Ticket to STRIDE
might be the world's most picturesque rail line - and it's definitely
the only one with its own walking festival. Rachel Broomhead buys a
weekend ticket for the sensational Settle-Carlisle Railway.
Words: Rachel Broomhead. Photos: Richard Foulkes.
"SO BASICALLY, IT was walkers who saved this railway!"
Colin Speakman breaks into a big whiskery grin. Maybe he can tell I'm
unconvinced. "Really, I mean it," he insists. "There is a
great tradition of hiking along this line; it stretches back to the
We are talking about the celebrated Settle-Carlisle Railway, which
has surged through the heart-stopping scenery of the Yorkshire Dales
towards Lakeland since 1875, vaulting the 24 arches of the Ribblehead
Viaduct on the way. I guess Colin should know what he's talking about.
While at the Yorkshire dales National Park, he was the man who chartered
DalesRail, a train service just for walkers which breathed life into the
Settle-Carlisle when it faced shutdown in the 1970s. Still, trains and
trekkers don't instantly strike me as cosy bedfellows. I can't help
thinking about the High Speed 2 line, which threatens to carve a nasty
gash through the Chilterns. Aren't railways mainly for overworked
commuters, oily steam-engine enthusiasts and Michael Portillo?
Two walkers who need no convincing are Christine and Tony Grogan.
Their new book, Dales Rail Trails, picks up where Colin left off
persuading newcomers like me why this is a marriage to celebrate. It
sets out 32 delectable day-walks straight from the railway, making the
most of its parade of close-packed stations, their names conjuring
visions of green-blanketed valleys and crag-crinkled fell - names such
as Dent, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Appleby-in-Westmorland. And with the
railway's first walking festival inked into the calendar for this coming
May, I've recruited Chris and Tony to put me on the right track. With a
three-day Settle-Carlisle pass in the pocket of my Craghoppers. I plan
to find out for myself how walking paved the way for a railway
renaissance. First stop: Settle.
SUPERSTAR LANDSCAPES such as Ribblehead and Dentdale beckoning up the
line, Settle risks being the doormat of the Dales - trampled over in the
headlong rush north. But as I approach the town, I'm glad I decided to
linger here. The countryside bubbles up into rolling folds of
free-flowing pastures, as if in joy at being freed from the urban sprawl
of Leeds and Bradford. Settle itself is a handsome, grey-stone place and
I'm met at the station by Chris and tony, who are gagging to show me the
walk that kicks off their book.
After a short, sharp climb, we find ourselves on a stretch of the
Pennine Bridleway. "This is the point where the South Pennines
gritstone meets the limestone of the Dales," announces Tony
proudly, "We'll see the actual Craven Faultline in a minute."
This sounds a bit mundane to my ungeological ears - so I'm utterly
unprepared for the sight that greets us as we round the next
Rising out of the fields is an astonishing wall of rock - Attermire
Scar. Rough-hewn and pockmarked with fissures, it glowers over the
gentle hills like a furrowed brow. It's said that scars add character,
and Attermire is a mark of the wild country ahead of us. We're aiming
for Victoria Cave, pitted into its rockface, and echoing with ancient
stories. "Hard to believe, but archeologists have found evidence of
elephants and hyenas here," Chris tells me. "They've also
found 11,000-year-old weapons left by early humans who sheltered
With the rain now dripping off my nose, shelter sounds like a good
idea. Inside, we're surprised by some modern day cavemen, bearing
trekking poles instead of spears. It's a posse of five jolly walkers
from Morecambe - gents of a certain age. "The rain never stops
us," one tells me. "We're out every week without fail: you can
call us the Crag Rats or the Last of the Summer Swine!"
Suitably cheered, we bid farewell and emerge to find the sun
squinting through the clouds. A warm amber glow lights up the glistening
valleys and bounces off nearby limestone pavement. "On a clear
day," Chris says, "you can see Ingleborough from here - can't
you just picture it?" My imagination paints the romantic fell into
the scene, and I can't deny it looks right at home.
But there is more than enough visible here and now to keep me
enthralled. We call by the pretty farmhouse of Chris's friend Tom Lord,
and he walks us to his fields. "I'm so lucky here," he tells
me. "I think walkers enjoy the fresh air, but sometimes miss the
details - look closely and there are landscapes within landscapes.
