Walk 1252 - printer friendly version
Great Pinseat from Surrender Bridge Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 5.5 miles / 8.9 km
Ascent - 780 feet / 236 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference SD989999
Lat 54.394575 + Long -2.0184477
Postcode DL11 6PP (approx. location only)
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 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.