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The Wild Yorkshire Way
Offa's Dyke Walk


Ian Roseberry Topping

Who am I? My name's Ian, I'm 68 years old, and a keen wild walker/camper. I also like beer, snow, wine, garlic, cricket, curry and firewood, and I hate litter, speling misttakes and barbed wire across rights of way.

I'm keen on all things electronic, hardware and software, which was my career before retirement. I've taught myself web design as a retirement project, and this website is the culmination of that, although in this branch of technical stuff there is always more to learn! As well as electronic design, client/server software and web design, I also know how to use a smart phone and I can still do joined up writing when required. When I'm out walking I can convert between miles/kilometres and feet/metres in my head, but I always round up as it sounds more impressive.

I'm from Barnsley in Yorkshire, and my home territory is the Peak District National Park where I've completed loads of day, weekend and longer walks, staying in various pubs and I've also wild camped/slept in many places. I've done several official long distance walks (see below), most of them either partly or wholly in Yorkshire. For years I've wanted to plan a walk that links the official Yorkshire long distance trails into a circular route, joining the Ways with high peaks in some of the wildest parts of Yorkshire. The Wild Yorkshire Way is the result, and I completed the walk bit by bit in late 2017 after about 4 years, filling in the gaps after completing the Pennine Way in 2013, Cleveland Way in 2014, Wolds Way and Coast to Coast Walk in 2015, and the remaining bits in 2016/17. In April/May 2019, I completed the entire walk in an anticlockwise direction, in 43 days with 3 rest days. There are a few alternative bits to finish off, and a few places I'd like to change following my complete walk. You'll work out which bits are missing from the empty photo galleries - funnily enough, they're mostly in my home territory of the Dark Peak! Following my epic journey, I subsequently completed the Dales Way in 2019, the Coast to Coast Walk (again) in 2020 and the Offa's Dyke Path in 2024.

This site is under continuous development and will be updated from time to time as I complete more of the remaining alternative routes on the Way. I hope I get your feedback too, especially photographs. Information about pubs and accommodation along the route is especially useful, since it's always changing as pubs open and close, or get converted into Indian restaurants.

Whether you tackle my walk or not, enjoy your walking and stay safe out on the hills.

Derwent Edge

The Site The Wild Yorkshire Way website is a purely non-commercial project combining two of my hobbies - walking/camping and software/web design. As you navigate around the site, you'll realise that I've still got stuff to learn about web design, but anyway here's a brief description of what you can do on this site.

Firstly, it's for enjoyment. I've planned the entire route, which is about 526 miles, using both existing 'official' long distance paths such as the Pennine Way, Cleveland Way, Wolds Way and Trans Pennine Trail, along with the famous Wainwright Coast to Coast Walk. I've tried to include my personal highlights of Yorkshire countryside, but of course that's open to discussion. The section from Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Keld, over Ingleborough, Whernside, Mallerstang Edge and Nine Standards Rigg is one of my favourite sections of the entire walk, and the 43 mile section from Ringinglow to the White House Inn offers some of the wildest walking in the whole of England. I've included photos of all the sections which I've completed in the gallery, and they've all been taken by me on the route. For me, Yorkshire has everything - bleak and wild moorland, proper mountains, delightful rural and riverside rambles, rugged coastal cliffs, pretty and tiny villages, history, wildlife...and of course pubs. Of course, if you're from Yorkshire, you'll already know all this, but if you're not, pay us a visit. If you love the countryside, you'll love Yorkshire, trust me!

Secondly, it's to help you with route planning and navigation. All the sections of the route are covered by online OS maps, with limited free of charge access, so you can see where you are (or where you are supposed to be) using the mapping feature. For those of you with GPS systems, you can download GPX files for all stages of the route for your navigator.

Thirdly, why not use the feedback form to help me with the site? Information about problems with the route, photographs, pubs, accommodation, refreshments and indeed all suggestions are welcome. I look forward to hearing from you.

