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 2016

Friends promote A Dales High Way

Thousands of copies of a new promotional leaflet for A Dales High Way are ready Dales High Way promotional leafletfor distribution in the new year.

15,000 leaflets have been printed by the Friends of A Dales High Way group ready for the 2017 walking season. The leaflets have been updated to include the newly extended Yorkshire Dales National Park, which is crossed by the northern sections of the 90-mile trail.

They will be distributed mainly through the National Park Centres and Tourist Information Centres along the route.

Julia Pearson of the Friends said "The previous leaflets proved incredibly popular and were in great demand. As we ran out we thought it would be good to update them to take into account the extended National Park and to highlight in particular the northern sections that lead into the beautiful Eden Valley.

"We're very grateful to Eden Tourism, the Long Distance Walkers Association and Skyware Press for their help and support in producing the leaflets."

Download a pdf version of the new leaflet here. Visit Eden here, and see the Long Distance Walkers Association here.

17 Dec 2016

Dales High Way start for Tour de Yorkshire race

The routes of the three-day cycling Tour de Yorkshire 2017 have been unveiled, with a treat for Dales High Way walkers for the start of the final day.

Tour de Yorkshire (photo - Welcome to Yorkshire)

Stage 3 of the event, on Sunday, April 30, will begin in Bradford's City Park, with cyclists warming up as they pass through Lister Park and along the A650 onto Saltaire, where they will turn down Victoria Road to pass Victoria Hall, the start of A Dales High Way.

Cyclists will then turn along Caroline Street and up Exhibition Road to join the A657 to Shipley centre, before  turning down onto the A6038 towards Otley. The racing proper begins just outside Baildon.

Riders will then go through Ilkley, Addingham and Skipton, then on to Keighley, Haworth, Halifax, Brighouse and Holmfirth, and end at Fox Valley in Sheffield.

Sir Gary Verity admitted organisers have made the final stage of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire as brutal as they dare after unveiling the challenging route on Friday.

"We know we have to deliver a tough stage, but we also know it can't be insane," said Verity, the chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire and the man behind the race.

"We can't put in 5,000 metres of climbing but we can put in 3,500m. It's as tough as we can make it."

Nicknamed the Yorkshire Terrier, the 194.5km stage from Bradford to Fox Valley near Sheffield includes eight categorised climbs - a total of 3,517 metres of climbing.

Four of those categorised climbs will come in the final 15 kilometres as the peloton tackles a circuit around Stocksbridge, but the highlight of the stage promises to be the cobbled climb of Shibden Wall near Halifax.

Short but extremely sharp, the climb averages 13.5% but hits gradients of up to 25%, with the cobbles only adding to the pain.

"We want something that is going to look good visually, something where you will get a huge crowd, and something that is testing from a sporting point of view, and Shibden Wall will do all of that."

See the Tour de Yorkshire 2017 website here, and Welcome to Yorkshire here.

5 Dec 2016

Runners set new record

Three fell runners have set what is believed to be a new record for A Dales High Way: 93 miles in just over 26 hours non-stop.

Mar Collinson, Dave Dixon and Matt Neale at the start of their Dales High Way run 2016 (photo: Andrea Cassidy)Matt Neale, Mark Collinson and Dave Dixon set off from Saltaire in the dark at 8 p.m. last Friday night, 11 November. They finally jogged into Appleby at 10.15 p.m. on Saturday night.

The runners had covered the official route in one continuous run, stopping only occasionally for refreshments courtesy of the support van with Andrea Cassidy and Jess Palmer.

All three are seasoned runners, between them covering such long distance challenges as the Spine Race and Bob Graham round.

Matt Neale said "The last couple of years in November we have run the Dales Way, so wanted a change this year.  This was a better route in my opinion, although not wanting to take anything away from the Dales Way.  A few less gates and stiles and higher ground, which actually means it does get slightly drier underfoot."

The first part of the route was covered through the first night, with "brew" breaks at Addingham Moorside, Skipton and Goredale Scar before a cooked breakfast in Settle.

Matt said "After 20 minutes, we left Settle about 0600hrs, onto Feizor and Wharfe.  Daylight eventually arrived in time for the climb up Crummackdale and Ingleborough.  There was no hanging around on the summit, touch the trig and down towards Chapel le Dale on the Fellsman route.  Ahh, the van!  More tea and sandwiches and then off towards Blea Moor signal box.  The kind owners of Broadrake B&B had been tracking us, so were waiting with refreshments!  Rude not to stop for 5 minutes, so we indulged and had a chat about the Dales High Way. If the flapjack is anything to go by, this spot is worth staying at if you are walking the route at a more leisurely pace."

More brew breaks followed in Dent and Sedbergh before the climb over the Howgill Fells and the Orton Fells, with a final brew break in the support van at Great Asby.

Matt explained "Quick stop followed by difficulties moving tired legs, we made slow progress to Hoff across muddy fields and eventually arrived at the market cross in Appleby at 2215hrs. A total of 26hrs 15mins and 93 miles.

"The Route Guide was great! We supplemented this with the OS map during the night sections and occasional gps use. We only really came off route a few occasions because we were busy chatting!"

Well done lads!

Photo shows the runners at the start - Mark Collinson, Davie Dixon and Matt Neale (photo courtesy Andrea Cassidy).  Many thanks to Matt, Cathy, Andy, Chris, Tracey and Adam who came out to help and Jess & Andrea for the road support.

