The Official Web Site of the Dales Way Association
Welcome to the Dales Way Association
The Dales Way is a long distance
footpath of about 80 miles (128 km) situated in the north of England and
running from Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere.
By following as far as
possible riverside paths, it offers a scenically attractive route from
urban West Yorkshire to the Lake District, which any reasonably fit
family can undertake in a week's holiday. Although not always well
served by public transport the Way, by following natural and sometimes
ancient lines of communication, passes through many villages, and so
accommodation is not a problem, although it is advisable to book in
The Dales Way Association was
established in 1991 to help support, maintain and promote the Dales Way Long Distance path.
Cam High Road work begins
Work has started at a pace on
improvements to Cam High Road, ready for the
extraction of wood from Cam Forest.
Planning approval for the project was
granted just over a month ago, but
contractors have wasted little time.
Extraction is expected to start some time
this year, and continue for at least 10
years. Large logging wagons will roll down
Cam High Road in early morning and late
afternoon shifts, but the road will remain
open throughout to walkers.
There are some strict restrictions in
place to protect the amenity for walkers and
others, and we request that Dales Way
walkers keep us informed of any problems
they encounter on the route.
Watch the video extract of work in
progress by our Footpaths officer Alex
The second Ride2stride Walking Festival
kicks off at the end of this month with a
programme of walks, talks and music along
the world famous Settle to Carlisle railway
line, including events which will be of
particular interest to lovers of the Dales
A strenuous 12 mile walk starts at Dent
Station on Saturday May 4th, crossing
Widdale and Snaizeholme to look at the
native Red Squirrels, before joining the Cam
Road for Ribblehead. A free music
session in the Station Inn rounds off the
day. Another 9 mile strenuous walk on the
Sunday crosses High Blea Moor from
Ribblehead to Dent, climbing over the route
of the railway line.
There are easy guided tours of the
industrial archaeological remains around
Ribblehead Viaduct on Wednesday, Saturday
and Monday; and ‘Thunder in the mountains’ –
a talk by former Dalesman editor Bill
Mitchell about life in the shanty towns
during the building of the line – based on
his book of the same name.
The week-long festival starts on Tuesday
April 30th with a short launch ceremony on
Settle station at 09.50 on arrival of the
08.49 train from Leeds. After musical
entertainment by members of the Settle
Singing for Pleasure Ensemble and a few warm
words from the Settle Town Mayor Joe Lord,
walkers will have a choice of three walks
which will leave the station platform
There are a number of free led walks
every day from stations along the line, and
each night sees music sessions at different
Festival member Chris Grogan said “Last
year was such a success we decided to repeat
the same formula this year. Ride2stride is
for everyone who loves the Yorkshire Dales.
Whether you travel to an event by train,
live along the line or book your holiday to
take advantage of the festival, we're sure
you'll have a great time.”
Cumbria County Council have introduced
two changes to the Dales Way footpath after
consultation with the Dales Way Association.
These changes are in line with our aims to
reduce walking on the road when possible.
One of the routes uses an existing Right
of Way and the other brings the footpath
back to the definitive line.
The first change is as you descend from
the stile onto the minor road that leads to
Thatchmoor Head (SD 5836 9602). To avoid the
road walking to the railway bridge, cross
the road and mount the stile which now has a
Dales Way finger post erected.
Following down the side of the field turn
left at the bottom corner and after climbing
[and descending if you want to make
progress] a rather large ladder stile,
continue to walk alongside the hedge then
emerge through a gate to the railway bridge.
You are now back en route.
The second change moves the footpath to
what is called the definitive line, which is
legally where the footpath is but in this
case has been very rarely used. Exiting the
access drive from Grayrigg Foot (SD 5680
9663) most walkers turn right for 50 yards
then left along the access road to Thursgill
Farm. The correct route is now indicated
with a new Dales Way finger post which
directs you across the road to a large metal
Strike half right up the slope to join
the farm track midway down the slope. You
are now back en route.
Early walkers will find on both of these
new routes, an open field, but within time,
a track will emerge.
If at all in doubt, revert to the route
in your current guide book.
Alex McManus. Footpaths.
Suspension bridge to be repaired
A generous donation by a member of the
Dales Way Association will see the famous
Hebden suspension bridge across the River
Wharfe south of Grassington repaired. The
planking on the bridge is worn and in need
DWA member Eileen King has donated the
money in memory of her late husband Roy. The
couple have walked the Dales Way several
times and this
stretch along Wharfedale was one of their
favourite spots. Eileen has many happy
memories of Roy walking behind her on the
bridge and making it rock.
The suspension bridge was built in 1885
by local blacksmith William Bell and is of
an unusual design – there used to be a
support pillar in the middle of the river (see
here). The bridge suffered serious
damage in the floods of 1936 and was last
refurbished in 1989. The bridge will remain
open during the repairs.
Eileen joined other DWA members last
October on the walk from Menston to Ilkey –
part of the Leeds Dales Way Link – before
our AGM at the Riverside Hotel.