Tag Archives: Dales Way

A Taste of the Dales Way

Our DVD has recently been brought right up to date. It now has 517 images and lasts 44 minutes.
It includes the proposed Watershed Alternative over Cam Fell and Great Knoutberry down to Lea Yeat. This DVD will enable you and your party get a glimpse of what lies ahead along the Dales Way footpath and add to your expectations for the trip. After your adventure another viewing will rekindle the memories.
You can order the DVD from our website here.

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 Edition of classic Dales Way Guidebook

In 1970 Colin Speakman wrote the very first guide book to the Dales Way. Over 40 years on and his original book is now in its eleventh incarnation.

Dales Way - the complete guideThis is the second edition from Skyware Press. Illustrated with 79 stunning full colour photos to match Speakman’s compelling narrative, the book also features 24 detailed full colour strip maps of the entire route at a scale of 1:25,000.

With additional features, such as a brief history of “the People’s Path”, an alternative route between Cam Fell and Upper Dentdale, and detailed descriptions of the three link routes from Bradford, Harrogate and Leeds, it is easy to see why the book is described as the complete and definitive guide to the Dales Way.

As well as being a beautifully produced guide book, it’s also a unique piece of history. It is almost certainly the only guide book to a long distance trail that has been in continuous production for over 40 years, with a living author!

Speakman’s deep affection for the Dales Way and his lifetime love of the Yorkshire Dales shines through this book. That’s what makes this guide so unique – no one else could have written it.

Colin Speakman said: “The Dales Way is one of Britain’s best loved long distance walks. Connecting urban West Yorkshire with the Lake District, it goes through the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, linking two of England’s most spectacularly beautiful National Parks. There’s no better way of discovering this magnificent landscape than on foot, and, as generations of Dales Way walkers have discovered, of enjoying wonderful Yorkshire hospitality and a warm welcome along the entire route.  Many people who walk the Dales Way return to do it a second or even a third time, because it is such an enjoyable and satisfying walk, as rich in cultural associations as it is in natural beauty”.

Fully revised and updated, this eleventh edition of Colin Speakman’s Dales Way is the only guide you will ever need to plan, walk and enjoy one of Britain’s most popular and beautiful long-distance trails.

Priced at £11.99 and available direct from Skyware Press at skyware.co.uk/shop.htm

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.

More bridge trouble

Just as one new bridge goes up, another comes down!

Work starts on the new bridge at Gayle Beck

This time it’s the footbridge across Gayle Beck – at the foot of the Cam High Road – that has been removed whilst contractors build the replacement road bridge. The new road bridge is required for logging wagons removing logs from Cam forest.

There is an official diversion, which leads walkers off the Cam High Road and along the Pennine Way to Horton-in-Ribblesdale. This is of little use to walkers on the Dales Way.

A semi-official diversion is to cross the beck on foot at a ford slightly downstream, but care is needed in wet weather. Many walkers are crossing at some hay bales. As this is open access land, these diversions are legal.

Walkers with the latest edition of Colin Speakman’s guide book might consider using the Watershed Alternative route instead, following the Pennine Bridleway down to the Dent Road.

The work is expected to continue for another two or three weeks.

UPDATE 31/7/2013: The new bridge is now open for use.

Welcome to the new Dales Way News section

We’re changing the way we organise the news section on the Dales Way website, so welcome to our new dedicated Dales Way News blog!

Dales Way signpost

We look forward to keeping you up to date with all the latest news about the Dales Way footpath, events along the route and news of the work of the Dales Way Association.

You can find all our older news items here.