See Matt's account of his hardest ever run - the Yorkshire 2000 summits here. See an account of Andrew Jackson's and Dave Dixon's 2013 Dales Way run here.

18 Nov 2016.

Welcome Way

Welcome Way guidebookA new 28-mile circular route has been unveiled linking three West Yorkshire Walkers Are Welcome towns: Otley, Burley-in-Wharfedale and Baildon.

The Welcome Way was produced as a collaboration between the three groups under the chairmanship of John Sparshatt, and is now up-and-running, fully waymarked and supported by a detailed 50-page guidebook.

Bingley, which achieved Walkers Are Welcome (WAW) status in 2015, has added a Bingley Loop to the route, giving an extra optional 9-miles.

Ramblers president Kate Ashbrook, who officially launched the route earlier this year, said "Walkers Are Welcome has grown at an astonishing pace as more towns and villages have seen the benefits of accreditation and have come on board. Now walkers know that, if they see the friendly footprint logo, they are assured of a warm welcome throughout the town, a good path network and waymarked walks round about. So everyone benefits - visitors, residents and the local economy."

As well as passing right through the heart of each of the communities, the route takes walkers high up onto Burley and Baildon Moors, as well as crossing Otley Chevin and the northern flanks of Wharfedale.

Walkers setting out on A Dales High Way will soon come across the distinctive Walkers Are Welcome waymarks, as the new route follows sections of the long-distance trail between Shipley Glen and Burley Moor.

See the Welcome Way website here, and Baildon Walkers Are Welcome here.

3 Nov 2016

Canal celebrates bicentennial

Crowds gathered at Saltaire this weekend to welcome the canal boat Kennet as it Canal bicentenial mural by pupils at Saltaire Primarymoored for a while by Roberts Park, recreating the inaugural 127-mile journey across the Pennines from Leeds to Liverpool to mark the 200th anniversary of England's longest canal.

The first voyage, in October 1816, took five days, though this trip is taking a more leisurely 9 days.

Chantelle Seaborn, local waterway manager of the Canal & River Trust said: "The opening of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal played a key role in Britain's industrial revolution and encouraged the development of the textile industries in West Yorkshire.

"There are fewer industries along its banks today but the canal still brings many benefits."

At Hirst Wood Locks, where walkers on A Dales High Way leave the canal towpath at the start of their long-distance journey, a new information board on the canal's history was unveiled by members of the Hirst Wood Regeneration Group, alongside a stunning mural produced by pupils at Saltaire Primary School.

The Regeneration Group are also celebrating being declared overall winner from over 170 projects at the prestigious Biffa Award Ceremony 2016. The group's volunteers have worked hard over the last two years to create the Hirst Wood Nature Reserve from a derelict land site on the southern side of the locks. If you're passing, pop over the canal swing bridge and take a look.

See the Hirst Wood Regeneration Group website here, and the Canal & River Trust here. Watch "Canal Child" performed by folk singer Eddie Lawler and the Saltaire Primary School pupils here.

17 October 2016

New souvenir mugs

Walkers finishing A Dales High Way can now pick up souvenir mugs alongside new Dales High Way mugstheir Completers Certificates, thanks to the enterprising staff at the Appleby Tourist Information Centre.

The staff, who reported having "a lovely busy summer!", love to meet Dales High Way walkers as they finish the trail at the foot of Boroughgate by Moot Hall, where the centre is based. Walkers can sign the guest book and pick up their free certificate. Now they can also buy the new "I've completed the Dales High Way" mugs.

The idea for the mugs came from centre manager Nicola Elliott, after walkers completing the long-distance trail were looking for extra mementos of their walk.

Nicola said "They are made in Appleby and priced at £5.99 each. We decided to get them made after several requests from walkers on the route."

The TIC is open every day through the summer, from 9.30 am to 5 pm. from Monday through Saturday, and from 10.30 am. to 2.30 pm. on Sunday. The friendly and knowledgeable centre team will help you make the most of your visit and can provide you with all you need to know about where to stay, where to eat, plus things to do and how to get there.

The TIC stocks a range of walking and cycling leaflets and books, postcards, maps, gifts and souvenirs. They can also book you on special tours of the historic Appleby Castle.

If the mugs sell well, Nicola will look into extending the range of Dales High Way souvenirs on offer. "We will have to look into Key rings and Pin Badges next" she said.

See Appleby Tourist Information Centre here, and see them on Facebook here.

1 Oct. 2016

Ingleborough repair work underway

The work to repair the badly eroded track along Swine Tail to the summit of Josh and Tom on Swine Tail, IngleboroughIngleborough is now well underway.

Hundreds of old Lancashire mill flags have been lifted onto site by helicopter, along with a small mobile excavator, and park rangers are busy laying the flags with the help of volunteers.

If you think climbing the iconic peak is tough going, think about the task faced by Park Access Ranger Josh Hull and his young apprentice Tom, operating an excavator on the precarious mountain edge overlooking The Arks at 700 metres altitude.

The cost of the scheme was estimated at £10,000 with the money being raised in a unique crowdfunding exercise - Mend our Mountains - organised by the British Mountaineering Council. The initial task is to flag the path from the summit down towards Simon Fell and the start of the "hair-raising" descent to Humphrey Bottom.