Ian Tan Hill

Walk Stats If you're one of the 87% of people who like looking at statistics, read on for some stats on the walk. If you're one of the other 43% who are rubbish at maths, look away now: -

Total distance: 526 miles on the main route.

Days: 38 (suggested)

Ascent: 17436m

Descent: 17436m (what goes up, must come down!)

Highest Point: Whernside 736m

Lowest Point: Runswick Bay 0m

Furthest North: Saltburn by the Sea

Furthest South: Fox House Inn

Furthest East: Filey Brigg

Furthest West: Whernside

Longest Day: June 21st

Shortest Day: December 21st

Calories Required: 115,000

Current World Record: 269 hours 5 minutes

Highest Pub: Tan Hill Inn 528m (alternative route)

Highest Pub Main Route: White House Inn 379m

Highish Pubs: Fox House 346m, Keld Lodge 334m, Norfolk Arms 322m, Moorcock Inn 317m, Old Hill Inn 294m

Lowest Pub: Bay Hotel 3m

Best Pub: The one just ahead

Worst Pub: Not applicable

Miles Completed: 526

Miles Remaining: 0 (Zero. Zilch. Nowt. All done!)

Penyghent Camp

Completed Walks Some of the walks, long and short, I've completed over the past 36 years, with the most recent first. Mostly in Yorkshire, of course!

2024 April: Offa's Dyke Path section 3, 90 miles. My third attempt on the Offa's Dyke Path, and this time I finally reached Prestatyn to complete the walk. It's a beautiful but hard walk, with many days with 700m/800m ascent to tackle. Highly recommended but get fit before you set off!

2023 April: Derwent Edge Round, 10 miles. A hard walk in soggy conditions and a gale force wind with Sarah and Belle, organised to test the old bones before returning to the Offa's Dyke walk later in April. The body held up surprisingly well, so Offa here I come!

2023 August: Offa's Dyke Path section 2, 58 miles. Another attempt at the Offa's Dyke Path, after giving up in August 2022 due to searing heat. I fared a bit better this time, but sadly I also had to give up after 58 miles due to injury. I've done about half the walk now, and once again, I'll be back...

2022 August: Offa's Dyke Path section 1, 29 miles. An abortive attempt at the 177 mile Offa's Dyke Path, roughly along the England/Wales border. I set out from Chepstow in extremely hot weather, with temperatures approaching 35ºC. I made it past Monmouth, but the sight of 2 ladies being picked up by an ambulance with heat exhaustion was too much, and I had to return home after covering just 30 miles. It was impossible to carry enough water and fresh food, and it just wasn't safe to continue. I'll be back...

2022 May: High Cup, Teesdale, 20 miles. A round trip walk in upper Teesdale to High Cup. Widely regarded as just about the most spectacular day on the Pennine Way, we left Langdon Beck to follow the Tees upstream, past the majestic Falcon Clints, the awesome waterfall and rock scramble at Cauldron Snout, and we finally arrived at the unbelievable High Cup Nick in evening sunshine for our wild camp in spectacular surroundings. The next day we retraced our steps, this time in driving rain - a hard but thrilling weekend walk.

2021 May: Wildboar Clough. A short but difficult scramble up Wildboar Clough on the northern escarpment of Bleaklow, one of the best scramble routes in the Peak District. This was followed by a difficult and boggy section across open moorland to join the Pennine Way as it descends to Longdendale via Torside.

2020 October: Bamford to Edale Walk, 9.5 miles. A short 2 day walk with magnificent views and a freezing cold overnight stay at Madwoman's Stones on the Kinder Scout plateau. Remember my advice, when camping out make sure you keep a full set of dry clothes for the night. The next time I'll take my own advice, it was very, very cold up there in the night!

