IT’S 50 years since the creation of the Dales Way, the wonderful long distance trail that starts in Ilkley and follows the rivers Wharfe, Dee and Lune all the way to lake Windermere.

The Dales Way Association has produced a limited edition commemorative booklet ‘50 Years of The Dales Way,’ to celebrate the anniversary year.

With chapters on the history, the people and the path it is a fascinating account of a trail that grew out of the fight for rights of way in the 1950s and 60s to become one of the UK’s best loved walks. Around 4,000 people from all over the world set off from Ilkley each year.

In her foreword to the book Kate Ashbrook, Chair of Rambler GB says: “The Dales Way takes us across splendid but less-known brings the national parks to people’s doorsteps.”

One of the people responsible for the creation of the route all those years ago was Colin Speakman and on Saturday, August 3rd he will lead a walk along the first section.

Walkers are invited to meet at Ilkley Old Bridge at 10am to walk six miles to Bolton Abbey, returning by bus to the Manor House in Ilkley where at 3pm Ilkley MP John Grogan will open an exhibition celebrating 50 Years of the Dales Way.

The exhibition contains information about the history, the people and the path itself and will run for the whole of August, free to enter and open at weekends.

Details of the book, the walk and the exhibition are on the Dales Way Association website at

Copies of ’50 Years of The Dales Way’ are available from for £4.99 post free.

Proceeds will go towards the upkeep of the path.

Walkers should dress appropriately for the weather and wear walking boots or strong shoes.