The successful campaign beat the target figure by 25% and it is hoped the extra money will help towards similar work on the adjoining section which climbs up from the path from Horton-in-Ribblesdale. Both these sections are part of the route of A Dales High Way, but also trampled by thousands of Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge walkers boots each year.

See our previous posting here.

11 Sept 2016

Northern Dalesman bus journey filmed live

So spectacular and beautiful is the 830 Northern Dalesman weekly bus ride across Northern Dalesman passes Ribbleheadthe Yorkshire Dales, the BBC decided to film the two hour journey live, then broadcast it as one of its Slow TV programmes.

The bus journey, from Richmond to Ingleton, follows sections of some famous long-distance trails, including Wainwright's Coast to Coast Path, the Pennine Way and A Dales High Way.

The 830, which begins its journey in Middlesbrough before travelling to Richmond, only runs on Sundays and Bank Holidays from early May to late September, and there’s just one round-trip journey a day from each end point. This means that – depending on where you alight – you can have between three and six hours at your stop of choice before getting back on and heading back in the opposite direction.

But it's still a popular bus for walkers, as it connects to the Settle-Carlisle train at Ribblehead. For others, the bus journey itself is the main event.

From Richmond the bus heads west along Swaledale, following the Royal Route of Wainwright's Coast to Coast path, passing through Reeth, Gunnerside and Muker. Then it makes the spectacular climb over Buttertubs Pass, parallel to the Pennine Way's crossing of Great Shunner Fell, before dropping down to Hawes and on to Ribblehead.

Passing under the railway alongside the famous Viaduct, the bus continues between Ingleborough and Whernside, well known to Dales High Way walkers, to finish its journey at Ingleton.

All Aboard! The Country Bus was broadcast on August 29th 2016 on BBC Four.

Watch the film on BBC iPlayer here, and check out the Dalesbus 830 timetable here.

2  Sept. 2016

Appleby Summer Pudding

Summer Pudding
Appleby Castle venue

There is just a week to go until a brand new boutique summer festival is staged as part of Appleby’s fightback from the after-effects of Storm Desmond last December. It will be held in the spectacular surroundings of the medieval Appleby Castle from 12 noon on Saturday 20 August 2016.

Expect a quality day of retro vibes, vintage markets, live music, street entertainers, funfair, free children’s activities followed by an After Party featuring the chart-topping Sam and the Womp, The Correspondents and Gypsy Hill. Camping is available.

Walkers finishing A Dales High Way on the Friday may wish to stay over an extra day to enjoy the festivities.

Appleby-in-Westmorland was very badly affected by flooding in December 2015, ruining houses, businesses and livelihoods. Eden Arts were approached by a group of Appleby residents who wanted to put together an event to help the town recover. So they threw around some ingredients and The Summer Pudding was the outcome.

Adrian Lochhead, Director of Eden Arts, says, “It’s hard to describe how excited we are about this fabulous new summer festival, which is a great addition to Cumbria’s events calendar.

“We’ve handpicked a huge range of street performers and live music acts to make this the biggest party Appleby has ever seen. With nostalgic family fun throughout the day and a more intimate, edge feel to the evening gig, it has all the ingredients to bring in visitors not only from Cumbria, but from across the North of England for a unique day out against the backdrop of this epic fairytale castle.”

The festival takes place on Saturday August 20th, from 12pm - 7pm for the Daytime event, 6.15pm - 11.30pm for the After Party. Adult tickets range from £10 to £20, with children starting at £1. There are generous discounts for local residents.

See The Summer Pudding 2016 website here.

13 August 2016

National Park extended

On Yorkshire Day - Monday 1st August 2016 - the area of the Yorkshire Dales Northern Howgills now inside the Yorkshire Dales National ParkNational Park was officially extended by a quarter, taking on huge swathes of land in Cumbria and parts of north Lancashire.

The expansion will see it take on a extra 161 square miles of upland landscape and move it within touching distance of the Lake District National Park which is also expanding.

To the north, the Dales will now include the limestone-terraced plateau of Great Asby Scar and the northern Howgill Fells, the distinctive Wild Boar Fell and Mallerstang, and the settlements that surround them. To the west, the National Park covers the fells of Casterton, Middleton, Barbon and Leck.

The route of A Dales High Way crosses the entire length of the newly extended National Park.

Chairman of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Carl Lis said: “I’m eternally grateful for the extraordinary work so many people have put in to make today a reality. “

“For the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, the hard work starts now. But through our passion for this special place, working alongside local people and businesses, we will ensure it remains a thriving area: its unique cultural landscape will be treasured for its stunning scenery, exceptional heritage and wonderful wildlife, and every year millions of people will be inspired to be a part of it.”

The National Parks contribute £4bn to the UK economy each year with tourism responsible for 13 per cent of rural employment and 10 per cent of rural businesses.

Mark Corner, from the Yorkshire Dales Society, said: “We’re very excited, we have been working on this for many years and campaigned and lobbied wherever we can. Some of the boundaries were picked on an arbitrary basis in the 1950s, so to join it up makes an awful lot of sense. It now should be on everyone's bucket list."

Andrew Sells, chairman of Natural England said: “This is a momentous day for the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District National Parks, as well as for the wider family of protected landscapes.”

Natural England first suggested the extensions in 2009, with a public inquiry launched in 2013. After hearing more than 3,000 representations of which only 220 were objections, it was recommended the extensions be approved.

See the extended Yorkshire Dales National Park here.

