A new era for Yorkshire Dales Guides

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A new era for Yorkshire Dales Guides

Hello Dear Friends & Fellow Adventurers,

It is with great excitement albeit nostalgia that the Yorkshire Dales Guides team both old and new announce the ending of one era and the beginning of anew.

After 27 years of excellence in guiding and instructing Dave and Pam in May 2018 hung up their wellies to enjoy their well deserved retirement. So who are the new management team?

We are Steph Dwyer – Managing Director, Mike Bottomley – Director and Paul Mackrill – Director

Between us we have over 90 years of experience in the outdoors in areas such as:


Exploratory Expedition Caving  


Rock Climbing

Open Water & Cave Diving

Sea Kayaking

Downhill & Cross-country Skiing

Open water swimming

Ultra-Endurance Fell Running

Yes, we’ve been privileged enough to be the first human beings to lay our footprints in the sand of some incredible places and we can help you get there too!

Steph doing what she loves, helping young people believe in their infinite potential 🙂

Together with the wealth of experience passed on by Dave and Pam, we hope to build upon and expand this fantastic business.

Professionally we have backgrounds ranging from Psychology, Chemistry, Project management, Geology & Geophysics to Nuclear Physics but we are best known for our leading roles in the multi-award winning film, the Ario Dream, about the exploratory expedition Steph & Mike currently run. Check out: www.ariocavesproject.com for the movie trailer, more info & pictures.

Our dedication and experience in the outdoors is evidenced by: 

Steph being 1st Lady and taking over 5 1/2 hours off the women’s record in this years Spine MRT Challenger race, a 190km ultra endurance race in winter across the Pennine Way. See her and Mike in Summit Fever’s fantastic film – Resilience, https://www.reelhouse.org/summitfevermedia/resilience

Mike being the first to both descend into the World’s deepest & biggest caves, not to mention all his cave exploration in the Yorkshire Dales & beyond, and

An 11 year old Mike exploring Gaping Gill with his Dad.
















Paul being the first ever to traverse the Swiss 4,000m high mountains and in partnership with our dear friend Tony Seddon, being the first to complete the world’s deepest cave diving through trip – over 1,200m beneath the mountains.

Paul, abseiling into a cave in Norway whilst on expedition

Yorkshire Dales Guides provide bespoke Guiding, Adventures & Life Changing Experiences above & below the mountains.

We cater for ALL levels of experienceconfidence and ability across a wide range of activities and desired outcomes such as Rock Climbing, Caving and Potholing, Walking and Hiking, Fellrunning, Team Building, and we work in partnership with local experts to also provide Biking, Mountain Biking, Watersports and Running Coaching. We also teach caving (SRT) and rock climbing ropework, and mountain navigation through the National Navigation Award Scheme.

We are specialists in harnessing the outdoors, psychological research and challenge events to facilitate whatever your schools/business/groups desired outcomes are, be them team cohesion, stress reduction or creativity. We do so by marrying our background in psychology, the outdoors and exploratory expeditions to offer you a springboard for growth tailored to you and your needs.




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On Track Days Relaunched – its all about being safe on the hills


on track days

We have relaunched our On Track Days for 2017 and they are designed for all walkers about keeping safe in the outdoors and more importantly what to do if your day goes wrong or you come across someone else who needs help.

The day course is designed and run by YDG instructors who have more than 40 years experience in mountain rescue.

We spend as little time as possible indoors before moving outdoors to learn some simple techniques that will help when things go wrong.

Learn some basic map and compass skills, reorienting yourself, giving an accurate grid reference, planning a walk, what kit to take etc.

Dealing with simple emergencies and how to get help without preventable delays if things are a bit more serious.

We don’t do minimum numbers but we don’t do more than 6 to an instructor, more than 6 we bring in an additional instructor.

Bring a packed lunch with you and walking kit appropriate for the weather on the day. Map and compass supplied for the day if needed.

Mid-week or Weekend meeting at The Barn Stainforth just outside of Settle

The day starts at 9.30am and we aim to finish at approximately 4.30 pm

Cost: – £65.00 per person, £120.00 two people booking and discount for groups

Get in touch if you need any additional information, we run our courses even if only one person books so you can be confident with your plans.

You can book a place on an advertised course HERE or ring us to book a date of your choice.

