Under Open Skies...


Bradford Telegraph & Argus
Saturday, October 4, 2008

From "Book Of The Week" column by Mike Priestley

... For the more ambitious walkers, Tony and Chris Grogan have devised A Dales High Way, a 90-miles walk across the high country of the Dales. In their introduction they describe how the project came about.

"In September, 2007, we set off to walk from our home in Saltaire to Appleby-in-Westmorland, following ancient trade routes, green lanes and packhorse trails wherever possible. Each day brought new excitement as we explored the spectacular landscapes of the high country, until finally, in the lush Eden Valley, the red sandstone of Appleby Castle came into view...."

Their description of the route makes you want to pull your boots on and set off immediately.

"It covers some of the most beautiful scenery in the Yorkshire Dales from the darkly mysterious Rombalds Moor, with its Stone Age rock art, to the dramatic limestone scars of Malhamdale. It meanders along the banks of the River Ribble, where in autumn, salmon can be seen leaping up the waterfalls of Stainforth Force, and passes the isolated splendour of Sunbiggin Tarn. It climbs mighty Ingleborough and in a breathtaking six-mile ridge walk crosses the velvety folds of the Howgill Fells." It does all this (or encourages walkers to do all this) in eight day-long stages, the shortest and first being 7.5 miles and the longest (Chapel-le-Dale to Sedbergh) 15.7 miles. The geographical and historical points of interest our outlined for each section, with the route details being covered by the splendidly-detailed maps.

At £6.99 this is an excellently-produced, pocket-sized publication, printed in full colour on quality paper. It comes in a protective wallet and is available from local bookshops (including Saltaire bookshop) or via the website daleshighway.org.uk

See Bradford Telegraph & Argus website.

The Dalesman
November 2008

A new high way through the Dales

Paul Jackson finds out why a Saltaire couple have decided to devise their own long-distance walk through Yorkshire

Dalesman article November 2008A new long-distance walk has been launched to join several others which now criss-cross Yorkshire. Walks like the Wolds Way, Coast-to-Coast, Cleveland Way, Dales Way, Ribble Way and a host of others have been established after following the lead set by the daddy of them all, the Pennine Way.

Now Chris and Tony Grogan have come up with A Dales High Way which starts from their home town of Saltaire and finishes in Appleby. It roughly follows the direction of the railway, allowing walkers the bonus of a spectacular ride back on the Settle-Carlisle.

Chris told me how it all came about: "We've been active walkers for a number of years and enjoy both days out and longer walking holidays. We've walked a number of long-distance routes, including the Dales Way and the Coast-to-Coast path, and we've loved them.

"As we walked we often found ourselves fantasising about our perfect long distance path. It had to cross the Dales, taking in some of our favourite bits of this spectacular, interesting and varied landscape. It had to be a high level route, climbing up into the fells where every day we could look ahead and get a glimpse of what was still to come. It had to be possible to walk it in a week and it had to finish with a train ride.

"Eventually we stopped dreaming and started work. We decided to head north and to follow green lanes, packhorse trails and ancient trade routes wherever possible. We chose our home village of Saltaire as the starting point and Appleby in Westmorland on the Settle-Carlisle line, as the finish.

"We love the Settle-Carlisle line. There's a station in Saltaire and we often use the train to go walking. I grew up next to the line on a hill farm in Dentdale just below Arten Gill and as a child I always knew it was dinner time when the 'up' train crossed the viaduct."

The route is approximately ninety miles long and divides naturally into six sections - Rombalds Moor, Malhamdale, Ingleborough, Dentdale, Howgill Fells and the Eden Valley. Seasoned walkers might tackle one section each day but most people might find the first two sections too long and should add a couple of days.

Tony says: "Once we'd decided the guiding principles behind the walk, together with the start and finish points, then the general outline fell into place quite easily. Of course, there are many possible routes between any two points along the way and we had to walk most of them, but by and large it wasn't difficult to decide.