He points to a moss-grown wall. "Just think, these walls have
been hand-built for hundreds of years, but they're now as much part of
the natural landscape as the hills themselves". Looking ahead to
the fellside rising in the distance, I can see what he means. Stone
walls run across the view like veins - they knit the place together,
patchworking the hills with their patterns. The land would look naked
As Tom leaves us to tend to a bedraggled bunch of Highland cattle,
it's time to head back to Settle. But Chris has one more trick up her
sleeve. Beside the old Craven Lime Works, unheralded and without
fanfare, lurks the cavernous Hoffman Kiln. "It isn't signposted or
anything!" complains Chris incredulously. I can see why she
wouldn't want this remnant of the mining age overlooked. Dormant and
abandoned, its dark, dome-roofed interior is lit at intervals by shafts
of light from the archways. In its contemplative calmness, it feels more
like a place of worship than a place of physical labour - a fit memorial
to a bygone era.
SEEMS ENTIRELY sure how Dent Station came to be called Dent Station. By
anyone's reckoning it's actually closest to the hamlet of Cowgill, and a
not insignificant 4.5 miles from the village it was named after. Perhaps
Dent is just so captivating, so undeniably delicious, that the railway
builders couldn't resist gracing one of their greatest feats of
engineering with its name. That's my theory, anyway, after an
early-morning wander through arguably the prettiest collection of
bricks, stones and cobbles in northern England.
At 350m, the station is the highest in England, and our plan on day
two is to walk south from there to Ribblehead, another stop on the
Settle-Carlisle line. But the loveliness of Dent makes a detour
irresistible. And perhaps that's why everyone seems to stake a claim to
it. The village lies within the Dales National Park, yet Cumbria stole
Dent from North Yorkshire in 1974, while Lancashire has contrived to
stamp it with its postcode. Any danger of an identity crisis is held at
bay by Dent's impregnable community spirit. Chris grew up nearby and she
struggles to make progress through the dinky streets as a stream of
childhood friends accost her for a chinwag. I'm in no hurry. It just
means more time to stop and delight in the whimsical white-fronted
houses that gather round the village's cobbled main junction, where its
two pubs - the Sun and the George & Dragon - and the slightly over
blown St Andrew's Church meet.
Reluctantly, and not before being lured into the marvelous Meadowside
Café for a mug of tea and a teacake, we head back to Dent Station to
begin our walk. Our path drops below the railway to meet the River Dee,
following the Dales Way and climbing again just in time to see the
tracks disappear into Blea Moor Tunnel - the longest on the
Settle-Carlisle line - and arrow on across the moor towards the mighty
Ribblehead Viaduct. We don't see Dentdale at its splendid best today,
but we see enough to appreciate its intimate beauty. Chris points out
the cluster of stone buildings where she was raised.
"My dad was a shepherd and I spent my childhood helping herd
sheep on the slopes of Whernside," she tells me. "It was a
magical place to grow up."
With the river in the foreground, the farmhouse is a pretty sight,
but as we cross the bridge for a closer look, Arten Gill Viaduct emerges
broodily out of the clouds and completes the picture to
Arten Gill is quickly followed by Dent Head Viaduct, then by a
gorgeous multi-tiered aqueduct at Little Dale - and the railway and its
structures begin to dominate my thoughts. Despite the years of hard
human toil that went into building the Settle-Carlisle line, it looks
absolutely effortless. The tracks trace the natural contours of the
landscape - that's why Dent Station never made it to Dent - and the
viaducts and tunnels exist to help it swoop and glide across these
sensational fells and moors. They feel utterly organic - just like
Farmer Lord's drystone walls.
By the time we reach Ribblehead, I'm already sold on the railway's
place within this landscape. But even for the wilderness-loving purist,
this immense 100ft-high monument can't fail to inspire respect for the
engineers and navies who built it. "It doesn't look like it's
man-made," nods Tony. "It looks totally natural, like it's
supposed to be there." I can't help but agree.
FINAL DAY of my Settle-Carlisle journey dawns much like the previous two
- greyish, dampish, less than super-special. In every other way, though,
it looks like today's walk will be worlds apart. For starters, it's much
further north - I'm catching the train from Settle to the Cumbrian
village of Lazonby, where the crumpled countryside of the Dales gives
way to the lush lowlands of the Eden Valley.
