Interesting Walking Facts

Some interesting facts, some may find them less so than others but my dad always told me ‘knowledge is king’.
Facts in the Yorkshire Dales
  • The National Park covers 684 square miles at present (2011) but there are plans to expand to the north west.
  • There are 40 individual Dales listed on the National Park website
  • Between 1780 and 1820 a variety of Enclosure Acts led to the creation of many of the dry stone walls which so characterise the Dales
  • Wharfedale is the longest of the Dales – 70 miles from Cam Fell to Cawood where it joins the Ouse.
  • There are roughly 4,700 miles of dry stone walls in the Yorkshire Dales
  • Nidderdale is to the East of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and is only classed as an Area of Outstanding National Beauty
  • The Settle to Carlisle railway is 72 miles long, passes over 21 viaducts and 325 bridges, through 14 tunnels and 103 culverts and was opened in 1875.
  • At 1,133 feet Dent station is the highest mainline station in England.
  • Rylstone Cross was erected first in 1885 to commemorate peace with the French.
  • As well as the famous falls Aysgarth boasts the largest churchyard in England
  • It took 5 years to build the Ribblesdale viaduct, spanning 1/4 a mile and 100 foot high.
  • Pateley Bridge is home to the Oldest Sweet Shop ib England, established in 1827.
  • Askrigg is the ‘Darrowby’ of James Herriott fame. The Kings Arms was the ‘Drovers’ and Cringley house doubled as ‘Skeldale House’.
  • Grassington Moor and the limestone pavements above Malham Cove are 2 locations on the new Harry Potter film.
  • Grassland is improved by the application of burnt limestone taken from quarries around the southern Dales. Look for the multitude of old lime kilns.
  • Gouthwaite Reservoir, nr Pateley Bridge is the largest reservoir is the Dales, the 80 foot high dam creating a surface area of 332 acres.
  • Catrigg Force was a favourite haunt of the composer Edward Elgar on his frequent visits to Settle.
  • Bing Crosby used to shoot on Darrowgill Moor near Pateley Bridge.
  • The village of  ‘Booze’ in Arkengarthdale is actually the Norse name for ‘the house on the curved hillside’.
  • The many follies of Forbidden Corner near Leyburn was the brainchild of Colin Armstrong an eccentric millionaire and former ambassador to Ecuador.
  • The splintered crags of Pen y Ghent and Ingleborough are formed where limestone and millstone grit breaks the surface.
  • The Strid near Bolton Abbey is where the Wharfe narrows to 5′ and many lives have been lost in its fast flow.
  • Charles Blodwin once walked over Hardraw Falls on a tightrope stopping half way to cook an omelette.
  • The Tan Inn in upper Arkengarthdale is the highest pub in England at 1,732 feet above sea level
  • The skills to make cheese in Wensleydale were introduced by French Monks from Jervaulx Abbey in about 1150.
Facts in the Lake District
  • There are 214 fells  in the Lake District defined by Wainwright in his 7 excellent guide books. He then added another 52 in his subsequent ‘Outlying Fells of Lakeland’.
  • The definition of what defined a Wainwright hill was somewhat arbitrary and very personal but his 7 areas were defined by drawing a line between the outer tips of the main lakes.
  • The Forestry Commission own roughly 30,000 acres of Lakeland (8,800 in Ennerdale) second only to the National Trust.
  • Swallows and Amazons was set on both Windermere and Coniston Water. Wild Cat Island is on Coniston Water and Kanjenjunga is Coniston Old Man.
  • Arthur Ransome’s 2nd wife was Evgenia, former secretary to Leon Trotsky.
  • The ‘Beauty of Buttermere’ lived in the Fish Inn at Buttermere village. A great beauty this poor lady fell for a scoundrel and a rogue named John Hatfield. He was not what he seemed.
  • Alfred Wainwright who wrote the guidebooks of his name had his ashes scattered at Innominate Tarn on Haystacks
  • The Patterdale Terrier was bred in the 1920s for hunting vermin.
  • The rowing boat Beatrix Potter used to row on Moss Eccles Tarn can be seen at Steamboat Museum in Windermere.
  • Tarn Hows is man made, created in the 19th Century by the merging of 3 existing smaller lakes.
  • Bridge House next to the main car park at Ambleside, was originally built in the early 18th century as a store for apples.
  • The Lake Poets, William Wordsworth, Robert Southey and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, formed there own Romantics inspired by the lovely Lakeland scenery.
  • In 1845 Wordsworth boycotted the launch of the Lady of the Lake, the first steamer on any English Lake.
  • Great Langdale is believed to be the oldest habited place in the Lake District with rock carvings at least 2,500 years old.
  • Donald Campbell, who died on Coniston Water on 4th Jan 1967, was the only man to ever hold the water and land speed records at the same time.
  • Borrowdale graphite was the rarest and most valuable graphite in the world but was discovered by Germans.
  • Statistics for the main lakes; Windermere 10 1/2 miles long & 220 feet deep, Ullswater 7 1/2 miles long & 210 feet deep, Coniston 5 1/2 miles long & 180 feet deep, Thirlmere 3 1/2 miles long & 160 feet deep, Ennerdale Water 2 1/2 miles long & 150 feet deep, Bassenthwaite 4 miles long & 70 feet deep, Wastwater 3 miles long & 260 feet deep, Derwentwater 2 1/2 miles long and 7o feet deep, Grasmere 1 mile long & 70 feet deep and finally Rydal Water 3/4 mile long & 50 feet deep.
Other walking Facts
  • Naismith’s rule states one hour for every 3 miles walked plus 1/2 an hour for every 1,000 foot climbed. Still pretty good rule of thumb.
  • A walk around the coast of Mainland Britain is roughly 4,500 miles. At 15 miles every day this would take over 10 months. Nice idea for a year off
  • There are 1,542 separate mountains/hills with 500 foot or more of ascent on each side in England, Scotland, Wales and their islands. They are known as Marilyns
  • Tracks and footpaths as shown on OS maps in Scotland give no indication of the existence or not of public rights of way. They do in England and Wales.
  • When offering a grid reference always us the easterly reference first ie: the numbers along the foot of the map. I always think of it as walking in to a house before going up the stairs.
  • Ben More is the only island Munro outside Skye
  • The Pennine Way was developed from an original route devised by Tom Stephenson in the 1930s.
  • O/S Triangulation points date from 1935 to provide a more stable base for the theodolite of surveyors.
  • Areas of Outstanding Beauty (AONB) have the same statutory protection as National Parks but differ as they do not have a statutory aim of provision for recreation.
  • There are about 100 Mountain Rescue Teams in the British Isles. They are 100% volunteer run and funded almost exclusively by voluntary contributions.
  • Ben Nevis is home to a wheelchair race in June where competitors pull up a wheelchair user all 4,000 foot