New Friends' Newsletter
The Spring 2018 edition of the Friends of A Dales High Way newsletter is now available.
The newsletter focuses on the 10th anniversary of the
long-distance trail and the events that have been organised to
In particular, a series of led walks along the entire length
of A Dales High Way - Walk the Trail 2018
- is announced with an invitation to join the Friends on this
sectional epic adventure.
The walks will take place from mid-May, every fortnight or so, making use of the
excellent public transport links along the route, particularly
the Settle-Carlisle railway.
Also included is a full roundup of the improvements to the
trail that have been undertaken by rangers for the 4 responsible
authorities along the route, and others. Work by the landowner
to clear a notoriously boggy section above Addingham, in
particular, has made a huge improvement.
This edition's Top 10 features Bridget and David's best tips
for long-distance walkers - the things they wished they'd known
before they set off....
There's also a selection of news highlights from
over the last 12 months, and a review of Colin Speakman's
biography of the father of geology Adam Sedgwick.
All this and it's FREE to download and enjoy.
14 April 2018
More trail improvements around Addingham
Rangers from Bradford Council have carried out additional
improvement works along A Dales High Way
A new fingerpost and waymark on the path below Addingham
Moorside clears up any confusion at a fork in the track, and a
new kissing gate beyond replaces a stile.
The improvements are part of a series of works 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 in 2016.
But it's the muddy fields above Addingham that have been the
source of most of the complaints we hear, in particular the
short stretch along The Street just above Addingham.
Believed to be the line of the old Roman road between Ilkley and
Elslack (near Skipton), the broad grassy path had become
overgrown, with the narrow remaining track often churned by
A particular wet year in 2012 highlighted this. Walker John
Parkinson noted "Parts of the walk were very wet underfoot
(although it barely rained on us); not just bog but very
unpleasant deep mud particularly around Addingham..."
After enjoying a "fantastic walk" along the trail Trevor Wain
noted: "Worst moment? Perhaps the deep, glutinous, boot sucking,
energy sapping mud of the path from Street Farm to the A65 at
Addingham where too many cows in a confined corridor had
produced a quagmire."
Early last year the landowner began clearing the overgrown
vegetation, and the difference is astonishing. A broad wide
green lane now leads to the crossing of the A65, and though
still muddy in places, it is easy to avoid these spots. This
short stretch is now a delight. Our sincere thanks go to the
2 April 2018
Crummack Dale walk to kick off anniversary events
Chris Grogan will lead a moderately easy 5 mile walk through
Crummack Dale, taking in a lovely secluded section of
A Dales High Way, as the first in a series of
events helping to celebrate the trails' 10th official birthday!
The circular walk starts and finishes in Austwick on
Saturday, March 24th. Meet at 10.30 a.m. at Austwick Village
Hall - all are welcome and the walk is free.
This walk follows fields, tracks and lanes between Austwick
and Wharfe, before heading for the lower slopes of Crummack
Dale, passing the pretty little clapper bridge at Wash Dub to
return to the start. The walk is moderately easy but may be
stony or wet underfoot.
Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome. Meet at Austwick
Village Hall, Main Street, Austwick LA2 8BJ (beside Village
Shop/Post Office). Toilets are available. Please park with
consideration on village roads.
After the walk, Chris will give her popular illustrated talk
A Taste of A Dales High Way in the Village Hall,
starting at 2.15 p.m. The cost is just £3 and includes a cup of
tea and a biscuit.
This event has been organised by the Friends of the Dales
(formally known as the Yorkshire Dales Society), a
membership charity which
campaigns for the protection and enjoyment of the Yorkshire
The long distance route was officially launched in 2008 with
the publication of the first edition of A Dales High Way
Route Guide. Its popularity as a high level trail crossing
the Yorkshire Dales soon grew and it is now estimated around
1,000 walkers tackle the route each year. The trail is now
way-marked and included as an official Long Distance
Recreational Route on OS Explorer and Landranger maps.
More events are being planned by the Friends of A Dales
High Way over the coming months.
