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past events
A winter scene in the Dales. Looking towards Ingleborough from Sulber Nick. Climbs of Ingleborough start from Horton or Ribblehead. We run these walks throughout the year.

Wharton Hall in the valley visited on walks from Kirkby Stephen. A favourite venue for many easier walks.



Train Walks 2004

Below are reports and photos of selected train walks from 2004. Please click on the appropriate links for further details.

Dent to Hawes 20 March 2004

Appleby 30th Anniversary Celebrations 12 June 2004

Kendal Circular 14 August 2004

Bentham Circular 11 September 2004

Horton Circular 26 September 2004

Settle Circular 23 October 2004

Clapham Circular 13 November 2004

Keighley to Hebden Bridge 13 November 2004 (Photos)


Dent to Hawes 20 March 2004

Walk abandoned due to Gale force winds in Dentdale!

This moderate train walk from Dent station to Hawes began with 14 intrepid souls battling our way up the road from the station in the pouring rain and fierce winds. The weather forecast had promised "wet and windy" and it certainly lived up to that. Leaving the road after about a mile, we turned southwards onto the track below Great Knoutberry Hill and from that point on were walking directly into the full force of the gale force wind. After barely half a mile, it became virtually impossible to make onward progress and we were at serious risk of being literally blown off our feet. As the leader, in conjunction with the backup and members, I decided that the only safe option was to turn back along the track. Surprisingly there were no objections!

As the wind would have been blowing in our faces if we had gone back down towards Dent station, on reaching the road, we continued instead up the Coal Road which undulated over the tops before descending rather steeply to Garsdale Station where we arrived after walking for less than two hours and having done approximately 5 miles. Everyone crowded into the waiting room in various states of sogginess for (what seemed like) long-anticipated refreshments and lunch. Comments were heard such as "I've never gone up the Coal Road as fast with the wind behind me" and "I've never abandoned a walk in my life, but I think we did the right thing". I think a chorus of "51 today" was heard at some point as well.

Having just telephoned the minibus driver from Hawes who had been due to pick us up at the end of the walk and left a message on his answer service, I then encountered him in person two minutes later as he pulled into the station yard to meet someone on the "up" train to Carlisle! I recounted our mini-adventure to him and he agreed we had made the right decision. As the walk had now been formally abandoned, we then caught not the early train, but the very early train (1302 from Garsdale) back to warmer and drier climates in the south.

This was not the worst weather I have ever walked in, but the worst I have led in and let's hope that this walk will be completed successfully on a future programme.

Philip Birtwistle

Appleby 30th Anniversary Celebrations 12 June 2004

An excellent day's celebration was held in Appleby on Saturday 12 June to commemorate 30 years since the chartering of a one-off special train on 9 June 1974 to take walkers into the Dales. The success of the 1974 event led to further similar events and ultimately to the well established programme of guided walks from the Settle Carlisle line which we all enjoy today.

The 2004 celebration event began at Leeds station with a photo call before boarding the 0849 Leeds to Carlisle train for which Arriva Trains Northern had kindly donated 100 free seats to mark the occasion. Walkers and friends of the line joined the train at various stations as the train headed north to arrive in Appleby shortly before 11 am where we were welcomed by the Appleby Town Band and the Mayor and Mayoress.

After a customary welcome and speech well over a hundred people departed to enjoy a total of seven guided walks, varying from a strenuous walk up to High Cup Nick to a more sedately paced history tour of Appleby itself. Fortunately the weather stayed kind to us all day and we arrived back to partake of a buffet at the Tufton Arms followed by the cutting of a celebration cake, various short speeches and a traditional toast. It was particularly pleasing to be joined by some of the original leaders who had led the walks in 1974.

Following the festivities, this just left the short climb (there's always a hill at the end!) back up to Appleby station and the homeward journey, with the evening sun showing Dales at their very best.

Thanks to all the organisers and participants for making the day such a resounding success.

Philip Birtwistle

Please click on the links below to view the photos:

1. Photocall at Leeds Station
2. Welcome from the Mayor and Mayoress at Appleby
3. The road goes ever on
4. O'er hill and down dale
5. Celebration Cake
6. Speeches at the Buffet
7. Waiting for the train home


