Appleby Horse Fair success despite wet weather
This year's Appleby Horse Fair drew to an end last weekend,
with the general consensus of a successful week's festivities.
A Community Advisory Group has met throughout the Fair and
provided feedback from both residents and Gypsies and
Travellers. In general, they considered that the 2017 Horse Fair
had gone really well, with very few incidents of concern.
Gypsy and Traveller representative Billy Welch said: “This
year’s Fair has enjoyed a really positive atmosphere, even the
rain couldn’t dampen our spirits! All has been peaceful and
quiet on Fair Hill, the traditional stopping place for Gypsies
and Travellers at the Fair."
The total number of caravans was down by 112 on last year,
with 815 motorised caravans (trailers) and 176 bowtops -
traditional horse drawn carriages. The number of traditional
bowtops was up by 23 compared to 2016.
Dr Robin Hooper, Chair of the Multi Agency Strategic
Co-ordinating Group (MASCG) and the Chief Executive of
Eden District Council said: “All the public agencies, charities
such as the RSPCA and their dedicated volunteers, plus Gypsy and
Traveller representatives have been working extremely hard not
just during the Fair, but during the past year to ensure that
Appleby Horse Fair is as safe and enjoyable as possible. The
operational plan has been implemented successfully and the vast
majority of people attending the Fair have enjoyed the good
atmosphere, despite some very wet weather. Cumbria Police have
again worked impeccably well and have taken a community led
approach to public safety."
RSPCA Chief Inspector, Rob Melloy, said: “The main concern
for the RSPCA this year was the high water level of the River
Eden where horse washing takes place. The sheer volume of
rainfall in the lead up to and during the Fair meant on some
occasions we had to close the River Ramp and Jubilee Ford on a
precautionary basis to protect the safety of animals and the
18 June 2017
New Ride2Stride video
A new short film celebrating the 2017 Ride2Stride Walking
Festival is now available.
The video has been produced by David Halsall and Bridget
Izod. The duo, both committee members of the Friends of A
Dales High Way, have produced a number of walking films
over the years, including a great account of walking
A Dales High Way in 2012.
The video was filmed over the week of the festival and gives
a flavour of all aspects of Ride2Stride - walks, talks and
This year's festival proved another great success, despite
the kind of variable weather we have become accustomed to.
The programme on Friday April 28th was threatened by
disruption when a rail strike was called for that day,
especially as most of the walks and the music were focussed
around Garsdale. However, walkers turned out in good numbers,
arranging lifts to and from the area as needed. No-one was left
Chris Grogan, secretary of the Ride2stride organising
committee, said "If you don't know what to expect at
Ride2Stride, take a look at this film, then join us next year. You'll
have a great time."
5 June 2017
Improvement works to route
Walkers on A Dales High Way will
notice improvement works along the route that have been
undertaken over the winter months, ready for the new walking
The work has been carried out by access officers for the four
authorities along the way, following a detailed survey
undertaken by the Friends of A Dales High Way which was
submitted last year.
In Cumbria work on a collapsed bank at Cuddling Hole has
greatly improved a short section near the end of the walk .
Geoff Fewkes, Countryside Access Officer for Cumbria County
Council (CCC) said "The work done at Cuddling Hole was undertaken to
make the route safe and has suffered more slippage in the lower part
since that work was undertaken. Even though no further
work is presently planned, we are in no doubt that it's on-going
A series of new gates has been installed on the section from
Newbiggin-on-Lune down to Great Asby, just before responsibility
for this area was passed from CCC to the Yorkshire Dales
National Park Authority as part of the national park extension.
New waymark signage has been put up in key places, including
the turn-off up the lane to Lunds Farm, on the way to cross the
Frostrow Fells for Sedbergh. Thanks here are due to the national
In the Bradford District Council area new signage has gone up
and encroaching vegetation on a particularly muddy area of The
Street at Addingham has been cleared, making the going much
Julia Pearson for the Friends of A Dales High Way said "We're
grateful to the access officers for each of the authorities for
the hard work they've put in to make the route easier for
walkers. Of course there's always more to do, so it's a matter
of priorities, but we will continue to monitor the route and
pass on any problems we find."
Photos, anti-clockwise from the top: Cuddling Hole
improvements near Appleby; new gate near Great Asby; new waymark
at turn-off near Dent.
10 May 2017
Busy weekend on A Dales High Way
Walkers on A Dales High Way this weekend were likely to find
themselves with lots of company.
Hundreds of walkers turned out for the Ride2Stride Festival,
with 13 led walks to choose from over the bank holiday weekend,
between Settle and Dent. On Saturday all six walks on offer
finished at Ribblehead for music in the Station Inn. They
included A Taste of A Dales High Way; an 8-mile circular walk
from Ribblehead to Chapel-le-dale led jointly by the Friends of
DalesRail and the Friends of A Dales High Way.
On Saturday morning over 300 runners and walkers set off from
Ingleton on the 55th annual Fellsman Challenge - 62 miles across
the Yorkshire Dales with a total of 11,000 feet of ascent,
taking in Ingleborough, Whernside and Dent. The front runners
reached the finish line at Threshfield in less than 12 hours,
with walkers taking up to 30 hours to complete the route.
Saturday also saw over 900 competitors take on the gruelling
annual Three Peaks Fell Race, 23.3 miles crossing Pen-y-ghent,
Whernside and Ingleborough.
Victoria Wilkinson of the Bingley Harriers set a new womens'
record, knocking a decisive 5mins 24secs off the time set by
Anna Pichrtova, of the Czech Republic, when the Three Peaks
hosted the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in
2008. She finished in 13th place overall in a race won by Murray
Strain, 34, of Hunters Bog Trotters in Edinburgh, who set a time
of 2hrs 49mins 38secs.
Finally, Sunday saw the final day of the Tour de Yorkshire
cycle race, which passed through Saltaire and the start of
Dales High Way on its way from Bradford to Sheffield.
Belgian Serge Pauwels claimed his first career win in the
Tour de Yorkshire after winning Sunday's final stage. The Team
Dimension Data rider, 33, timed his push perfectly on the final
climbs of the 194.5km stage from Bradford to Fox Valley near
1 May 2017
Friends New Spring Newsletter
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
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!
14 Apr 2017
Dales High Way turns mobile-friendly
Those 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
“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.
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.
across a year, this four-part cinematic treat begins in March when
the barren peaks, deep dales and inhospitable moorland spring to
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
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.
19 Mar 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.
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
Walkers please note: No dogs other than registered assistance
dogs, will be accepted on Ride2stride walks.
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
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
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
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.”
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.
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!
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
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
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:
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.
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
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
13 Jan 2017
Ingleborough Rescues mark end of year
The Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO) has been involved in two
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
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
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.
2 January 2017