16 march 2018
Speakman on Sedgwick
Walkers on A Dales High Way can't
fail to notice the huge granite slab that sits on the cobbled
market place in the centre of Dent, with its simple engraving:
Adam Sedgwick 1785 - 1873. The memorial fountain
commemorates the life and work of Adam Sedgwick - one of the
founders of modern geology and Dent's most famous son.
The fascinating story of Sedgwick's life and work is told in
the definitive biography Adam Sedgwick, Geologist and
Dalesman by Colin Speakman - creator of the Dales Way.
First published in 1982, the book has been reissued in 2018 by
the Yorkshire Geological Society and Gritstone Press.
Sedgwick was the son of the Dent vicar who went on to study
mathematics, classics and theology at Trinity College,
Cambridge. A deeply religious man, he was ordained a deacon in
1817 and the following year was appointed Woodwardian Professor
of Geology, even though as he remarked himself "I knew
absolutely nothing of geology". That soon changed though, with
Sedgwick carrying out important research work all over Britain,
in what became known as the historic age of geology.
Sedgwick decoded the complex geology of the Lake District and
became friends with Wordsworth.
In Wales he studied the oldest known rocks in Britain, formed
in a period over 488 million years ago which he called the
Cambrian. They contained the earliest known fossils, which no
doubt influenced one of his field research students - Charles
Darwin. Darwin's later work "On the Origin of the Species"
would, however, appal Sedgwick's deeply religious convictions.
But for fans of the Yorkshire Dales, it is his 19th century
accounts of his beloved Dentdale that hold particular
fascination. His campaigning book "A Memorial to the Trustees of
Cowgill Chapel" in 1868 even led to an intervention by
Queen Victoria and an act of Parliament to change the chapel's
name as registered by the church authorities.
The book is beautifully written and produced, and this timely
new publication marks 200 years since Sedgwick's historic
appointment as Woodwardian Professor of Geology.
"Adam Sedgwick, Geologist and Dalesman" by Colin
Speakman. ISBN 978-0-9955609-4-0, published jointly by
Cooperative & The Yorkshire Geological Society
You can see Colin give an illustrated talk on Adam
Sedgwick at the
Ride2Stride Walking Festival 2018. Friday, May
4, 14.15. Friends Meeting House, Settle. £3.00 includes light
refreshments, sponsored by
the Friends of the Dales.
1 March 2018
Paths restored above Skipton
A stretch of path on A Dales High Way
has been restored following work to extend the Golf Course above
This shares a short section of the route with the newly
waymarked Lady Anne's Way - a 100-mile long distance
trail from Skipton to Penrith.
The path has been resurfaced in places, with new gates
installed, and re-waymarked throughout, thanks to the work of
officers at North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) Rights of Way
department and Skipton Golf Course.
In addition, the Tarn Moor Estate has established some new
permissive paths which may help Dales High Way walkers. Nicky
Bunting, Rights of Way Officer for the Craven and Nidderdale
area of the NYCC, said : " The path that may be of interest to
(Dales High Way walkers), runs from Skipton Golf Club, west
along an attractive enclosed track, then north through the
woodland burial ground to meet Brackenley Lane. This cuts out
330m of road walking."
After crossing the first part of the golf course, A Dales
High Way continues north through double stiles towards
Brackenley Lane, alongside the new Golf course extension.
A new permissive enclosed track runs west from the double
stiles (SD 9879 5319) to link up with a new footpath alongside
Grassington Road. Before this, however, a walkers' gate on the
right leads into the green burial grounds of Tarn Moor
Memorial Woodlands, opened in 2002. A fine permissive path then
meanders north to rejoin Brackenley Lane near to the junction
with Grassington Road above the Craven Heifer.
The new paths "are intended to be long-term permissive paths"
and add to the new public footpaths alongside Grassington Road
that were opened just a few years ago. Dales High Way walkers
now have several optional routes from Skipton to choose from.
Photo shows new gate and waymarks onto Brackenley Lane, with
Sharp Haw and Rough Haw in the background.
12 Feb 2018
Malham Cove hits top 3 UK walks
Malham Cove, on a popular section of A Dales High
Way, won through to the top three of ITV's 100
Favourite UK Walks.
