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Date & start time: Saturday 6th June 2009. 10.30 am start.

Location of Start : Muker Village, Swaledale, North Yorkshire, Uk. ( SD 908 978 )

Places visited : Muker, Thwaite, Kisdon Hill, Keld (and the tearoom) Kisdon Force returning to Muker via the upper Swale Valley. A meal in the Farmer's Arms to finish.

Walk details : 7.6 mls, 1400 ft, 6 hrs 50 mins including lunch and tea.

Highest point : Kisdon Hill, Swaledale. 1629 ft ( 499m)

Walked with : Richard, Dave and Josie, Neil, David M, Jo, John, Ann and the dogs ... Jodie and Amber, Polly, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : The weather has broken and the walk starts in rain, but it clears slowly to end a nice day.

[Click on the drop down menu bar for your choice of map or photo display ]

Swaledale and Kisdon Hill at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail: Travel Community


Richard has organised a walk in Swaledale and invited members of the OFC to join him.

The meadows are full of early summer flowers and they are reaching their prime

so a second good reason to travel that little bit further East than normal.

Welcome to flaming June !!!

The weather has broken and it's cold and wet.

There's even snow on the tops as we cross the Pennines and enter the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The compact and classic Dales village of Muker where nine of us met up for today's walk.

The Literary Institute, a throw back to the hey-days of the prosperous mining times in the valley

Once a library for the working families, it now plays host to the Muker Silver Band.

By the time we get going it's 11 am, but no one is in a rush as we look round the village.

The path we need left through the cottages and small ginnels at the top of the village and crossed the first of the colourful fields.

Before climbing Kisdon we walk a mile up the valley towards Thwaite using the footpath through the fields.

A small but well maintained arched bridge takes us over Thwaite Beck.

One of many narrow field gaps known as Pinch Stiles.
It's a slight squeeze, especially with a rucksack !

The narrow gap prevents the sheep escaping from the field, without the need for an extra gate or wooden stile.

It works prevents sheep-shaped dogs too . . . and Bethan has to have help to get through.

At Thwaite we double back and join the Pennine Way path as it climbs north towards Kisdon Hill.

The route we walked across can be seen in the field below.

A rather damp picture as another rain shower sweeps up the valley.

David in cheerful mood . . . but he hasn't realised the size of the wall . . .
. . . which was totally devoid of any crossing point.

With lots of effort and an equal amount of care we managed to get everyone over the wall and continued on our way to the top.

Interestingly we passed several of these piles of quartz gravel. They turned out to be specifically placed for the grouse by the local gamekeeper. The birds need these stones in their digestive system in order to properly crush and digest their moorland food. Without them the non-native bird would have a hard job surviving on such a poor diet.

Ahh . . . Neil has found something to photograph . . .
. . . Kisdon Hill's impressive Summit cairn.

Richard and Neil discuss the route ahead.

There aren't as many well defined paths up here as there are in the busier parts of the Lake District.

Walls are a great aid to navigation however

and this one will take us down towards the village of Keld, our next target.

" The Old and the New "

An old hillside barn has been converted into a high-tech radio transmitting station for the emergency services.

Lunch is taken in a rather convenient corner of the wall system.

Despite a welcome patch of sunlight that lasted as long as our sandwich boxes were open (and no longer)

there was a cold and damp feeling to the passing breeze.

An old Hawthorn as we drop down the track into the valley.
A small ford with the amazing name of Skeb Skeugh on the map.

A Pot of Tea for Eight (and one coffee) lifts the spirits further on this damp but enjoyable day.

Tea and table courtesy of Rukin's Tea Room on the campsite in Keld.

Josie playing Mum . . . with a large pot of tea.
Richard in pensive mood.

Neil and Dave.

 Mmmm ... Chocolate cake ... reaches the parts that other cakes cannot reach !

Jo and John supplement their mountain diet with a portion of cake !

[ Hold your cursor over the photo to see if they offered me any ]

Cameras were out as this confident House Sparrow flew in for the crumbs.

Time to go . . .

We chose the right hand side path down the valley in order to see the waterfalls.

Catrake Force across the valley is running well after the recent rains.

The Pennine Way Path continues north from Keld, past the falls, but we are heading south in the direction of Muker.

Wild Garlic in profusion

in the sheltered woodland alongside the River Swale.

- - - o o o - - -

We collected a handful of leaves to take home

and with the addition of a quantity of Stinging Nettles from our garden,

a few potatoes, stock and an old country recipe

we made a very palatable "Wild Garlic and Nettle Soup" next day.

- - - o o o - - -

We were on the lookout for Kisdon Force . . . we could hear the falls but couldn't find the path at first.

This was the view as we trod a slippery path down through the trees.

It was an impressive sight . . . the River Swale in partial flood.

Rich brown peaty water from the moors cascading down through the deep gorge.

Brown Water . . .
. . . and raw energy !

Keep well back . . not a place to venture you would think . . . but you would be wrong . . .

On the river were several canoeists . . . out to enjoy the conditions.

A short, stubby canoe but a large measure of concentration as he launches himself over the edge.

Time to hold your breath . . .

. . . till you emerge safely at the bottom of the waterfall.

His colleague . . . trying it again . . . without paddles !


You've seen the stills . . .

Now enjoy the movie . . .

Click here or on the photo for my Swaledale Canoe Video.


( The video should open a new window and play in your Windows Media Player)

( It may take a minute or so to download on slower connection speeds - please be patient )

Leaving the falls, we continue down the valley.

Lead mining brought great prosperity to the area in the 18th and 19th Centuries so many old mines and buildings are still in evidence.

High on the hill is Crackpot Hall

an old farm in the heart of the mining community.

We continue on down under Kisdon Side.

Across the way is the valley of Swinner Gill, famous again for it's old lead mines.

Young Amber, dressed for the weather, is still full of energy
Bluebells still bloom on the northern slopes of Kisdon.

Following the River Swale downstream.

Looking back up the valley

the sun is now shining and the rain has gone completely.

Ramps Holm Bridge which we would have used had we followed the path down on the other side of the river.

Another stile, this time a little wider than this morning's ones,

leads us into the start of the famous Swaledale flower meadows.

Traditionally these meadows are not cut early for modern farm silage but have been allowed to mature

and produce a magnificent display of flowers and a bumper hay crop for the farmers later in the year.

David walks the paved path

which encourages visitors not to trample the flowers.

Hay meadows and stone barns . . . classic Yorkshire Dales country.

This was the second of numerous fields from here down to Muker and beyond.

Buttercups, Yellow Poppies, Red Clover, and many many more varieties adorn the fields.

" Keep off the Grass "

More barns . . . more lovely flowers.

Approaching Muker now and the first of the houses appear beyond the walls.

We leave the meadows and climb a slight rise back towards the village.

My, my . . . is that the time ?

Back in the village

we spot

a very useful sign . . .

and adjourn

at the end of a lovely walk

for a meal at

The Farmers Arms.

David and John discuss the world . . .
. . . before diner is served.

Our thanks for Richard for organising the walk . . . and the refreshments afterwards.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with with my Cannon G7 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . . a valley full of surprises.

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Previous walk - Sunday 31st May 2009 HSBC/VSO Scafell 3 Peaks

A previous time here - apologies, it was so long ago the old photos are not in digital format :o(

Next walk - Saturday 13th June 2009 Gavel Fell and Floutern