Meeting me from the train is David Singleton and his wife Ann, my
guides for the day. "Historically this area was plagued by reivers,
" David begins, "family gangs who would raid and plunder the
borderlands between England and Scotland." We're not expecting to
meet any looters on our walk today, but the Eden Valley still feels like
something of a no-man's land. It is sandwiched between the lakes and the
Pennines, and serious walkers tend to scarper in either direction,
leaving eastern Cumbria to twiddle its thumbs, like the perennial
unchosen member of the sports team.
Let them, I say. For there is no room for seriousness here. If my
first two days in Settle-Carlisle country had me musing on the
relationship between man and the land, today feels more like stepping
into an eccentric circus sideshow. After a pleasant meander along the
wooded banks of the broad River Eden, we arrive at the wonderfully weird
Lacy's Caves. They are the work of Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Lacy, the
18th-century owner of nearby Salkeld Hall, who cooked up the idea of
having five chambers carved into a red sandstone crag by the riverside -
just for the craic of it.
"We think he used the caves as a romantic folly," David
tells me. "He entertained his guests here - he even hired someone
to play the part of a resident hermit, sitting inside and spouting
gibberish when the colonel's friends came by." Feeling my way
around the soft red walls of the caverns, I decide the term folly has
never been more appropriate. But equally the romance of the place can't
be denied - Lacy's Caves make for a picturesque diversion on an
The singular Mr Lacy is also famous for once trying to blow up an
ancient stone circle, and it's the next stop on our walk. Long Meg and
her Daughters are a dancing coven of malevolent witches, turned to stone
in the nick of time by a powerful Scottish wizard, thus saving the world
from Armageddon - or so legend has it. The men Lacy tasked with
destroying the fossilized witches were spooked in the act by a
thunderstorm and refused to go through with it, fearful of the devilish
forces at work.
I'm so glad they didn't. The circle is a splendid sight still - Long
Meg is a 12ft slab of sheer sandstone (ah, perhaps our old friend Lacy
wanted a piece of her for his pleasure caves), while her beautiful
daughters arrange themselves obediently around her, a pair of statuesque
ash trees adding to the serenity of the scene.
As we stride south towards Langwathby Station, I piece together the
landscapes I have rattled through on my walker's journey along the
Settle-Carlisle line. From the Dales to the Eden, from the Ribblehead
Viaduct to the monoliths of Long Meg, I've been dazzled by the scenery
and the stories the railway opens up. In an hour's journey, the
Settle-Carlisle passenger is given a window into a fascinating
cross-section of northern England. On foot, as always, you discover so
If the proposed HS2 line is a bullet shot through the heart of the
British countryside, the Settle-Carlisle line is a pleasure boat,
touring our nation's greenest pastures, widest valleys and wildest moors
- and stopping off at all the loveliest spots along the way.
Tony and Chris Grogan's book Dales Rail Trails costs
£8.99: order it from skyware.co.uk. From May 1st to 7th, the
Ride2Stride Festival will host walks, talks and live music to celebrate
the scenery and culture along the Settle-Carlisle line. Visit
ride2stride.org.uk for details.
Walking Magazine here.
Yorkshire Post - Country Week
31 March 2012
Ticket to explore best of the Dales on foot
It is over 20 years since the threat of closure was lifted from
the Settle-Carlisle, the most scenic railway line in England. Roger
Ratcliffe meets the authors of a guide to walks along the route.
a beautiful early spring morning the train from Leeds to Settle is
There are passengers heaving suitcases or carrying shopping bags,
violin cases and briefcases. And more than most trains in the north of
England, this one is also full of people with backpacks and rucksacks.
The 72-mile route takes passengers through the Dales and over the 24
arches of the Ribblehead Viaduct before plunging into Blea Moor tunnel.
The train emerges in Dentdale and eventually leaves the Dales behind at
On this particular morning Chris and Tony Grogan are among the
rucksacked fraternity stepping onto the platform at Settle after the
short journey from their home at Saltaire, near Bradford.