"There were, however, a couple of places where we had two alternative routes and we couldn't decide which to choose. One was the route from Addingham High Moor over to Skipton. We had one way curving above Silsden and over the top of Skipton Moor, the other dropping to Addingham and then following the Roman Road to Skipton. In the end we opted for the latter, and now have no doubts that it was the right decision, but there are pros and cons for both and it was a tough task deciding.

"We tried to walk each section at different times of the year, to see how the route held up under differing weather conditions. As you can imagine, the last couple of years have been pretty wet, so the route has been well tested."

Tony, Chris and JessThroughout the time the pair worked on the walk, Tony was also a van driver for a local bakery, Hughes of Saltaire, who deliver across Yorkshire.

"It meant an early start, 5 to 5.30 each morning," says Tony. "But I was usually finished by 1pm so I could set off in the afternoon with the dog and walk sections nearer to Saltaire.

"The train made life much easier. I could leave home and be at Ribblehead in little over an hour. Further afield we could base ourselves at Chris's mum's in Dent for a couple of days, or camp overnight at Kirkby Stephen.

"We were checking the final route in detail last September when the Foot and Mouth outbreak in Surrey occurred. That was a worrying time for everyone and the restrictions meant that there were more cattle than usual in the fields across the region. But thankfully the restrictions were lifted just as we set off to walk the route in its entirety for the first time late in September 2007."

After gaining useful helpand advice from officers from the Yorkshire Dales National Park, local authorities and fellow walkers, they have produced a handy guide to the route which includes maps and suggested itineraries and accommodation.

Tony says: "The route guide is intended to be a very practical book and the colourful and detailed strip maps, inspired in part by Arthur Gemmell's famous Stile Maps, are its main feature.

"Our next plan is to write A Dales High Way Companion, a book to accompany the walk which goes into more detail about the culture, history and geology of this fascinating route. After that we intend to produce a couple of collections of shorter walks that can be enjoyed in a day or a weekend using the same style of maps."


The guide, which costs £6.99 (ISBN 9780955998706), is accompanied by a website www.daleshighway.org.uk. Walkers can share their experiences on the forum and it is planned to run regular news stories. The guide comes in a handy waterproof wallet and can be bought direct from the authors at Skyware Ltd, 48 Albert Avenue, Saltaire BD18 4NT, via the website or from tourist information centres and shops along the route.

See The Dalesman website.

The Westmorland Gazette
November 28, 2008

90 miles of sheer delight among the Dales, by Ann Clarke

A Dales High Way, by Tony & Chris Grogan. Skyware Ltd, £6.99 ISBN 978-0-9559987-0-6

For those who love long-distance walking, this new 90-mile route from Saltaire, near Shipley, to Appleby will be a delight. Taking in some of the glorious high country of the Yorkshire Dales, exploring its rich history, geology and culture, this pocket-sized guide divides the route into six sections with detailed maps and text to help you follow the way. The authors suggest the return journey should be by train along the stunning Settle-Carlisle Railway and I can think of no better way to end this spectacular walk.

See The Westmorland Gazette website.

STRIDER  - Journal of the Long Distance Walkers Association
November  2008, 112

BOOK REVIEW by Jay Dingley

A DALES HIGH WAY By Tony & Chris Grogan, Skyware Press
ISBN 978-0-9559987-0-6 56pp 2008 £6.99

DO NOT be confused by the title of this book - it is not another book about the Dales Way. This is a guide to a new 90 mile high level route between Saltaire in West Yorkshire and Appleby-in-Westmorland. This pocket sized book contains many interesting photographs and informative descriptions of the history, geology and the culture of the area - worth buying for these alone.

The route descriptions divide the walk into six sections. The first part is over the gritstone, peat covered Rombalds Moor, which lies between Airedale and Wharfedale. Ancient tracks lead the walker to Skipton from where the route traverses Malhamdale with its spectacular limestone scenery.. After Settle, the route climbs over Ingleborough (of three peaks fame) to Chapel le Dale and then follows an ancient packhorse route via Dent to Sedbergh passing Ribblehead viaduct and Whernside (an alternative over the top of Whernside is given). The route then crosses the entire range of the Howgill Fells to Newbiggin-on-Lune, then via the Eden Valley to Appleby-in-Westmorland.

