Walk the little known Swindale Valley

  • Attractive Swindale Valley lies to the west of Shap
  • Unusual views over the high Far Eastern Fells
  • Enjoy the sounds of the birds over the ridge.

Like thousands of other who head for the higher fells of the Lake District I had never completed a walk in the little known Swindale valley or knew it existed. This also goes for any of the large chunk of land which lies between Shap, Longsleddale and the head of Haweswater in Mardale. In fact the entire area seems uninteresting from the M6. However a more detailed exploration showed how wrong I was.

I headed on to the wide ridge which runs between Swindale Common and the Old Corpses Road (there does seem a number of Corpse roads in the Lakes!) under Sallows. The ridge combines typical Pennine moorland with equally typical Lakeland outcrops of volcanic rock. Although Haweswater 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 valley is also a lovely place to be. This is a result of the steep waterfalls (including Hobgrumble Gill) descend both sides of the valley with Swindale Beck meandering though the green fields at their foot.


It is easy to extend the walk from the little known Swinside valley  by continuing over Selside and even Branstree and return higher up the Swinside valley.

Download GPX file

Swindale map

All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

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: Bampton and Bampton Grange are 3 miles away and there is a choice of pubs and a fine cafe. Shap is enroute to the M6 and also has places to eat and drink. .
Similar Walks Nearby: The ‘Other’ Borrowdale
High Street Ridge Walking
Twin Peaks of Longsleddale
Places to Stay: New Ing Lodge, Shap