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Descending above Fore Gill towards Arkle Town
Descending above Fore Gill towards Arkle Town

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Route No. 411 - Tuesday 10 May 2011
Reeth Low Moor, Arkle Town,
Arkle Beck circuit - 11km
Swaledale, Yorkshire Dales . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central areas

Another interesting contribution from Ray Brown - Thanks Ray!


Descending from the moor to Thirns
Descending from the moor to Thirns

Passing path at SE 016996 on our way to Thirns
Passing path at SE 016996 on our way to Thirns

Daddy Grouse protecting his brood
Daddy Grouse protecting his brood

At SE 016996 a signposted path leading to the top of Reeth Low Moor and a track both on the right were rejected as we stayed with the well-gravelled track to reach Thirns farm and later Nova Scotia farm, both on the left. At the second farm the gravel track gave way to a grass. A grouse family with very small chicks ran across the path, both parents making themselves obvious whilst the chicks scurried off to hide in the heather. From here we had a view west up Mill Gill. At SE 0045 9997 the grass track crossed over a gravel track before reaching a wall on the right.

We left the car at NZ 028005 on the NE side of the Reeth-Langthwaite road just under a mile from leaving the B6270 in Reeth. We walked back down the road 200 metres to NZ 030003 where a farm track on the right initially heads west and then curves towards the south as it climbs up Black Hill. After a while the track descends and curves back to the west. At SE 022996 a well-gravelled track from the south was joined and we continued west with the Swale valley on our left.

Passing Nova Scotia farm
Passing Nova Scotia farm

Mill Gill from Low Cringley
Mill Gill from Low Cringley

Waymark at SE 0045 9997
Waymark at SE 0045 9997

Fore Gill
Fore Gill

In sight of Arkle Town
In sight of Arkle Town

We descended down a steep grassy slope to a gated squeeze stile before climbing up the other side of the ravine. Walking northeast along the top of Fore Gill on a fairly obvious path we saw evidence of earlier lead mining. As we passed a small plantation on our left the rain became torrential, causing us to seek refuge in a small neglected farm building at NZ 002016, so displacing a ewe which had been sheltering there. When the rain abated we continued towards Arkle Town, passing a few stationary caravans in a hollow by Cumbers Hill. On reaching the main road in Arkle Town we turned right and in a few metres swung left on a metalled road serving a few houses.

Waymarks indicated the route uphill which became a narrow path, sometimes grassy, sometimes stony. At this time rain began to fall and the camera was packed away. The bridleway continued almost to the metalled road at Fore Gill Gate but at NY 9935 0093 we turned abruptly right on to a bridleway track running east. About 280 metres further a few flat stones on the left of the track indicated the start of a right-of-way footpath heading towards Fore Gill, some 200 metres away. The path was ill-defined but the route led past two circular filled disused mine shafts towards a simple stile, but instead of using the stile we kept to its left.

Descending above Fore Gill towards Arkle Town
Descending above Fore Gill towards Arkle Town

Caravan Park at Cumbers Hill
Caravan Park at Cumbers Hill

Leaving Arkle town through the old cemetery
Leaving Arkle town through the old cemetery

Dropping down to Arkle Beck
Dropping down to Arkle Beck

Over the beck we turned right on a bridleway running through an avenue of trees and then pasture with Fremington Edge towering ahead.

At a left bend in the road we carried straight ahead on a signposted footpath through an old cemetery and down a steep slope to a footbridge over Arkle Beck.

Footbridge over Arkle Beck
Footbridge over Arkle Beck

Bridleway running through an avenue of trees above Arkle Beck
Bridleway running through an avenue of trees above Arkle Beck

View of Fremington Edge
View of Fremington Edge

Bridleway beyond Storthwaite Hall
Bridleway beyond Storthwaite Hall

We followed the signpost for Reeth at NZ 0225 0193 but some 400 metres later we veered left away from the beck to make a beeline across Thorn Dale towards Castle Farm House.

At Storthwaite Hall farm we crossed the footbridge over Slei Gill. The bridleway continued through a farm gate on the right and passed through pasture to rejoin the north bank of the Arkle Beck.

Approaching Storthwaite Hall
Approaching Storthwaite Hall

Following the Reeth Signpost at NZ 0225 0193
Following the Reeth Signpost at NZ 0225 0193

Making towards Castle Farm House
Making towards Castle Farm House

A series of footbridges and duckboards in Thorn Dale
A series of footbridges and duckboards in Thorn Dale

Turning hard right before Castle Farm House we reached a track at NZ029009 which doubled back and wound its way downhill to a wooden vehicle bridge across Arkle Beck. The track continued uphill to the main road, reaching it some 130 metres from where our car was parked - Ray Brown

For those walkers who prefer to stay longer with the riverbank there is a series of recently introduced footbridges and duckboards which allow the various strands of the Beck to be negotiated.

Castle Farm House
Castle Farm House

View up Arkengarthdale towards the end of the walk
View up Arkengarthdale towards the end of the walk