A NEW 42-mile Yorkshire Heritage Way recreational trail between Bradford and Ripon will be officially launched at Bradford Cathedral next month.

The trail - which will link the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Saltaire and Fountains Abbey, as well as passing through stunning countryside – will be the subject of a launch event at the Cathedral on Friday, 29 April from 9am to 10am.

The event will be 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, which will start immediately after the ceremony.

Finishing at Ripon Cathedral on Monday, 2 May, the walk coincides with the 1,350th celebration of its founding, 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: “I’ve promised that accessibility, inclusivity, diversity and equality will be at the heart of everything we do.

“The community grants scheme is a brilliant example of putting this into action.

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

“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.”

For further information contact David Asher on 07751 959494.

Those wishing to register for one or more days of 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.

Details of the campaign for a safe crossing of the River Wharfe in Burley in Wharfedale can be found at www.burleybridge.com or by contacting the group via burleybridge@gmail.com, Facebook @burleybridgeassoc or Twitter @burleybridge.