A small scale map plus several larger scale, well-annotated maps form the route description. These are comprehensive and appear easy to follow but OL2 and OL19 would be worth carrying for walkers who like the bigger picture.

The walk itself is divided into eight days, ranging from 7.5 miles to 15.7 miles so combining two sections is a possibility. However, the authors suggest detours so it is well worth studying these options before rushing from start to finish. The route descriptions suggest diversions in the case of bad weather - bad weather in England! surely not!! Accommodation is not listed in the book but detailed lists are available on the official web site.

This looks like an interesting walk linking areas which many members may have walked. For those of you who enjoy linear walks but hate the problem of finding your way back to the start, the authors recommend returning to Saltaire on the Settle - Carlisle railway. An excellent idea and what a brilliant opportunity to sit back and admire the scenery you have just walked through.

See Long Distance Walkers Association website.

West Riding Rambler
January 2009

BOOK REVIEW by Keith Wadd

A Dales High Way

A Dales High Way is the name of a brand new long distance walk from Saltaire to Appleby. The 93 mile walk devised by Chris and Tony Grogan who live at Saltaire follows ancient trade routes, green lanes and pack horse trails as well as many footpaths. It conveniently divides into 8 sections, linking Saltaire, Ilkley, Skipton, Malham, Stainforth, Chapel-le-Dale, Sedbergh, Newbiggin-on-Lune before finishing in the attractive town of Appleby. The return to West Yorkshire is of course by means of the Settle to Carlisle railway.

"A Dales High Way" really is a high way in many places, and goes over Rombalds Moor, Skipton Moor, Sharp Haw, Weets Top, Ingleborough, Whernside (optional) and the Howgills.

Designed to fit snugly into the walker's pocket "A Dales High Way Route Guide" describes the route in detail. It contains large-scale coloured maps for every two to four miles of the route, and these are full of detailed helpful directions. Alongside the maps is a succinct, knowledgeable commentary on places of geological or historical interest met on the way. There are also many attractive photographs. The route guide retails at £6.99, and is on sale via the website www.daleshighway.org.uk

See The West Riding Ramblers website.

Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line Magazine, 
February 2009

Book Review by Peter G. Davies

"A Dales High Way" by Tony and Chris Grogan - Saltaire to Appleby

This route is different from other walks following the course of the Settle-Carlisle railway. The route begins in the historic village of Saltaire, founded by the Victorian Philanthropist Sir Titus Salt, and crosses Ilkley Moor towards Ilkley before joining part of a prehistoric track, called 'Rombalds Way' by the historian E.T. Cowling. This route is followed to Skipton. A very long first day of 17.9 miles which could be broken overnight in Ilkley for walkers not resident in West Yorkshire.

From Skipton, the route enters the Yorkshire Dales National Park with a climb over Sharp Haw, before continuing to the village of Hetton. Maintaining height with extensive views, the route continues towards the fascinating limestone country of Malham passing with a short diversion to Gordale Scar, and continuing towards Malham Cove.

The route then follows Stockdale Lane via Nappa Cross to Settle where it joins the Settle and Carlisle railway. From Settle, the route is over Smearset Scar to the village of Feizor and the delightful valley of Crumackdale. The gentle limestone country is then left behind for a stiff climb over Ingleborough, followed by a steep descent into Chapel-le-Dale. This gives an opportunity to visit St. Leonard's Church to see the graves of the workforce who constructed the Ribblehead Viaduct and Blea Moor Tunnel. Day walkers can enjoy a walk along the ridge over Simon and Park Fells to Ribblehead for the train journey home. An alternative route is offered, should the weather be inclement, for the climb over Ingleborough.

There is then an optional climb over Whernside, otherwise walkers follow the Craven Way over the shoulder of Whernside to enjoy the stunning beauty of Dentdale and the delightful village of Dent. The route continues of Frostrow Fell to Sedbergh, before embarking on a traverse of the green velvety Howgill Fells to Newbiggin-on-Lune. A low level alternative route is given for this section of the walk if inclement weather should be experienced on the Howgill Fells.

