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Fine views of Lower Arkengathdale from Kitley Hill
Fine views of Lower Arkengarthdale from Kitley Hill

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Route No. 409 - Saturday 30 April 2011
Arkle Beck & Upper Arkengarthdale
farmland circuit - 10km
Swaledale,
Yorkshire Dales . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central areas

A fine walk in a lesser known area of Swaledale from Ray Brown


Punchard House and Punchard Gill at the start of our walk
Punchard House and Punchard Gill at the start of our walk

Approaching Shepherds Lodge farm
Approaching Shepherds Lodge Farm

Heading NW with a wall on our left to Park Head Farm
Heading NW with a wall on our left to Park Head Farm

Punchard House on our left has a lovely setting above the gill. At a footpath signpost on the right we passed through a steel farm gate into pasture and proceeded via a second such gate to Shepherd's Lodge farm where, passing through more gates, we walked around the farm, crossed the Roe Beck and continued northwest with a wall on our left heading for Park Head Farm.

The cloudless blue sky today was accompanied by a strong cold northeast wind. We parked by the Langthwaite - Tan Hill road on an area probably used in the winter for the storage of grit, 220 metres before the Punchard Gill bridge at NY 9773 0482. We began by walking northwest along the road to 160 metres beyond the bridge.

Roe Beck at Shepherds Lodge farm
Roe Beck at Shepherds Lodge Farm

Approaching Park Head Farm
Approaching Park Head Farm

View upstream from New Bridge over Arkle Beck near Dale Head
View upstream from New Bridge over Arkle Beck near Dale Head

Heading towards Dale Head & Ravens Park farms
Heading towards Dale Head & Ravens Park farms

Approaching High Faggergill Farm
Approaching High Faggergill Farm

Immediately before Gales Gate (NY 981057) we turned sharply left on a faint grassy track towards High Faggergill farm and at NY 985060 we turned right into farmland at a signpost through a gated squeeze stile in a wall and continued towards a ladder style and the farm itself. A gate on the right of the farm led to a gravel track which swung hard right when it merged with a track from the left. This ran through moorland for almost a kilometre until, just before farmland began on our left we turned left on a grassy path (NY 9863 0526) towards Kitley Hill.

Arriving at Park Head Farm, we joined a farm track coming from the left and continued on it over Gull Syke Gill and New Bridge to Dale Head farm and then on to Ravens Park farm. After passing through the farm where the track ends we continued in a southeast direction for 170 metres over grass before entering moorland with a wall on our right. Here a grassy track was clear and the walking easy. Still with a wall on our right the track bent around Colt Park Corner to face south. It eventually acquired a gravel surface.

Squeeze stile at map ref. NY985060
Squeeze stile at map ref. NY985060

Turning left on a grassy path towards Kitley Hill
Turning left on a grassy path towards Kitley Hill

Passing an old kiln on the roadside
Passing an old kiln on the roadside

Approaching Green Bank
Approaching Green Bank

We passed an old kiln before turning abruptly left (NY 988045) just before a pair of terraced stone houses. We followed a power line down through pasture to Green Bank where we turned right towards a path running along the north bank of the Arkle Beck.

The path routed around the farmland and Kitley Hill House farm, first in an easterly direction and then it joined the farm track running south. Here we enjoyed fine views of Lower Arkengarthdale On reaching a surfaced road we veered right onto it.

Following the power lines down to Green Bank
Following the power lines down to Green Bank

Signs of lead mining near Arkle Beck
Signs of lead mining near Arkle Beck

Joining the Arkle Beck on the way to Whaw
Joining the Arkle Beck on the way to Whaw

Heading towards Whaw
Heading towards Whaw

We stayed on the north bank passing a house known as "The Reading Room".

Grateful now for the shelter from the wind, we followed the beck upstream to Whaw Bridge.

Whaw Reading Room
Whaw Reading Room

Whaw Bridge over Arkle Beck
Whaw Bridge over Arkle Beck

Ford over Arkle Beck but we did not cross
Ford over Arkle Beck but we did not cross

The track climbed up to the main road and we then turned left towards the car. But for the wind the walk had been perfect; a clear route, easy underfoot over a mix of moor, pasture and track, and sufficient ascent to provide exercise - Ray Brown

The single lane surfaced road ran past a ford to Low Faggergill Cottage (NY 980050) where we forked left and immediately turned left through a farm gate to access a footbridge over Arkle Beck. After following the beck upstream for a few metres we cut left on a grassy track.

The footbridge we crossed over Arkle Beck
The footbridge we crossed over Arkle Beck

A grassy track above Punchard Gill up to the main road
A grassy track above Punchard Gill up to the main road at the end of our walk