THIS year's Ride2Stride Festival has been hailed a success - despite the wintry weather.

Running over a week, the festival offers walks, talks and music along the Settle-Carlisle railway line.

"We had a remarkable week," said organiser Chris Grogan. "Walkers not only turned out, they turned out in style - well-dressed, well-equipped, smiling and cheerful.

"Walk leaders were particularly impressed how well-prepared everyone was for the conditions."

There was also positive feedback from the walkers themselves, with comments such as "friendly, well-organised festival", "we had no idea Yorkshire was as lovely as this, we've not been north before" and "we'll be back".

Numbers are still coming in but it looks like they will be similar to last year - with around 1,000 people involved in the walks, talks and music.

Chris added: "We had over 300 people in the first two days alone which is many more than ever before but there weren't many walkers out on Friday, April 29 - most stayed in Settle to watch the Tour de Yorkshire.

"Others told us they'd had an odd day off from walking and visited Skipton, Malham, Hawes and Ingleton. One couple walked during the week and went to Skipton Waterways Festival at the weekend.

"We had more local participants than we've ever had before, but there were lots of people who travelled too. A large group came from Gateshead Ramblers for the Bank Holiday weekend and told us 'We'll be back for the whole week next year.'

"Overseas visitors came from Belgium, Estonia, the Netherlands and the USA and we had UK visitors from all four corners of the British Isles including a group from Scotland who want to twin their walking festival with ours!"

Highlights included the tour of Appleby Castle which attracted 43 people and a walk from Dent station, the highest mainline station in England, to the 24-arch Ribblehead Viaduct led by Friends of the Settle Carlisle line.

And Dr David Johnson, from Ingleborough Archaeology Group, was said to be "gobsmacked" when 51 people turned up for his guided walk looking at the geology and archaeology around Settle.

Chris said: "One of the aims of the festival is to highlight the great organisations like Friends of the Settle Carlisle line, Friends of Dales Rail, the Yorkshire Dales Society and Ingleborough Archaeology Group who all organise events all year round. They were all especially pleased with the number of local people who came to their walks and talks during Ride2stride, people who may join them at future events.

"Once again the Three Peaks Folk Club did us proud. They attracted singers and musicians from all over the country - singers and musicians who spent the week travelling between pubs along the Settle-Carlisle Railway Line and playing to entertain the walkers at the end of the day."