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Welcome

Welcome to the Wild Yorkshire Way website.

The Wild Yorkshire Way is a "hop on, hop off" circular long distance hike of well over 500 miles, taking in some of Yorkshire's finest and wildest scenery, including parts of the Pennine Way, Yorkshire Three Peaks, Coast to Coast Walk, Cleveland Way, Yorkshire Wolds Way and Trans Pennine Trail. Use the interactive map on the right to explore the route, and choose a section to tackle. Very few people will attempt the entire route in one go, but you can enjoy sections of the route, or even single day walks, and slowly complete the walk by filling in the missing sections.

The route prefers high and wild terrain wherever possible, although the wildest and hardest sections usually have easier alternatives. You will notice that several day walks start and end at pubs, which is of course entirely intentional. This site is under continuous development and will be updated regularly in the coming months as I research the route.

If you want to know how your data is used on this site, along with other legal information, please refer to the Legal section of the site.

Fellow Walkers

It seems several fellow walkers enjoy combining their love of the countryside, especially Yorkshire, with web design. Here's some links to some other websites you will surely find interesting: - Yorkshire Walks - A great collection of Yorkshire routes to try.
The Walking Englishman - A site covering the whole of the UK but with great coverage of Yorkshire.
Please use my Feedback Form if you want a link to your site on here. If you're a pub, you'll have to promise me a free pint first.

Thank You

I've had a lot of help with this project, both technically and out in the field on the route. Many thanks and acknowledgements to the following: -

ABI Electronics Ltd of Dodworth, Barnsley for providing free web hosting and expert help and advice, especially from Gareth and Shaun. Thanks to all at ABI.

Ordnance Survey for their wonderful OpenSpace API mapping system, allowing me to include their 1:50000 maps on my site with my route overlaid.

Streetmap.co.uk for allowing links to the detailed 1:25000 maps on their site free of charge.

Alistair, for his expert help on web design and software for many projects over the years, culminating in this one.

Sarah (and Rebel) for help on researching the initial stages of the walk in my home territory, particularly the pubs on the route, and also for carrying my rucksack (with hers inside it) when my plastic knee ligament got a bit fed up.

Lindsay, for help in internet research, for being my emergency contact when I'm out on my own, for booking hotels and taxis, checking pub menus and opening times, and dishing out strict dietary advice while I'm on the Way.

Lastly, and of course most importantly, my German wife Susi, for her help in researching the Yorkshire Wolds Way section, again paying particular attention to the pubs on the route! Ta luv x

Zuletzt, aber natürlich auch am wichtigsten, meine deutsche Frau Susi, für ihre Hilfe beim Forschen auf dem Yorkshire Wolds Way, schon wieder mit besonderer Aufmerksamkeit bei den Pubs auf dem Weg! Danke Schatzi x

Legal Stuff

All information on this website is given in good faith, and I can't accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor can I accept responsibility for accidents or injuries sustained while following my route.

Wild Yorkshire Way, Copyright © 2016 - 2017 Ian Fletcher unless otherwise stated. All photos on this site are my own taken on the route, Copyright © 2013 - 2017 Ian Fletcher. If you wish to use any photo(s), please send me a high resolution photograph of a fiver.

Wild Yorkshire Way Route Map

Latest News

20/06/2017 - Let's Get Going!

After several skiing trips in the winter, one curtailed by a broken wrist after a failed attempt to fly on some steps in Innsbruck railway station, it was finally time to get back to the serious business of completing the Wild Yorkshire Way. I've got 125 miles to go, so I set off on Tuesday 20th June to tackle the 62 mile section from West Burton to Kilburn with its famous White Horse. This walk includes the low level crossing from the Dales to the North York Moors - a high, wild and boggy traverse over Buckden Pike and Great Whernside, where I camped wild for the night, then a tough featureless moorland crossing to Healey, just about the toughest section of the entire Way. A low level ramble followed until Kilburn, lovely to start with but with some unavoidable road walking and paths blocked by farmers later, before a well earned pint, delicious food and good conversation in the Foresters Arms in Kilburn.

18/06/2017 - Navigation Exercise

As a warm up for the summer season, I recently headed out with Sarah and Rebel from Holme Moss to join the original Pennine Way on Black Hill, as part of navigation and map reading training for Sarah who is doing the Pennine Way this summer. I last did this walk in 1982, and it's tough, some of the hardest walking there is. Deep peat bogs, critical direction finding problems in bad weather, and endless detours to avoid water and black oozing liquid goo that looks like it just came out of the oil sump on a 50 year old tractor having its first service. Fortunately, the weather was kind to us, but my advice is to use the current Pennine Way from Black Hill to Black Moss Reservoir if the weather, or your navigation ability, is dodgy. After the Saddleworth Road A635 there's a paved path which greatly improves this section, so don't give up while trudging along the flanks of Dean Head Hill.