Limestone country is once again reached between Newbiggin-on-Lune and Appleby where the verdant Eden Valley is reached.

An excellent and innovative route which is to be highly recommended for dedicated fell walkers - my feet are itching to get started on this walk! The book is beautifully illustrated with photographs of points of interest along the route. As far as Dent Dale it should be possible to do the walk in day stages from West Yorkshire, making use of the rail services; however, between Dent and Appleby, accommodation will have to be found. This is readily available on the website: www.daleshighway.org.uk

The publication is in a useful plastic wallet to keep it dry in wet conditions and the route is clearly shown in the form of a strip map with the route directions printed on it. You do however need to take the relevant Ordnance Survey maps with you.

Available from the FoSCL shops at Settle and Appleby, via the website: www.daleshighway.org.uk Or by mail order from: Skyware Ltd, 48 Albert Ave., Saltaire BD18 4NT. Cost £6.99 + £1.00 p&p.

See Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line online.

Yorkshire Post
Saturday March 21 2009

Head for the hills and explore the region's highlights

Yorkshire is criss-crossed by some of the best-known walking routes in Britain and now there is a new addition to the list. Roger Ratcliffe reports.

People who devise long-distance footpaths usually have a very obvious start and finish to their routes. The Pennine Way, for example, is a 270-mile walk from one end of England's backbone to the other, while Alfred Wainwright's Coast to Coast route links the Irish Sea with the North Sea. 

For husband and wife Tony and Chris Grogan, however, their objective was rather more loosely defined. They wanted to be able to leave their front door in the famous Victorian mill village of Saltaire, near Bradford, and walk northwards using mostly the highest Yorkshire Post feature, 21 March 2009ground they could find until the landscape began to flatten out. 

And when they decided it was time for home, they wanted to make the return journey via the Settle-Carlisle railway line and its southern extension back to Saltaire station. 

Which is how they gave birth to the idea of their "A Dales High Way", a new walking route on existing public rights of way that begins in streets which are the epitome of industrial West Yorkshire and ends at the market town of Appleby in Cumbria's picturesque Eden Valley. 

The Grogans have described, mapped out and illustrated their walk in a new 56-page guidebook. And as seasoned long-distance walkers they had it printed in what they regard as their perfect guidebook format measuring just 21cm tall by 10 cm wide, contained in a weatherproof slipcase which fits neatly into most pockets to make it readily available for checking. 

"Our walk was not originally intended as a book," says Chris. "We'd done quite a few of the official long-distance walks but this one was something we just thought we'd try, linking the bits of the Yorkshire Dales we loved best. 

"When we walked the Dales Way from Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere a few years back we found a lot of it kept to the riverbanks in Wharfedale and Dentdale and we kept looking up at the tops thinking: 'Hmmmm, we'd really love to be up there.'" 

Describing themselves as "enthusiastic fellwalkers but definitely not mountaineers", they set about devising their own route through the Dales that would, as much as possible, stick to the National Park's higher ground. 

To that end, within half an hour of the starting point at Sir Titus Salt's model village of Saltaire the route climbs through woods at Shipley Glen to reach the southern flanks of the long whaleback of Rombalds Moor that eventually becomes the more celebrated Ilkley Moor. 

Although an "escape route" is suggested for overnighting in Ilkley, the route continues west on the moor and keeps to higher ground on Skipton Moor before crossing into the National Park and traversing Malham Moor. 

After taking in the 2,373ft summit of Ingleborough - one of the famous Three Peaks and highest point reached on the walk - the footpath rounds the shoulder of Whernside on an old drovers' route known as the Craven Way to take walkers down into Dentdale. It then crosses Longstone Fell to the town of Sedbergh and finishes with a 24-mile traverse of the Howgill Fells. 

Whilst most of the route is high-level walking, the Grogans resisted the temptation to aim for every summit they could find, preferring the tops of Penyghent and Whernside to remain "tantalizing". 

