Little known Swindale

  • Pretty valley to the west of Shap
  • Unusual views over the high Far Eastern Fells
  • Enjoy the sounds of the birds

Like thousands of other who head for the higher fells of the Lake District I had never walked near Swindale or any of the large chunk of land which lies between Shap, Longsleddale and the head of Haweswater in Mardale. Spied from the M6 it looks fairly uninteresting but it is not as I found on a blustery day in late Spring.

I headed on to the wide ridge which runs between Swindale Common and the Old Corpses Road (another one, plenty of dead people around in the past) under Sallows. The ridge combines typical Pennine moorland with equally typical Lakeland outcrops of volcanic rock. Haweswater itself never quite comes in to view but there are some good views from Kidsty Pike and round the head of Mardale. The head of Swindale is also a lovely place to be; steep waterfalls (including Hobgrumble Gill) descending both sides of the valley and Swindale Beck meandering though the green fields at their foot.

Recommend: It is easy to extend the walk over Selside and even Branstree and return higher up the Swindale valley.

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Swindale map

All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2019

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL5 The English Lakes North East. Buy Map
Start Point: NY 522142. Beyond here the road is private but there is plenty of space to park the car. Head straight up the open fell on the path from here.
Height to Climb: 268ms (879 feet)
Terrain: On the main wide ridge of Hare Shaw the path is intermittent at best but this should not be a problem.
Eating & Drinking: Shap is the nearest place which has a range of inns and a shop.
Similar Walks Nearby: The ‘Other’ Borrowdale
High Street Ridge Walking
Twin Peaks of Longsleddale
Places to Stay: New Ing Lodge, Shap