Official website of the Dales Way Association (DWA)
Dales Way Association
New Dales Way Info boards
The Dales Way Association have updated
the information board which is currently
displayed along the footpath and link
routes. The photographs have been changed
together with the Harrogate to Ilkley link
route which was incorrect. Some wording has
been improved and a new web page address
included to give up to date transport
The first two boards have been delivered.
The popular information board, displayed in
Grassington car park will be replaced within
the next 2 weeks with the new board. The
other board is to be situated outside the
Tourist Information Office in Bowness. The
original board had been removed some time
ago to have the frame repaired. The new
board is carrier mounted which will
withstand the Lakeland weather much better
than the traditional wooden frame.
The new boards are Duralite, weatherproof
and vandal resistant with a ten year
guarantee against fading.
All of our present boards, which were
first installed in 2005, will be replaced
over the next eighteen months. The cost of
the replacement boards has been met by the
Dales Way Association courtesy of our
members. Thank you all.
Work has started at a pace on
improvements to Cam High Road, ready for the
extraction of wood from Cam Forest.
Planning approval for the project was
granted just over a month ago, but
contractors have wasted little time.
Extraction is expected to start some time
this year, and continue for at least 10
years. Large logging wagons will roll down
Cam High Road in early morning and late
afternoon shifts, but the road will remain
open throughout to walkers.
There are some strict restrictions in
place to protect the amenity for walkers and
others, and we request that Dales Way
walkers keep us informed of any problems
they encounter on the route.
Watch the video extract of work in
progress by our Footpaths officer Alex
The second Ride2stride Walking Festival
kicks off at the end of this month with a
programme of walks, talks and music along
the world famous Settle to Carlisle railway
line, including events which will be of
particular interest to lovers of the Dales
A strenuous 12 mile walk starts at Dent
Station on Saturday May 4th, crossing
Widdale and Snaizeholme to look at the
native Red Squirrels, before joining the Cam
Road for Ribblehead. A free music
session in the Station Inn rounds off the
day. Another 9 mile strenuous walk on the
Sunday crosses High Blea Moor from
Ribblehead to Dent, climbing over the route
of the railway line.
There are easy guided tours of the
industrial archaeological remains around
Ribblehead Viaduct on Wednesday, Saturday
and Monday; and ‘Thunder in the mountains’ –
a talk by former Dalesman editor Bill
Mitchell about life in the shanty towns
during the building of the line – based on
his book of the same name.
The week-long festival starts on Tuesday
April 30th with a short launch ceremony on
Settle station at 09.50 on arrival of the
08.49 train from Leeds. After musical
entertainment by members of the Settle
Singing for Pleasure Ensemble and a few warm
words from the Settle Town Mayor Joe Lord,
walkers will have a choice of three walks
which will leave the station platform
There are a number of free led walks
every day from stations along the line, and
each night sees music sessions at different
Festival member Chris Grogan said “Last
year was such a success we decided to repeat
the same formula this year. Ride2stride is
for everyone who loves the Yorkshire Dales.
Whether you travel to an event by train,
live along the line or book your holiday to
take advantage of the festival, we're sure
you'll have a great time.”
Cumbria County Council have introduced
two changes to the Dales Way footpath after
consultation with the Dales Way Association.
These changes are in line with our aims to
reduce walking on the road when possible.
One of the routes uses an existing Right
of Way and the other brings the footpath
back to the definitive line.
The first change is as you descend from
the stile onto the minor road that leads to
Thatchmoor Head (SD 5836 9602). To avoid the
road walking to the railway bridge, cross
the road and mount the stile which now has a
Dales Way finger post erected.
Following down the side of the field turn
left at the bottom corner and after climbing
[and descending if you want to make
progress] a rather large ladder stile,
continue to walk alongside the hedge then
emerge through a gate to the railway bridge.
You are now back en route.
The second change moves the footpath to
what is called the definitive line, which is
legally where the footpath is but in this
case has been very rarely used. Exiting the
access drive from Grayrigg Foot (SD 5680
9663) most walkers turn right for 50 yards
then left along the access road to Thursgill
Farm. The correct route is now indicated
with a new Dales Way finger post which
directs you across the road to a large metal
Strike half right up the slope to join
the farm track midway down the slope. You
are now back en route.
Early walkers will find on both of these
new routes, an open field, but within time,
a track will emerge.
If at all in doubt, revert to the route
in your current guide book.
Alex McManus. Footpaths.
Suspension bridge to be repaired
A generous donation by a member of the
Dales Way Association will see the famous
Hebden suspension bridge across the River
Wharfe south of Grassington repaired. The
planking on the bridge is worn and in need
DWA member Eileen King has donated the
money in memory of her late husband Roy. The
couple have walked the Dales Way several
times and this
stretch along Wharfedale was one of their
favourite spots. Eileen has many happy
memories of Roy walking behind her on the
bridge and making it rock.
The suspension bridge was built in 1885
by local blacksmith William Bell and is of
an unusual design – there used to be a
support pillar in the middle of the river (see
here). The bridge suffered serious
damage in the floods of 1936 and was last
refurbished in 1989. The bridge will remain
open during the repairs.
Eileen joined other DWA members last
October on the walk from Menston to Ilkey –
part of the Leeds Dales Way Link – before
our AGM at the Riverside Hotel.
1 March 2013
Harrogate Link in snow
One of three link routes to the Dales
Way, the Harrogate Link used to join the
Dales Way at Bolton Abbey.
However, due to the fact that the route
used a permissive section that was
occasionally closed for shooting, the route
was altered a couple of years ago by the
Harrogate Ramblers, so now it joins the
Dales Way at the start - in Ilkey.
The route makes for superb walking, even
in the depths of winter, as the accompanying
slide show by our Footpaths officer Alex
The Cam Forest
Trust, which recently took over the ownership
of Cam Forest, has applied for permission to
extract the timber along Cam High Road.
Cam High Road lies on the route of a
number of major long distance trails,
including the Dales Way, Pennine Way and
The detailed application proposes to
improve the old roman road, including building a new
single-span road bridge across Gayle Beck
beside the current footbridge.
The Dales Way Association has already
objected to plans to use this ancient track
in this way, especially considering that a
Traffic Regulation Order was imposed in 2008
to stop the track being damaged by 4x4’s.