Hole in path in Dentdale

A large hole has appeared on the Dales Way just before Bridge End on the way to Dent. It was caused by a broken land drain and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and the landowner are working together to fix it.

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(Photos courtesy of YDNPA)

In the meantime Paul Wilkinson, the YDNPA Area Ranger responsible for Dentdale has put warning tape around the hole. Our thanks go to the walkers who reported this and to the YDNPA for their fast response.

UPDATE: Nov 2019 – the hole is now repaired. Many thanks to the local farmer.

Great Dales Way Challenge race a huge success!

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Organiser Ryk Downes (centre) presents 1st and 2nd place trophies to Keith Wigley and Ellis Bland

The great Dales Way Challenge race saw the first runner complete the 80-mile trail in just 14 hours 35 minutes and 53 seconds. Keith Wigley had led for most of the run, and was the only one to finish on the same day they set off – Saturday, shortly before midnight. Next in was Ellis Bland.

109 people finished the course of the 131 that started, with the back marker coming in at 34 hours 27 minutes.

The runners were pleased to be met by DWA chairman Colin Speakman in Dent.

Organiser Ryk Downes said “All in all I think was a great success, we left no trace, one of the back runners – a lady approaching 70 years old – said she had never been on a race
with no litter! To this end I am proud of my runners.”

Some of the runners have recorded their impressions on the Punk Panthers website at http://punkpanther.co.uk/news/

Well done to you all!

Follow the Great Dales Way race

Over 150 runners set off from Bowness-on-Widermere this morning at 8.30 a.m. to run the whole 80 miles of the Dales Way as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations.

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By 4 p.m. this afternoon the front runners had reached Gearstones (see above).

You can follow the progress of the great Dales Way challenge race live by going to the website:

https://tracking.racedrone.net/osmap/?dales-way&fbclid=IwAR2JgvTcat562wQ4BX1Ou_qZ0Ysnwtxp1fMANM-W0MIU8dHKHpvxSc5Oe0o

The race is being organised by Punk Panthers and you can find full details on their website:

http://punkpanther.co.uk/dales-way-challenge/

Despite the recent rain it has been hot and sunny today, which has taken its toll.

There are eight checkpoints along the way, with the final one at Ilkley opening at 8 p.m. this evening. The front runners are expected some time after that. Why not join them and cheer them in.

Great success for Anniversary Walk & Exhibition

August 3rd – a bright sunny Saturday morning  – saw over 70 walkers gather at Ilkley Old Bridge to help recreate the first public walk on the Dales Way – 50 years on!

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Once again Colin speakman led the walkers from Ilkley as they snaked their way through to Addingham for a short break by the church.

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Then it was on to Bolton Abbey, where 2 vintage 1960’s buses were on hand to ferry the weary walkers back to Ilkley.

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At 3 o’clock people gathered at the Ilkley Manor House, where local MP John Grogan formally opened the month long exhibition – “50 years of the Dales Way”.

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The free exhibition runs throughout August at the weekends.

A great day was enjoyed by all. Special thanks go to the team of volunteer stewards from the Dales Way Association, Friends of DalesBus, Friends of the Dales and Friends of A Dales High Way, who all helped ensure the day passed without incident.

See the Ilkley Gazette report here.

Fallen tree blocks stile in Dentdale

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A heavy branch has fallen across a stile on the Dales Way in Dentdale and is blocking the path.

The stile lies on the path between Tub Hole and Tommy Bridge (SD 4224 9708) where the Dales Way briefly crosses the River Dee on its way down the valley to Dent.

Although agile walkers can squeeze past, the branch is potentially dangerous and walkers are advised to avoid this section until the blockage has been removed. National Park rangers are working to fix this.

Dales Way walkers are advised to stick to the quiet road at Tub Hole and continue along this, passing Whernside Manor to rejoin the route at Bridge End, until further notice.

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Thanks to Linda and Brian for letting us know about this.

UPDATE: This has now been fixed by the farmer. Many thanks to him!

Contractors working at Thursgill

Dales Way walkers will face a slight diversion as contractors begin work to secure the embankment at Thursgill Beck.

This is just beyond Grayrigg Foot, on the long section between Sedbergh and Burneside.
Walkers leaving Grayrigg Foot along the access driveway should cross the A685 directly across to the waymarked gate opposite, along the route of the Dales Way, then continue to the bridge at Thursgill Beck following a slightly diverted path alongside the access road.

