“If at first you don’t succeed . . . . . . . . . .”


Following a complaint from three senior walkers in October 2014 about difficult stiles between Bolton Bridge and Addingham, I contacted Tim Brooks, Area Right of Way Officer, Bradford Metropolitan District Council, on behalf of the Dales Way Association, as to how this section of the Dales Way could be improved for Dales Way and local walkers. For reference, a video was produced of all the stiles from Olicana Caravan park to Bolton Road. This was put up on YouTube under the title: Ilkley to B Ab. Stiles. (Dales Way – of  limited interest)

Particular reference was made about the very difficult high stile near the steps leading up to Bolton Road. (Right hand stile above.) Resistance to any change by the landowner prevented any progress with no legal way to change the situation.

However, Tim Brooks has now informed us that they have permission to replace two of the stiles on this section. The ladder stile will be replaced with a pedestrian gate and the wooden stile replaced with a kissing gate. This latter improvement is most welcome, as the height of the step-over makes it very difficult for all but the most agile walker to cross. This work will be done at some point in the summer.

The Dales Way Association, on behalf of all Dales Way and local walkers, wish to thank Bradford Metropolitan District Council Officers for their tenacity in following up and solving walkers complaints.



Cumbria County Council continue to improve the Dales Way with a new gate and footbridge.

Gate AA difficult, very old stile, especially in wet weather, for small children and those less agile than they used to be, has been replaced with a new gate. This is on the footpath between Burton House and the Oak Bank Road. Sad but necessary, I am afraid.

20180223_125524Further along the trail, a damaged plank bridge has been replaced with a handsome new fit for purpose crossing.


560016 before

560016 after

The bridge has been replaced under CCC Flood Recovery Program funded by the Rural Payments Agency’s Cumbria Countryside Access Fund, which is being used to repair the damage on flagship routes within the county. Photos by CCC



Include the Watershed Alternative in your walking plans.

P1010900Views into Dentdale from the slopes of Great Knoughtberry Fell, which is part of the alternative footpath which avoids the road walking from Cold Kell Gate to Lea Yeat.

A new video in our gate, stile and fingerpost series has been posted on YouTube and can also be viewed on our Home Page under the side heading Videos.

The title is The Dales Way footpath in Dentdale. By gate, stile and fingerpost. The video includes a map plus distances and times. Good weather is essential if you wish to enjoy the finest views along the Dales Way. On the home page a description of the walk is available to download in a PDF format.

Arten Gill Viaduct below in the valley.


Another bridge repaired.

005 Fishermans BrI

I would guess that Dales Way walkers had never heard of Fishemans Bridge, despite passing it, 150 metres West of Hole House, on the Lincoln’s Inn Bridge to Crook of Lune Bridge stretch of the footpath. It came to prominence when it was swept away in the December 2016 storms, as the river Lune rose to record levels. The footbridge near


Thwaite, is the only means to cross the river between the Lincoln’s Inn and Crook of Lune bridges, a distance of 3 miles. The project, which was started last year, was not without its drama and difficulty, battling with wet weather most of the time. Heavy rain in November swelled the river so much that the scaffolding supporting the bridge was swept away, buckling the almost finished structure. The problem was overcome with the help of a crane and some spare parts, courtesy of Cumbria County Council. The finished bridge is a beautiful structure, built to last. An official opening of the bridge is being planned for early 2018. Information supplied by Steve Hastie. Area Manager (Western Dales.) Photographs supplied by Cumbria County Council.

The Dales Way Association donated £500 to the project.


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

Christmas Greetings to all.


P1000521The Harrogate Link January 2010

The Dales Way Association Committee wish all of our members and fellow walkers, the compliments of the Season and good health in 2018.

We wish to thank the Rangers and staff in the National Parks, and the County and Borough Councils for their efforts over the year in improving the Dales Way, and also for their advice, friendship and cooperation.

We also wish to express our appreciation to those folk who have provided food and shelter in various forms for the travellers: usually tired, sometimes sunburnt, maybe cold and wet and at times with the odd blister. You may not always get a thank you email or letter from your guests,  but we know that after the walk, their friends are told of a fantastic journey and the wonderful people they have met along the way. You are wonderful ambassadors for the Dales Way.

Then there are the group of people who have transformed the fashion scene at the above establishments. That may not have been in their original business plan. But now walkers enjoy their social evenings after the days walk, looking and feeling “good,” because of the   companies that move mini wardrobes of clothes and accessories, that never, ever, would fit in a back pack. We wish you continued success in 2018, and the gratitude of many individuals.



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