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A rocky approach towards Swinner Gill
A rocky approach towards Swinner Gill

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Route No. 376 - Sunday 10 October 2010
Circuit of Ivelet Moor - 12km
Swaledale,
Yorkshire Dales . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

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

This route is another interesting walk contributed by Ray Brown. Thanks Ray, this is one I must try myself


Heading west over Kisdon Bottom
Heading west over Kisdon Bottom

We climbed gently between the tufts of longer grass and reeds, keeping to the smoother grass which showed occasional hints of a path. After a while the path became increasingly evident as we headed towards the remains of a stone wall on Kisdon Bottom.

We parked at SD 932982 on the grass verge towards the brow of the hill on the narrow road west of Gunnerside Lodge. Opposite a farm building where an unsurfaced track heads north, we struck off west across the moor.

The route now evident as a fine grass track
The route now evident as a fine grass track

Passing Kisdon Scar
Passing Kisdon Scar

First View of Muker
First View of Muker

After a slight descent the path followed the contours around Ivelet Side as we entered Upper Swaledale with fine views over Kisdon

Then the route followed a grass track distinguishable by its smoothness and soon we had our first view of Muker below.

View of Kisdon from Ivelet Side
View of Kisdon from Ivelet Side

View of Kisdon from Ivelet Side
View of Kisdon from Ivelet Side

The Swale above Muker
The Swale above Muker

The path becomes rather precipitous
The path becomes rather precipitous

This was no place for any walker likely to suffer from vertigo or poor balance

 

There were fine views of the river valley below us but after passing a couple of wooden posts on our left the path ran above precipitous drops. .

The path becomes rather precipitous
The path becomes rather precipitous

The path had been subjected to a landslide
The path had been subjected to a landslide

The path above the Swale becomes difficult
The path above the Swale becomes difficult

Looking towards Keld from Arn Gill Scar
Looking towards Keld from Arn Gill Scar

At West Arn Gill the path appeared to be heading for the bowels of the Earth, so we diverted upstream by about 50 metres to cross the main flow of the gill.

We dropped down to cross Arn Gill and then followed waymarks up a steep climb before following the contours again towards West Arn Gill.

The steep climb from Arn Gill
The steep climb from Arn Gill

The tortuous crossing of West Arn Gill - best avoided by crossing upstream
The tortuous crossing of West Arn Gill
- best avoided by crossing upstream

A rocky approach towards Swinner Gill
A rocky approach towards Swinner Gill

A minor tributary of West Arn Gill
A minor tributary of West Arn Gill

Swinner Gill Lead Mines
Swinner Gill Lead Mines

Soon our path was running above Swinner Gill and descending towards the old lead mines.

On returning to the path we crossed the minor tributaries of West Arn Gill, negotiated some rocks above Arngill Wood and crossed a drystone wall by way of a ladder stile.

Ladder style above Arngill Wood
Ladder style above Arngill Wood

Ruins of the Swinner Gill lead mines
Ruins of the Swinner Gill lead mines

Crossing East Grain
Crossing East Grain

Waterfalls of East Grain
Waterfalls of East Grain

We continued the climb on this track up to almost 1900 feet (580m). On the right in the distance we saw a lake known as Moss Dam. Some sheep pens and spoil heaps were passed on the left.

After crossing the stream of East Grain we joined the Coast-to-Coast route to climb up the north bank of the stream, passing its waterfalls. The path eventually met a broad track used by gamekeeper's vehicles.

Coast-to-Coast walkers descend towards Gunnerside Gill
Coast-to-Coast walkers descend towards Gunnerside Gill

We passed sheep pens on the left
We passed sheep pens on the left

Coast-to-Coast path departs on the left
Coast-to-Coast path departs on the left

However we stayed on the broad track which curved to the right and descended towards Botcher Gill Gate where Black Brae was crossed.

We began to descend to Lowanthwaite where, at a series of cairns, the Coast-to-Coast path leaves the track on the left and drops towards the ruins of the Blakethwaite Smelt Mill.

Botcher Gill Gate
Botcher Gill Gate

Winterings Scar
Winterings Scar

Winterings
Winterings

At Dyke Heads we turned right towards the car, parked a little over a kilometre to the west. The whole walk was 12 km and we had been walking for a little over four hours.
Ray Brown

By now we were enjoying splendid views over Gunnerside Gill and with the easy walking on the track we soon found ourselves at Dyke Heads.

Gunnerside Gill
Gunnerside Gill