Launch of the Yorkshire Heritage Way

A new 42 mile Yorkshire Heritage Way recreational trail between Bradford and Ripon is officially launched on Friday 29 April at Bradford Cathedral. The trail links the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Saltaire and Fountains Abbey as well as passing through stunning countryside in Bradford District and North Yorkshire. The launch event at Bradford Cathedral from 9.00am to 10.00am is open to all, and celebrates the publication of a 56 page fully illustrated route guide. The event also marks the start of a guided four day inaugural walk of the trail beginning immediately after the launch ceremony at 10.00am. Finishing at Ripon Cathedral on Monday 2 May, the walk coincides with the 1350th celebration of the founding of the Cathedral, and walkers will be invited, should they wish on arrival, to participate in the Beer Festival taking place that day as part of the weekend of festivities. 

A community grant from the Department for Transport’s Capability Fund delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority has contributed half of the costs for developing the trail and publishing the route guide .Other contributors include Burley in Wharfedale Parish Council, Burley in Wharfedale Community Trust and the Long Distance Walkers Association.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:

“As your Mayor, I’ve promised that accessibility, inclusivity, diversity and equality will be at the heart of everything that we do. The community grants scheme is a brilliant example of putting this into action.

“This newly developed route will enable people in the communities surrounding it to explore their local area on foot, benefiting their health, wellbeing and everyday lives.”

Cllr Manisha Kaushik, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee Lead Member for Active Travel, said:

“We are pleased that we were able to support The Burley Bridge Association in the development and delivery of this fantastic new route.

“We know that encouraging people to walk more has significant benefits for the health of people in our communities, but this route will also allow communities to come together to experience the local countryside and shared history which make our region unique and a great place to live, work and play.”

David Asher, Secretary of the Burley Bridge Association, said:

“ The Yorkshire Heritage Way visits some of the most iconic historical sites in Yorkshire whilst walking through some of the best scenery the county has to offer, including the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  Linking the centre of Bradford, one of the grandest cosmopolitan cities in the north of England with Ripon, one of the smallest and prettiest, the route also connects two of Yorkshire’s amazing World Heritage sites as well as two beautiful and historic cathedrals”.

Saltaire village is an outstanding example of a mid-nineteenth century model town demonstrating the social and economic impact of the textile industry, while Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved ruins of a Cistercian monastery in England.

Mr Asher added: “The route takes the walker through wildlife rich urban green corridors, stunning wooded valleys, alongside tranquil streams and rivers, across upland moor landscapes with extensive views, and past dramatic geological formations such as Brimham Rocks.  There are many bridges to cross, including the thirteenth century Butterton Bridge built by Fountains Abbey monks which is featured on the waymarks along the route. The importance of constructing a bridge over the Wharfe at Burley will also be highlighted through providing a stronger link between communities and making attractions of the area accessible to a wider range of people all year round regardless of the river level. Whether walking, running or making a pilgrimage, the Heritage Way provides a bridge between the best of urban and rural Yorkshire!”

Those wishing to take part in the 4 day walk should register beforehand, especially if wishing to book a place on the minibus transport arrangements being organised for the second, third and fourth days. The itinerary will be:

Friday 29 April, Stage 1. Bradford Cathedral to Saltaire. 4.5 miles Departs 10.00

Friday 29 April, Stage 2. Saltaire to Burley in Wharfedale. 8.5 miles  Departs 1.00 pm

Saturday 30 April, Stage 3: Burley in Wharfedale to Thruscross 10 miles:  Departs 10.00

Sunday 1 May, Stage 4:  Thruscross to Brimham Rocks:  8 miles:  Departs 10.00

Monday 2 May, Stage 5:  Brimham Rocks to Ripon:  11 miles:  Departs 10.00

A limited number of minibus places will be available to bring walkers back to Burley railway station on Saturday afternoon, and from Burley station to starting points on Sunday and Monday in time for the beginning of the walk. Return transport will be provided to Burley station at the end of each afternoon.  A small contribution will be asked from walkers to cover transport costs.  Burley in Wharfedale has frequent trains to and from Leeds, Bradford and Ilkley, and is linked by bus to Ilkley, Leeds and Harrogate.

Those wishing to register for one or more days walking should send names and phone numbers to burleybridge@gmail.com. This is especially important if transport is required to walk Stages 3, 4 or 5. Full details will then be provided.

Please get in touch by email if you would like further information, or phone David Asher on 07751 959494.