A walking festival that takes in much of the scenery along one of the world’s most picturesque railway lines returns next year.
Ride2stride, the Settle to Carlisle Walking Festival, took place for the very first time in 2012.
Organised by a small group of volunteers, the event involved a week-long programme of walks, talks and music, all put on by organisations already active in the Yorkshire Dales. Some, like the Friends of Dales Rail, were responsible for a number of events, others led just one walk, but together the festival was a wonderful showcase of the wealth of activities that go on along the line.
“We had no idea what to expect,” said Chris Grogan from the organising group. “We’d never done anything like this before but when over 60 people turned up at Settle station for the first walks of Ride2stride 2012 we knew it was going to work.”
The same format is being followed for Ride2stride 2013. Over the course of a week almost 30 walks, varying in length from 2 to 20 miles will be led by experienced walk leaders from stations between Settle and Appleby. Musicians and singers from the Three Peaks Folk Club are taking to the road to provide live music in pubs along the way and talks have been arranged on topics that complement the walking.
“All the organisations involved are already leading walks, giving talks and playing music in the Dales,” said Chris. “What Ride2stride does is bring it all together for one fantastic week to celebrate the landscape and culture we all love.”
Ride2stride 2013 starts on Tuesday 30 April, when Yorkshire Dales Society Chairman, Colin Speakman will lead the first walk to the Hoffmann Kiln and Lower Winskill, conservationist Tom Lord’s Ribblesdale hill farm. That evening Tom will give an illustrated talk in the Friends Meeting House in Settle, about the butterflies to be found on his farm and the important role their habitat plays in the management of traditional wildflower-rich hay meadows.
During the week Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line are conducting guided tours of the remains of the construction site and shanty town at Ribblehead and former editor of the Dalesman, Bill Mitchell will give a talk called “Thunder in the Mountains” about the building of the famous viaduct.
For the super-fit there are walks over Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent while for anyone wishing to enjoy a less strenuous outing there’s a short walk around the fascinating Settle Town Trail.
The week will end on Bank Holiday Monday with a choice of walks from Settle railway station followed by an evening of music in Settle Social Club.
The following organisations are taking part in Ride2stride 2013: Yorkshire Dales Society, Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line, Friends of Dales Rail, Ingleborough Archaeology Group, Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust, Yorkshire Dales National Park Volunteers, Wensleydale Railway, Long Distance Walkers Association, Friends of A Dales High Way, Settle Stories, 3 Peaks Folk Club and Skyware Press.
Further of Ride2stride 2013 can be found at www.ride2stride.org.uk