A Saturday night parking spot looking down in to Swaledale is a sight many of us do not see that often. The calmness and tranquility of been in the Dales once all the days traffic and fell walkers have decided its time for home is a time for taking in this stunning peaceful landscape. Only a slight breeze and the occasional moo from a cow, the bar from a Swaledale sheep and the farmer in the very far distance cutting the hay field. This is what I was listening to and connecting with as I shot the panoramic view looking down the valley into Swaledale and Muker.
Back to the walk.
Parking in the small village of Keld in the farmers yard (only a modest donation) we set off on the walk heading towards Muker. Pick up the gravel track which is singed Muker. Continuing on the upper level (ignore the path to the left) Go through a gate and pass a sign to Kidston Upper. Keep following the Pennine way on a rough path on Kisdon side.
Three farmers on quad bikes and 5 Sheep dogs herding sheep. Its a great site to see and reminds me of a flock of starlings as they change direction at a moments notice.
As I said it is a little rough in places on Kisdon side, so a good set of walking boots is an absolute must.
At the start of the walk there is quite a lot of vegetation with trees and ferns, but after only a short while this does clear and the view does start to open up giving you chance to see some terrific landscape scenery.
This is again on Kidson side looking over to Crackpot Hall, an old disused lead works.
Its worth stopping once in a while to take in the views from here on Kisdon side.
Toward the end section of the Kisdon side part you will come across a sign marked Muker. The path becomes walled and then on to a narrow graveled track which leads in to Muker village.
The end section of Kisdon side dropping down in to Muker.
There are a couple of tea rooms in the village, we had a cupa in the rear tea garden of the old school house, it’s also an art gallery containing the works of local artists. We had a bit of a laugh playing with the puzzles laid out for customers to use which I thought was a good idea especially if you have young children with you. Sat watching the birds too in the garden was also interesting seeing so many different species feeding off the bird feeders the proprietor had set up.
There is also a small wool shop with products manufactured from local Swaledale sheep.
After refreshments the head back to the river Swale by going through the village and walking on a paved footpath through some meadows, which in late spring early summer are covered with buttercups. Cross the bridge and head up the slight incline to turn left at the top and follow the path up stream.
The image bellow is heading up to Swinner Gill and part of the old lead mining works
One there a good time to cool your feet in the stream. Pretty refreshing
A liitle further on after Swinner Gill there is the remaining works of the old Lead mine caller Crackpot Hall. You need to take a little detour off the main path to climb up to it, but it’s worth it. Take time to explore the buildings as there are some interesting photographs to take here, and the view from here down the valley is quite breathtaking.
Continue following the path back toward Keld where eventually you come across two waterfalls, Kisdon upper force and lower force, again take time here to look around the water fall because they are magnificent especially if there has been recent heavy rains. It is only a few hundred meters from here then you are back to the start of the walk in the village of Keld.
I hope these images will inspire you to take this beautiful walk in Swaledale. Its about 6 miles only taking in some of the best scenery the dales has to offer. The hardest part of the walk was on Kisdon side where it was quite tricky underfoot with loose boulders and stones. But once this area has been navigated it is very easy to walk indeed.