It's a train journey they've taken scores of times over the years,
most recently while researching a new book of walks in what has become
known as Settle-Carlisle country.
Their book features 18 circular routes, most of them in the 8-10 mile
range and a further 16 linear walks stretching the distance to over 12
miles in places.
There is also a definitive guide to the famous 24-mile Three Peaks
Challenge Route and, for the super-fit, a new 48-mile walk called the
Six Peaks Trail.
It has been funded by the Yorkshire Dales National park's Sustainable
Development Fund, managed by the Yorkshire Dales Millennium trust, and
part of the proceeds from each book will go to help improving and
maintaining the footpaths in the Three Peaks area.
"We've both known this railway line all our lives," says
co-author Chris Grogan.
"In fact, I grew up next to it in Dentdale. My dad was a hill
farmer and had sheep on either side of the line.
"We lived in one of the little cluster of houses that's almost
in the shadow of Arten Gill viaduct, and as a little girl out playing
with my friends I knew to run home for dinner when the up-train went
across the viaduct at ten past twelve."
In her adult life, and now living within sight and sound of the line
that connects the Settle-Carlisle to Leeds, she has made frequent
journeys back along the line to walk in the Western Dales.
And she and husband Tony used it while researching one of their
previous walking guides, A Dales High Way.
That they were able to do so is thanks to the Friends of the
The Friends group was formed in 1981 to fight a proposal to close
this famous historic and scenic route. After eight years of campaigning,
the Government relented. It decided that the line must remain open after
Since that time, eight stations have been reopened and the number of
trains has increased. The Friends continue to campaign to have all the
stations fully restored, to have trains running between England and
Scotland again and for regular services to be reintroduced on the line
Chris finds it hard to imagine what life would have been like if the
closure notice had gone ahead. Although much of the line would probably
have been turned into a long-distance cycleway and footpath, the
stations would have become silent.
And the remotest, and arguably most beautiful, parts of the Yorkshire
Dales would have been hard to reach for hundreds of thousands of
Dales Rail Trails concentrates on the walking country along
the line between Settle and Kirkby Stephen.
The reason, says Tony Grogan, is that the landscape further north
towards Carlisle is less accessible, with short and medium-length routes
difficult to construct.
It is also the area which he and Chris know best and included in
their book are old favourites. For example there's the lovely walk west
from Settle to the hamlet of Feizor - location of a well-known café -
with a return over the dazzling limestone of Giggleswick Scar, and the
exploration of lonely Cotterdale from Garsdale Station.
The shortest walk is a six-mile route along the line from Horton-in-Ribblesdale
via the hamlet of Selside to Ribblehead Station.
The longest non-challenging walk is the fine linear route from Dent
Station to Ribblehead Station via the Ribble Way.
Says Chris: "These are not what you'd call easy strolls because
of the nature of the landscape, so even the shorter routes require a
certain amount of effort and fitness. The most accessible walks in the
book are those which begin and end at Settle, and they're good for
anyone who is getting to know the area.
"They tend to be a bit shorter, and the beauty of these walks is
that you return to a nice little town with cafes and pubs."
Although the 36 walks described in the book are all geared to use of
the railway line, they don't presuppose that walkers are arriving by
Tony describes the book as essentially a walking guide to the Western
Dales, and all of the circular routes can easily be accessed by
"The inescapable truth is that over ninety per cent of Yorkshire
Dales walkers come by car," he says. "But there is this great
alternative with the Settle-Carlisle, and the linear routes mean walkers
don't have to retrace their footsteps but can return from a station
further up or further down the line."
A week-long Settle-Carlisle Walking Festival is planned in May as a
celebration of the landscape and culture of the western side of the
The routes being featured during the festival will include an
exploration of the famous Victoria Cave and Attermire Scar.
There's to be a guided tour of the iconic Ribblehead Viaduct itself
and an ascent of "Yorkshire's Everest", Whernside.
Also planned is a strenuous walk from Garsdale to Kirkby Stephen
across Wild Boar Fell, and a walk along the eastern edge of Mallerstang
which is at the remotest north-western corner of the Yorkshire Dales
National Park. In their new book, the Grogans thought long and hard
about whether to include the 24-mile Three Peaks Challenge Route.
