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 2017

Friends New Spring Newsletter

Friends of A Dales High Way Newsletter 4The Friends of A Dales High Way have welcomed the coming Spring with a new newsletter.

Springtime in Wharfe Woods opens the edition, with an invitation to Dales High Way walkers to take a slight deviation from their route beyond Feizor and enjoy the rich display of wildflowers there.

The Ten Top Dales Ales on offer to walkers also features, celebrating the booming micro-brewing industry that has seen the establishment of many new breweries along the route.

Featured beers include Saltaire Blond, Mary Jane, Wharfedale Black, Copper Dragon Best, Hetton Pale Ale, Mainline Bitter, Ingleborough Gold, Dent Aviator, Horse Fair Pale Ale and Wyvern Ale. If we missed your favourite, let us know!

There's the usual news roundup, including details of the forthcoming Ride2Stride Walking Festival at the end of April, which features a talk by our very own Chris Grogan.

And finally there's an extended first-hand account of the record-breaking run by three intrepid fell-runners - Mark Collinson, Matt Neale and Davie Dixon - as they cover the entire 93-mile route of A Dales High Way in just 26 hours and 15 minutes. Remarkable!

Download your free pdf copy of the Newsletter here, and see more of the Friends of A Dales High Way here.

14 Apr 2017

Dales High Way turns mobile-friendly

A Dales High Way website turns mobile-friendlyThose who have looked at this website before may have noticed a few changes recently.

A Dales High Way website has now gone fully mobile-responsive!

Website administrator Tony Grogan said: "We've been planning to do this for some time. The fact is that more and more people are using mobile devices to access the site and so we knew we had to cater for them. Upgrading the whole site, which has over 60 pages, was a quite a big job. But now that its done, we hope people will like it and find it much cleaner and easier to use."

Analysis shows that half the website's users now access it with a mobile phone or tablet. Those using mobile devices are certain to become the majority users in the near future.

Statcounter, a research company that tracks internet use across 2.5m websites, said 51.3% of pages were loaded on mobile devices in October 2016 - the first time they have surpassed desktop and laptop computers.

This is up from less than 5% in 2010 and less than 25% three years ago. Smartphones accounted for 46.5% of traffic, against 4.7% for tablets.

“This should be a wake-up call especially for small businesses, sole traders and professionals to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly. Many older websites are not,” commented Aodhan Cullen, Chief Executive Officer for StatCounter.

“Mobile compatibility is increasingly important not just because of growing traffic but because Google favours mobile friendly websites for its mobile search results.”

In countries such as India, mobile internet usage is already high at 79%. In the USA and UK desktop and laptop internet usage (over 60%) still leads, but the gap is narrowing.

See Statcounter here, See Google's Mobile-friendly online test here.

2 April 2017

Wild Yorkshire on TV

A major 4-part documentary following the wild life of the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks begins on Channel 5 on Tuesday evening.

Channel 5's Wild YorkshireFilmed across a year, this four-part cinematic treat begins in March when the barren peaks, deep dales and inhospitable moorland spring to life.

Yorkshire’s two national parks cover 1,400 square miles and receive some 20 million visitors a year, but this four-part documentary reveals a world hidden far from the human eye.

Unseasonably cold summer weather causes difficulties for several animals in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, including an injured roe deer and her twins and Wensleydale's red squirrel population.

High up in Malham Cove, two 40-day-old peregrines must learn how to fly, while south of the North York Moors National Park, a pair of grebes carry their youngsters around on their backs.

Cameras capture the moment a queen bee, heavy with eggs for an entire generation, emerges sleepily from hibernation, a pair of great-crested grebe begin an elaborate courtship, and two rival adders fight over a female.

The natural history docs come after Channel 5's successful wildlife series Loch Lomond: A Year in the Wild.

The series starts on Tuesday 9pm on Channel 5.

See Channel 5's website here.

19 Mar 2017

Ride2stride 2017

Walkers are gearing up for the sixth annual Settle-Carlisle Walking Festival which gets underway next month. This year's Ride2stride festival is set to coincide with the re-opening of the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle railway line between Appleby and Carlisle at the northern end.

Chris Grogan in DentdaleChris Grogan, co-creator of A Dales High Way, will be giving a light-hearted illustrated talk on how this long-distance trail was devised, on Friday evening in Settle.

There is also a chance to enjoy a Taste of A Dales High Way the following day with a moderate 8 mile walk around Ribblehead, courtesy of the Friends of Dales Rail and the Friends of A Dales High Way.

The varied R2S programme includes some new initiatives as well as some old favourites. The popular tours of Appleby Castle and Settle Water Tower are back, along with a chance to enjoy the Jericho Shanty Town Experience.

