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Country Walking
Spring 2012

Ticket to STRIDE

Ticket to Stride - Country Walking Magazine Spring 2012It 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 1930s."

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.

Rising out of the fileds is an astonishing wall of rock - Attermire Scar. It is a mark of the wild country ahead of us.WITH 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 crest. 

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 here." 

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 without them. 

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.

By the time we reach Ribblehead, I'm already sold on the railway's place within this landscape.NOBODY 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 perfection. 

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.

Long Meg keeps an eye on her ancient daughtersTHE 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 afternoon's walk. 

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 much more. 

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.

See Country 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.

Yorkshire Post Country Week, 31 March 2012On a beautiful early spring morning the train from Leeds to Settle is crowded.

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 Garsdale.

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 Settle-Carlisle Line.

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 all.

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 from Lancashire.

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 walkers.

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 train.

Tony describes the book as essentially a walking guide to the Western Dales, and all of the circular routes can easily be accessed by motorists.

"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 Yorkshire Dales.

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 from erosion.

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 Fell.

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."


  • 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 website here.

West Riding Rambler
April 2012


"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 May 2012.

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) Smardalegill Viaduct.

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
April 2012 

Book Review by Margaret Parker


By Tony & Chris Grogan 
Skyware Ltd 
ISBN: 978-0-95599-873-7   84pp   2011   £8.99

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 of ascent.

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
Spring 2012



Tony & Chris Grogan
(ISBN 978 0 9559987 3 7)

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.

Yorkshire Dales ReviewFortunately 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 Railway Station.

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.

Colin Speakman

See the Yorkshire Dales Society website

Walk Magazine
Spring 2012

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.

Craven Herald
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 website.

Settle-Carlisle Railway Journal 
February 2012

Book review by David Singleton

Dales Rail Trails. 
Chris & Tony Grogan. 
Skyware Press; 82pp, £8.99 2012 
ISBN 978-0-9559987-3-7

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.

Yorkshire Post
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 Penyghent.

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.


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grough magazine
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

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 appreciated.

“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.

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