2020 September: Coast to Coast Walk, St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay, 185 miles. This was my 3rd time on this famous Alfred Wainwright inspired walk across northern England, passing through the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors over a combination of cliff tops, mountains, moorland, rural pastoral farmland and river side paths. Once again it was with Sarah and Belle, who are great walking companions, and we spend 17 great days on the trip. A highlight of the trip was celebrating my 65th birthday on 9th September on the summit of Kidsty Pike, the highest summit on the walk, with far reaching views including the Yorkshire 3 Peaks and about 3/4 of the Pennine Way path. A fantastic and highly recommended experience even though it was my 3rd time.

2020 July: Barnsley Boundary Walk, Cawthorne to Cawthorne circular, 76 miles. A magnificent 6 day walk around my home town, a perfect walk to do alongside the coronavirus pandemic, as we could return home each night. Another walk with Sarah and Belle, who are great walking companions. I highly recommend this walk for anyone looking for something a bit different in the north of England, as it's far from the usual tourist trails but nevertheless runs through lonely and beautiful countryside. A great experience and a fitting return to walking after an enforced break due to coronavirus.

2019 September: Dales Way, Ilkley to Bowness on Windermere, 82 miles. A mainly lower level walk with Sarah and Belle, along the beautiful River Wharfe from Ilkley, then climbing up over Cam Fell to Ribblehead and on to briefly join the Wild Yorkshire Way in upper Dentdale. From there a trip through the lovely village of Dent and then crossing the M6 into the foothills of the Lake District. 6 days, 3 of them with torrential rain, but another great walking experience nevertheless!

2019 April/May: Wild Yorkshire Way complete route, anticlockwise, starting and finishing at Stainborough Cricket Club, 526 miles. One of the highlights of my entire life, I completed the entire walk in 43 days in April/May 2019, walking in an anticlockwise direction so I could get toned up on the flat bits before tackling the Wolds Way hills. I walked for 269 hours (which is a world record for the route) over 40 days, with 3 rest days caused by rain and red wine. I burnt 115,000 calories and lost about 8kg, but don't worry, I've since put it all back on. A classic 526 mile walk, the pinnacle of my long distance walking career.

2019 April: Broomhead Moor, Bradfield Moors, near Barnsley, 10 miles. A compass work exercise with Sarah, hard and difficult walking on pathless heather, finding landmarks using compass bearings only.

2018 July: Wild Yorkshire Way days 16/17, West Burton to Masham alternative via Middleham, 21 miles. A pleasant 2 day walk in hot dry weather on the low level alternative to the high and wild 25 mile traverse over Buckden Pike and the Whernsides. This walk takes in the racehorse training gallops around Middleham, just outside the Dales national park, and ends with a lovely riverside walk along the Ure into Masham.

2017 December: Wild Yorkshire Way day 20, Forresters Arms, Kilburn to the White Horse of Kilburn, 1.3 miles. An incredibly short walk, but highly important for me, as this was the last bit of the entire walk. A stiff 40 minute climb of nearly 200m, magnificent views at the top, and a great evening of celebration in the Forresters Arms in Kilburn!

2017 November: Wild Yorkshire Way days 35 to 37, Barmby on the Marsh to Denaby Ings, 46 miles. Another flat 3 day walk along the Ouse, Aire and Don rivers on the Trans Pennine Trail.

2017 July: Wild Yorkshire Way days 33 and 34, North Ferriby to Barmby on the Marsh, 26 miles. A flat and easy 2 day walk along the Humber and Ouse rivers on the Trans Pennine Trail.

2017 June: Wild Yorkshire Way days 16 to 19, West Burton to Kilburn, 62 miles. A hard 4 day walk firstly over high and remote Buckden Pike and Great Whernside, then a moorland tramp to Healey, a lovely riverside walk to West Tanfield, frustrating road walking to Thirsk, and paths blocked by farmers to Kilburn.

2017 April: Wild Yorkshire Way day 5, Holme Moss to Standedge, 7 miles. A hard boggy walk on one of the toughest sections of the route, also organised as a map reading and navigation skills exercise for Sarah.

2017 March: Wild Yorkshire Way day 4, Woodhead Road A628 to Holme Moss, 5 miles. A difficult pathless moorland walk which I planned as a map reading training exercise for Sarah, who's doing the Pennine Way this summer.