For the more adventurous there are plenty of tough strenuous outings, including the popular High Cup Nick, Wild Boar Fell and some extended walks taking in the Yorkshire Three Peaks.

There's a fascinating moderate walk to visit Grisedale - The Dale that Died - though thankfully it has since revived. ITV's famous 1975 documentary is to be screened afterwards.

And as always, there's fabulous music each night in pubs along the line.

Walkers please note: No dogs other than registered assistance dogs, will be accepted on Ride2stride walks.

See the full 2017 Ride2stride programme here.  See our report on last year's Festival here.

5 March 2017

More steam serviced trains on track

Following the huge success of the Tornado steam locomotive service offered by Northern for three days last week, there are rumours that more such services may be in the offing.

MORE than 5,500 people travelled on services hauled by the Tornado on the famous Settle and Carlisle line on six return runs between Appleby and Skipton last week, it has been revealed.

Northern Rail said it was delighted by the public's reaction to the first timetabled steam service in England for almost 50 years. Extensive TV publicity following Tuesday's journeys brought bumper crowds out for the final runs on Thursday.

With normal ticket prices applying, it was possible to travel both ways for £10, using a Rail Card and the Day Ranger tickets. One group from The Friends of A Dales High Way enjoyed the trip, whilst another filmed the outing from the sidelines (see film).

The initiative is part of celebrations to mark the re-opening of the line between Appleby and Carlisle, which was closed a year ago following a massive landslip on to the line at Eden Brows, on March 31.

Engineers have carried out an estimated £23 million worth of repair work and other improvements to get it open again.

The re-opening will be celebrated with another steam locomotive outing on March 31st - this one a charter excursion with the world famous Flying Scotsman, though tickets cost a little more at £220 per head.

Northern Rail regional director Paul Barnfield said "Obviously we are absolutely delighted that this is proving such a great success, not least because a lot of people from all the organisations involved have worked very hard to make it happen, and it’s been a very positive collaboration all round. We hope to take this into the future.”

Douglas Hodgins, Chairman of the Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line (FoSCL) added: “This has been a sell-out success and a huge credit to all those involved. There must be lessons here about the demand for steam, scenery and rail travel in general. It was the perfect curtain raiser for the re-opening of the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle route on 31 March.”

See The FoSCL website here. See details of the Flying Scotsman charter excursion here.

24 Feb 2017

Slackliners back at Malham Cove

Slackliners were out on Malham Cove again this weekend, as they rigged a line across the 90m high horeshoe chasm and crossed barefoot. Astonishing!

Slacklining above Malham Cove - photo courtesy Yorkshire Dales National Park Facebook PageThe Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority posted photos of them in action on their Facebook Page, bringing specatators in to watch in amazement (see left).

Two years ago the Slackliners created a record by rigging a line 210m long across the Cove - more than double the length that had been seen before. Guy Ruyssevelt, Jacob Hirsch and Jed Doohan made the attempted crossing high above the snow-capped landscape.

Watching them, Jake said on his Climb Out Blog: "I’m always humbled by the skill and mental ability that walking a highline requires. It just isn’t natural to walk into thin air along a 1 inch wide webbing but don’t be fooled these boys are not idiots. They take the environment seriously and they take their own safety even more seriously. Even to the extent of informing the correct authorities of their lines so that helicopters don’t pass by.

"These guys don’t have a death wish, they wear a harness and a leash attached to the line for when they fall. Everything is calculated and they have a lot of experience in rigging, Guy has worked in rope access, Jake is a circus performer and Jed travels all over Europe walking epic slacklines and pushing boundaries."

Slacklining refers to the act of walking or balancing along a suspended length of flat webbing that is tensioned between two anchors. Highlining is Slacklining at a great height!

See Jakes Blog of the 2015 crossing here. Watch Sarah Rixman and Daniel Laruelle on a 65m line 90m above Malham Cove in January 2015 here.

6 Feb 2015

Steam-hauled train offer on Settle-Carlisle line

A rare treat for aficionados of Dales High Way country is on offer over three Tornado - David Wrightdays in mid-February when Northern railways is running some of its normal service with a steam locomotive!

On the 14th, 15th and 16th of February a total of twelve Northern services will be run by steam-hauled, seven-carriage trains. They will pass over the ‘roof of England’ behind Britain’s newest steam locomotive, Tornado.  The world-famous line carves its way through the spectacular scenery of Cumbria’s Eden Valley, the Yorkshire Dales and crosses the majestic Ribblehead viaduct.