2 August 2016

Westmorland Dales Day

The Westmorland Dales are celebrating their inclusion in the newly extended MallerstangYorkshire Dales National Park.

A day of events in Kirkby Stephen, which becomes the northern gateway to the Yorkshire Dales, takes place on Sunday 31st July. There will be a series of guided walks from the town before a Celebratory Ceremony which will be held in the Parish Church, Welcome to the Westmorland Dales with guest speaker John Dunning and music from Kirkby Stephen Silver Band.

Kirkby Stephen Town Council is working with partners Howgill Harriers, Kirkby Stephen & District Walkers are Welcome, British Cycling and Cumbria Classic Coaches to offer free organised runs, walks, cycles and coach trips around Kirkby Stephen and the northern extension of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Breakfast is being sold by the Nateby Women’s Institute at the Masonic Hall from 9am and may be booked with your walk if you are interested before departing for your walk.  Afternoon tea is available from 1.30pm to 4pm.

Ann Sandell, chair of the Kirkby Stephen and District Walkers are Welcome, said: “We are delighted that these parts of our beautiful area have been recognised and we look forward to welcoming everyone on Westmorland Dales Day or at any time.”

Walks are free but booking is essential.

See walk details here and a full events list here.

26 July 2016

New Friends newsletter

The new annual newsletter from the Friends of A Dales High Way (FDHW) is now available to download.

Rick Hill (BMDC) and Friends on the 2016 surveyThis year's newsletter focuses on the detailed Route Survey undertaken by the Friends, which aims to highlight any problems with access or waymarking along the 90-mile trail.

The survey concluded with a walk of the very first section from Saltaire to Addingham with a group from the FDHW and Rick Hill - a member of Bradford Metropolitan District Council's Rights of Way department. This proved particularly useful, and adds to other similar route walks with rangers from Cumbria County Council in October 2012 and rangers from the Yorkshire Dales National Park in July 2014.

Copies of the Survey report have been sent to each of the four authorities which are responsible for sections of the route: Bradford Metropolitan District Council; North Yorkshire County Council; the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and Cumbria County Council.

The newsletter also features the imminent extension of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, which will take in most of the northern end of the trail, leaving three quarters of the route within the National Park.

Other features include accommodation updates, the Mend Our Mountains campaign, news round-up and an excellent article on the increasing popularity of A Dales High Way by the celebrated rural campaigner Colin Speakman; "The Yorkshire Dales are increasingly recognised as an international destination for sustainable tourism, of which A Dales High Way is an outstanding example."

Download the 2016 e-newsletter here (pdf).

12 July 2016

Cobbles reinstated in Victoria Square

The original cobbled square on Victoria Road, Saltaire, bounded by four lions, is being reinstated as a final part of a £720,000 restoration scheme. Victoria Square, as it was once known, is the starting point for A Dales High Way.

Cobbles reinstated on Victoria SquareThe restoration scheme, which is now nearing completion, has seen the whole pedestrianised length of Victoria Road reflagged with Yorkstone, with new lamp posts, bins and signage installed.

More controversially, a number of trees planted in the 1950's were removed, opening up the vista down Victoria Road as it was originally when built by Sir Titus Salt.

Another aspect of the Victoria Square Setts Scheme, as it is called, will be better disabled access across this part of the road with near-level access between road and pavement along the central section.

A council spokesman said the setts would improve the appearance of the area, making it appear more like a public square again and complement the setting of the surrounding listed buildings.

A combination of new and reclaimed setts has been chosen to reflect the historic sett design elsewhere in Saltaire and also to provide good colour contrast for people with a visual impairment and smoother access for people with mobility impairments or those using buggies, he said.

Bradford Council Deputy Leader Coun Val Slater said: “We ask businesses, residents and visitors to bear with us while the work is carried out but we are sure that any short-term disruption to traffic will be well worth it in the end.

“The UNESCO World Heritage Site Saltaire is a wonderful asset to the Bradford district and it is our responsibility to make sure that we make the best of it for now and the future.

“We are sure that the improvements to Victoria Road will be fully appreciated by everyone.”

Work is expected to take six weeks.

See our previous posting here

1 July 2016

New bunk barns for Ingleborough section

The introduction to A Dales High Way Route Guide says, “Accommodation is generally plentiful except at Chapel-le-Dale”. Thankfully this is no longer the case and walkers now have the choice of pub, B&B, campsite or bunk barn accommodation.

Broadrake Bunk barn
Broadrake (above) and Gauber (below)
Gauber Bunk Barn
This year has seen the opening of two new bunk barns, one at Broadrake which is directly on the route of A Dales High Way on the path between Chapel-le-Dale and Blea Moor signal box. The other, Gauber Bunk Barn, is on the roadside just after the Ingleborough alternative at Ribblehead.

These days Bunk Barns are not the rough and ready accommodation some people might imagine. These two certainly aren’t.

Broadrake Bunk Barn is run by Mike and Rachel Benson and opens for guests on July 1st. It’s a beautifully converted agricultural building attached to their old farmhouse. From the entrance hall a wide, glazed staircase leads up to a large open plan room complete with the original exposed beams. There is a kitchen area in one half and a lounge with comfy sofas in the other. There is a small snug off this room with a sofa and bookcase; there is also an upstairs toilet. It’s not all dormitories either. There are 2 four-bedded rooms and 2 twin rooms at Broadrake and Rachel says, “We can provide lifts for the footsore down to the local pub where the food is excellent. DIY breakfast provisions are included for Dales High Way guests’ use and hot breakfast baps and packed lunches can be provided by arrangement.”

