logo Walking Britain

Yorkshire Dales Walk
Muker & Upper Swaledale from Keld

Nat Park - Yorkshire Dales - Swaledale

County/Area - North Yorkshire

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 6.5 miles / 10.6 km    Ascent - 1300 feet / 394 metres

Time - 4 hours 30 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference NY892011
Lat 54.405244 // Long -2.167883
Postcode DL11 6LJ (approx. location only)
what3words start shed.auctioned.required

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL19Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL19Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 91Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 91Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Muker & Upper Swaledale from Keld Photo from the walk - Muker & Upper Swaledale from Keld Photo from the walk - Muker & Upper Swaledale from Keld Photo from the walk - Muker & Upper Swaledale from Keld Photo from the walk - Muker & Upper Swaledale from Keld Photo from the walk - Muker & Upper Swaledale from Keld
Click thumbnails for larger images.

Upper Swaledale is, in my opinion, one of the most interesting areas within the boundaries of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This route is no exception and offers a mixture of high level and valley walking with visits to picturesque villages. As a bonus the area is rich in industrial heritage and you are able to see at first hand some of the remaining ruins.

Muker & Upper Swaledale from Keld Muker & Upper Swaledale from Keld Muker & Upper Swaledale from Keld Muker & Upper Swaledale from Keld Muker & Upper Swaledale from Keld Muker & Upper Swaledale from Keld 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This Yorkshire Dales walk starts in the small village of Keld (Grid ref. NY892011) where there is car parking, public toilets and limited opportunities for refreshments. Leave the village and take the left hand fork to reach the main road. Turn left towards Muker and after approximately 400 metres turn left down a signed bridleway. This route leads across the southwestern side of Kisdon Hill before dropping steeply into the attractive village of Muker (shop, pub, refreshments etc.).

The onward route is located to the north of the church down a minor road flanked by cottages. The footpath strikes north (Grid ref. SD 910980) across hay meadows for approximately a kilometre to reach a path junction (Grid ref. SD 909986). Turn right here and cross the Swale using the substantial footbridge. On reaching the east bank of the river turn left and follow the broad track northwards alongside the Swale.

Crossing Swinner Gill (Grid ref. NY 908004) you will see extensive evidence of the lead mining that one took place in this valley with the remains of a flue on the hillside together with ruins from an engine house and other auxiliary buildings. Continuing the main path climbs to reach a junction (Grid ref. NY 904008). Turn right here and walk the short distance to the ruins of Crackpot Hall. After inspecting these return to the main path and continue towards Keld.

Far below on your left is Kisdon Force which is an impressive sight when the Swale is in spate. Just after crossing East Gill (Grid ref. NY 896011) turn left and cross the Swale and continue into Keld village. If you want to take a closer look at the falls turn left immediately after crossing the bridge and follow the Pennine Way. After a short distance you will notice a narrow footpath on your left descending to the Swale from where a good view of the falls can be obtained.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1053 Swinner Gill and Muker from Thwaite - mod/hard - 8.5 miles/13.8 km

Walk 1768 Thomas Gill and Ravenseat from Tan Hill - moderate - 8.7 miles/14.1 km

Walk 1341 Nine Standards Rigg, Near Nateby - moderate - 6.0 miles/9.8 km

Walk 1056 Gunnerside & Surrender Bridge - moderate - 10.3 miles/16.7 km

Walk 1197 Gunnerside & Swinner Gills from Gunnerside - moderate - 8.5 miles/13.8 km

Walk 3093 Bunton Hush, Blakethwaite & Gunnerside Gill - easy/mod - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Walk 1252 Great Pinseat from Surrender Bridge - easy/mod - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Walk 3624 Great Shunner Fell from Hardraw - mod/hard - 9.2 miles/15 km

Walk 3621 Great Shunner Fell & Lovely Seat - mod/hard - 11.4 miles/18.5 km

Walk 1383 Pendragon Castle from Outhgill - easy - 2.3 miles/3.7 km

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: North and East

Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: North and EastThis guidebook contains 43 circular day walks in the north and east Yorkshire Dales. It explores the dales, hills and moors between Kirkby Stephen and Pateley Bridge. Walking ranges from gentle 3 mile strolls to more strenuous day-long rambles across the Howgills, Wensleydale, Swaledale, Nidderdale, Mallerstang and Coverdale.
More information

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

Outdoor Photography

Outdoor PhotographyThis practical handbook covers digital outdoor photography and the whole range of outdoor activities including walking, running, cycling, water sports (in and on the water), as participant or spectator. Covers basic concepts, equipment and processing and optimising your images back at base.
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

CBD For Walking & Hiking

Discover the benefits of CBD for walkers and hikers. More info.

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.