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Looking across the village green in Reeth
Looking across the village green in Reeth

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Route No 17 - 3 November 2001
Reeth and Fremington Edge circuit - 8 miles
Swaledale, Yorkshire Dales . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central areas at 1:25000


Bonfire on the village green in Reeth ready for November 5th.
Bonfire on the village green in Reeth ready for November 5th.

The road through reeth down to Arkle Beck
The road through Reeth down to Arkle Beck

From there I began to climb the narrow lane up Fremington Edge. The lane gradually deteriorates into a rough stone track and finally reaches the stone wall along the top of Fremington Edge. Old mining chimney at Hurst The views over Reeth and Swaledale and up Arkle Beck got better and better as I climbed, but when I was just over half way up a thick cloud of blue smoke began to roll down Arkle Beck from the moor above Langthwaite where there seemed to be some heather burning starting. The weather conditions kept the smoke low to the ground and in about ten minutes the whole valley from Langthwaite to Reeth seemed to be full of blue smoke obscuring the view.

It's two weeks since I was last able to get out for a good walk. On the first Saturday in the month I usually have a walk with a group of up to a dozen friends but to-day everyone else has cried off so I drove to Reeth in Swaledale on my own, just over an hours journey from home. The weather was poor, overcast and drizzly. The green in the middle of Reeth was already busy when I arrived around 10.00am There was a huge bonfire built on the green ready for the celebrations this week end. I walked down the road and crossed the bridge over Arkle Beck. Just over the bridge I took the footpath on the left over the fields to High Fremington.


Reeth seen from the track up to Fremington Edge

One of the chimneys still standing at Hurst from the old lead mining days around 200 years ago
One of the chimneys still standing at Hurst from the old lead mining days around 200 years ago

Male grouse with his red wattles on a wall by the path
Male grouse with his red wattles on a wall by the path

When I reached the wall on the edge there was a grouse sitting on it, quite defiant - it did not fly off even when I approached it to take a photo. I wonder if it was confused by the very mild weather and was already defending its spring territory - they can be quite aggressive then.

I continued on the track across Marrick Moor to Hurst where there are two chimneys still standing from the old lead mining days around 200 years ago. From Hurst I took the bridleway back to Fremington Edge through a desolate area of mining waste heaps.

Path back to Reeth beside Arkle Beck
Path back to Reeth beside Arkle Beck

Heading back to Reeth beside Arkle Beck
Heading back to Reeth beside Arkle Beck

Autumn fungus on the beckside
Autumn fungus on the beckside

The sound of voices gradually grew louder and enough people to fill a bus came down the hill - I assume they were a walking club. I continued down the hill to Storthwaite Hall and followed the bridleway and footpath beside Arkle Beck back to Reeth.

I walked out to the cairn on the end of the ridge to see the view but the drizzle had set in and the valley was still full of smoke with more rolling off the moor all the time. I made my way down the hill and found a sheltered spot in the rocks and bracken about half way down for a drink.

Heading back to Reeth beside Arkle Beck
Heading back to Reeth beside Arkle Beck


Arkle Beck on the way back to Reeth

Typical Swaledale stone barn on the way back to Reeth
Typical Swaledale stone barn on the way back to Reeth

Friends from York that I met on the way back to Reeth
Friends from York that I met on the way back to Reeth

We walked into Reeth together and called in a tea shop on the green before heading for home. When it was time to go home the weather had started to brighten and I managed to take a photo of Fremington Edge in the evening sunshine with the black rain clouds behind it.

About half a mile from Reeth I heard some voices behind me and three people soon caught me up. One of them was Vi, a friend from York who was out walking with two young friends of hers. What a pleasant surprise!

Back at the car park on the green in Reeth
Back at the car park on the green in Reeth

Reeth in the afternoon sunshine with Fremington Edge behind
Reeth in the afternoon sunshine with Fremington Edge behind

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