Gauber Bunk Barn is also very attractively renovated and sleeps 12 in three separate rooms, one of which has a double bed. Logs are available for the wood burning stove and the owners Jon Radda and Katie Hawkins provide bedding, towels and a basic breakfast for just £21 per person per night. The lively Station Inn at Ribblehead is just 10 minutes walk away for Dales High Way walkers looking for a pint and an evening meal.

Katie told us, "Dales High Way walkers can be assured of a warm welcome at Gauber Bunk Barn. Surrounded by stunning views and situated right on the Dales High Way alternative route we offer excellent facilities, warm, comfortable bunk rooms and a cosy lounge."

See details of Gauber Bunk Barn here and Broadrake Bunk Barn here.

24 June 2016

Ingleborough path repair target success

The Mend Our Mountains crowdfunding campaign run by the British Moutaineering Council (BMC), which ran through March, April and May, succeeded Swine Tail approach, Ingleboroughin raising more than the £100,000 target towards urgent path repair projects on some of Britain's most iconic peaks.

The specific campaign to repair the Swine Tail approach to Ingleborough on the route of A Dales High Way, raised an additional £2,460 above the target of £10,000. The path also lies on the route of the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge route.

Steve Hastie, Yorkshire Dales National Park Ranger for the Three Peaks area, said: "Over the years this path has become very badly eroded and a wide scar now blights the side of arguably Yorkshire’s finest mountain, making walking unpleasant and undermining the local ecology.

"We have tried several path construction techniques over the years, including coconut matting, stone pitching and cobbled steps. But the sheer pressure of use and several wet winters meant none of them have been effective, and the topsoil continues to be lost.

"The whole Ingleborough massif is a Special Area of Conservation with European importance and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is also of significant archaeological interest, with the remains of an ancient hilltop sanctuary on its summit."

The campaign was supported by Skyware Press, publishers of the Dales High Way guidebooks, who donated 10 signed copies of their latest Heart of the Pennine Way book as rewards, raising £300 towards the total.

Dave Turnbull, the Chief Executive of the BMC, thanked supporters of the campaign, telling them: "Thanks to your help we smashed our target, raising almost £104,000 in total. This is a fantastic result and an indication of the depth of affection which many walkers, climbers and outdoor users feel for the environment and their willingness to help maintain it.

"The support of Skyware Press both helped us to offer compelling rewards to backers and showed that Mend Our Mountains had the support of recognised brands, businesses and adventure providers, essential prerequisites for the success of a campaign like this."

Chris Grogan of Skyware Press and Friends of A Dales High Way, gave a well received presentation of the long distance trail to a meeting of the BMC Yorkshire Area on 11 April in the middle of the campaign. She said "We're really thrilled to have been able to support this campaign in this way. Ingleborough is such an iconic mountain and climbing it is one of the highlights of A Dales High Way. We need to do all we can to look after it."

See our previous posting here, and the BMC's Mend Our Mountains campaign here.

12 June 2016

Appleby Horse Fair 2016

The 2016 annual Appleby Horse Fair got underway yesterday with thousands of Appleby Horse Fairgypsies, travellers and tourists flooding the Cumbrian market town in bright sunshine.

The town, which is still recovering from the devastation of the winter floods, welcomed the visitors which swell the towns population from 2,500 to an estimated 30,000.

RSPCA staff removed about half a tonne of dangerous debris from the River Eden at the spot popular for the washing of horses, including gates, fence posts and rusty farm equipment last week.

RSPCA chief inspector Rob Melloy said on Wednesday: “It could have been a real danger to horses and people. It is something we usually do before the Fair starts, which I’m not sure people realise, but this year we wanted to put extra emphasis on it given the recent floods. We’re expecting the weather to be good for this fair, and it’s likely there will be a lot of horses, and people, in the water, so we’re doing another sweep today. Of course anyone going into the water does so at their own risk.”

Dr Robin Hooper, Chair of the Multi Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group (MASCG) for Appleby Fair said yesterday: “Appleby Fair starts in earnest this morning with Fair Hill opening and once again I would like to praise the Gypsy and Traveller community for listening to our appeal not to arrive too soon for this year’s Fair. The number of early arrivals has reduced again when compared to last year, with initial numbers down by about 10%. The lower number of motorised caravans arriving early helps minimises the impact of the Fair on rural communities and allows more grazing for bowtops as they make their way to Appleby."

The fair is an important community gathering and is believed to be the biggest in Europe. Most of the travelling community camp on Fair Hill above the town, bringing their horses down to the river to wash them.

These days the fair is a generally well managed affair, though there is still a touch of the wild west about the whole spectacle.

See our previous posting here, and catch a flavour of the Fair with the Guardian here.

3 June 2016

OS map coverage complete

The entire route of A Dales High Way is now available on current OS maps in Explorer 288print, shown as a Recreational Path.

The full route covers five OS maps, though most of the route is found on just two: OL2 - Map of Yorkshire Dales - Southern & Western Area, Whernside, Ingleborough & Pen-y-ghent; and OL19 - Map of Howgill Fells and Upper Eden Valley.

Most of the first section across Rombalds Moor can be found on Explorer 297 - Map of Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley, Harrogate & Ilkley Moor.

The start of the route at Saltaire is shown on Explorer 288 - Map of Bradford & Huddersfield, East Calderdale.

