THE Deputy Lord Mayor of Bradford hailed the Yorkshire Heritage Way a 'magnificent project' at its recent launch at Bradford Cathedral.

Cllr Beverley Mullaney was one of a number of speakers at the event to celebrate the new 42 mile recreational walking trail linking Bradford and Ripon Cathedrals, developed by the Burley Bridge Association (BBA). The trail also joins the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Saltaire, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal.

Bishop of Bradford Toby Haworth, Bishop of Bradford welcomed everyone to the event, which also marked the publication of a route guide.

Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Kuldip Bharj hoped the new trail would strengthen the links between Ripon and Bradford, and build bridges between diverse communities. She called upon both cities to exploit the opportunity the trail would provide at fostering relationship, trust and respect across people of all faiths and none, and said she was profoundly proud and supportive of the initiative.

Sheena Campbell, Bradford Council World Heritage Officer for Saltaire said the trail was a fantastic idea and followed Titus Salt’s principles of promoting health, and active and green travel as well as celebrating local culture, landscape and heritage.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The walkers at Burley WeirThe walkers at Burley Weir

Iain Mann, Manager of Nidderdale AONB said what was particularly special about the route was the brilliant idea of linking two cathedral cities from their very centres, passing through amazing countryside and stunning wildlife habitats.

Bec Evans, National Trust Visitor Operations and Experience Manager at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal said she was thrilled by the initiative. By encouraging walking to Fountains Abbey, the trail was following in the footsteps of monks at the Abbey who would have welcomed people on pilgrimage.

David Asher, Secretary of the BBA finished the ceremony by thanking the City Connect team from West Yorkshire Combined Authority for providing half of the project funding, as well as the Long Distance Walkers Association, Burley-in-Wharfedale Parish Council, Burley-in-Wharfedale Community Trust and Ilkley Brewery for their financial contributions and sponsorship.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The walkers reach Ripon CathedralThe walkers reach Ripon Cathedral

The inaugural walk saw more than 60 walkers set out on the first stage of the route to Saltaire, with over 40 completing the final stage to Ripon after four days of walking. Mini bus support for the final stages of the route was provided by Ilkley and by Keighley Community Transport.

David Asher said: "I’d like to congratulate every one of the 80 or so walkers who completed one or more stages of the route and thank everyone who contributed to the success of the launch. I’d also like to give a special thanks to Aaron Okerie, Principal Engineer (Structures) with Bradford Council. One of the stepping stones at Burley Weir had been damaged recently by storms and would have meant the walk being diverted across Denton Bridge, a slightly longer option. Aaron stepped in at the last moment and organised his contractors, Jan Feathers Ltd, to do the necessary repairs enabling the stones to be crossed, which was much appreciated by everyone. All the walkers agreed it is a magnificent route that deserves to be walked by anyone wanting to see the best landscapes and historical sites this part of Yorkshire has to offer. With way marking of the route shortly to be completed, and route guides now on sale for £5.99 at bookshops in Ilkley, Otley and from the BBA, the Yorkshire Heritage Way is sure to join the list of ‘must do’ long distance routes such as the Six Dales Trail, the Nidderdale Way and of course the Dales Way."

For more information and details of how to purchase the route guide, contact, or visit