Dales Way 2018

Members of Take a Hike have been walking stages of the Dales Way during spring and summer 2018 and a group of 20 intrepid walkers recently completed the final two stages. The Dales Way is an 84 mile long distance walk linking Ilkley with Bowness on Windermere. The route connects the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District National Parks, transporting us from the familiar territory of Wharfedale and Dentdale to the less well-trodden but delightful Howgills, Lune Valley and Lakeland foothills. We were blessed with excellent weather throughout, allowing us to enjoy the excellent scenery along this stunning route.

34 members of Take a Hike completed at least one stage of the Dales way, with 16 dedicated members completing all six stages, culminating in a weekend away (based in Kendal) to tick off the last two stages. A number of members who’d missed stages formed small groups to complete them in their own time, highlighting the dedication and enthusiasm for completing all 84 miles of the route. We were joined by new members along the way – 3 of them completed all stages and quickly becoming fully integrated within the group.

We were delighted to be joined by Dales Way creator Colin Speakman (Chairman of the Dales Way Association and also editor of the West Riding Rambler) for two stages. His knowledge of the route and tales of people and places (including many fine pubs!) along the way provided great entertainment and really enriched our experience of walking the Dales Way. Colin was very pleased that we completed many stages by relying entirely on public transport, including the fantastic DalesBus network which made the early stages of the walk so accessible. Even a broken down train on our Buckden to Ribblehead stage didn’t dampen enthusiasm!

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Dales Way and The Dales Way association are planning a number of events to celebrate – for details and to show your support for the Dales Way, please see: http://www.dalesway.org. A number of Ramblers groups including Take a Hike regularly organise walks that take in sections of the Dales Way – keep an eye on our walks diary for those and other walks in the Dales and beyond.

If longer distance walks are your thing then why not try one of the longer day walks advertised on our walks diary? We have a number of members who are keen on longer distance walking and an increasing number of longer walks are part of our regular programme of walks. Yorkshire is crossed by many long distance walks and a handful of national trails – let’s continue to get out and explore them.

Andy Newing.