EVEN for well-travelled walkers, the ruggedly beautiful limestone landscape around Malham ranks among the world’s most scenic places to take a hike.
Not only can you see the 80-metre high curved crag of Malham Cove, a fantastic natural wonder created after the last ice age, but there are countless other treats including Malham Tarn – the highest lake in the country – and splendid views taking in Yorkshire’s famous Three Peaks.
The Yorkshire Dales setting will once again host the Jane Tomlinson Yorkshire Dales Walking Festival on Sunday August 19 – which has something for all levels of walking ability.
This year’s event, which is expected to attract 2,500 walkers, was launched yesterday and places have already been snapped up.
Extra trains will be laid on by Northern Rail to allow participants to reach Settle – the start and finish point for walkers.
The Jane Tomlinson train will be running from Leeds to Settle, and back again, with additional services along the line taking in all the stops. All money from ticket sales for these extra services will go direct to the Jane Tomlinson Appeal if booked through the Walk for All website at the time of registration.
There will also be extra carriages laid on for the regular Sunday timetabled services to ensure walkers arrive in peak condition, and can rest easily on the return.
Those prepared for a big challenge on the day can tackle the 26-mile route, which takes in Calton Moor and Weets Top, while a little easier, but just as scenic, is a 14-mile option.
A five-mile walk will take walkers right through the heart of the spectacular Attermire Scar, which involves a rocky ascent before the descent back to Settle.
And a fourth called The Malham Tarn Walk and Wheel is 4.5 miles and is for those looking for a fun activity. It is aimed at families and wheelchair users.
Organisers of the walking festival are urging people to sign up now and get their walking boots worn in before the big day.
Last year’s event proved so popular, accommodation in the 10-mile radius of Settle was sold out for the entire weekends.
Thanks to support from the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the walk routes are all designed to be “ecologically sound” and not cause any lasting damage.
Sara Birkinshaw, events director at Walk For All, said: “We’re thrilled to be back for the second year in Settle for the Yorkshire Dales Walking Festival. The Tomlinson family have a real soft spot for the area so it’s a special event on our For All events calendar.
“The Yorkshire Dales Walking Festival routes really do offer a true Walk For All – a day out in wonderful countryside that can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of their age and fitness levels.”
Participants will be fund-raising for one of the following partner charities: Macmillan Cancer Support, Heart Research UK, Epilepsy Action, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Martin House Children’s Hospice, Parkinson’s UK, Diabetes UK and The Jane Tomlinson Appeal.
The event is supported by the Yorkshire Post, Northern Rail, Craven Council and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The Festival is open now for entries at www.forallevents.co.uk
The Dales festival joins the Peak District Walk on Sunday April 29 as part of the Walk For All series of events.