Dales High Way BBC Radio 4

Saul Ward Manager of Rohan Harrogate and founder of the Rohan Harrogate Lectures was up early 6.07 am Saturday 1st October, and caught the popular Radio 4 programme Ramblings. He found it intriguing and wanted to share it with us.

A Dales High Way author Chris Grogan joined Colin and Fleur Speakman and presenter Clare Balding to walk a section of the Dales Way, one of Britain’s most popular and cherished routes for over 40 years walkers have followed its route from Ilkley in Yorkshire to Bowness-on-Windermere, passing through the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the foothills of southern Lakeland. It also inspired the creation of  A Dales High Way, a sister route to the Dales Way which does what it says on the tin and follows a higher level route from Saltaire to Appleby-in-Westmorland.

This route runs through some of the most treasured outdoor areas in the UK and is extra special to Rohan because its passes through the town where Rohan started. Skipton through Hetton and Malham and down into Settle the Rohan Homeland.

Thanks Saul          Listen to the programme on BBC i-player here.

Chris & dog Jess under Attermire Scar

Chris just sent Rohantime the article below and the photo’s makes me want to go back!

When I was younger I thought walkers were mad. Barmy. I never walked anywhere that I didn’t have to.

We lived on a farm at the top of Dentdale and quad bikes weren’t the must-have piece of kit they are today so our legs were our transport. Whernside was on the doorstep but that’s where the sheep lived – the thought of climbing it for pleasure just never crossed my mind. The farm was remote though, and new faces were few and far between so hikers, as we called them, were a welcome link with the outside world, especially if they’d stop for a chat.

It wasn’t till I left the farm that I discovered the joy of time spent out on the fells just for fun. Living away from the hills I finally got it. Day trips led to walking holidays and an interest in long distance trails. Eventually I tackled my first distance walk – the Dales Way. It was an obvious choice. The route passed our farm and many of those walkers who stopped to talk to us were Dales Way walkers so it feels like it’s always been part of my life. Anyway I was hooked and I went on to tackle other multi-day trails then finally 4 years ago, with my husband Tony, created A Dales High Way.

It’s a 90 mile long distance trail from Saltaire to Appleby-in-Westmorland which crosses the high country of the Yorkshire Dales, climbing the fells and peaks of this most glorious and diverse landscape.

The route of A Dales High Way leaves the Victorian model village of Saltaire and for the next 28 miles or so crosses the great moorland of Rombalds and Skipton moors before heading into Malhamdale and limestone country. The walking is delightful on the well drained springy turf that covers the porous sediment. Malham and its environs are understandably popular but you soon leaves the crowds behind to cross Attermire Scar where Mesolithic people sought sanctuary in caves in the rock face over 8,000 years ago.

After Settle the way continues into one of the area’s hidden delights, Crummackdale. This lovely, secluded valley opens up into a dramatic landscape of broad limestone terraces.

A climb over Ingleborough leads to a vertiginous descent into Chapel-le-Dale before the route takes in Whernside and the beautiful valley of Dentdale, my old stomping ground. Leaving Dent the trail continues over Frostrow Fell where the first view of the Howgill Fells is revealed.

These soft, rounded hills, famously referred to by Wainwright as “squatting elephants” offer solitude and isolation rarely experienced by the walker in the Lakes or the Dales. The fells are open, with no walls to follow or stiles to climb and the Dales High Way crosses them in a single breathtaking ridge walk. The Howgills are the habitat of Fell ponies who roam in semi-wild family groups on the open hillsides and the ponies may well be your only companion.

Finally A Dales High Way heads into the lush green Eden Valley, where walkers can complete their adventure by taking the train south from Appleby on the fabulous Settle – Carlisle line.

Not bad eh – for a girl who thought walkers were nuts.

Chris Grogan. Oct 2011

For more information about A Dales High Way go to www.daleshighway.org.uk

A Dales High Way Route Guide (£6.99) and A Dales High Way Companion (£9.99) by Tony and Chris Grogan are published by Skyware Press, 48 Albert Avenue, Saltaire, Shipley BD18 4NT www.skyware.co.uk

Read Chris’s blog at www.highwaychris.blogspot.com

 

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