Where is this walk?

Riverside walk along the Swale

November 15, 2017

From Reeth there is a lovely riverside walk along the Swale. Swaledale. The wooded banks of the river and stretches of open hillside with stone barns and walls make for a pleasant short walk.

The Walk

I came across this lovely stretch of the River Swale near Reeth whilst doing the Coast to Coast. My route was taking me through Swaledale (as opposed to the fells above) mainly because I knew the higher lands but had little knowledge of the riverside route. Plenty of walkers head off from the swing bridge below Reeth so I followed them! The river banks here are delightful, unspoilt with a great riverside path winding its way through some natural woodland and some open stretches of easy farmland.

A few weeks later I repeated the riverside walk along the Swale but doubled back from the bridge at Low Whita and headed back on the southern bank. The southern bank is not followed as closely (often higher where the river cuts more deeply in to the hillside) but it does have the advantage of some lovely views over Healaugh and later Reeth itself. For me Swaledale comes alive at Reeth with the land to the west rugged and full of interest with the views on a par with anything else in the Yorkshire Dales. Walking from Reeth will keep anyone busy for a number of days, it is an ideal spot.


Whilst in Reeth take a drive (or walk) up Arkengarthdale, it is a largely unspoilt and very attractive Yorkshire dale.

Navigation Tips on the River Swale

Make the decision on which path to take on the southern banks dependant on the underfoot conditions and potential views. The path nearest the river can be wet so after rain take to the path further up the hill after passing Stubbin Farm. Similarly in clear conditions the views across the valley are very good. It is one of those decisions to leave till you arrive on the southern bank.

  • Loz says:

    There isn’t a path at all times. You have to take to the road for quarter of a mile before the bridge halfway through and the same after before you can pick up the path again. If you’ve got kids and dogs then this part is unsuitable. I’d recommend crossing the river earlier at the large stepping stones

  • brian caine says:

    where is the start of walk please? and how far can u go via path/country lane ?

    • Jonathan says:

      There is a path at all times, fairly clear. The lane is really at the very start in Reeth before heading to cross the bridge over the river and there is a short stretch of road for a few hundred metres at the far end

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