The extension in 2016 of the Yorkshire Dales National Park into a large area of Westmorland (and a small area of Lancashire) was controversial at the time, with many fearing the imposition of a “Yorkshire Dales” identity on areas not in Yorkshire. Happily, the national park authorities adopted ABC’s suggestion that the name “Westmorland Dales” should be formally used to describe the new area. This has been a huge boost to the Westmorland identity of this beautiful part of our country. The area is now extensively promoted to tourists as Westmorland Dales. A set of Westmorland Dales signs has been erected around the boundaries to the area.
Local people have enthusiastically supported the new name. This has culminated in July 29th being designated Westmorland Dales Day with a full day of events centred in Kirkby Stephen. The day will feature inspirational guest speakers; a day of creative play at the riverside with Kirkby Stephen Community Arts, Stomping Ground and Eden Rivers Trust; the Westmorland Dales Run; 24-mile cycle tour of the area; steam train journeys; guided walks, history tours and much more. It promises to be a wonderful celebration of the Westmorland Dales and a further confirmation and celebration of the importance of the county of Westmorland to its people.