The Dales Way is a long distance footpath of about 80 miles (128 km) situated in the north of England and running from Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere.
By following as far as possible riverside paths, it offers a scenically attractive route from urban West Yorkshire to the Lake District, which any reasonably fit family can undertake in a week's holiday. Although not always well served by public transport the Way, by following natural and sometimes ancient lines of communication, passes through many villages, and so accommodation is not a problem, although it is advisable to book in advance.
The Dales Way Association was established in 1991 to help support, maintain and promote the Dales Way Long Distance path.
The 2016 Annual General Meeting of the Dales Way Association was held at the Flying Duck in Ilkley on October 15th, where a cake marking the 25th anniversary of the Association was cut by Judith Smith and Colin Speakman.
It has been a particularly eventful year for the Dales Way, and members heard reports on the work done to help mitigate the devastating winter floods in Cumbria and parts of North Yorkshire.
Storm Desmond tore through Britain, bringing strong winds and heavy rain to the region and causing Cumbria to declare a major incident.
As these communities struggled to cope and rebuild their lives, officers from the local authorites concerned were soon out surveying the damage to footbridges and footpaths in the area. Not surprisingly there was quite a lot of damage, and the Dales Way has borne its share.
It was going to take a long time and a lot of work to fully repair this damage, but over the following months many sections have been fixed.
Now all obstacles have been repaired, the Dales Way is open as usual.
The Dales Way Association Footpaths' officer Alex McManus had prepared a detailed document outlining all the problems as we became aware of them, together with proposed diversions, which was available to download from this site.
Thankfully most walkers didn't let these minor difficulties put them off walking the route. The spirit of co-operation shown by all within the affected communities is an inspiration, and as they rebuild their lives they will welcome the support of visitors to the area.