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caving trips

Overground Underground – The Festival of the Ingleborough Dales

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For the 5th year we are involved in this brilliant festival which is a “weekend of diverse activities that will bring the unique landscape of the Ingleborough Dales to life in inspiring and unexpected ways”.  The Festival runs over the weekend 19th – 21st June. We will be running two opportunities to try caving for anyone eight and over who is reasonably fit and able to bend a bit.  The trips are designed to introduce people to the wonders of the underground dales.  These will be on the Saturday and Sunday starting at 5.00 pm and finishing by 8.00 pm. For more information and to book visit our Eventbrite page or give us a call.

caving trips

We will also be running a “Developing Your Compass Skills” day on the Saturday which is for people who know the basics of map work but have either never used a compass or are a bit rusty.  On Sunday we will be running an “On Track – Getting Started with Navigation ” day which is designed for people who are real beginners.  Both these days run from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.  They are suitable for anyone 14 and over.  More details on all our activities can be on our web sitewww.YorkshireDalesGuides.co.uk .   If you visit the festival site atwww.ogug.co.uk you might just find a code for some discount and all of our events over this weekend.

map reading

There are lots more events over the weekend of the Festival including Art Exhibitions, Free Airbay Jump Day, Indoor Bouldering Competition, Films, Talks, Archaeology, Running, Wildflower walks, Mountain Rescue Search Dogs Demonstration and Water Zorbing.  A real action packed weekend with something for everyone.

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film & television logistics

Did you see us on the BBC?

Sean and Paul Rose after filming for BBC Pennine Way.

with paul rose on the BBC

Back in late November we received a call from the BBC who were producing the Pennine Way programme currently showing on BBC 1 in the North on Fridays at 7.30 pm. Dave had been talking to Lucy from the production team earlier in the year but we understood there might not be enough room for a caving trip so thought that was that. The call in November was to ask us if we could take Paul Rose the presenter caving in a few days. They realised, as they began filming, there was enough great material to fill another episode to make it last for 4 weeks. Dave was on holiday so we asked Sean Whittle, who works with us regularly, if he was available and luckily he was. A star is born!

It is a great series and is available on the BBC iPlayer as well as still running for another 2 weeks on BBC1. We understand in the future it will be showing nationwide on BBC2.

Here is the link to the episode with Sean in and it also includes great footage of Malham Show, Climbing at Malham Cove, Pen-y-ghent Cafe and the Three Peaks. Well worth a watch.


So if you fancy trying caving with us then get in touch. We have holiday evening caving trips that individuals, families and small groups can join in, you can join a course or you can book your own instructor for a day and time convenient for you. We also run navigation courses for those of you that might want to tackle the Pennine Way or maybe just parts of it.

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Holiday Caving Trips

caving at all levels

You can see our next Holiday Evening Caving trip and book by either Email, phone or book online at http://bit.ly/1NKzMcB

These trips are suitable for 8 and overs. Individuals, families and small groups.

Remember, we can organise a caving, climbing or walking activity just for you, at a time and date you want, just fill in our inquiry form here>>

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outdoor activity offers

Great Deals for Your Dales Adventure

We have several open courses and events coming up over January, February and March for navigation skills and caving at all levels and ……….  

if you book one place at the full price you can have a second one for half price.  

outdoor activity offers

Just because it is winter does not mean you have to hibernate as it is a great time to practice your navigation skills as the sometimes more challenging weather can help you develop and gain confidence in the skills you need to go “off road”.  If you have not done any navigation before you could try an On Track Day.  If you know the basics and would like to learn how to use a compass then a Developing Your Compass Skills day is for you.  If you would like to spend a weekend learning and developing your navigation skills you could join one of our NNAS (National Navigation Award Scheme) 2 day non-residential courses. These are accredited courses and you get a certificate and badge on completion.

If you felt you wanted to be a bit more adventurous then you could try caving on a Monday evening during the school holidays or an Intermediate Caving day if you wanted to try going down a small pitch on a ladder.  If you have been caving before then why not learn some vertical caving skills ready for the warmer weather on our Introduction to Vertical Caving (SRT) course which takes place in our barn so is not weather dependent.

Here are all the dates in one place. If you are interested in finding out any more information on any of our events just get in touch

EventDatesPrice per personUsual minimum age
NNAS Navigation CourseSat 24th & Sun 25th January£115.0014 years old
Introduction to Vertical Caving (SRT) CourseSat 14th February£75.0016 years old
Developing your Compass Skills DaySat 14th February£60.0014 years old
On Track DaySun 15th February£60.0014 years old
Holiday Evening Caving TripMon 16th February£25.008 years old
NNAS Navigation CourseSat 21st  & Sun 22nd January£115.0014 years old
Holiday Evening Caving TripMon 23rd  February£25.008 years old
On Track DaySun 14th March£60.0014 years old
Developing your Compass Skills DaySun 15th March£60.0014 years old
Introduction to Vertical Caving (SRT) CourseSat 21st March£75.0016 years old
Intermediate Caving TripSun 22nd March£45.0012 years old
NNAS Navigation CourseSat 28th   & Sun 29th March£115.0014 years old
Holiday Evening Caving TripMon 30th March£25.008 years old

yorkshire dales guides

Trip Adviser

In the diary now

As well as organising bespoke activities to meet your needs, we keep a diary of regular activities which are 'open', so that you can just book a place.

We use Eventbrite which is a well regarded event booking system, however you can also contact us by phone, email or via the form on the right

Enquiry form

We can provide activities to meet your needs, but need a little information in order to give you a quote.

Please fill in the form below and we will get back to you as quickly as we can. There is no obligation and we are always happy to help.