2016 September: Wild Yorkshire Way day 38, Denaby Ings to Stainborough Cricket Club, 14 miles. A flat and easy single day ramble along the Trans Pennine Trail with my wife. Surprisingly remote despite the proximity to industry and built-up areas in South Yorkshire.

2016 August: Oakwell Stadium, Barnsley to John Smiths Stadium, Huddersfield, 19 miles. A single day charity walk which raised over £1200 for Disability Sport Yorkshire, with about 20 other Barnsley football fans.

2016 June: Wild Yorkshire Way days 10 to 15, Horton-in-Ribblesdale to West Burton, 73 miles. A 6 day section through the Dales, taking in 2 of the 3 Peaks, Mallerstang Edge, and the Coast to Coast Walk from Nine Standards Rigg.

2016 April: Wild Yorkshire Way days 3 and 4, Ringinglow to Langsett, 23 miles. A magnificent walk on Stanage and Derwent Edges, then a hard day which I had to cut short because of the call of the Waggon and Horses at Langsett.

2016 February: Wild Yorkshire Way days 1 and 2, Stainborough Cricket Club to Ringinglow, 26 miles. Start of my 2016 objective to fill in the missing bits of the Wild Yorkshire Way, and update my photo library of the route.

2015 June: Coast to Coast Walk, St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay, 190 miles. A variation on Wainwright's official route with a high Lake District traverse over Pillar

Wolds Way

2015 May: Yorkshire Wolds Way, Hessle to Filey, 80 miles. A lower level walk with my wife, but still plenty of ascent/descent and lovely pastoral scenery

2014 September: Kinder Scout Circuit, 20 miles. Another circular walk around the Kinder Scout plateau, this time with a cricket mate. A wild camp at Fairbrook and a crossing of the desolate plateau to finish.

2014 June: Cleveland Way Helmsley, to Filey, 110 miles. Second time around, carried a tent but got tempted by numerous B and Bs on route and never used it! Finally managed to complete Roseberry Topping 30 years late.

2013 May and July: Pennine Way, Kirk Yetholm to Edale, 270 miles. Third time on the Pennine Way, this time in 2 sections due to snow in May! North to south for a new perspective.

2011 July: Langsett to Edale, 22 miles. A 2 day wild camping walk over Bleaklow and Kinder Scout from Langsett in Yorkshire.

2010 August: Kinder Scout Circuit, 20 miles. OK, in Derbyshire not Yorkshire, but a stunning 2 day wild camping walk with tremendous escarpment views.

2010 June: Marsden to Edale, 23 miles. A classic 2 day wild camping walk over Black Hill, Bleaklow and Kinder Scout. Note it took me 2 days one way, some nutters (respect) run it there and back in a day!

2009 June: The Great Ridge and Kinder Scout, 20 miles. In a return to wild camping after a long break, this was a classic Peak District ridge walk starting at Hope railway station, ascending Lose Hill and traversing the majestic great ridge over Mam Tor, Rushup Edge and Brown Knoll to Kinder Low for a night's camping. Then on around the edges of Kinder before descending Fairbrook to the Snake Pass road and a taxi back to Edale for the night.

1984 to 2009: Note the long gap, work was a real nuisance during this period.

1984 March: Coast to Coast Walk, Robin Hood's Bay to St Bees, 190 miles. Hard walk in cold and snowy conditions.

1983 June: Cleveland Way, Helmsley to Filey, 110 miles. Stunning Yorkshire coastal scenery, including Skinningrove steelworks. Missed out Roseberry Topping due to illness, but see above.

1982 June: Pennine Way, Edale to Kirk Yetholm, 270 miles. The missus managed it this time!

1981 May: Pennine Way, Edale to Kirk Yetholm, 270 miles. My honeymoon, believe it or not. Sadly my new wife mangled her knee on day 1, so I completed it on my own, but see above.