They had doubts because it is already walked by thousands of people
very year and there is already enough pressure on the path which suffers
In the end, says Tony, they really couldn't produce a book on
Settle-Carlisle walks without it. But it is hoped that walkers will do
the Three Peaks route by staying in the area for a few days rather than
walking it all in one trek.
In the same vein of encouraging people to holiday in the area, they
have constructed a new long-distance route.
This is the Six Peaks Trail, a 48-mile footpath which links the well
known Three Peaks (Penyghent, Whernside and Ingleborough) with the
lesser-walked summits of Great Knoutberry, Swarth Fell and Wild Boar
But many walkers will choose the shorter routes along the
Settle-Carlisle and delight in making use of the line.
As Chris says: "It's better to let the train take the strain
while you enjoy the walk."
SETTLE-CARLISLE ROUTE WALKING FESTIVAL
- The week-long Settle-Carlisle Walking Festival runs from May 1-7.
On each day there will be a programme of guided walks leaving from
stations along the Settle-Carlisle line.
- They will be led by experienced local guides.
- Good walking boots, waterproofs and food and drink for a full day
should be brought.
- The festival also includes folk music events in local pubs.
- There will be talks about the Settle-Carlisle line and its walking
country by well-known Dales experts.
- Speakers will include the ex-Dalesman editor Bill Mitchell and
Yorkshire Dales Society chairman Colin Speakman.
- Dales Rail Trails by Tony and Chris Grogan is published by
Skyware Press, price £8.99. It is available online from www.skyware.co.uk.
- Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line www.settle-carlisle.co.uk
See the Yorkshire Post
West Riding Rambler
SETTLE-CARLISLE WALKS BOOK PUBLISHED
"Dales Rail Trails" by Ramblers' members Tony and Chris
Grogan is a newly published book of walks based on the Settle-Carlisle
line (plus one walk from Clapham Station on the Morecambe line). Its
publication is timed to coincide with the "ride2stride", the
first Settle-Carlisle Walking Festival which runs from 1st May to 7th
All of the walks start and finish at railway stations. There are
eighteen circular walks, sixteen linear link walks, the Three Peaks
Challenge route, and The Six Peaks trail. All of the circular walks are
printed on two facing pages, the map on one side and the walk
description on the other. This makes for very easy use. The maps are
based on OS Explorer maps with superfluous detail omitted. The walks
routes are clearly highlighted, and there are numbers on the map which
relate to the walk descriptions on the adjacent page. The descriptions
are clear and succinct, but they still find space to note the major
viewpoints and indicate features of geological and historical interest.
There are lots of photographs, and they are all a delight. The book is
full of splendid routes and, as well as the higher peaks, the walks
include visits to Norber Erratics, Moughton, God's Bridge, Hellgill
Force, Pendragon Castle, and (a particular favourite of mine)
The linear link route enable the walker to start at one station and
finish at another. The route descriptions involve a bit of flicking from
map to map but there are some fine walks such as Settle to Horton in
Ribblesdale via Feizor, and Crummackdale, Clapham to Ribblehead,
Ribblehead to Dent, and Garsdale to Kirkby Stephen.
The book is published by Skyware of Saltaire and costs £8.99. It can
be bought online at www.skyware.co.uk The book is funded by the
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's Sustainable development Fund
which is managed by the Yorkshire Dales Millenium trust. A proportion of
the sale from each copy will be donated to the Friends of the Three
peaks to help maintain and improve the paths in the area.
See the West Riding
Ramblers website here.
Strider - journal of the Long
Distance Walkers Association
Book Review by Margaret Parker
DALES RAIL TRAILS
By Tony & Chris Grogan
ISBN: 978-0-95599-873-7 84pp 2011
Dales Rail Trails by Tony and Chris Grogan, the authors of A
Dales High Way, is a comprehensive little book of walks in the
Yorkshire Dales from the Settle to Carlisle railway line. It describes
18 circular walks from stations along the line between Settle and Kirkby
Stephen, each between 6 and 13 miles long, and 16 linear walks from
station to station. Full-page, annotated 1:25,000 maps are included
(with half-way points shown), together with concise descriptions of the
routes and places along the way. There is also a brief guide to the 24
mile Three Peaks Challenge Route and 48 mile Six Peaks Trail. The walks
generally stick to rights of way or follow fairly well-trod paths over
open access land and will provide a good overall appreciation and
understanding of the landscape of this fabulous walking country. All
routes include some uphill walking and are graded easy, moderate or
strenuous, strenuous being over 10 miles long with more than 500 metres
The authors' knowledge and enthusiasm for the area shine through this
concise book of varied and contrasting walks, and the book is usefully
supported by additional information on its website, which includes
timetables, accommodation and any route updates.