A very small section intrudes into OL41 - Map of Forest of Bowland Pendle Hill, Clitheroe & Settle, though most walkers will manage without this map.

A Dales High Way was born in 2007, with the first official guidebook published in 2008. Initial waymarking of the route was completed in July 2013 and the entire route appeared on OS digital maps in March 2014, thanks to the support of all the local authorities along the route, including Bradford District Council, North Yorkshire County Council, the Yorkshire Dales National Park authority and Cumbria County Council.

The route began to appear on printed maps as they were updated, with the first being OL2, the Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western areas in August 2014.

See the OS coverage here, and our previous post here.

25 May 2016

Ride2stride great success

The 2016 Settle-Carlisle walking festival - ride2stride - attracted record numbers R2S at High Cup Nick - John Woodof walkers to Dales High Way country, despite some very varied weather.

Over 100 walkers turned up for the festival launch at Settle railway station on Tuesday to join one of three walks. Dr. David Johnson was "gobsmacked" to find 50 walkers on his geological and archaeological trail from Settle to Feizor Thwaite.

The Friends of A Dales High Way sponsored a tour to Appleby Castle on the Wednesday, along with the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line (FoSCL), which attracted over 40 people and had to be split into two groups. The tour was enjoyed by all and is likely to be repeated in the future.

Friday saw the exciting finale of the first stage of the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race at Settle, and on Saturday some 800 runners faced a challenging climb over snow capped mountain tops on the annual Three Peaks Fell Race from Horton-in-Ribblesdale, passing through Ribblehead and Chapel-le-Dale.

Diane Taylor of the Festival committee said: "It's been a fantastic week.

"We have had a lot of returners this year - people who come very year -and they tell us it is the combination of the fantastic Yorkshire Dales and the fact that they can leave their cars at home to access the walks by train, and end each day with live music, that brings them back".

Photo shows High Cup Nick (photo courtesy John Wood).

See Ride2stride here, and the Craven Herald report here.

6 May 2016

Ride2stride 2016 gets underway

Ride2stride 2016 - the fifth Settle-Carlisle Walking Festival gets underway on Craven herald R2S featureTuesday with three walks leaving Settle station at 10 o'clock after a brief welcome.

These are the first of 30 free guided walks over the week. There are also 3 talks and seven nights of music to be enjoyed.

A tour of Appleby Castle on Wednesday morning is also included this year. There is a small charge of £5 for this, with the event being sponsored by the Friends of A Dales High Way and led by the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line (FoSCL).

To liven up the weekend, Friday sees Settle hosting the finish of this years opening Tour de Yorkshire cycle race. And on Saturday the 62nd annual Three Peaks Fell Race sees a thousand runners set off from Horton-in-Ribblesdale for the 24-mile marathon.

“We love being part of Ride2stride," said David Singleton, of the Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line. "We lead walks from the Settle Carlisle line all year round and Ride2stride gives us a chance to meet new people and introduce them to the area. It’s a showcase of the best of what’s happening in the Yorkshire Dales and Eden Valley."

This week's Craven Herald includes a detailed feature on the festival, alongside a feature on A Dales High Way long distance trail.

See Ride2stride here; the Tour de Yorkshire here; the 3 Peaks Fell Race here, and the Craven Herald ride2stride feature here, and the Craven Herald Dales High Way feature here.

24 April 2016

Arriva take over Northern rail network

Train operators Arriva North took over the 9-year franchise to run trains on the Alex Hynes of Arriva Northernnorthern network this month - including the world famous Settle-Carlisle line.

Passengers who didn't know might be forgiven for not noticing any changes - yet. With most existing staff transferring over to the new company and the same rolling stock being used initially, it will be some time before the promised improvements become apparent. Rebranding will be the first of the changes rolled out.

The Department for Transport's specification includes a guarantee that the existing Leeds-Carlisle service will continue for the length of the franchise, plus two extra Sunday services from 2017 and an extra late afternoon departure from Leeds from 2019.

The biggest changes will come elsewhere on the network, with the complete overhaul of the existing fleet of the widely-unpopular pacer trains by the end of 2019 promised, with an investment £400 million in 281 brand new carriages.

Other wholesale changes set to be introduced by 2019 include the introduction of more than 2,000 services a week, a near-40 per cent increase in capacity on trains and an improved ticketing scheme. The total cost of the improvements is set to be £1.2 billion.

Launching the new franchise on April 1st, Alex Hynes, managing director of Northern, said: “Today is the day we begin to deliver our plans for the exciting next phase of Northern and each and every one of the team is focused and determined to deliver for customers.

“Investment is exactly what customers wanted and we are looking forward to achieving major improvements before the end of the decade.”

See the new Northern website here.

16 April 2016

Ingleborough Crowd Funding Appeal

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is taking part in a crowdfunding appeal to help restore a section of path to the summit of Ingleborough.

Swine Tail IngleboroughThe route up Swine Tail at the northeast end of the summit is shared by both Dales High Way walkers and those tackling the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge.

Three Peaks ranger Steve Hastie said: "Approximately 60,000 walkers complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge each year, at a conservative estimate raising five million pounds for charitable causes. Every one of them walks over the Swine Tail, the last climb before reaching the iconic summit of Ingleborough from the north.

"Over the years this path has become very badly eroded and a wide scar now blights the side of arguably Yorkshire’s finest mountain, making walking unpleasant and undermining the local ecology.