Kendal Circular 14 August 2004

Boarding the train at Skipton, which looked rather full, noticed a lot of Chinese scattered about, then realized we were on the Morecambe train? Two, plus their rucksacs were occupying four seats, with a quick 'it's your lucky day!' they removed their rucksacs. After brief introductions and 'good morniiings' a more in depth interrogation was needed, 'Where was Tommy Wall?' This produced amazing results, too numerous to mention. After much laughter and photo-shoots we parted at Kendal, they went on to Windermere. I must say I did not learn one word of Chinese, but my English certainly improved. We were off from the station in good form, Philip weaving his way through traffic like a ton-up boy, up the first climb, 'We were told it was the last!' Through the wood and over the golf course, a friendly golfer giving us the signal to proceed, I am positive the French Army used the same signal to our long bow archers. We managed to lose Joyce on the ridge, which is hard to do. She decided a short walk and a trip into Kendal would be great. Dinnertime was with the usual humour, you would have to be present to appreciate the jokes. We then set off over the fields and arrived at a 'Period House' with beautiful cottages and gardens. A while was spent looking at the property and gardens as were pleasing to the eye. A stop at a garage, not for petrol, but for ice cream and drinks, proceeding then to the river where Christine was amazed at the size of the 'ducks', which turned out to be geese! Then onto Kendal which was now heavy with traffic, I'm sure that all the Schumachers were on the road, Philip took the lead, does he think if he is struck by a car the car will come off worst? No time for a pint, but a very good day, good weather and good company!

Eric Bottomley

Please click on the links below to view the photos:


Bentham Circular 11 September 2004

Arrived at Bentham, met by Philip, stand in leader, Joyce having to attend to something more personal in Scotland. As the walk was a mere 7 to 8 mls, we warmed up by a quick up and down the steps at the station. Off on the walk first obstacle squeeze style, it was noticed some one slipped through easier this time, "had they been slimming"?

Into the caravan site, as this looked clean and inviting we decided a more closer inspection was needed. Picking up the path we proceeded on the side of the river bank, various topics of conversation in progress. Arriving at the trout farm the first pond was occupied by ducks attacking the food container, on a closer look you could also see the trout thrashing about amongst the ducks. As this seemed like a feeding frenzy of Piranhas it was suggested should we throw somebody in and watch the reaction of the fish. No points for guessing who. On to Low Bentham, small pretty village usual amount of 4 x 4's about, obviously a sign of a bad winter to come, sure the natives will have knowledge of this.

Up a farm track, hello what's this? Animals with long necks, long legs, aren't they cuddly, aren't they lovely, wonder what they taste like? Morning coffee was taken conversation being on Alpacas related to the Llama, what knowledge! Moving off with a little shower of rain down a track alongside of Gootenburgh caravan site "forget the spelling" into the fields: what have you got under your arm Les? It's a brolly was the reply, a flick of the wrist and up it popped: "what a bigun!" was the remark, guess from who? Yes it is one of those special ones it does not blow inside out: first mistake! Second mistake turning against the wind, yes you have guessed it, to hoots of laughter what did it do? Embarrassed Les plus four helpers trying to turn the brolly out side in, rather difficult as it was a bigun.

Forward to Burton in Lonsdale down to the river for lunch, settling down we were surrounded by the local beggars, "ducks" - one seemed to get more than its fair share of treats. Moving off it started to rain, stopped to put on water proofs, catching up with the group who were laughing, what's the joke? You were putting on your trousers while Jenny was taking hers off "can't see the connection"! Forward to Ingleton down a track for coffee - my relatives live just across the field - a quick phone call and who should appear? - 3 kids all waving at aunty Christine! Suddenly a young man appeared on a bike; after kisses cuddles and squeezes I am sure he was glad to leave.

On to Bentham over the golf course, good of them to cut a path through the grass, much appreciated, arriving just as it started to pour down, well timed Philip, a couple of pints in the pub. The landlord's face looked like 3 of granite and 1 of cement - nice to know he was only the relief manager. Fish and chips were on the menu for some: sit down or eat walking was the choice. Good fun on the train good walk, good company nice day.

Signed The Pain. (aka Eric Bottomley)


Horton Circular 26 September 2004

There was a good turnout of 18 walkers and 2 dogs on a murky, windy, drizzly day, with the kind of rain "that wets you through" as one person remarked…..(what other kind of rain is there?). The day began interestingly with what could have been the start of the canine War of the Roses when Lanky and Yorky sized each other up and went into fierce battle. Skilfully controlled by their respective owners, a gentle Lancastrian and a feisty Yorkshire lass, a truce was declared.

Our leader, Glennys, rounded us all up and Brian, the back up, counted us through the stile as we set off by the way of Sulber Nick with Mary Poppins (aka Joyce) trailing at the rear having trouble with her brolly. We were walking into the wind and getting wetter by the minute - with the rain that wets you through!- so breathed a collective sigh of relief when we changed direction towards Selside and felt drier and more comfortable.

