Muker, Keld, Swaledale & Tan Hill - Thursday 5 June 2014
Muker - Ramps Holme Bridge - Keld - East Stonesdale - Pennine Way - Tan Hill Inn - Pennine Way - East Stonesdale - Swinner Gill - Ramps Holme Bridge - Muker
On the verge in Muker (Free) - Grid Ref SD907979
Good moorland and riverside paths for the most part. From Keld to Tan Hill the path is boggy in places
Overcast mainly with some sunny spells and fresh breezes
7hrs (included an hour in The Tan Hill Inn!!)
OL30 - Yorkshire Dales (Northern & Central Areas)
This area of the Yorkshire Dales provides some superb walking. It has pretty much everything - industrial history, superb low & high level walking, picturesque villages and fabulous pubs. Todays walk was going to take in all of that for the most part. From the village of Muker to Tan Hill follows the Pennine Way for most of the route and we have walked here many times. It is always glorious no matter what the weather is doing.
The walk starts in the lovely village of Muker where there is parking along the verge on the road from Thwaite into the village. Heading through Muker, the route turns up left to the church and through a snicket into open fields with stone flagged paths through the middle of them to reach Ramps Holme Bridge and the River Swale. There is now an option of two routes - left or right along the Swale to reach Keld. Today we headed to the left and followed the Swale upstream with the bulk of Kisdon for company, soon reaching the junction path where the Pennine Way comes down from the hillside.
Whilst Keld is tiny, it is worth having a quick look around the hamlet which is on the route of both the Coast-to-Coast Walk and The Pennine Way. It is unspoilt and still retains a charm all of its own. There is a really good cafe here at Park Lodge and we did our usual customary eating of one of their bacon butties before heading off back down to the Swale. Crossing the river we followed the Pennine Way past East Gill Force and left up onto Stonesdale Moor. If the weather is too wet and the path impassable then the road which runs parallel can be followed to Tan Hill - and back if necessary.
The route over Stonesdale Moor is on a good path although there are some isolated areas of boggy ground which can be circumvented if necessary. After a long trudge over the moor the Tan Hill Inn appears and on first seeing the pub it is difficult to comprehend what you are seeing in the middle of nowhere. Reaching the Inn, it started to rain therefore only one thing to do really - so we did! The pub is unpretentious and had a big roaring fire going but before long we were back out and luckily the rain had abated.
The return journey follows the same route back to Keld and on reaching the hamlet do not cross the bridge but instead take the path above East Gill Force which rises gently to reach an old tractor at the path junction to Crackpot Hall. There is a superb view from here right down the valley towards Muker and the remainder of the walk follows the river past Swinner Gill to reach Ramps Holme Bridge. It is now a simple matter of crossing the bridge and following the field paths back to Muker and a welcome pint in The Farmers Arms.
The Farmers Arms in Muker - in our humble opinion this is one of the best pubs in the Yorkshire Dales ........
....... with a sense of humour to match!
St Mary's Church in Muker
Leaving Muker and heading for the Swale
The River Swale near Ramps Holme Bridge - the route heads along the left hand side of the Swale
Swinner Gill ahead
Lots of beautiful stone barns like this all over the valley. The ruins of Crackpot Hall can be seen on the hillside
Nearing Keld at the Pennine Way junction
Park Lodge Cafe in Keld. Fudge has a "sad on" because he didn't get any of our bacon butty - again
Keld United Reformed Church - notice the sundial clock. Wainwright said of Keld - "time here is measured in centuries"
East Gill Force, Keld
Keld from the Pennine Way
Stonesdale Moor - no one here
First view of the Tan Hill Inn
The Tan Hill Inn - literally in the middle of nowhere
Better go and have a beer then eh Fudge?
Fudge near Crackpot Hall - any chance of a pose and he is in there
Looking down the Swale towards Muker with Kisdon Hill to the left
A wet pooch is a happy pooch - Fudge in Swinner Gill
Swinner Gill mine workings
Still no one here - heading along the Swale back to Muker
Ramps Holme Bridge
Looking down the Swale from Ramps Holme
Glorious walking through the fields back to Muker
Just superb today
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