This unique operation is thought to be the first time in 50 years that steam has been used to haul scheduled passenger trains in England.  The project is a celebration of the line’s forthcoming official re-opening on 31st March 2017.  It has been closed for repairs between Armathwaite and Carlisle since February 2016. The service will run between Skipton and Appleby.

Normal fares apply, but demand is expected to be high. Tickets can be booked in advance online or at railway stations from today. Advanced seat reservation is vital - walk on tickets will only apply to limited seat availability on the day - likely to be none-existant.

The Chairman of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line, Douglas Hodgins, said: “The intention here is to give local people especially the opportunity of a real treat and a big ‘thank-you’ for their loyalty and patience during 2016 while the line has been closed to through traffic”.

Drew Haley, of the Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company, commented: “This will be a spectacular one-off event for a very special railway.  Customers are advised to book early to make sure of a seat reservation”.

Approximate Timings on the slightly revised timetable are:

Southbound Northbound
Appleby 0825 1457   Skipton 1044 1715
Kirkby Stephen 0841 1513   Settle 1112 1743
Settle 0940 1604   Kirkby Stephen 1201 1831
Skipton 1008 1630   Appleby 1216 1846

Book your online tickets at Northern here. For more information see the Settle-Carlisle Development Company here. See the Tornado here.

25 Jan 2017

More Saltaire Movie Magic

Saltaire was once again the centre of movie action this week as streets were cleared for the filming of Funny Cow.

Filming of Funny Girl in SaltaireThe movie, starring Maxine Peake and Vic Reeves, tells the tale of a rising comedienne during the 1960's and '70's.

Filming took place on Mary Street and Upper Mary Street and adjoining back alleys, depicting Peakes' character during her childhood in the 1950's. The production company also created a 1950's set in one of the two-bedroom terraced houses. The film will be released later this year.

Film producer Kevin Proctor said "We quickly decided that Saltaire was the perfect location for our film when we came up to see it. Saltaire is cinematic. We have not had to build any sets. It is already here.

"People will see Saltaire when the film is released and get goosebumps. It is not just a location, it is somewhere we have picked."

Saltaire has become a favoured location for TV and movie producers. Earlier this year Saltaire featured on BBC's The Great Interior Design Challenge as designers competed to make-over the front rooms of three of the village homes.

Saltaire is, of course, the start of A Dales High Way, and most walkers setting out on the trail spend some time first exploring the Victorian mill village World Heritage site.

Filming of Funny Cow is also taking part in other Bradford district locations, including the Midland Hotel, Bradford Playhouse and Shipley Market Square.

Nearby Haworth was the setting for BBC's recent film drama of the Bronte sisters - To Walk Invisible.

David Wilson, director of Bradford City of Film said "We have a long list of people who want to come back and film in the Bradford district. The district has been used because of its rich film heritage. It has been used as a film location for the last 100 years."

See Bradford City of Film here. See the Funny Cow production site here.

13 Jan 2017

Ingleborough Rescues mark end of year

The Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO) has been involved in two rescues on CRO rescue on Penyghent, November 2016Ingleborough as 2016 came to an end.

On the afternoon of December 29th a walker slipped on ice descending from Ingleborough on the steep section heading towards the Hill Inn, on the route of A Dales High Way. The 38 year-old man sustained a suspected dislocated knee. Team members responded and provided pain relief, before moving the casualty on a stretcher to flatter ground on Humphrey Bottom. A North West air ambulance was able to land and take the casualty to hospital for treatment.

The following day 4 walkers, including a 14 year-old girl, with 2 dogs became disoriented in mist whilst walking on Ingleborough. The walkers were able to contact the police via mobile roaming, but were unable to give an accurate location. After several mistaken locations, they found Gaping Gill, and were able to contact the duty controller directly by responding to his calls to them. As visibility was poor and night had fallen, they were told to stay where they were until team members arrived to escort them from the hill. Upon being met by 2 team members, they were loaned head torches and walked down to the team vehicle for transport back down to the road.

Liz Holloway later commented on the CRO's Facebook page: "Thank you so much for returning my family to safety yesterday after being lost on Ingleborough. I cannot praise you enough for ensuring their safe return."

CRO is a voluntary rescue team, based in Clapham and made up of local experienced cavers, climbers and walkers who give their time freely to help those in need of assistance. The team is funded entirely by charitable donations and is on call at all times, day or night. Despite the name they mainly attend callouts for surface incidents.

The CRO celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2015, a year in which it attended 84 incidents. In that year costs amounted to £52,000, but donations totalled £77,000.

Photo shows the team on a rescue from Penyghent on 19th November 2016. If you get into trouble on the fells, phone 999 and ask for the Police, then tell them you need MOUNTAIN RESCUE.

See the CRO website here and make a donation here

2 January 2017

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