Yorkshire Dales Walks
Rogan's Seat & Water Crag
Date: 30th August 2004
Distance: 12.5 miles
Ascent: 2067 feet
Time: Too long ago to remember!
Start Grid Ref: NY892011
A nice climb to the top of Rogan's Seat was followed by a rough crossing of Mirk Fell and finally a walk south along the Pennine Way from the Tan Hill Inn.
1. Catrake Force
2. Swinner Gill
3. Matt on Rogan's Seat
4. The peaty plateau of Rogan's Seat
5. Looking bouffant by the trig point on Water Crag
6. Matt enjoying lunch in the Water Crag wind shelter
7. The vast wilderness north of Water Crag
8. Approaching the Tan Hill Inn
9. By the Tan Hill Inn
10. The Swale Gorge
Walk Detail: There was a month’s break between our previous walk and this one. In the intervening period we had planned on tackling the Three Peaks at last but due to numerous circumstances we had to pull out and so this walk was an attempt to get back into shape, this was also our first real experience of Swaledale.
The day itself was fairly clear and there was quite a bit of sunshine. In the days prior to the walk there had been a fair bit of rain but this only seemed to make the conditions almost like a fresh spring day.
The initial walking from Keld was particularly pleasant and the valley along Hall Edge was very scenic. I thoroughly enjoyed the walk round and then up Swinner Gill though it was quite tough in places.
Once up on the moorland the gradients were very easy with the summit of Rogan’s Seat proving to be relatively flat with lots of peat mounds anyone of which could have been the summit. Identifying the summit was not helped by the fact that (as we were to later learn) some spoilsport had removed the summit cairn.
From the top of Rogan’s Seat we were warned off going further north along the shooter’s track, as there was a shoot on. After assurances we were not heading in that direction we headed northeast over Wham Bottom to the summit of Water Crag.
Water Crag provided some good views of the northeast as well as the northern Pennine hills. It also had a rather nice windshelter where we stopped and ate lunch. So far the walk had been quite delightful but the next hour or so was utterly frustrating.
Firstly we had to negotiate a number of watercourses before locating the bridleway running west to east along Annaside Edge. We finally located the bridleway but it soon became clear that the course of the path bore little relation to its depiction on the map. Neither were we helped by the fact that there were a number of tracks which were not on the map.
We lost the path a number of times and this was one of the few occasions where we had to take regular grid reference reading on the GPS to locate where we were on the map. Eventually we arrived at the famous Tan Hill Inn and for the first time on one of our walks we stopped in a pub for a drink even though it was a soft one.
From Tan Hill we followed the Pennine Way all the way back to Keld. It was quite a pleasant stretch with only the occasional boggy stretch.
This was a walk of many contrasts and at its best provided some of the nicest walking we’d had to date but at its worst also some of the most frustrating.