A beautiful walk in the Swaledale valley exploring the history of the lead mines, the walk is popular starting in Muker, but we prefer the route starting in Keld.
Park in the Park Lodge Farm car park (Postcode DL11 6LJ in KELD) honesty box for using the car park which helps towards the toilets and shower block.
Cafe available next to the car park which serves drinks, snacks and Ice cream, tables to sit at outside too.
Approx 6 miles for the circular loop but you can include Swinner gill extra 1 miles depending which paths and how far you explore.
Total ascent for our walk was 521m
Head out of the farm and follow the path straight ahead down to the river. You will come to a fork in the path and we always take the left hand path down to Kidson force and return on the other path.
You cross the brigde which leads you too the waterfalls
Beautiful Kidson Force
From the Waterfalls the path rises above the falls on a stone path with a slight incline as it goes into the valley. These views are amazing, right down to the river swale. As it levels you will see barn ruins on your right and the extensive cast workings of Beldi hill on the left of the barn.
You soon pass this old tractor which is a great spot for a rest.
Shortly after the old barn you will see the ruins of Crackpot hall in the distance, and some old farm ruins and outer buildings. which the patgh on the left takes you up too the ruins.
From here you can drop back down to the main path or continue forward into Swinner Gill.
Swinner gill can be reached on a very narrow path, with steep edges so extra care needed.
You can just about make out the path, its a little rocky in this section but then turns into a very narrow but level path.
When the path is this narrow I do get a little freaked out with the kids being so high up, we take it realy slow and get Ariya to walk side on which we feel is safer and she concerntrates more.
You follow the path over a small bridge which you will see more lead mine ruins to explore.
Now you can pass the ruins and follow the very narrow path down into the valley, but this path has eroded and very narrow, so we always return back to the main track near crackpot ruins to continue the circular walk.
Follow the path down towards a bridge where you will see ruins of Beldi smelt mill. Another great place to stop for drinks/snacks.
After you cross the bridge the path continues gently into the the bottom of the valley.
After approx 1 mile you will come too Ramps holme bridge which we cross for the return walk. You can turn left and head into Muker but we turn right over the bridge and head too see the wildflower meadow just on the left.
The path on the return follows the river and crosses through farmers fields which had sheep in.
Both miners and farmers lived here as you will see the remains of farmhouses and barns along the route back.
If you download the Yorkshire Dales lead mine app, you can follow the route and read about each section. This last section is quite a gentle walk back with a incline in the last section before it drops back down towards the main path that leads you back to the village, finishing with a nice ice cream from the cafe.