Keld to Reeth via Swaledale Valley (Low Route)
Macs Adventure Verifizierter Partner Explorers Choice
Views over the River SwaleFoto: Kristin Carpenter, Macs Adventure
If you're looking to walk today with options for pub/cafe stops along the way, then choose this scenic route through the Swaledale Valley (also known as the "C2C Low route").
The lower route between Keld and Reeth has generally been deemed the more attractive option of the two, as it weaves through the valley with splendid views for the majority of your walk. The higher route is the "official" path of wainwright's Coast to Coast - and generally - the more popular option for the purists and those interested in the mining culture of the area. It should also be noted that both the high-level and low-level routes are comparable in difficulty - so don't be fooled into going the lower route, assuming it's the easier choice!
The low route leaves Keld and heads toward the capital of the"Swaledale mining heritage" - Gunnerside - there is an optional detour to the quaint village of Muker near the start of your walk today also, whilst the local pub is unlikely to be open when you pass it does have a lovely tea room to grab some sweet treats and hot drinks from. (There is also a famous knitwear shop that people travel from far and wide to visit - a possible option for some souvenirs or gifts)
After you reach Gunnerside, have a break here at the village pub or tea rooms before you tackle the hilliest section of the day - where you can reward yourself by descending further into the valley to Low Row to visit the fantastic Punch Bowl Inn, the last stop for food and drinks before Reeth.
Reeth is the biggest settlement in the area, yet still maintains that charming ‘small-village feel, centred around a village green and surrounded on all sides by rolling hills, fragmented into a patchwork of fields by drywalls.
If you plan to have lunch in Gunnerside today, then we recommend taking your time so you don't arrive there too early. The walk from Keld to Gunnerside only takes a couple of hours so perhaps have a later start, visit some of the waterfalls around Keld or walk via the popular little village of Muker and visit its tearoom. If you are too early into Gunnerside, then there is still the option to visit The Punch Bowl Inn at Low Row for lunch.
EinkehrmöglichkeitenMuker Village Store and Tea Shop
Kings Head Gunnerside
Ghyllfoot Tearoom & Bistro
The Punch bowl Inn
The Bridge Inn
The Burgoyne Hotel
There are a few stretches where you must walk on the road as there is no pavement or verge. Walk on the right side facing the oncoming traffic.
There may be sections where you will be walking through fields containing livestock. Be vigilant and respectful of all animals.
For any river crossing - there are always normally stepping stones or an obvious way to cross - be careful when crossing as it can be very slippery.
The paths can sometimes be tricky to follow in open featureless sections, especially in very bad weather (especially fog). Make sure to stay on the correct trail by concentrating carefully on your GPS tracks and maps.
If you wish to carry a hardcopy map, we would recommend buying the Yorkshire Dales Outdoor Atlas by Harvey Maps. Alternatively, you may wish to print the daily maps directly from our app.
Weitere Infos und Links
Points of Interest
Please see the interactive map for notable points of interest along the walk, including recommended pubs/restaurants and tearoom stops. Simply click the icons on the map for more information as you walk.
The Little White Bus minibus – Swaledale Shuttle route goes via Keld, Muker, Gunnerside/Low Row and Reeth. In some cases, you may be required to pre-book seats in advance. Check: https://www.littlewhitebus.co.uk/timetables/ or call +44 (0) 1969 667 400 for more info.
Bus timetables change year on year and can be seasonal. Be sure to check https://www.dalesbus.org/ for the most update to date information.
For a more user-friendly experience to find when the next bus is due, visit www.traveline.info.
Local Taxi Services
Anydale Private Hire (Keld Area): +44 (0) 1969 667 725
Ladies Way Taxi Transfers (Reeth Area) +44 (0) 1748 529 000
*** To help you follow the route with confidence we have provided a general overview below of the Keld to Reeth Low route to keep you on track. The Ales and Dales Trail largely follows England's national walking trail networks and is navigationally straightforward, however, please ensure that you follow the GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone app to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem-free day. The daily maps can also be printed from the web version of the app should you wish to take paper copies with you. ***
Stage 1 (Keld to C2C path turn off) - 0.0 to 0.6km: Facing the Keld Heritage Centre turn left to pass the Keld Chapel on your right as it curves round to reveal a gravel lane that's signed for the Swale Way and the Coast to Coast Bridleway. Follow the is path till it forks, bearing left to head downhill on the brick-lined path, following the sign for Pennine Way and Swale Trail. At the bottom, cross the wooden footbridge bearing left onto the gravel slope heading uphill. After 80 metres or so, with Lower East Gill Force on your right, turn right to proceed through a wooden gate signposted to Rampsholme. The route climbs to the left of the charming Upper East Gill Force (where yesterday you turned left up the stony path towards Tan Hill Inn) today you will turn right and follow the C2C path.