Says Tony: "We did think about bringing in all Three Peaks but we didn't want a walk that picked off all the obvious targets. Anybody can come back and climb Penyghent, or even make a detour." 

Tony produced the book himself on his PC, and illustrated it with his photographs and maps. As a partner to the book he has also set up a website to provide prospective walkers with all the information they need to know, from where to find a room for the night to news of special events taking place along the route. The site is frequently updated. 

Well over 1000 long-distance walks - routes of more than 20 miles in length - have been established in Britain since the Pennine Way from Edale in the Peak District to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders opened in 1965. Some like the Pennine Way, the Cleveland Way and the Yorkshire Wolds Way have been given official recognition as "National Trails." Others such as the Coast to Coast have the lesser designation of "Recreational Path." 

"We're not bothered about our walk receiving official blessing," Tony says. "We'll be quite happy for people to use the route and enjoy it." 

They are intending to walk the Yorkshire Wolds Way this summer, but will also be back walking stretches of the Dales High Way. "There are some bits of it I really love," Chris says. 

"There's the point at Weets Top, beyond Hetton, when you move from moorland scenery to limestone country and on a clear day when the sun is shining on the limestone it's absolutely stunning. I remember doing it one evening and the sun was starting to set, and everything looked absolutely glorious." 

A Dales High Way Companion is currently being written, or as Chris puts it "the book you take to pub after a hard day's slog." It gives more background to the route, covering things like archaeology, wildlife, history and culture.

Dales High Way (panel)

The authors have split the 90-mile route into eight lengths, giving time for exploration of local villages and features along the way.

Day 1: Saltaire to Ilkley (7.5 miles) 
Day 2: Ilkley to Skipton (11.4 miles) 
Day 3: Skipton to Malham (12.9 miles) 
Day 4: Malham to Stainforth (10.3 miles) 
Day 5: Stainforth to Chapel-le-Dale (11.6 miles) 
Day 6: Chapel-le-Dale to Sedbergh (15.7 miles) 
Day 7: Sedbergh to Newbiggin-on-Lune (10.9 miles) 
Day 8: Newbiggin-on-Lune to Appleby (12.7 miles)

A Dales High Way by Tony and Chris Grogan is published by Skyware Ltd., price £6.99. The book can be ordered online at www.skyware.co.uk. To order from the Yorkshire Post Bookshop, call free on 0800 0153232 or go online at www.yorkshirepostbookshop.co.uk . Postage and packing Is £2.75. Full details of the route and accommodation options can be found on www.daleshighway.org.uk

See The Yorkshire Post website

Bradford Telegraph & Argus
Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Book Of The Week" by Jim Greenhalf


The Dales walking 'pal' that is well worth taking along in your backpack

A Dales High Way Companion by Tony and Chris Grogan
Skyware Ltd. £9.99

Tony Grogan is better known to me as the intrepid author of The Pickles Papers and an occasional state-of-Bradford publication in the late 1980s called Knee Deep In S..t.

His last outing in print about a year ago, A Dales High Way; Route Guide, passed me by - unlike his latest, A Dales High Way Companion, compiled and written with his wife Chris.

If you fancy hiking the 93 miles from Saltaire to Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, this beautifully designed and illustrated book would indeed be an ideal companion to have in the back-pack.

It's just the kind of book for people like me who can't tell the difference between maidenhair spleenwort and Jacob's ladder, a skylark and meadow pipit, for it includes local history, geology, flora and fauna, route maps and photographs.

The six sections cover the ground from Saltaire to Skipton; Skipton to Settle; Settle to Chapel-le-Dale Hill Inn; Hill Inn to Sedbergh; Sedbergh to Newbiggin-on-Lune; and Newbiggin to journey's end at Appleby.

Tony and Chris, who first walked the route in 2007, calculate that the journey can be done in eight days, and include diversions into Ilkley, Malham and Stainforth. The longest stretch, Chapel-le-Dale to Sedbergh, is 15.7 miles.

