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Yorkshire Dales Walks


The River Swale

Date: 19th January 2007
Distance: 7.2 miles
Ascent: 1533 feet
Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
With: Dan
Start Grid Ref: SD910978

Walk Summary:
A fine walk in upper Swaledale visiting the top of Kisdon and enjoying a fine stretch along the Swale Gorge.

Route Summary: Muker - Kisdon - Keld - Crackpot Hall - Ramps Holme Bridge - Muker


1. The path climbing Kisdon from Muker

2. Swaledale from Kisdon

3. Rogan's Seat from Kisdon

4. Dan by the cairn near the top of Kisdon

5. Catrake Force

6. The Swale Gorge

7. Kisdon

8. Crackpot Hall

9. Lower waterfalls on Swinner Gill

10. River Swale from Ramps Holme Bridge

Walk Detail: Considering the previous day had seen the worst storm to hit Britain in 17 years it was somewhat surprising that we didn’t have any problems getting all the way to Swaledale after initially meeting at Bolton Bridge.

Shortly after parking at Muker the wind began to pick up and the rain started to fall and it seemed like the next weather front had made an early arrival. However by the time we had completed the short steep climb up the bridleway to begin the detour to the summit of Kisdon the rain had stopped and would thankfully not return.

The nasty patches of bog I’d read about were in evidence on the summit plateau as were the unfortunate remains of sheep that had fallen into them. More unexpected was the sight of a well preserved dead stoat balanced on a wall just above a trap. Very bizarre.

After climbing a wall we made it to the summit and the large cairn just a few yards lower down and after enjoying the feeling of being on the top we returned to the excellent bridleway which we then followed all the way down to Keld.

From Keld we headed down to the Swale where we paused for a while to admire Catrake Force before heading along the bridleway towards Crackpot Hall. I really enjoyed this section as it brought back good memories of my last visit to this area when Matt and I had walked along here on the way up to Rogan’s Seat.

While the climb up Swinner Gill was sadly not on the agenda this time we did have a little look around Crackpot Hall which Dan found quite fascinating. From there we continued along the bridleway all the way until we crossed over the Swale at Ramps Holme Bridge. Along the way we had a good luck at the lower falls of Swinner Gill as well as Arn Gill Force.

The final section from the river across the fields into Muker was most pleasant. This was an excellent walk which had a bit of everything the only thing that stopped it being top class was the lack of sunshine to enhance the views.

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