Stage 2 - (C2C path to Low Route turn off) - 0.6 to 1.5km: Stay on the C2C path as it heads east and you will eventually see a derelict stone building on your right, not too far along the path forks - near a rusty, ruined vehicle. For the low route, you want to take the obvious path that bears right - the path bearing left continues on the high route (Ensure you cross-check with the Macs App red line to confirm you are on the correct path).
Stage 3 - (Low Route path turn off to Muker turn off) 1.5 to 4.1km: The path then follows the River Swale all the way down the valley - it's wide, flat and very easy-going! At around the 4 kilometres mark, we come of this wide path as it veers to the left and for those interested, around 100 metres along from here, there is a waymarker on the Macs App that shows you the detour off to Muker.
Stage 4 (Muker turn off to Gunnerside) - 4.0 to 8.7km: For those staying on the path, follow the route signposted for Gunnerside and follow it for just under 5 kilometres, all of which is very pleasant walking that hugs the River Swale, passing by some farmhouses and Barns. At around the 6.9-kilometre mark of the route itself (not your own GPS walking distance!) you will reconnect to a paved road that leads into the small hamlet of Ivelet (those who took the detour to Muker, will rejoin here after passing over the high bridge). Passing through Ivelet, you rejoin quiet farmland paths into the heart of Gunnerside.
Stage 5 (Gunnerside to the hamlet of Blades) - 8.7 to 12.4km: After refreshments in Gunnerside, starting at the bridge just outside the Kings Head Pub follow the B6270 road east as it starts to ascend upwards through the village. After around 100 metres or so you'll see a smaller gravel road to your left with a gate. Pass through the gate and shortly after turn right again off the gravel road onto the trail path. The trail path from here climbs steeply along open moorlands, ensure you pay close attention to Macs App red line and stay on the main path - there are some minor paths that shoot off in different directions but they all eventually lead to the same location. At around the 11.2km mark of the route itself (not your own GPS walking distance), you reconnect to a concrete path that starts to descend towards a small hamlet known as Blades. As you approach Blades, ensure you take the road that bends down to the right and heads towards the waymarker on the Macs App.
Stage 6 (The hamlet of Blades to Healaugh) - 12.4 to 16.5km: At the aforementioned waymarker the Ales and Dales route continues to follow the road as it zig-zags downhill to the main B road the cuts through the Swaledale Valley. The reason for this is to visit the Punch Bowl Inn at Low Row (we recommend calling ahead to ensure it's open (+44 (0) 1748 886233). The Punch Bowl is a fantastic pub and your last opportunity today for a pub stop before Reeth. For those that do, please be prepared for a steep climb back up a minor road to find the C2C trail again. For those not bothered about visiting the Punch Bowl you can opt to stick to the C2C path and take the (normally muddy) track that cuts across behind it. Whatever route you take, they rejoin at around the 13.2-kilometre mark where the steep minor road and trail path interjects, you'll know as there are signposts on either side of the road. Carry on following the trail path east and watch out for the turnoff to your left at around the 13.9-kilometre mark (again pay attention to the Macs App Redline for this) - Here you come off the main path (just before the settlement of Kearton) and onto a smaller path that leads you uphill to a paved country road (known as Morley gate). Turn right and follow Morley Gate Road all the way east for around 2 kilometres as its starts to take you back down the valley into Healaugh.
Stage 7 (Healaugh to Reeth) - 16.5 to 18.5km: From Healaugh, take the path that drops back down to the River Swale and enjoy the easy-going walking again as you make your way into Reeth. (For those that are looking for a more direct path to Reeth, you can just follow the Herriot Way path that's more inland).
Post Walk Drinks recommendation in Reeth: The Buck Hotel
*** This is the end of our Keld to Reeth Low route, Please use your included documentation to find your overnight accommodation ***
Sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes, and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required. The weather can change quickly in the Dales so be sure to take all equipment even if the weather looks okay. Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of these ascents and descents.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.
You walk through Gunnerside/Low Row village today where there are a few tearooms and pubs to stop off at - please however always ensure you have plenty of water and emergency food (energy bars/trail mix) with you at all times. Please also ensure you check in advance of Pubs/cafes and shops opening hours on the day you are due to walk, in Yorkshire opening hours are varied and they can be closed on certain days of the week (walking post-Covid19 lockdown restrictions means their opening hours could be even more erratic, so please check to avoid disappointment).
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