This is a fireside companion of a book. Looking through, it is easy to imagine a group of tired walkers who have just followed the red route from Skipton to Settle recuperating after dinner over a drink, looking through the page about the Romans in Brigantia.

Although that might sound like the name of a shopping mall, it was a powerful northern kingdom ruled over by Queen Cartimandua and her husband Venutius. She sided with the Romans. He went the other way. Such is marriage.

If you want to know what happened next - if you're not online or in possession of the Encyclopedia Britannica - you'll have to acquire a copy of the Grogans' book.

Tony advises walkers to book in advance.

He said: "We have a website that supports the book, which has an accommodation guide along the way - B&Bs, prices and contact numbers.

"Some of the places don't have a lot of accommodation, so you'll have to book in advance - Chapel-le-Dale in particular.

"There is a company called Brigantes. They will transfer your baggage from place to place so that you only go with a light day pack. They charge something like £8 a bag. They will also book all your accommodation as well, but you pay extra for that. You can find their address on our website as well."

More than 1,000 copies of the Grogans' first guide have been sold. Another 2,000 copies of the new book have been published. With the tourist body Welcome To Yorkshire spending millions publicising the delights of Yorkshire throughout the world, this book may well sell faster than its predecessor.

The book's well worth the cover price. Even if you don't actually walk the walk, you can sit at home and do it in your head.

A Dales High Way Companion can be bought online via daleshighway.org.uk, from bookshops, or by post from Skyware Ltd, 48 Albert Avenue, Saltaire, Shipley BD18 4NT, at £9.99 plus £1 for postage and packing.

See Bradford Telegraph & Argus website.

The Westmorland Gazette
Wednesday 7th October 2009

Review by Mike Addison

Dales High Way Companion, Tony & Chris Grogan, Skyware £9.99 

THIS book covers the route of a new, long distance walk covering 90 miles from Saltaire in West Yorkshire to Appleby-in-Westmorland.

It is the perfect companion for a tough trek that visits Ingleborough, the Howgills, Dentdale and the Eden Valley.

There are some wonderful photographs and the book also explores the geology, history, culture and wildlife of the places visited.

I cannot recommend this guide highly enough.

Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line Magazine, 
November 2009

Review by Pete Shaw

"A Dales High Way Companion" by Tony and Chris Grogan

This book of 112 pages contains a tour along the Dales High Way, a 90 mile long distance walk from Saltaire, in West Yorkshire, to Appleby, in Cumbria. FoSCL members Tony and Chris published 'A Dales High Way' last year which was a route guide. This new book is a more in-depth look at the landscape, geology, scenery, towns and villages en route, plus botany and zoology.. It is meant to do as its title suggests - be a companion book to the original guide, a purpose it will serve very well, but I found it to be an excellent stand-alone read too. Well written text, maps and drawings - copiously illustrated with black + white and colour photographs, it would make a fine present for you, or a friend. Thoroughly recommended and available from the FoSCL Christmas Sales Department at £9.99 plus p+p £1.70.

See Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line online.

The Dales Way Association newsletter
Autumn 2009

DALES HIGH WAY by Steve Taylor

The hardier souls amongst you may wish to attempt the Dales High Way, a walk that has just been brought to my attention, a 90-mile high-level route between Saltaire (on the DW Bradford-Ilkley link) and Appleby-in-Westmorland.

The walk takes in Rombalds Moor, Skipton, Malhamdale, Settle, Chapel-le-Dale, Ingleborough, Ribblehead, Whernside, then follows an ancient packhorse route to Dent, Sedbergh and over the Howgills to Newbiggin-on-Lune and along the Eden Valley to Appleby-in-Westmorland. There are low-level alternatives for the higher sections.

The walk is divided into eight days with sections ranging from 7 ½ miles to 15 ½ miles although two sections can be combined. It comprises 14,000 feet of ascent.

Due to its popularity, the route is now supported by Brigantes - the baggage couriers. Details of this firm may be found in the DW handbook.