"We have tried several path construction techniques over the years, including coconut matting, stone pitching and cobbled steps. But the sheer pressure of use and several wet winters meant none of them have been effective, and the topsoil continues to be lost.

"The only technique we have found to be sustainable on the very heavily used stretches of the Yorkshire Three Peaks is the use of stone flags. In recent years a number of flagged sections have been installed on the route, leading to restored vegetation and a more sustainable long-term walking surface.

"On the Swine Tail we aim to install 325 metres of stepped stone flags and restore a further 500 square metres of eroded ground. We will work closely with Natural England to ensure maximum benefit and minimum disturbance."

The 'Mend our Mountains' crowdfunding appeal is being run by the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) to raise money for environmental projects on some of Britain's most iconic peaks. Skyware Press, who publish the Dales High Way guide books, are supporting the appeal by offering signed copies of their latest guidebook Heart of the Pennine Way as rewards.

The whole Ingleborough massif is a Special Area of Conservation with European importance and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is also of significant archaeological interest, with the remains of an ancient hilltop sanctuary on its summit.

The Campaign runs until May 9th.

See the "Mend our Mountains" - Yorkshire Dales campaign here.

UPDATE: Chris Grogan will be giving a presentation on A Dales High Way to a meeting of the BMC Yorkshire Area on Monday 11 April at the Wheatley Arms in Ben Rhydding at 7.30 p.m. Members of the public are welcome.

See more details of the BMC's "Celebration of Hill Walking in Yorkshire" here.

2 April 2016

Julia at Malham Cove for ITV

"Holy shit. Malham Cove is amazing" - so tweeted Julia Bradbury on the early morning of 10 September 2015.

Juila Bradbury at Malham CoveA walk to Malham Cove, taking in Janet's Foss, Gordale Scar and a chunk of A Dales High Way is just one of eight of Julia's best Walks With A View which is currently showing on ITV on a Friday night.

Julia, well known as the popular presenter of BBC's Wainwright Walks and Countryfile, has picked out a family-friendly trek that can easily be done in a morning or afternoon. The series will take you up hill and down dale, along valleys and coastal paths, across rivers and streams, and through fields and woodlands.

The Malham Cove walk features lots of local interest including Town End Farm Shop, River House Hotel, Beck Hall, Hill Top Bunk Barn & Annabelle Bradley of Malham Smithy.

Julia said; "Best Walks with a View has been a very different experience for me because I put on the hiking boots as a mother of three, something I still can’t quite believe. After my little boy, Zephyr, was born four years ago, I had this deep longing to give him a brother or a sister – pretty much as strong as the urge to become a mother in the first place. I was 40 when I gave birth to Zeph and Number Two proved to be a bit more difficult to achieve. However, after a tricky ascent and a few stumbles along the way, I am now the proud mama of twins, two girls, Zena and Xanthe.

"I have often been curious about families heading up into the hills with a horde of kids in tow, especially as soon I’m going to be one of those parents. And the magnificent walks featured are suitable for families and are less than 16km (10 miles) in length. Some have particularly personal resonance, as I walked them with my dad when I was a child, and now I look forward to walking them with my own children, probably with dad in tow."

The TV series is accompanied by a book, which is called Unforgettable Walks and is published by Quercus, costing £16.99. The Malham walk is shown on ITV Friday, April 1st, 8 p.m.

See Julia Bradbury's own website here, and catch up with the ITV series here.

12 March 2016

New Where2Walk holidays on A Dales High Way

Where2Walk, a Dales based company that specialises in offering walking holidays Jonathan Smith and Mist on the Howgill Fellsin the Yorkshire Dales, has added A Dales High Way to its self-guided walking holiday portfolio.

Book your Dales High Way holiday with Where2Walk and they will give you: advice on the best number of days for your ability; an accommodation booking service; a guidebook of the route; extra information on key route finding decisions, what to look out for (often short detours off the route); emergency contact details and an optional baggage movement service.

Where2Walk's Jonathan Smith believes A Dales High Way will prove attractive for the adventure seeking walker. He said: "To me there is nothing more satisfying than striding out on a high level ridge, but most long distance walks usually stick to the lower ground. Along with the presence of the excellent Settle to Carlisle railway this is what appeals most to me about this excellent route."

Where2Walk holidays offer six of the most popular long distance walks in the north of England - including the Dales Way, Bracken Way, Cumbria Way, Coast to Coast and Cleveland Way.

Based in Long Preston, Where2walk also offers a guiding service, navigation courses and a popular information website with over 500 of the best walks and places to go in the area.

Jonathan has lived in the Yorkshire Dales with his family for 15 years and is passionate about conserving and promoting this lovely corner of England.

"More than anything Where2walk is a reflection of the love I hold for the landscape of Northern Britain and how much I enjoy walking in it. If I can encourage a few more to try and enjoy then it has been a success."

Photo shows Jonathan and his 5 year old Border Collie Mist on the Howgill Fells.

See Where2Walk's Dales High Way offering here, and the main Where2Walk website here.

1 March 2016

Settle - Carlisle railway northern closure

The world famous Settle-Carlisle railway line has been closed north of Appleby following a major landslip at Eden Brows near Armathwaite. Trains continue to Landslip at Eden Brows disrupts railwayrun between Leeds and Appleby on a revised timetable.

Following heavy rains earlier this month a large section embankment below the two-track railway at Eden Brow slipped into the River Eden, running below.