Julia Bradbury presented the 2½ hour prime-time
T.V. show on Tuesday, which featured the top 100 UK walks as
voted in a programme sponsored by ITV, the Ramblers,
Ordnance Survey and Julia Bradbury's own The Outdoor
Based on the results of the largest survey ever conducted into
the UK’s hiking habits, the top 100 have been voted for by more
than 8,000 walking enthusiasts.
Julia said “Walking is one of Britain’s best loved pastimes,
with around nine million of us enjoying pulling on our hiking
boots and heading for the great outdoors every month… This could
be your next big adventure – you’re going to be blown away.”
The third spot route, which takes in Malham village, Janet's Foss,
Gordale Scar and Malham Cove, was introduced by ITV's Dales'
presenter Ade Edmundson.
Topping the 100 walks list was Helvellyn in the Lake
District, followed by another mountain peak - Snowdon in Wales.
A Dales High Way includes sections of other walks in the top
100 list: at number 25 was Ingleborough and at number 81 was the
Leeds-Liverpool canal from Saltaire to Skipton.
1 Feb 2018
New edition of Companion
A brand new edition of A Dales High Way Companion
has just been published and is now available.
The new edition includes updates and is now in colour
throughout, with 162 full colour photos in its 116 pages.
The book is the perfect companion and illustrated guide to
A Dales High Way - the popular long
distance trail from Saltaire in West Yorkshire, to
Appleby-in-Westmorland in Cumbria, which celebrates its official
10th anniversary this year..
The book includes a detailed description of the route, but
more importantly it explores the fascinating geology, history,
culture and wildlife of the places visited. It is designed to
help you get the maximum enjoyment from your walk, whether it's
finding rock art carved by our Stone Age ancestors, spotting an
early purple orchid or visiting the best preserved medieval
castle in England.
This book complements the original Route Guide and is best
read alongside it.
As co-author Chris Grogan describes it; “It’s the book you
read in the pub to plan for your next day’s walking.”
A Dales high Way Companion, by Tony & Chris Grogan. 2nd
ISBN: 978-1-911321-00-2 . Published by Skyware Press,
1 Jan 2018, price: £11.99.
12 Jan 2018
10 years of A Dales High Way
2018 sees the 10th anniversary of the 90-mile
Dales High Way trail.
The long distance route was officially launched in 2008 with the
publication of the first edition of A Dales High Way Route
Guide. Its popularity as a high level trail crossing
the Yorkshire Dales soon grew and it is now estimated around
1,000 walkers tackle the route each year.
The route was originally developed by Chris and Tony Grogan, with their own first complete walk of the finalised
trail in 2007. The website went live in 2008.
There have been a number of notable milestones along the way:
- Brigantes became the first company to offer a baggage
courier service and holiday booking service for walkers on
the route in May 2009;
- November 2009 saw the establishment of the Friends
of A Dales High Way, which helps promote, develop and
maintain the route;
- July 2013 saw the completion of the way marking of the
- March 2014 saw its inclusion as an official Long
Distance Recreational Route on OS Explorer and Landranger
- August 2016 saw the extension of the Yorkshire Dales
National Park take in the northern section of the trail,
leaving three quarters of the trail within the National
A number of events are being planned to help celebrate the
anniversary, including led walks and talks by co-founder Chris
Grogan, in association with the Friends of the Dales
and the Friends of A Dales High Way.
On Saturday 24 March Chris will lead a 5 mile walk along a
section of the trail through Crummackdale - meet 10.30 am at
Austwick Village Hall - before giving an illustrated talk at
2.15 p.m. (£3).
She will also give the talk as part of the
Ride2Stride Walking Festival in Settle on Tuesday May 1st,
7.30 p.m. at the Friends Meeting House (£3). She will lead an 8
mile Walk with a View from Ribblehead along an iconic
section of the trail on Saturday, May 5th (meet Ribblehead
station 12.02 p.m.).
Other events are planned for later in the year. Watch this
space for details.
1 Jan 2018.