Category Archives: Footpath

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

New footpaths at Burneside.


This section of path, approaching the fields,  has been cleared waiting for the stone to be delivered tomorrow, Tuesday 26th May. The path has been kept open over the Bank Holiday weekend, but will be closed when the stone has been delivered and laid.

Diversion signs will be in place during closed periods.

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.

Moresdale Hall footpath

Moresdale Hall path.

 Moresdale path

 Dales Way committee members and Cumberland County Council Rangers inspect the exceptionally muddy section of the footpath passing Moresdale Hall in June 2012.

 Early this year, CCC contractors have performed some exploratory work on the path to the west of Moresdale Hall, in an attempt to sort out the drainage on that permanently boggy section.

 They have cleaned out the ditch to the south (uphill) side of the path, and discovered a blocked drain in the vicinity of the kissing gate.  A pipe has been installed under the path, which appears to be stopping the water getting to the gate area.  Further drainage work (pipe installation) has been done in the area. Hopefully, given some dry weather, the footpath will be much improved when the walking season begins.

 They have also cut back the vegetation along that section of the route, which will let some light and air in, which will help.   

Alex. Footpaths

6th February 2014

In November 2013 an application was received by Cumbria County Council in respect of a proposed diversion of public footpath 570016 at Burton House, parish of Skelsmergh which forms part of the Dales Way. The map below was produced.


On the 15th January 2014 the proposed rights of way diversions at Burton House,  Skelsmergh, and Woodside Cottage parish of Mansergh, were considered by the County Council’s Development Control and Regulation Committee, and it was resolved that Orders be made under section 119 of the Highway Act 1980.

This means that at some time in the future the Dales Way footpath will be diverted around the farm buildings, crossing the stream by a culvert and continuing along another farm track. The new path avoids the very boggy field corner which is muddy most of the year.

In order to jog memories, the site is where Billy’s “do it yourself” tea room used to be.

As it is now in 2013.


As it was in August 2009 on our 40th anniversary walk (below).

Billy's Tea house

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.

New Cam bridge now open

The new bridge on the Cam High Road which crosses Gayle Beck is now open.

New Bridge across Gayle Beck at Gearstones

Fortunately, good weather has meant that the closure of the bridge hasn’t caused too much disruption for Dales Way walkers.

There are still some ongoing works to finish off the bridge, so walkers should follow any directions from construction workers on the site.

The original footbridge was removed to be replaced by this new road bridge, capable of taking the 40-tonne logging trucks which will be used to remove logs from Cam Woods. Logging traffic should be restricted to short early morning and late afternoon sessions. Logging is expected to continue for 10 years.

One advantage for walkers of this work is the establishment of a permissive track parallel to the busy Blea Moor Road down to Far Gearstones, taking the route off road for this short section.