Profits from the sale of the book will help to maintain footpaths in
the Three Peaks area. So, as they say, let the train take the strain
while you enjoy the walking.
News of Long Distance Paths & Challenge Walks
Compiled by John Sparshatt
Six Peaks Trail 77 km / 48 miles
The Six Peaks trail follows the line of the railway from Settle to
Kirkby Stephen taking in Pen-y-ghent, Ingleborough, Whernside, Great
Knoutberry, Swarth Fell and Wild Boar Fell and is divided into four
sections for ease of transport and accommodation. Each section ends at a
railway station. This is a challenging route with over 9,300ft ascent
and all six peaks are Nuttalls and Hewitts, and all but Swarth Fell are
Marilyns. The landscape is exposed and good clear weather is a must for
the excellent views. The guidebook Dales Rail Trails also
features shorter walks, see page 36 in this Strider.
See the Long Distance walkers
Association (LDWA) website here.
Yorkshire Dales Review
STRIDING OUT FROM THE SETTLE-CARLISLE RAILWAY
DALES RAIL TRAILS
Tony & Chris Grogan
(ISBN 978 0 9559987 3 7)
SKYWARE PRESS £8.99
It seems unthinkable now, but only a generation ago people were
seriously putting forward the idea (even, say it quietly, the National
Park Authority) that when - not "if" - the Settle Carlisle
railway closed, it would make a wonderful walking and cycling route, a
bit like the Monsal Trail in the Peak District.
there were quite a few of us around at that time who didn't agree. Much
as we liked walking and cycling, we preferred to be able to see that
magnificently engineered railway, as much a part of the heritage of the
Dales as the stone walls and the lead mines, doing the job it was built
for - carrying passengers, freight and above all (because we were
walkers and cyclists), enabling us to reach and enjoy the glorious
landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales and the Eden Valley.
Thankfully, thanks to the combined efforts of many hundreds if not
thousands of individual people and scores of organisations, including
the Yorkshire Dales Society, common sense prevailed, and we now have the
railway as not only a key heavy freight and passenger artery between
Central England and Scotland, but one of the region's top visitor
attractions, known worldwide, that carries something like 750,000
passengers a year. Many travel the line purely to enjoy the spectacular
scenery from the carriage window.
A key factor in this change of perception was something that as far
back as 1975 was dubbed "Dales Rail" - a phrase designed to
encapsulate not just the railway line, but the landscape and scenery
through which it ran and which it enabled people to enjoy, by walking or
cycling and above all to experience, from footpaths or fell sides, the
glorious beauty of the Dales. Dales Rail was also about truly integrated
transport, too, buses that met trains at Garsdale Station for Hawes and
Swaledale, Sedbergh and Barbondale. It was about guided walks, about
sharing the companionable pleasures of a magnificent day on the fells,
enjoying linear walks along the fell tops or a valley side.
Not only were the tens of thousands of walkers who got to know the
Dales through the Settle-Carlisle line crucial in saving the line, but
the name Dales Rail is kept alive by Lancashire County Council in their
hugely popular summer Sunday Lancashire Dales Rail service from Preston
and Blackpool, accessed by using the otherwise freight only Ribble
Valley line between Clitheroe and Hellifield, with Lancashire Rail
Ramblers' group organising bus links and guided walks. Likewise, from
the Yorkshire end, the Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line and the
Friends of Dales Rail have kept the concept of using the train and bus
network for sustainable travel, linked to linear walking, alive. In more
recent years, thanks to crucial support from the Yorkshire Dales
Society, Dalesbus has provided a complimentary network of integrated bus
services, several of which are actually designed to meet trains along
the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle line at Skipton, Settle, Ribblehead, Dent and
Garsdale stations. The idea of the railway providing a steel spine of an
integrated travel network, fed by linking buses lay at the heart the
Dales Rail concept, as it now lies at the heart of Dalesbus.
