Swaledale isn’t a place I’ve often walked, perhaps we feel there are so many lovely walks in Wensleydale that we don’t need to go much further afield. But a couple of friends suggested we did a circular walk up Gunnerside Gill and wow was it different.
It was a cold winters morning, fine with light cloud and we made our way to Gunnerside above Reeth. Must just say though we did call in at the bakery in Reeth for scones and treats to munch along the way! There is a little car park just over the bridge in Gunnerside and luckily there was just one space left for us when we arrived. Donning our gear we set off back over the bridge and took the footpath to the left after here. Up some steep steps and through a little wood along the gill side. We all commented on how pretty it was and how it would look in a few months time when the spring flowers would be out.
The path soon opened out into a narrow valley and we continued to follow the stream through the stiles. It wasn’t long before we saw evidence of long gone lead mining and the old buildings, but we continued on our way after reading the interpretation board and started to climb away from the stream. Quite dramatic scenery, a little icy now we were up a level but eventually the path dropped down again and we found more relics to explore, here was the perfect place to stop and enjoy our scones and a drink.
Onward over a stone bridge we turned to the left and made our return down the other side of the valley. Easy going, or it would have been if not for icy conditions on the track but we soon got back down to the level where the ice had melted away. Just continue along the track which will bring you back to Gunnerside. About seven miles, a good walk and not too difficult.
Hope you enjoy! Remember, as always, to wear appropriate footwear and clothing, and check your OL30 map for guidance on the route.
Written By Nadine Bell