Swaledale

Swaledale

Route: Swaledale

Area: Yorkshire Dales

Date of walk: 16th August 2017

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 7.6 miles

Ascent: 1,100 feet

Weather: Mostly sunny

I parked on the village green in the lovely village of Reeth where I made a voluntary contribution to the upkeep of the green – £2 per day or £1 per half day is the suggested amount. I walked out of the village along the road to Healaugh and on reaching the school I turned off to join a path leading uphill to Skelgate Lane. At the top of the lane I headed west along a delightful path below the grouse moors. The heather was in full bloom and as I progressed further there were some wonderful views across Swaledale

When I reached Thirns it was decision time, as I was armed with two possible routes today, one short and the other longer. The good weather made this an easy decision and I continued to follow the path below Calver Hill as far as Cringley Bottom, the halfway point of today’s walk

A very steep path (which could be avoided by continuing further up the valley) took me down towards Barney Beck, and just before the beck I forded Bleaberry Gill and located a small gate which is the key to the return route (this is easily missed, so keep a sharp lookout for it if following this route). The initial part of the return leg was rather a chore, being through shoulder high bracken and having restricted views, but after a short while things improved and a lovely path through woodland and then fields took me to the small village of Healaugh

After walking through the village I followed a signposted path down to the River Swale and from here I walked along the riverbank, turning uphill to Reeth just after passing by the swing bridge. It was a wonderful walk in one of Yorkshire’s most beautiful dales

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