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Great Pinseat from Surrender Bridge

Yorkshire Dales Walk

Nat Park - Yorkshire Dales - Swaledale

County/Area - North Yorkshire

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 5.5 miles / 8.9 km    Ascent - 780 feet / 236 metres

Time - 3 hours 30 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Great Pinseat
Click image to visit gallery of 6 images.

The moors to the north of Upper Swaledale were once home to large scale mining with its heyday in the latter stages of the nineteenth century. Following the subsequent decline in mining, it is still possible to appreciate the massive scale of this activity and this Yorkshire Dales walk provides a useful introduction. In addition the route provides an easy to follow route visiting the summit of Great Pinseat, which offers grand views of the surrounding countryside.

The start is Surrender Bridge (grid ref. SD989999) on the road from Feetham in Swaledale to Langthwaite in Arkengarthdale. After parking walk north along the road for about 600 metres. Just after the road levels off turn left along a signed track. This track curves northwest and climbs steadily for a short way before levelling off the cross the wild moorland.

Stay on the track, gaining height easily, to pass a sheepfold on your right. Shortly afterwards you reach an untidy area of spoil tips, some of which have cairns! Leave the main track and head due north across heather (looking out for mineshafts!) to reach a wall. The summit of Great Pinseat is marked by a standard concrete trig point. Although the summit's immediate surroundings are exceptionally boring, there is a wide view especially north into upper Arkengarthdale and beyond.

Return to the main track and follow it west as it descends to a gate. Go through the gate and stay with the track as it follows Flincher Gill to reach Level House Bridge. Flincher Gill becomes Hard Level Gill and this remains on your right as you descend gently to the remains of Old Gang Smelting Mills where the stream changes name again to become Old Gang Beck. This leads down to Surrender Bridge.

Rather then return directly to your transport, it is worth continuing downstream for a few hundred metres to have a look at the last mining remains of the walk - a further smelting mill. Today it is hard to imagine the level of activity in this area although the many spoil heaps, scars on the landscape and the remaining buildings do give some impression of how important this area was to the local economy.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1253 Booze & Slei Gill from Langthwaiteeasy2.5 miles
Walk 3478 Cringley Hill & Scar House from Langthwaiteeasy/mod4.8 miles
Walk 2190 Calver Hill & Reeth Low Mooreasy/mod6.0 miles
Walk 1056 Gunnerside & Surrender Bridgemoderate10.3 miles
Walk 1197 Gunnerside & Swinner Gillsmoderate8.5 miles
Walk 3093 Bunton Hush, Blakethwaite & Gunnerside Gilleasy/mod5.5 miles
Walk 1694 Nappa Hall & Whitfield Gill Force easy/mod6.0 miles
Walk 2822 Aysgarth & Castle Boltonmod/hard14.5 miles
Walk 1340 Muker & Upper Swaledale from Keldeasy/mod6.5 miles
Walk 1053 Swinner Gill and Mukermod/hard8.5 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: South and West

Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: South and WestPart of a two-book set, this guidebook describes 44 walks in the southern and western Yorkshire Dales, including the famous 23 mile Three Peaks circuit over Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. The other, mostly circular routes of 3½ to 13 miles cover the scenic region between Sedbergh, Kirkby Lonsdale, Settle, Skipton and Grassington.
More information

Trail and Fell Running in the Yorkshire Dales

Trail and Fell Running in the Yorkshire DalesGuidebook to 40 of the best trail and fell runs in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Ranging from 5 to 24 miles, the graded runs start from bases such as Ribblehead, Dent, Sedbergh, Malham and Grassington and take in the region's diverse delights, from castles and waterfalls to iconic mountains such as Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen Y Ghent.
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