A temporary footbridge across the beck beside the main bridge may be installed.

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Geoff Fewkes, Countryside Access Officer for Cumbria County Council said: ” The map details the sections of path that will be closed, and gives an indication of an alternative route (A-B) so that Dales Way users can continue their journey as conveniently as possible.

” As there will be a significant amount of HGVs and plant using the farm track to access the work site to ensure everyone’s safety no public access will be permitted along the access between the road and the bridge to road. The only usable access for the Dales Way will be via the public footpath directly opposite the driveway of Grayrigg Foot.”

There should be no real problems for Dales Way walkers, but please follow any directions on site.

Ilkley Moor fire

A fire on Ilkley Moor which started on Saturday, April  20th, has now been brought under control.

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This afternoon fire fighters began winding down operations after several days damping down. With rain expected later today the moor is once again open to walkers.

Walkers taking the Dales Way Bradford Link route will find themselves descending from the moor into Ilkley alongside the devastated area, which covers some 25,000 square metres.

90 firefighters attended the fire, and one man has been charged with arson as a result.

The First Dales Way Walk

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Colin Speakman leads the 40th anniversary walk – 2009

On Monday, March 10th, 1969, the Yorkshire Evening Post carried a major news feature outlining “A new Dales Way …. from Ilkley to Lakeland“.

The article began: “Leeds, Harrogate and Bradford may soon by linked to the Lake District by footpath. It is all part of a projected new Dales Way mapped out by the West Riding branch of the Ramblers Association.

“If you are interested, if you have a longing for fresh air after this long dark winter of discontent, now is the time to polish your best walking boots and get out your rucksack.

“You can become involved in this wonderful scheme by presenting yourself at Ilkley Post Office on Sunday March 23, at 10.15 a.m. On that day members of the Ramblers Association are to walk along the first 10 miles of the new Dales Way from Ilkley to Burnsall, and members of the public are invited to take part.”

That cold March Sunday, over 130 people gathered to take part in the first ever public walk along a section of the Dales Way. Colin Speakman led them for the 12-mile trek to Burnsall, where they caught pre-arranged buses back to Ilkley. It was a huge success.

That inaugural walk has been celebrated every decade since. In 2019 the 50th anniversary of that first walk will take place on Saturday, 3rd August.

You can read the full account of that First Dales Way walk here.

Alcohol licence for Olicana caravan site

Bradford Council have approved contentious plans to serve alcohol at Olicana Park caravan site, near Addingham.

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The Dales Way passes through the site, passing the restaurant and cafe based in a new log cabin at the entrance to the site.

Approval for a cafe there had been previously granted in 2016. The new licence allows alcohol to be served for consumption on and off the site. The owners, Listers Leisure Ltd., said the business would serve onsite customers and people walking the Yorkshire Dales.

Letters both against and in support of the scheme were evenly matched. Some local residents raised concerns that serving alcohol could lead to an increase in traffic, noise and anti-social behaviour in a picturesque area fo the district. One park resident pointed out that “It is very rare these days to go out for a meal and not have a drink.”

Dales Way walkers might welcome a cafe stop after the first 3 miles on the trail, but it remains to be seen how many will want alcoholic refreshments so early on.

Honorary Life Membership for Alex

Alex McManus, former Footpaths officer for the Dales Way Association who retired from active duty earlier this year, was formally handed his “Honorary Life Membership” certificate today.

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Alex McManus receives his award from Colin Speakman

The presentation was made by the chairman of the Dales Way Association, Colin Speakman, at a special lunch attended by most of the DWA committee near Harrogate. The honour was unanimously approved at this year’s Annual General Meeting in October.

Colin said: “Alex is one of the heroes of the Dales Way. For so many years he has been our tireless Footpath Secretary, doing great work working with all the local authorities along the Dales Way to ensure that stiles, gates and bridges were in good order, waymarks were in the right place and problems sorted as soon as possible, not to mention his work as a great ambassador for the route, in person and on his DVDs. In making him only our second Honorary Life Member in our history (the first was the legendary cartographer Arthur Gemmell) the Dales Way Committee is merely recognising his outstanding achievement over so many years”

Alex first joined the DWA committee in 2003 and became Footpaths Officer in 2005. He also served as Newsletter Editor from 2010 to 2014 and turned his hand to a number of other roles, including minutes secretary for a while.

Alex will continue to contribute to the DWA through articles on the website and Newsletters. We hope to see him at a number of next year’s 50th Anniversary events.