Three fabulous walks in Swaledale

Have a look at these circular trails in Swaledale, in the northern and central area of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. They are all between 9 and 10 miles long and will take 4½ to 5 hours to complete. The walks include visits to some of the region’s most beautiful places such as Gunnerside, Gunnerside Gill, Healaugh, Reeth, Langthwaite and Arkengarthdale.

The northern and central area of the Yorkshire Dales National Park

One Ordnance Survey map covers these fabulous Swaledale routes

The best map to use is the Ordnance Survey map of the Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central Area, reference OS Explorer OL30, scale 1:25,000. It clearly displays footpaths, rights of way, open access land and vegetation on the ground, making it ideal for walking, running and hiking. The map can be purchased from Amazon in either a standard, paper version or a weatherproof, laminated version, as shown below.

RECOMMENDED MAP
Standard Ordnance Survey map of the Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central Area, reference OS Explorer OL30, scale 1:25,000.
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RECOMMENDED MAP
Weatherproof Active Ordnance Survey map of the Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central Area, reference OS Explorer OL30, scale 1:25,000.
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Walk 1 – Gunnerside and Old Gang Smelting Mills

North from the village of Gunnerside, following the course of Gunnerside Beck through the valley, all the way to the lead mines at Gunnerside Gill. East across Melbecks Moor via Old Gang Mines to Hard Level Gill, then south-east alongside Old Gang Beck to the minor road near Surrender Bridge. South-west around Feetham Pasture to Blades and finally west above the Swaledale valley back to the starting point. A 9-mile walk in Swaledale.

Gunnerside Beck about half a mile north of the village of Gunnerside
Old lead mines at Gunnerside Gill
Track alongside Old Gang Beck

Walk 2 – Healaugh and Crackpot

East out of Healaugh to the suspension bridge which crosses the River Swale near Reeth, then a south-west ascent to the old Iron Age settlement of Maiden Castle. Around the northern flanks of High Harker Hill and along the bridleway to Whitaside Moor, before dropping down to visit the waterfalls of Haverdale Beck just outside Crackpot. North-east by the side of the River Swale, across the B6270 road, returning to Healaugh via Barney Beck High Bridge. A 10-mile walk in Swaledale.

Sunter’s garage shelter

RECOMMENDED MAP CASE
Aquapac Kaituna waterproof map case, reference 808. Ideal for keeping Ordnance Survey maps clean, dry and always at hand.
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Haverdale Beck near Crackpot in Swaledale
Haverdale Beck waterfalls

Walk 3 – Langthwaite and Reeth

Starting from Langthwaite, it’s south along the minor road to Arkle Town followed by a climb to the top of Calver Hill, before heading east across moorland and into Reeth via Skelgate Lane. Then north-west through Arkengarthdale to Booze, generally following the route of Arkle Beck, and continuing to Langthwaite Scar. After a U-turn at Windegg Lane it’s down into the valley, across the beck and south back to the village. A 10-mile walk in Swaledale.

The view of Calver Hill from Cuckoo Hill

RECOMMENDED TORCH
Nebo NE6822 Redline 6000 lumens flashlight. Perfect for walking in the dark. Waterproof, rechargeable and extremely bright.
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Langthwaite bridge
St Mary’s Church in Langthwaite

Look at these walking guides

Three very good paperbacks from the Amazon Cicerone store. There are many others to choose from. Although I make up my own walking routes, I regularly look at these guides for inspiration.

RECOMMENDED WALKING GUIDEBOOK
Walking in the Yorkshire Dales. North and East Walks. Howgills, Mallerstang, Swaledale, Wensleydale, Coverdale and Nidderdale.
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RECOMMENDED WALKING GUIDEBOOK
Walking in the Yorkshire Dales. South and West Walks. Wharfedale, Littondale, Malhamdale, Dentdale and Ribblesdale.
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RECOMMENDED WALKING GUIDEBOOK
The North York Moors. 50 walks in the North York Moors National Park. Includes the Lyke Wake Walk.
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