A Walk in Progress

I’ve been looking for a new project for a while, so when someone suggested the Swale Way was in need of an updated guide book, I jumped at the opportunity.

The Dales hold a special place in my heart, more so than any other place in the country, so it’s really no hardship having to spend long weekends tracing the route of the Swale, looking at path options, walking up hills to get photos, and all the other activities that go into writing a new guide book. I’m positively looking forward to it!

The walk was originally devised by John Brock of the Ramblers Association who described the walk, complemented by some lovely pen and ink artwork by Richard Collier, in a booklet. He selected the best route possible, given the legislation at the time, which prohibited access to many of the paths we can now use freely.

A few years ago, following the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, which opened up access to huge areas of land, the Boroughbridge Walkers are Welcome team revisited the path, selected better routes through some sections and linked the walk to the Walkers are Welcome town of Kirkby Stephen. The result was a 77-mile linear walk from end to source of the Swale.

The River Swale above Muker

Over the next few weeks, in March, April and May, I will be re-walking the whole route, looking for improvements where possible, and turning the self-printed booklet into a traditional guide book, complete with OS maps, detailed route instructions, guides to the towns and facilities along the route and a list of the services supporting the route; accommodation, food, refreshments, supplies and baggage transfer.

You can follow my progress through this blog, as I walk the paths and turn the notes I make into the guide book.

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