It is so popular that if you hit on the Long Distance Walkers' Association website you will see that there is a tracklog with, wait for it, 10-digit GPS derived grid references that you can download into your hand-held devices although Chris believes that there is a small charge.

However, more knowledgeable heads than mine say that whereas the DHW cannot be said to follow the path of the DW (even though at a greater altitude) it is nevertheless an extremely good and challenging walk in its own right. By taking in, as it does, Malhamdale and elsewhere it is clear that the DW route is not strictly followed. So if one of ye taks the high road and one taks the low road don't expect to meet up in Bowness coz you won't. (please excuse my Scots accent) I am informed that the only thing that the DW and DHW have in common is the word 'Dales' in the title and that it is somewhat more strenuous than the DW but I am assured that you will enjoy it all the same. Once my chipped fingernail heals I may join you.

For those who are interested a guide, A Dales High Way: Route Guide, by Tony & Chris Grogan, is available for £6.99 (56pp) from Skyware Ltd., 48 Albert Avenue, Shipley, West Yorkshire. BD18 4NT. ISBN 978-0-9559987-0-6. It contains information on the history, geology, culture etc. of the Dales High Way corridor. Similar to our esteemed Chair's book but with altitude (get it -attitude/altitude). Oh why do I bother? Funny, that's what a lot of you ask me.

I am pleased to say that we had the pleasure of the authors' company on some of the later walks. In fact they loved you all so much that they are now fully paid up members of the DWA. Welcome to you both.

Tony and Chris have just sent me a copy of their new book, published 20th September and entitled A Dales High Way Companion (ISBN 978-0-9559987-1-3) and available through all good bookshops and from the above address priced at £9.99 plus £1.00 p & p or via the website www.daleshighway.org.uk. The authors say 'it's the book you read in the pub after a long day's walking'. However, I would take issue with this statement. I would venture to suggest that this book, together with a wee dram, will get all you armchair travellers through those long dark winter evenings and prepare you for a summer of walking the DHW. So send off for both books now.

It comprises 112 pages jam-packed full of both black-and-white and colour photos, maps, diagrams and articles about places and personalities, flora and fauna, customs and culture and more besides. Truly can one say that what Colin's DW book is to the DW Route Guide so does the DHW Companion complement the DHW RG.

In the authors own words 'the book includes a detailed description of the route, but more importantly it explores the fascinating geology, history, culture and wildlife of the places visited. It is designed to help you get the maximum enjoyment from your walk, whether it's finding rock art carved by our Stone Age ancestors, spotting an early purple orchid or visiting the best preserved medieval castles in England'.

See the Dales Way Association website

West Riding Rambler
January 2010

Book review - A Dales High Way Companion

by Keith Wadd

Last year 2008 "A Dales High Way" was published, a detailed description and guide to a 92 mile high level route across the Yorkshire Dales starting at Saltaire, and finishing at Appleby. Now Tony and Chris Grogan have produced "A Dales High Way Companion" to go with it.

In its own words: "A Dales High Way ...is a journey through place and time. A Dales High Way Companion is the story of the journey. It includes a detailed description of the route ...and, more importantly though, it explores the fascinating geology, history, culture and wildlife of the places visited."

It's a nice book and an enjoyable read. It's a succinct, erudite and readable description of the many features of interest you will encounter en route as you walk the High Way. It's very good on the geology of the Yorkshire Dales, and it's also very good on the history as the route takes in something from every major human époque starting from the flint slivers left on Ilkley Moor by our ancestors of the Middle Stone Age. Recent history is not neglected, and you can learn more about Saltaire, the Settle and Carlisle Railway, hill farming, and fell racing. The book is also good on the flora and fauna of the Dales including the fell ponies of the Howgills. The photos are plentiful and full of interest.

Many people will elect to walk the High Way, and it is an enjoyable route for a week's walking holiday. Many people will never do the walk from start to finish, or even remotely contemplate it, but they still will find the book useful and enjoyable. Maybe they'll be able to incorporate bits of a Dales High Way into their own walks, and gain a heightened appreciation of what they see around them and what to look for, maybe they'll just enjoy the book for walks in the imagination. It's also a good book for anyone who wants a readable introduction to what the Yorkshire Dales are all about. If I have a quibble, it is that I would have preferred one book rather than two, and the detailed maps in the first book would have gone well beside the route descriptions in the Companion.

Tony and Chris Grogan "A Dales High Way Companion" Skyware Ltd 2009, £9.99, ISBN 978-0-9559987-1-3

See The West Riding Ramblers website.

Yorkshire Dales Review
January 2010

A DALES HIGH WAY COMPANION Tony and Chris Grogan (Skyware £9.99) (ISBN 978-0-9559987-1-3);
A DALES HIGH WAY ROUTE GUIDE: (Skyware £6.99) (ISBN 978-0-9559987-0-6)
Available locally or via Skyware Ltd - www.skyware.co.uk

Since the launch and subsequent success of the Dales Way 40 years ago, there have been several more author-inspired long distance trails in the Yorkshire Dales, some of them very good routes indeed, including such classic walks as Wainwright's Coast to Coast or Sheila Gordon's Lady Anne's Way.

Long distance walking is one of the purest, most sustainable ways of experiencing the countryside; the walker fully appreciates the enormous scale and subtle beauty of the landscape. Staying overnight also means contributing more to the local economy. More routes mean more choice, less erosion than if all such walks were focused on just one or two big name routes.

So a warm welcome to Tony and Chris Grogan's Dales High Way, a new 90 mile route which roughly parallels the Dales Way over generally higher land to the west. It starts from Saltaire crossing Rombalds Moor to Ilkley and Skipton, passing Weets Cross above Malham, over Ingleborough and the Howgills, then heading north to Appleby. The High Way's green credentials are further enhanced by integrating the route with the Settle Carlisle Railway, with useful break points at Skipton, Settle and Ribblehead, though some of the day stages look tough especially if you need to extend them to access transport.

Promoted through a superbly illustrated Companion booklet, rich in local geology, history and wildlife, with detailed OS-based maps in an excellent Route Guide, the Dales High Way is a sure-fire winner for all keen Dales' walkers.

Colin Speakman

See Yorkshire Dales Society website.

Strider (journal of the Long Distance Walkers Association)
April 2010.

Skyware ISBN 978-0955998713 112pp 2009 £9.99

A Dales High Way is a journey through time and space and 'A Dales High Way Companion' is the story of that journey. This 112 page, A5 paperback is an illustrated guide to the new long distance walk (officially launched in 2008) from Saltaire, near Shipley, in West Yorkshire, to Appleby in Westmorland, in Cumbria. It includes a detailed description of the route and also explores the fascinating geology, history, culture and wildlife of the places visited. It's designed to help you get the maximum enjoyment from your walk, whether it's finding Stone Age rock art, spotting an early purple orchid or visiting the best preserved medieval castle in England. The book is copiously illustrated with colour and black and white photographs, including a steam train crossing Ribblehead viaduct. The book complements 'A Dales High Way: Route Guide', by the same authors (reviewed in December 2008 Strider), which has full colour strip maps at 1:25,000, and is best read alongside it. The Companion provides a more in-depth look at the landscape, flora and fauna, scenes and towns and villages on route with maps, diagrams, and articles about places and personalities. 

The total of 93 miles includes diversions into Ilkley, Malham and Stainforth and the route itself divides naturally into 6 sections: Rombalds Moor, Malhamdale, Ingleborough, Dentdale, the Howgill Fells and the Eden Valley. This challenging route across the high country of the Yorkshire Dales was devised by locals Tony and Chris Grogan in 2007 who set oit to walk from their home in Saltaire to Appleby across moorlands, mountains, woodlands and riversides which connect some ancient and picturesque Dales villages and small towns. Following a variety of tracks, trails and green lanes, the Dales High Way incorporates 13,900 feet of ascent. This well-researched companion suggests returning via the Settle to Carlisle railway line which takes you past some of the landscape highlights you'll have walked on the linear route.

Margaret Parker, 

See the L.D.W.A. website