Mining on Great Pinseat

  • Swaledale’s historical landscape
  • Old lead mines and buildings
  • An airy walk over the summit

For a full explanation of the lead mining history of the Swaledale valley  visit the museum in Reeth but to fully appreciate the scale of the industry there are 2 excellent walks. One of these is Gunnerside Gill whilst the other is the fellside of Great Pinseat and nearby Hard Level Gill. Old mines and old mining buildings dot the landscape and dominate the scenery. In many ways it is a bleak place, a desolate landscape and it is difficult to imagine what it was like centuries ago (before the mines)when the fell side was covered with woodland and wild boar and deer were hunted by the locals.

Away from the gill the landscape is bleak, scrubby moorland stretching as far as you can see; a nothing landscape except for the grouse preparing themselves for the annual cull. However it is grand walking country, the empty miles pass surprisingly quickly, it is a place to forget your troubles and enjoy the fresh air, the quiet and above all the enormous sky….beats being in a city!

Recommend: I started the walk from Surrender Bridge, the walking towards Reeth really only a preliminary to what is above. Not worth it.

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Great Pinseat map


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OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL30 Yorkshire Dales North & Central Buy Map
Start Point: SD 989999. There is plenty of parking at Surrender Bridge
Height to Climb: 225 ms (738 feet)
Terrain: There is a major track both up the gill and over the moors.
Eating & Drinking: I retreat from Surrender Bridge to the large choice of tea shops and pubs in Reeth
Similar Walks Nearby: History in Gunnerside Gill
Swaledale Moors from Reeth
Arkengarthdale & Low Reeth Moor
Places to Stay: