Author Archives: DWA

Walking the Dales Way

CiceroneDalesWayTerry Marsh produced his first guide to walking the Dales Way 25 years ago, and the latest edition to his popular guide book has just been published by Cicerone Press.

The new book matches the revamped layout of Cicerone’s long distance guides, coming with a separate map booklet with the route shown on OS mapping at a scale of 1:25,000.

As well as a detailed account of each days walking – in both directions – Terry includes a broad range of information on accommodation, public transport, suggested itineraries, facilities on route, wildlife, geology, history and culture, along with a host of his colourful photos.

Terry is a seasoned walk writer, with over 120 titles to his name. He is also a generous supporter of the Dales Way Association and his passion for the trail is clear; “When it came to this new edition, I again walked the route in its entirety between October 2016 and August 2017. The enchantment I experienced during that first effort has reduced not one iota – the Dales Way is every bit as beautiful and charming and agreeable as ever it was… This still ranks as the finest multi-day walking route in Britain on which to cut your teeth.”

Cicerone Guides have their own loyal followers, and Terry Marsh’s guidebook will not disappoint them.

Walking the Dales Way, by Terry Marsh
Cicerone, ISBN 9781852849436, 2018, £14.95
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New Guide to Hadrian’s Wall Path by Mark Richards

What does the Hadrian’s Wall Path have in common with the Dales Way? Well quite a lot actually. At 84 miles or 135 km it is almost the same distance, it has a strong theme, is easy walking for even less experienced walkers, is very popular and is very well served by public transport, most notably the excellent AD122 Hadrian’s Wall Bus (Easter- October) and the nearby Tyne Valley Railway line.

Hadrian guide

Mark is one of Britain’s most experienced guidebook writers, having cut his teeth way back in the 1970s on the Cotswold Way followed by many guide books to the Lakes, Peaks and elsewhere, including that super little guide to linear walks off the 555 bus through the Lakes. He now lives in Gilsland up on Hadrian’s Wall and his new Cicerone Guide Walking Hadrian’s Wall Path is a joy – well researched text, beautifully written, covering every aspect of this World Heritage Site and this relatively new National Trail, (in both directions) with excellent photographs by Roger Clegg and the newly fashionable but practical idea for a separate booklet of 1:25,000 maps, which allows the walker to keep the main guidebook in a rucksack pocket when it rains – though you need a map case to keep the map booklet dry.

It’s also fully public transport literate with detailed information of how to get to, from and along the route without using two cars, and in summer months at least even to do the Trail in day stages including useful link paths to rail stations and bus stops, plus addresses of accommodation – though these can change. There’s even a 35½ mile route extension available to the west on Hadrian’s Coast – also rich in history – between Maryport and Bowness on Solway.

So, a perfect long-distance route to tackle after you’ve done The Dales Way and The Dales High Way.

Mark Richard’s guide is available in most good bookshops or direct from www.cicerone.co.uk.

Colin Speakman, DWA

Autumn buses on the Dales way

874 at Bolton AbbeyAutumn means shorter days but often beautiful ones, with dazzling leaf colour and when the leaves are off, even better views, excellent for short day riverside walks on the Dales Way. If you make use of public transport, you can park, catch the bus and walk along the Dales Way back to the car – or better still go all the way by bus and train and enjoy that well-earned pint at the end.

This works especially well in Wharfedale, with the all-year Sunday 874 DalesBus running between Leeds, Ilkley, Bolton Abbey, Grassington and Buckden, and Monday to Saturday Upper Wharfedale Venturer service between Grassington and Buckden, but note that from October 28th the Saturday Pride of the Dales service 74 between Ilkley, Bolton Abbey and Grassington will cease to operate.

However from then there will be a new Friday NYCC 74A service between Ilkley and Grassington, so that you’ll be able to reach the Bolton Abbey, and Burnsall areas on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from Ilkley and Grassington.

Remember too that the Western Dales S1 service between Dent Station, (meeting trains from Leeds) Dent village and Sedbergh runs on Saturdays all year, so another great opportunity for autumn days in Dentdale. Details of all these services are all in the Metro DalesBus timetable or log on to www.dalesbus.org.

West Winds open for Autumn

Finally, great news that our friends Lyn and Steve at West Winds Tea Shop in Buckden have decided this year to stay open daily until the end of October and at weekends throughout November especially for Dales Way walkers. This is especially appropriate given that the other tea shop and café in Buckden has now closed, and the Buck Inn is also currently closed – though it is expected to reopen soon.

Colin Speakman

Huge increase in wagons on Cam High Road

There has been a huge increase in the number of 40-ton timber trucks on Cam High Road, following the acquisition of the Greenfield forest site by the current owners of the Cam Forest.

Timber waggons on Cam High Road

Now up to 10 wagons a day are to be found descending the steep road to Gearstones, which serves as an important route for the Dales Way, the Pennine Way and the Pennine Bridleway.

Just last year the owners of Cam Forest gained approval for the limited extraction of timber over an initial period of 3 years, with up to 6 wagons per day. The acquisition of the much larger Greenfield Forest now means the initial period has been extended to 15 years, with the first three years seeing more “intensive harvesting”.

The new rules suggest that of the 10 wagons per day “five of these would take place before 9.30am and endeavours would be made for the majority of the remaining movements to take place after 3pm. Plus, no movements would take place at weekends or bank holidays.”

However, when DWA members were out on Cam on Tuesday, at least four wagons passed along the Cam Road between 2pm and 3pm.

Of course, it is relatively easy for walkers to step off the track and give sufficient berth to the huge wagons, but it is more difficult for horse riders and cyclists, and should any horse drawn cart happen to be heading uphill at the time….

A number of issues remain to be resolved, including the promise that a permissive Dales Way path would be made along the new track at the foot of the Cam Road, avoiding the busy B6255 to Far Gearstones.

New certificates are a big hit

Dales Way walkers finishing the long-distance trail are now heading in droves to pick up their Completers certificates directly in Bowness.

Hawkshead certificates

The new certificates are being offered free by Hawkshead outdoor outfitters at their shop in Bowness-on-Windermere, at the end of ther trail. And, for every certificate issued, Hawkshead will donate 10p to the Dales Way Association!

Since the start of the season there’s been a steady stream of Dales Way walkers arriving at the store.

Hawkshead said: “We are loving celebrating in the successes of the Dales Way walkers! Congratulations to all our Dales Way walkers who are now coming in our Bowness store thick and fast to claim their coveted certificate!”

The Bowness store is at 7 West End Buildings, Kendal Road, Bowness, LA23 3EE, Tel: 015394 48694. The shop is open Mon – Sat 9.00 – 5.30 & Sun 10.00 – 5.00.

(Pictured are just some of the recent recipients as shown on Hawkshead’s facebook page: Peter Minchin, Peter Courtney, Stuart Fraser, Isabel Fraser, Dot Morson, Kelvin Peterson, Palm Evans, Maureen Tissington, Peter Tissington and Mary O’Brien.)

Fine walk for Association AGM

The Dales Way Association held its 21st Annual General Meeting on Saturday 26th October. Despite the awful rain on the Friday and the storms predicted for Sunday, members travelled from as far afield as Essex and Shropshire.

The 2013 AGM walk from Burnsall to Grassington

Colin Speakman pauses to read the information board alongside the river Wharfe near Loop Scar

The day started with a walk along the Dales Way from Burnsall to Hebden swing bridge where we paused to inspect the work which is being done to replace the planking on the bridge. The repairs have been made possible by a generous donation from DWA member Eileen King in memory of her late partner Roy Doherty and we were delighted that Eileen had made the long journey to join us. We then walked on to Grassington where we had a short break before returning to Ilkley and the business part of the day.

We got to Burnsall and returned from Grassington on the number 74 bus, a regular service that takes both locals and visitors up and down Wharfedale and is a lovely ride in its own right. During the meeting Footpath Officer Alex McManus told members that he had spent the summer inspecting the Dales Way footpath and had relied on the bus to travel back to his car. We were astonished to learn therefore that this and other rural bus services are in danger of being cut.

Dales Way Association Chairman, Colin Speakman told the meeting; “The Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the Dales Way, one of the jewels in the National Park’s crown, must remain fully accessible to everyone, and the bus services in Upper Wharfedale are essential to achieve this.”

See the Dalesbus website here and the proposed cuts here.