How timely therefore to receive Dales Rail Trails, the latest
publication from Skyware Press, a superb collection of walks covering
the most spectacular central section of the line between Settle and
Kirkby Stephen, (including areas we hope will soon be in the newly
extended National Park). Published to coincide with the 2012
ride2stride Settle-Carlisle Walking Festival, the book contains no
less than 32 walks. 18 walks are circular and 16 are linear (point to
point), but each and everyone starts from an S&C station. As a bonus
there is a challenging Six Peak Trail route, a 48 mile hike over six
spectacular summits between Settle and Kirkby, including glorious Wild
Boar Fell. Split into four stages, between stations, each can be done in
a comfortable but not too demanding day. For good measure, there is also
a concise guide to the very (perhaps too well-known) Three Peaks
Challenge Walk, cross-referenced to other walks, starting at Horton
As with other books by Tony and Chris Grogan, this 84 page guide
contains well-researched and written interpretive text, accurate route
descriptions and superb 1:25,000 maps, OS based, but with heightened
details and clarity for walkers.
There is little doubt that this guidebook will attract many more
walkers to what is without question, some of the finest fell walking
country in Britain; an area which is also uniquely accessible by one of
the country's most spectacular railway lines. Railways and walking were
made to go together. In this book Tony and Chris prove what a perfect
match they can be and how that match can be achieved, in the Yorkshire
and Westmorland Dales.
See the Yorkshire Dales Society
What's New - Books, routes & maps
Dales Rail Trails
Tony & Chris Grogan, £8.99
Skyware, ISBN 978 0955998737
A collection of 32 walks from stations along the Settle-Carlisle
railway line, featuring 18 circular walks of between six and 13 miles,
and 14 linear walks from station to station. The book also includes a
guide to the Three Peaks Challenge walk and the Six Peaks Trail between
Settle and Kirkby Stephen. It's colourful and well thought-out, with
inventive routes and decent 1:25,000 maps.
See Walk magazine website.
25th February 2012
Settle-Carlisle railway line walks book to help fund path repairs
A new book of walks from stations along the world-famous
Settle-Carlisle railway line will help to preserve the iconic Three
Peaks of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Dales Rail Trails was funded by the Yorkshire Dales National Park
Authority's Sustainable Development Fund, which is managed by the
Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.
Authors Tony and Chris Grogan, from Saltaire publishers Skyware Ltd,
have decided that a proportion of the proceeds from sales of the book
will be donated to the Friends of the Three Peaks, a group run by the
authority, to help improve and maintain the footpath network.
The authority's Three Peaks project manager Steve Hastie said:
"This is yet another excellent offer of support from a local
business - and the Settle-Carlisle line is the ideal way to access the
area. Sustainable tourism is at the heart of the publication, so I'm
really happy with the link with the Friends of the Three Peaks."
Chris said: "As corporate members of the Friends of the Three
Peaks, we were more than willing to allocate some of the proceeds to the
vital work on the path network and we hope that it will benefit walkers
for a long time to come."
On sale at £8.99, the book contains 32 walks from stations along the
railway line as well as a guide to the popular 24-mile Three Peaks
Challenge route and details of the 48-mile Six Peaks Trail, which links
stations from Settle to Kirkby Stephen.
Meanwhile The Lion at Settle is donating 15p to the Friends of the
Three Peaks every time hungry customers chose a main course dish called
'Butchers Board' from its autumn /winter menu.
The pub also staged a quiz during Sponsored Three Peaks Week that
raised about £200 for the vital conservation work.
See The Craven Herald
Settle-Carlisle Railway Journal
Book review by David Singleton
Dales Rail Trails.
Chris & Tony Grogan.
Skyware Press; 82pp, £8.99 2012
Another New Year and another new walking book! However, this newly
published collection of walks in the Dales differs from many of its
predecessors in two ways. Firstly every walk here starts and ends at one
of the stations along the Settle to Carlisle railway between Settle and
Kirkby Stephen. Secondly, in addition to 18 circular routes there are 16
'link' walks which offer a greater choice of routes and create a number
of linear walks between adjacent stations along the line.
