|On a small road outside Kirkby
Stephen, a sign at a turn-off warns the motorist
that this is the last petrol for 22 miles. Here
the B6270 leaves Nateby to traverse some of
England's remotest countryside. A tedious road
leads up through Birkdale, in Cumbria before
reaching the North Yorkshire border and the
boundary of the National Park.
||There is nothing but
total isolation here. No houses. No civilisation.
Eventually near the summit, a small road turns
off for Ravenseat, an isolated settlement. The
main road descends into Swaledale passing a camp
site on the way down before meeting the fledgling
River Swale. The road passes a roack outcrop and
waterfalls before arriving at another junction.
Here a road leads up through a hairpin
(unsuitable for caravans and large vehicles)
towards Tan Hill. A few yards further on is Keld.
is a camp site at Keld featuring yurts adjacent
|to the Tan Hill turn-off.
Running the length of Swaledale is the Coast to
Coast Walk, a 140 mile trek from St. Bees in
Cumbria passing through the Lake District,
Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National
Parks before arriving at Robin Hood's Bay on the
Yorkshire coast. At Keld
the Coast to Coast Walk intersects the Pennine
Way, a 260 mile long-distance footpath starting
at Edale in the Derbyshire Peak District heading
north through the Dales before passing through
Northumberland National Park arriving at the
Scottish border village of Kirk Yethom.
|The village of Keld is
truly at the crossroads of rural Britain, as it
is near the halfway points of both footpaths.
Swaledale turns south for the next two miles
before arriving at Thwaite.
A delightful village, featuring in All
Creatures Great and Small, Thwaite
has a shop and a hotel, Kearton Country Hotel
which has a tiny bar, open to non-patrons.
A popular route into Swaledale is via Buttertubs
Pass. This road is the main through-route from
Wensleydale and passes through some of North
|Yorkshire's most interesting scenery.
Recently the road was voted the favourite by
motorists in a poll carried out for BBC TV's Top Gear
programme. Departing from just outside Hardraw,
near Hawes, this six and a half mile road acsends
the north side of Wensleydale before reaching
Buttertubs Pass. Below the road are some
interesting limestone features including the
Buttertubs, caves which can only be explored
using special equipment.
||The Buttertubs road
arrives in Swaledale, just outside Thwaite. A
mile to the left is Muker.
An interesting village with craft shops and the
first pub in Swaledale, the Farmers Arms.
The Swaledale Show is held here every year on the
first Wednesday of September and includes craft
stalls, farm produce, sheepdog trials and other
the road zig-zags over a bridge then follows the
southern flank of Swaledale before re-crossing
the Swale and arriving at Gunnerside.
|Here at the foot of Gunnerside Ghyll
is a pub, the Kings
Head. The village also
boasts an interesting Literary Institute, built
in 1877 and featuring a clock. There is also a
working blacksmith's museum and a Methodist
chapel. After Gunnerside
the road passes through woods and fields before
|An interesting community
based mostly on the northern flank of Swaledale, Low Row
features an interesting pub, the Punch Bowl
which unfortunately has been closed for some time
and may not re-open as a pub but National Park
planning regulations may prevent a change of use
for the building.
Two miles further on is Heulaugh, a small
satellite settlement of Reeth,
the main village in Swaledale and home to several
good shops, a National Park Centre,
three pubs and an excellent
folk museum about life in the northern Dales.
Swaledale near Low Row
||Serving the 750
inhabitants of this large Yorkshire Dales village
are three pubs, the Black
Bull Inn, King's Arms
and Buck Inn.
The first two pubs are next door to each other and The Buck Inn only a
few yards away. Reeth is at the hub of the annual Swaledale Festival,
helf every May/June and features arts, crafts and music.
At Reeth a road leads off through Arkengarthdale on it's lonely route up to Tan Hill via Langthwaite.
|After Reeth is Framlington then
Grinton with it's pub, the Bridge Inn.
Swaledale broadens out here and a few miles
further on is Marske, in the most north-east
extremity of the National Park. Here are some
beautiful gardens which can be viewed from the
road (there is no access). Soon after is Richmond,
the fine Georgian market town with it's many
shops, pubs, castle and sights.