16/10/2016 - Winter Shutdown

I didn't manage to complete my walk in 2016, which was my aim, and I've still got 125 miles to go. This was mainly due to mechanical problems, especially with my knees and ankles, but after my winter shutdown I'll be back in the spring of 2017 to finish off the Wild Yorkshire Way. I'll be visiting my second home this winter, the high Austrian Alps, where I'll be doing my winter training to get fit and raring to go next spring to finish off my walk. Of course, much of the training will take place in après ski bars and mountain huts, but it still counts, obviously.

09/09/2016 - Mapping and Tracking

When you're out walking, do you sometimes send texts or messages to friends and family, to let them know where you are and that you're safe? I know I do, especially when I'm walking alone. On the Mapping page you can continuously record your position on a walk, so your friends can see where you are and track your progress on a map on their phone, tablet or laptop. Of course, you need an internet connection for it to work, and you need to enable JavaScript. It won't work on Google Chrome™ as they have decided that your location is private, without asking you what you think. Why not try it out and let me have some feedback?

19/07/2016 - Elevation Profile

New on the Route page is a complete elevation profile for the entire route, showing the summits, valleys, end points and other landmarks on the walk. You can click or tap tags on the profile to see where you are.

07/07/2016 - GPX Data

Several walkers have asked about GPX files for the route, so they can use their sat nav devices. I've done some work on this, and GPX files are now available for download for each stage on the main route. These are as accurate as possible, but I can't accept any responsibility for any mistakes - in particular the elevation data can be suspect, especially on coastal routes where the path follows the cliff top with a sheer drop only feet away. Any feedback on the files and their usability will be most welcome.

20/06/2016 - The northern Dales

Starting on Monday 21st June, I completed a 6 day section of the Wild Yorkshire Way from Horton-in-Ribblesdale to West Burton, in great weather and with fantastic views as I hope my photos will show. I met some lovely people along the way and had a great time researching the route. As a result, there will be some changes coming up. One annoying issue is that while many paths are well marked on maps, they are not always obvious on the ground. This is particularly true away from the well-known sections of the Coast to Coast and Three Peaks walks, as for example on Mallerstang Edge, and climbing up from Reeth on the crossing to Wensleydale. Also, the 2 day 25 mile section from Walden Head to Healey, via Buckden Pike, Great Whernside and Little Whernside, is extremely tough and boggy, so I've decided to find an easier alternative for this section. As ever, work is in progress......

29/05/2016 - Wembley Play-Off Final

Congratulations to Barnsley FC on a convincing victory over Millwall in the League One Play-Off Final at Wembley. Goals early on from Fletcher and a worldy from Hammill gave Barnsley a 2-0 lead, before another Barnsley lad Beevers pulled one back. A towering header from Isgrove, the smallest player on the field, made the last few minutes safe. With the victory, Barnsley return to the Championship at the second attempt, to join Sheffield Wednesday who secured their Championship place the day before against Hull City. Congratulations to Barnsley FC!

30/04/2016 - New Routes from Back Tor

After considerable research, I've now suggested new routes from Back Tor to Holme Moss. The main route is wild, at times pathless and boggy, and should not be attempted in bad weather. The first alternative drops down to easy walking in the Derwent Valley, but does require a climb back up to Shepherds Meeting Stones to rejoin the main route. The second alternative is a pub route, visiting the Old Mustard Pot in Midhopestones, the Waggon and Horses in Langsett and the Dog and Partridge on the Woodhead Pass. It's a long day, so I would advise you split it into 2 so you can enjoy the pubs, and since it's near my home I may even join you for a pint!

22/04/2016 - Ringinglow to Holme Moss

Having completed a 2 day walk from Ringinglow, it has become apparent that day 4 needs a bit of a re-think. Day 3 is a magnificent edge walk, ending with a wild camp at Back Tor, but the route from Back Tor is a hard slog over wild moorland, initially with no path, waist deep peat bogs and tussocks of ankle-breaking grass. It's not suitable for many walkers and could be dangerous in bad visibility. Not only that - it doesn't end at a pub. Because of this I'm going to re-design this bit of the walk, probably via Langsett, and I'll update the route on here when finished.

14/04/2016 - Photo Uploads

Following many requests you can now upload photos up to 10M in size by using the Contact page on the website. Thanks to Gareth at ABI for help with this. Please can you resize any large images below 10M before attempting to upload.

