The lower route between Keld and Reeth has generally deemed the more pleasing 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 the C2C, and generally, the more popular option for the purists and those interested in the mining culture of the area. It should be noted also 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 of the two!
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 pretty tea room to grab some sweet treats and hot drinks from. (There is also a popular 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, centered around a village green and surrounded on all sides by rolling hills, fragmented into a patchwork of fields by drywalls.
Rest StopThe Burgoyne Hotel
Two Dales Bakery
Kings Head Gunnerside
Ghyllfoot Tearoom & Bistro
Mary Shaws Cafe
The Bridge Inn
The Punch bowl Inn
Muker Village Store and Tea Shop
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.
Tips and hints
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 01969 422050 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 then 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
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).
Basic Equipment for Hiking
- Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
- Layered, moisture wicking clothing
- Hiking socks
- Rucksack (with rain cover)
- Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
- Hiking poles
- Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
- First aid kit
- Kit para bolhas
- Bivy / survival bag
- Survival blanket
- Pocket knife
- Cell phone
- Navigation equipment / map and compass
- Emergency contact details
- The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
- For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
- Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.