Official website of the Dales Way Association (DWA)

Dales Way Association

 NEWS 2013

New Dales Way Info boards

The Dales Way Association have updated the information board which is currently The new Dales Way Information board 2013being 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 information.

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.

Download a high-resolution pdf version here

23 May 2013

Cam High Road work begins

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 Mcmanus.

See our previous posting here.

8 May 2013

Ride2stride festival treats for Dales Way fans

The second Ride2stride Walking Festival kicks off at the end of this month with a Ribblehead Viaductpacked 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 Way.

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 together.

There are a number of free led walks every day from stations along the line, and each night sees music sessions at different pubs.

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.”

See the Ride2stride website here.

26 April 2013

Changes to the Dales Way footpath.

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.

Cross road to new stile avoiding road walking

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 gate.

Grayrigg Foot - definitive route across road to metal gate

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.

April 2013

Suspension bridge to be repaired

Hebden Suspension Bridge

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 of replacement.

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 and Roy finish the Dales Way

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 McManus demonstrates.

You can now download a free guide to the Harrogate Link Route from the Harrogate Ramblers here.

11 Feb 2013

Forestry wagons bid to use Cam High Road

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.

Timber wagon

Cam High Road lies on the route of a number of major long distance trails, including the Dales Way, Pennine Way and Pennine Bridleway.

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.

Cam High Road and footbridge over Gayle Beck

Read Cam Fell High Road - What Price Conservation? by DWA chairman Colin Speakman, which first appeared in the Yorkshire Dales Review.

See our previous posting here. You can also see the DWA letter of objection to the previous application here, and see the new detailed planning application here, where you can also make your own comments.

11 January 2013

UPDATE: The planning application was approved. The Dales Way Association will now try and ensure that any works and extraction will cause the minimum disruption to both walkers and the environment.

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