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 en route

New Friends' Newsletter

Newsletter 5 Spring 2018

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 celebrate.

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.

Download the Friends Newsletter No. 5 as a pdf here. See details of Walk the Trail 2018 here.

14 April 2018

More trail improvements around Addingham

Trail improvements above Addingham

Rangers from Bradford Council have carried out additional improvement works along A Dales High Way above Addingham.

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 cattle.

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 landowner concerned.

See our previous posting here, and the Dales High Way Grotspots here.

2 April 2018

Crummack Dale walk to kick off anniversary events

Clapper Bridge, Crummack Dale

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 Dales.

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.

See the Anniversary Events programme here, and the Friends of the Dales website here.

16 march 2018

Speakman on Sedgwick

Colin Speakman on Adam 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.

Adam Sedgwick, Geologist & Dalesman

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 Gritstone Writers Cooperative & The Yorkshire Geological Society 2018, £12.00.

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

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A Dales High Way

An exhilarating Dales High Way waymark90 miles across the glorious high country of the Yorkshire Dales

Walk this spectacular landscape from Saltaire to Appleby-in-Westmorland

Explore its rich history, geology and culture

Return with a breathtaking train ride along England's most beautiful railway

More than just a walk

Dales High Way Guide Books


"Promoted through a superbly illustrated Companion booklet, rich in local geology, history and wildlife, with detailed OS-based maps in an excellent Route Guide, the Dales High Way is a sure-fire winner for all keen Dales walkers."
- Colin Speakman
Yorkshire Dales Review

David & Bridget walk a Dales High Way
Dales High Way - the film!
Nicola with Certficate & Guestbook at Appleby TIC

Dales High Way Certificate & Guestbook

Don't forget to call in at the Appleby Tourist Information Centre when you finish your walk to sign the Guestbook and collect your Certificate.

Appleby TIC in the Moot Hall

Dales High Way Lapel Badge thumbprint Dales High Way Lapel Badges

Celebrate your Dales High Way walk with this beautiful high quality enamel lapel badge.



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