salts Mill
Walkers who spend some time exploring Saltaire before they set
off on A Dales High Way are in for a treat
A new gallery has just opened on the third floor of Salts Mill
with an exhibition entitled People and Process. The objects
on display tell the story of Salts Mill itself and include
machinery, clothing and art. There is even a plate from the lavish
banquet thrown by Titus Salt to celebrate the opening of the mill in
1853 and attended by 2,440 workers and 1,310 guests. Also on view is
film footage showing workers streaming out of the factory gates onto
Victoria Road on 24th July 1900.
Also recently opened is a new show by David Hockney. Called
The Arrival of Spring it’s a detailed study of the changing
seasons with each image depicting a specific day between January 1st
and May 31st 2011. The art was created on Hockney’s ipad and is
printed out at 1.4 metres high.
Both exhibitions are free of charge and open Wed – Sun 10.00am to
4.30pm (5.30pm at weekends).
21 feb 2015
National Park takes over Pennine Way
Management of the entire 270-mile Pennine Way, Britain’s
Trail, is to pass to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.
The trail is currently managed by Natural England, but
responsibility will pass to a partnership of all the local
authorities covering the route, with the Dales National Park taking
the lead role.
David Butterworth, the Park Authority’s Chief Executive said: “It
is a big undertaking for us but after a year of shadow-managing the
trails in partnership with local authorities, other national parks,
charitable trusts and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, we are
confident we can not only manage this great national asset
successfully but enhance and improve it for everyone.”
The Authority has secured a £350,000 annual grant from Natural
England to maintain and improve both the walking route and the
205-mile Pennine Bridleway, which runs from Derbyshire to Cumbria.
From April the other authorities along the route will pay a fee to
the National Park Authority.
A Dales High Way shares a short section
with the Pennine Way, along the Dry Valley above Malham Cove.
The Dales National Park Authority has faced big cuts in recent
years, losing a third of its staff. Its current annual budget is
just under £5 million.
The Pennine Way celebrates its 50th anniversary this year – it
was officially launched near Malham Tarn by its founder Tom
Stephenson in April 1965.
12 Feb 2015
GPS route logs for Dales High Way
Hand held Global Positioning System devices (GPS) are becoming
increasingly popular amongst walkers and there's
doubt that they give a good deal of reassurance to walkers who fear
becoming lost in featureless terrain or misty conditions.
Of course, they can never replace a good guide book or OS map as
the primary source for route information. No-one wants to walk a
long distance trail with a GPS device held out in front of them for
The Friends of A Dales High Way often receive
requests for GPS route files for the long distance trail, so now
we've added them to this website.
The Dales High Way route files are
available in several formats, depending on the device you use and
are available to download for free.
The route logs were originally created by John Sparshatt of the
Long Distance Walkers Association and made available to its members
on their excellent and comprehensive walkers' website. John kindly
gave us permission to use them here.
Tony Grogan of the Friends said: "The GPS route files give the
main route but don't include the various alternatives, such as those
for bad weather over the high fells. They should be of sufficient
detail to help locate your postion along the trail. We haven't
checked all the formats in detail, so would be grateful for any
feedback from walkers.
"We're very grateful to John Sparshatt for letting us use these
Walkers shouldn't rely on GPS devices though. Bear in mind -
batteries die and technology sometimes fails.
1 Feb 2015
Saltaire trees to go
32 mature trees that line Victoria Road in Saltaire are to be
as part of a £720,000 restoration project.
The trees – a mixture of horse chestnut, copper beech, Norway
maple and rowan, were planted in the 1950’s and were not part of the
original design of the model village. Unfortunately the trees have
grown too big and are damaging paving and blocking light to nearby
The trees are expected to be removed this spring, following which
new Yorkshire stone paving will be installed and new LED
streetlights fitted. The four lions outside Victoria Hall, which
marks the start of A Dales High Way, will
Councillor Val Slater said “The scheme will ultimately bring
Victoria Road back to how it was originally, but with a modern
twist. The trees were a 1950s intrusion, and the new scheme will
open up the vista.
Local consultations provided majority backing for the scheme,
which is expected to be finished in March 2016.
Vanessa Pilny, chair of the Saltaire Village Society, said:
“People say the lighting looks fantastic, especially plans to light
up the lions outside Victoria Hall. A lot of the old stone is going
to be recycled and it will mean the pavements will be much safer and
look better too.”
14 Jan 2015
2014 – hottest year on record
The Met Office has confirmed that 2014 proved to be the
year since records began in 1910, pipping the previous record year
The mean temperature of 9.9 degrees beat the 9.7 degrees of 2006
and confirms that all the UK’s top eight warmest years have happened
The devastating winter floods in the early part of the year
proved only to make the year the fifth wettest on record. The
wettest day saw 146.8 mm of rain at Ennerdale, Black Sail, Cumbria
on 6 March 2014. The high fells of the English Lake District are
climatologically one of the wettest parts of the UK.
The Met Office blogger said: “It’s also worth noting it’s set to
be the warmest year on record in the Met Office’s Central England
Temperature (CET) series, which dates all the way back to 1659. The
mean temperature estimate for the year is 11.0 °C, which would just
beat the record of 10.9 °C set in 2006.
“Human influence on the climate is likely to have substantially
increased the chance of breaking the UK and CET temperature records.
Estimates from the Met Office suggest that it has become about ten
times more likely for the UK record to be broken as a result of
human influence on the climate.”
Graph shows Mean UK annual temperatures from 1910 to Feb
2013. 2014 pipped the top line.
1 Jan 2015