Between Reeth in Swaledale and Redmire in Wensleydale lies a large expanse of barren moorland. Previously an area of intensely mined lead workings it is now a similarly large area of grouse moors. The excellent tracks make for speedy walking.
The six main dales in the Yorkshire Dales are all separated by large expanses of peat and moorland. The moors make for difficult walking if there are no paths. Fortunately the present use for grouse shooting has meant the construction of a good network of wide, stony but fast walking tracks. I say ‘fortunately’ only from a walking ease perspective as they can be a bit of a blot on the landscape. If you are going to tackle the hills of Gibbon and High Carl I would suggest waiting for a frozen winter day otherwise the peat hags will make for hard work.
This walk skirts these two hills but does include the fine viewpoint of High Harker Hill (overlooking Reeth and central Swaledale). In addition as the walk is circular, within the central Dales and quite long the views are constantly changing. It is fair to say that at some point in the walk you can see every mountain (or at least the Dales 30). The more immediate landscape though is dominated by reminders of our industrial past and the present pre occupation with grouse shooting.
Its an airy walk, maybe best suited for the solitary walker (or biker) wishing to get closer to nature.
Definitely take the minor path that leaves the bridleway to include two small cairns overlooking Swaledale. This is High Harker Hill.
This is one our ‘Walks without Stiles’ routes. It may be long but the tracks are good and there are only gates to navigate not stiles. This is because the route follows bridleway not footpaths. On a bridleway (marked by longer green dashes on O/S 1.25,000 Explorer maps) there are only ever gates.
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