Each walk is described in a clear and concise manner and is
accompanied by a full colour map. The maps are based on the OS 1:25000
scale Explorer series but have been designed in a 'sketch' format with
unnecessary detail removed. Every gate and stile on the routes is
identified and clear instructions provided at relevant points (changes
of direction etc). The maps and instructions should give even the most
novice walker confidence to follow the routes independently. The
circular routes vary in length from 6 to 11 miles and the link routes
between 7 and 13 miles. In addition, the well known 3 Peaks challenge
route which ascends Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough is described
briefly and its route identified on the various maps.
For those whose appetite is whetted and want a real challenge, the
maps in this book can be used to create a 'Six Peaks Trail', which, as
its name suggests, is a route from Settle to Kirkby Stephen following
the line of the railway and taking in the six summits of Pen-y-ghent,
Ingleborough, Whernside, Great Knoutberry, Swarth Fell and Wild Boar
Fell - total distance of 48.4 miles with 3,050 metres of ascent.
The authors, Chris & Tony Grogan, are both active FoSCL members
and this is the third book they have authored and published (the others
being A Dales Highway and its companion, and a revised and updated
edition of Colin Speakman's Dales Way guide).
The book is supported by its own web site (www.dalesrailtrails.co.uk)
which has details of any route updates, public transport timetables,
accommodation and other services in the area. With its handy size (82
pages A5) this book is easily carried without adding unnecessary weight
to any walkers pack.
See The Friends of the
Settle-Carlisle Line website.
30 January, 2012
Book boost for Three Peaks paths
WALKERS will be able to take advantage of routes from stations along
the famous Settle Carlisle rail line while raising vital funds to
preserve Yorkshire’s Three Peaks.
Profits from a new book, called Dales Rail Trails, will be used to
help maintain the footpath network around Ingleborough, Whernside and
Authors Tony and Chris Grogan from the Saltaire-based publishers,
Skyware Ltd, have agreed to donate a proportion of the proceeds from the
sale of each copy to the Friends of the Three Peaks, a group which is
run by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.
The national park authority’s Three Peaks project manager, Steve
Hastie, said: “This is yet another excellent offer of support from a
local business – and the Settle Carlisle line is the ideal way to
access the area.
“Sustainable tourism is at the heart of the publication, so I’m
really happy with the link with the Friends of the Three Peaks.”
The book was financed by the national park authority’s Sustainable
Development Fund – which is managed by the Yorkshire Dales Millennium
Trust – and goes on sale tomorrow priced £8.99.
See the Yorkshire Post
January 27, 2012
Dales walking guide cash will aid Three Peaks footpath work
Liz Roberts, Reporter
Friday 27 January 2012 01:31 PM GMT
Ribblehead station, with Whernside in the distance
A new walkers’ guidebook will help maintain footpaths in the
Yorkshire Three Peaks area.
Part of the proceeds from sales of the publication, Dales Rail
Trails, will go to the Friends of the Three Peaks, which helps look
after rights of way around Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.
The new guidebook, which goes on sale from next Tuesday, details 32
walks from railway stations on the Settle to Carlisle line.
Authors Tony and Chris Grogan from Saltaire-based publishers Skyware
also describe the Three Peaks challenge route, a 39km (24-mile) walk
taking in the three fells, and the Six Peaks Trail, double length and
which links stations between Settle and Kirkby Stephen.
The book was funded by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s
sustainable development fund.
Chris Grogan said: “As corporate members of the Friends of the
Three Peaks, we were more than willing to allocate some of the proceeds
to the vital work on the path network and we hope that it will benefit
walkers for a long time to come.”
The YDNPA’s Three Peaks project manager Steve Hastie said: “This
is yet another excellent offer of support from a local business – and
the Settle-Carlisle line is the ideal way to access the area.
“Sustainable tourism is at the heart of the publication, so I’m
really happy with the link with the Friends of the Three Peaks.”
Malcolm Petyt, the authority’s member champion for recreation
management, added: “This is a very generous donation that is very much
“It’s good to see that more and more organisations and companies
are joining the Friends of the Three Peaks and helping us to conserve
and protect this very fragile environment for future generations.”
Dales Rail Trails costs £8.99 and is published by Skyware.
See grough magazine