Moors over Swaledale

  • Views of both Upper & Lower Swaledale
  • Some historical sites of interest
  • Enjoy the Sand Martins on the Swale

To me this part of the Dales has James Herriott written all over it. I can picture his old Austin Morris car struggling along the winding roads that come over from Leyburn and Wensleydale, as he fended off the numerous dogs that populated his back seat, all to the accompaniment of that so familiar theme tune. The moors to the south of Reeth are rarely visited and as a result are a model of moorland walking. The views up and down Swaledale are so good High Harker Hill is passed almost without noticing.

As with all walks in Swaledale, history is a constant; the requisite lead mines scatter Low Harker Hill, the path passes close to the remains of Maiden Castle Fort and I would certainly include a short detour to the Grinton Smelt Mill. Near the Smelt Mill is a wonderful old Shooting Lodge which is now owned by the YHA. For anyone staying in the area this is ideal and I can only be jealous of the school groups who enjoy their field trips and the university outdoor clubs who are exploring the area. Grinton itself is one of my favourite small Dales villages and I would always advise anyone passing through to visit St Andrew’s Church and of course the excellent Bridge Inn.

Recommend: Watch an episode of James Herriott before taking the walk. He may not have lived in Reeth but the film crew certainly filmed on the roads here.

Download GPX file

Reeth Grinton map


All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL30 Yorkshire Dales North & Central Buy Map
Start Point: SE 039993. Aim for signs for the Suspension Bridge found on the minor road to the south of the main village square.
Height to Climb: 347 ms (1,138 feet)
Terrain: The terrain is good throughout and some of the road walking either side of Grinton can be easily avoided by nearby paths. The climb to High Harker Hill has a variety of tracks on the hillside, it does not matter which you take.
Eating & Drinking: Reeth has a choice of 3 pubs and many high quality tea shops but I was unable to resist the Bridge Inn at Grinton.
Similar Walks Nearby: History in Gunnerside Gill
The Riverside at Reeth
Arkengarthdale & Reeth Low Moor
Places to Stay:


West End Garden Cottages, Richmond