03/04/2016 - Barnsley 3 Oxford United 2

Barnsley came out on top against an impressive Oxford side in a thrilling match at Wembley in the 2016 Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final, which is like the FA Cup Final only for more tinpot clubs. Congratulations to all connected with Barnsley Football Club and commiserations to Oxford, who despite playing in the league below scared the life out of Barnsley in the first half. Well done lads!

27/02/2016 - Route Mapping

I've now added 1:50000 and 1:25000 scale maps to the route description for each stage, courtesy of the excellent Ordnance Survey OpenSpace API service and Streetmap.co.uk. To access the maps, go to the Route page and select a stage by clicking on the picture, then click the map buttons on either the start or end places to display the map around this point. The 1:50000 summary maps show the route, and the 1:25000 detail maps are ideal for navigation. You can zoom and pan to any point in the UK, but of course you'll not want to pan away from Yorkshire!

14/02/2016 - Feedback and Photos

You can now send feedback and upload photos via the Contact page on the website. I'll try and use your photos if any are suitable, but please let me know where they are on the route, so I know where to put them.

10/02/2016 - Route Summary Complete

I've now completed the entire route in summary form, with start/stop points each day and distances, so you can get an idea of the complete journey. Full descriptions, transport connections, pubs and photographs will be slowly filled in as work progresses. All information subject to change as I research more of the proposed route.

14/12/2015 - Website Launch

The Wild Yorkshire Way long distance circular walk is a personal project. This site is under development, and in time I hope to get contributions, photos, route and accommodation tips and comments from fellow walkers. If any of the links don't work, it's my fault, do not adjust your browser.

Latest News! Farmers and Walkers

Blocked Path The photograph on the left is a path on my intended Wild Yorkshire Way route, just after leaving Thirsk, that had been intentionally blocked by the farmer or landowner. I've never seen that before, although I have come across paths which were overgrown and little used. There were further difficulties later on in the same area, with missing stiles, padlocked gates, bridleways and footpaths intentionally blocked by crops. This forces walkers to either trespass by circumnavigating fields, adding considerable mileage, or to trample down valuable crops by asserting their legal rights as walkers. I've reported the blockages I found, and it remains to be seen what, if any, action will be taken. I urge you to do the same if you come across similar problems - search for the local highways authority or use one of several links on rambling and walking websites.

Most farmers I've met are normal, reasonable, understanding people. So are most walkers I've met. But inevitably, as in life, there will be "dodgy" versions in both camps. There will be walkers who leave litter, leave gates open, damage walls, fences, stiles and gates, and generally be anti social. There will be farmers who hate walkers, because they think they are all like my "dodgy" version, so they think that blocking paths is the answer. It's not. If farmers take on walkers, the farmers will come second. The law is on the side of the walkers, whether the farmers like this or not. You won't keep walkers off your land by trying to make them feel unwelcome - all that will happen is that even more damage will occur as walkers attempt to re-open blocked paths, cut through barbed wire, break down walls and fences, all quite legally!

My message to farmers is this. We all need you - you provide us with food, and most of you work hard to keep paths open so we can enjoy walking across your land. If you like walkers and welcome them, that's great, thank you. If you don't like walkers, you just tolerate walkers, or even if you hate walkers, you want to get them off your land as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is to keep the paths open and well signposted. If you plant crops which block a path, walkers will then spread out to try to find a way round the obstacle. Some will trample straight on, some will go round the edge of fields, usually resulting in the need to climb a fence or wall and damage it in the process. Whatever happens, they will spend longer on your land than you would like, they will walk in places you would not like, and they will damage things which cost you money. Maintain your paths, put signs up, don't be aggressive with walkers who are lost, just help them to get off your land. You won't win, trust me, the walkers will still be there after you've long gone.

As a final message to farmers, why not supplement your income by taking money off walkers? Many of your farms are in remote areas, where walkers arrive tired, hungry and thirsty. An honesty box on a path, replenished regularly with crisps, drinks and refreshments, will bring in a small income for you and give those undesirable walkers much needed fuel to speed their journey away from you. You may want to allow walkers to pitch a tent, provide a water tap or access to an outside loo (the beautiful Cow Dub Farm in upper Dentdale is an example of this). You may even want to do B and B, or even B without B if you can't cook. Walkers only need a bed for 1 night, many will have a sleeping bag and only need a bunkhouse or similar basic accommodation. If a path goes past or through your farmyard, why not offer cups of tea/coffee, with or without snacks to go with it? Ravenseat near Keld is famous for this, and does really well from walkers.

Rant over, keep your feedback and photos coming, and enjoy a great summer of walking, and farming, wherever you are. Enjoy the summer!