St Alkelda’s Way – Giggleswick to Middleham – 33 miles, 3 days. Walk through the spectacular Yorkshire Dales National Park amongst the Swaledale sheep, following a Roman pathway that St Alkelda must have taken on her journeys between the villages of Middleham (Wensleydale) and Giggleswick (Ribbesdale) around 900AD, both of which she is now the patron saint. Alkelda is remembered in these two localities as a saintly lady famous for her use of nearby holy wells for baptism and for her martyrdom at the hands of Danish women.
St Alkelda’s Way is a self-guided walk through the beautiful, exhilarating, and sometimes challenging scenery of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, a landscape of “hollow mountains”, caves, ‘shake’ and ‘swallow’ holes, rivers appearing and disappearing, an area full of the contrasts of limestone and millstone thrown together by the upthrusts of the Craven Fault, a scenery fashioned by the dynamism of water and long gone glaciers and creating intriguing land formations, and different plant life, trees, forests and vegetation in the process. The history in the rocks and human-fashioned stone churches and their enigmatic ‘cross shafts’ is rich. Stone crosses line the route, at which pilgrims of old would have prayed for safe passage, maybe even Alkelda herself.
Dramatic land formations of Yorkshire Dales
Sense of walking an old track
Thoroughly researched and practical guidebook
Route inspired by a nature-loving saint
This route was conceived by Kathleen Kinder, who has written this guidebook, available for purchase.