By lunch time the sun was peeping through and our leader found us a sheltered scenic spot. As ever on Dalesrail walks one had a diversity of dining companions. The young (?) man on my left, using his lace hanky as a napkin, dined on panini and roquefort with walkers' passion fruit and rose hip chutney. The older guy on my right, after spreading a copy of The Sun as a napkin dined on haselet and brown sauce. Unfortunately his wife had put the brown sauce in the wrong side of the sandwich so with the first bite it was all down the front of his Paramo. To the rescue with Wet Wipes - someone always comes prepared.

Our route took us via Foss Barn, Hornsey Hill, Low and High Birkwith where along the way we met several groups who were doing the Three Peaks. A crowded area, reminiscent of a busy Saturday in Settle. The dogs remained calm throughout though one could sense the war simmering in the background.

On arriving back in Horton at the Crown Hotel, in time to gate crash a wedding party, we had the full group of 2 friendly dogs and 18 walkers, who had had a most enjoyable day with a "lorra laffs" when topics ranged from the unmentionable to B and Q. Yes B and Q. I'll share that one with you, not that it qualifies as joke of the day, but it won't be censored.

Stranger: Is there a B and Q in Skipton?
FoD member: Not, but there are two Ts in Settle.

Verdict: A day enjoyed by all in amazingly good company, good leaders and splendid scenery - Aren't we lucky?

Friend of "The Pain"


Settle Circular (via Pikedaw and Malham) 23 October 2004

We left Settle in decidedly unsettled weather. Climbing up out of this lovely town past the reservoir I was relieved that our leader was not on his usual top form, an acceptable pace being maintained. Further along our 'back leader' had forgotten he should walk at the back and was so enthusiastic that he missed Stockdale Farm where coffee had been planned. However this was rectified and we had a pleasant coffee break. We actually walked 'down' Pikedaw - a definite first for me and had reasonable views as the mist cleared. We called briefly into Malham before making our way to our lunch stop at Janets' Foss. The water coming down this was incredible and made conversation impossible - just imagine all this water was making its way down an already flooded Aire Valley. Pity nobody had a camera. At this point someone suggested that this would be a good time to climb Gordale Scar again, this idea was totally ignored. We climbed up the valley and crossed the back of Malham Cove. As we approached the road I saw my local Mini-bus and waved. The bus stopped, 'OH DEAR' he thinks we want a lift, how embarrassing!!' This Mini-bus had taken an unofficial group of 'DalesRailers' up to Malham Tarn the previous week and there was no way he would forget 'them'. However the bus moved on and we sighed with relief. After a boggy yomp across Black hill, we reached 'Jubilee Cave' in time for afternoon tea. We then made our way down to Settle for a welcome drink after 16 miles. There were only five people on the walk, the rest being at Macclesfield or unofficially in Morecambe, but it was a really good enjoyable walk - Thank you leaders.

Unfortunate Partner of the 'PAIN'

Pat Bottomley

Clapham Circular (via Clapham Village, Long Lane & Nature Reserve)

13 November 2004

As the walk was on the later train I was invited to breakfast, no not at Tiffany's but Morrisons, early starter was on the menu, not appropriate in this case. Down to the station in good time, was surprised to see the Carlisle train still there. On boarding the Morecambe train we were told of a problem up the line and no specific time of departure. Taking seats, opposite a young female I might add, we settled down, after various topics of conversation we were informed she was studying English Literature at Lancaster and was on her way back from Bradford. Over an hour later the train was off, I will leave it to your imagination what topics of conversation we pursued, but it was in depth, by the time we got off I am sure the young student could have studied "English Sociology" and passed with flying colours.
As we were over an hour late we were off in good pace all 23 bodies including some younger people, "not that we are old" only in body. As we approached Clapham it was decided to have lunch "what a lunch" bottles of wine, fruit cake and cheese, and a cake called, "its one I got me head round" can't find it in the shops, guess whose birthday it was.
After lunch off up the track, steady climb beautiful weather everybody in good heart, even our younger walkers, on reaching the end of the track the views were stunning, time to sit and have a drink and admire. Picking up the path again, we proceeded down the side of a small stream to Gaping Gill, on down the track where we split in to two parties, the high party climbed up to the farm then picked up the path down to Clapham, with the sun going down the views were even better. Time for a pint "what timing" we were then off to the station in the dark, but with a good clear sky the walk was very pleasant and enjoyable. Surprise Surprise the train was on time, arriving at Skipton we were all in to the office for a claim form, would you believe it they had some left.
Good day, good food, good weather, good company, good night.

The Pain. Name and address supplied.

Keighley to Hebden Bridge 13 November 2004 (Photos)

1. Morning coffee stop looking across to Keighley
2. On the South Pennine Moors
3. Another moorland view
4. Ascending away from Bronte Falls
5. View to Top Withins
6. Lunch on Top Withins
7. On streamside

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