Trains had been allowed to run through the area at speeds of 5mph on one of the two tracks while engineers and geotechnical experts designed a permanent repair. Network Rail’s Orange Army is now being mobilised to tackle this problem as quickly as possible. But further slips have meant the complete closure of this part of the line.

Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said "Since movement of the embankment was first detected by aerial monitoring, we have had a team of experts on site to monitor conditions and to measure ground movement. This team measured significant movement of the embankment overnight and we have needed to close the line.

"Major repairs are needed and the line is likely to be shut for many weeks while these take place."

Trees are being cleared on the slope below the track for ease of access, and a new access road has already been constructed so heavy equipment can be brought to the site.

Northern Rail will be operating train services between Leeds and Appleby and a replacement bus service between Appleby and Carlisle. Northern will continue to work with Network Rail to ensure its customers are kept on the move, up to date with the latest information and that disruption is kept to a minimum.

The closure should not affect walkers on A Dales High Way who are planning to return by train from Appleby, but you are advised to check the latest timetable as changes are being made.

Check the latest timetables on the National Rail Enquiries website here. View an account of the situation here.

11 Feb 2016

Dales Dark Sky Festival

Most visitors to the Dales come to walk and enjoy the beautiful scenery by day. Dark Skies Over Ribblehead - Martin EastwoodBut the wonderful dark skies of the Yorkshire Dales hold their own unique treats, and to celebrate the National Park is hosting its own festival which will take place over February half-term - 15 to 21 February 2016.

There's plenty do and see, including a talk from astronomer Richard Darn - Searching for ET;  a series of Open Telescope sessions; a pop up planetarium with stunning cosmic presentations; a Night at the Museum with storytelling and things to do and make; and a night run and a guided bike ride.

The National Park Authority-run events are being held at or from the Dales Countryside Museum and Aysgarth Falls National Park Centre, but there are also events in Askrigg, Malham, Reeth and Ribblesdale. On Saturday 20 February there's an exciting evening walk with Yorkshire Photo Walks to Janet’s Foss in Malham, where you can discover how to make the invisible visible through the magic of photography and learn how to use your camera effectively after dark (cost £22).

A photo exhibition at the Dales Countryside Museum - A Celebration of Dark Skies - will feature the work of several local photographers who have captured the night skies in all their glory. Museum manager Fiona Rosher said: “The Dark Skies Festival is a fantastic chance for people to learn more about what they can see at night – from constellations to the International Space Station, which is orbiting the Earth right now with British astronaut Tim Peake on board."

The week long event to showcase the sky at night - as well as the thrill of the Dales after dark - is being organised jointly by the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Park Authorities. Low light pollution in both national parks makes them ideal locations for spotting cosmic happenings.

Photo: "Dark Skies over Ribblehead" by Martin Eastwood.

See the Dark Skies Festival 2016 here, and Yorkshire Photo Walks here.

1 Feb 2016

Rockfall closes Skipton's Springs Canal

SKIPTON'S Springs Canal has been closed to canal boats after several tons of rock Skipton Castle Springs Canal footpathfell into it from an overhanging outcrop on Friday.

The popular footpath through Skipton Woods, which runs alongside it, was also closed for several days, but has now reopened to walkers. The path forms a popular alternative route for walkers on A Dales High Way leaving the town centre.

Engineers from the Canal and River Trust and Craven District Council are formulating a plan to clear the waterway, under the outcrop on which Skipton Castle stands.

A spokeswoman for the Canal and River Trust said: "Engineers are still looking at how best to remove the rocks and there is no timescale yet for when the work can take place. It is in a difficult place to access so no estimate of how much the operation will cost can yet be made."

It is believed that recent heavy rain is likely to have weakened the structure of the rock, though there is no danger of a further fall, according to the Canal and River Trust.

The Springs Canal is a half-mile branch from the main Leeds and Liverpool canal, which was unaffected.

See the popular Skipton Route Options here.

14 Jan 2016

Jericho - new ITV drama

A new TV drama based around the building of the Ribblehead Viaduct in the 1870s is premiered on ITV on Thursday, January 7th.

The eight-part series is set in an imagined version of one of the notorious navvy shanty towns - Jericho - under the shadow of Ingleborough and Whernside on the desolate Blea Moor. In the drama Ribblehead is renamed "Culverdale".

The Ribblehead Viaduct, the longest on the Settle-Carlisle Railway, was built between 1869 and 1875. It required 6,000 workers to construct the line with at least 200 hundred fatalities through engineering accidents or smallpox, most of who are buried in the nearby cemetery at Chapel-le-Dale.

The route of A Dales High Way passes under the arches of the magnificent Viaduct.

Life in the lawless shanty towns was wild and tough, and the drama has been described as Britain's first Western.

Much of the filming was done in Huddersfield. Production teams built the shanty town at the heart of the storyline. They had to get special permission from Kirklees Council to construct the set and also to allow explosions as part of the filming.

“We're delighted to be embarking on the production of Jericho, an epic character driven drama set in the visually striking landscape of a frontier community.  We're also thrilled that we have a wonderful cast with Jessica Raine, Hans Matheson and Clarke Peters in the leading roles,” said Executive Producer Kate Bartlett.

See an extended preview of the new ITV drama Jericho here, and more on the building of Ribblehead Viaduct here.

2 Jan 2016

Back to 2015 >

[Return Home]