Where is this walk?

Keld and Upper Swaledale

July 17, 2023

The area of Keld and Upper Swaledale is one of my favourite places to walk in the Dales. It is an area dominated by traditional stone barns and fields full of sheep, the River Swale and steep sided hills. This walk keeps (relatively) low and includes some quite excellent views.

The Walk

Despite being the apex of the Coast to Coast and Pennine Way, Keld and Upper Swaledale remains unspoilt. This is largely due to its location. Travelling by car to Upper Swaledale is painful, walking in it is a delight. Therefore only lovers of the Dales come here and the area is so much the better for it. Traditional farming is still the mainstay of the area but there is an excellent network of paths for us lot to enjoy.

Kisdon Hill and the valley north of Muker is the most popular day walk in Upper Swaledale. However the walk described here has more variety and reflects the heritage of this area of Upper Swaledale better. It starts and finishes in Keld but includes a section of remote moorland, another section along the river and a beautiful path perched above the embryonic River Swale.


There are some fantastic swimming pools on the Upper Swale, particularly quiet are those beyond Keld.

Navigation Tips for Keld and Upper Swaledale

I held a Navigation Course on this short walk and the most important technique was to “Orientate the Map”. In simple terms this means to align the map with the land around, creating a match. This can be achieved by using any feature of the land or when there is none using a compass.

If you are using a compass simply use two quick stages. Align the background red arrow (the Map arrow fixed on the bezel) to north on the map. Then holding the compass still turn the map until the magnetic red arrow sits n top of the Map Arrow ie: the red is in the bed. Your map is now aligned to the land.

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