Yorkshire Dales guide to Swaledale and Arkengarthdale

Swaledale and Arkengarthdale area of the Yorkshire Dales

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Swaledale is famous for its hardy breed of sheep and the spectacular wildflower meadows which are a blaze of colour in June and early July. A deep and winding valley, this is an ideal spot for those who wish to forget the pressures of the twentieth century.

Reeth, the 'capital' of Swaledale has easy access to unspoiled and varied landscapes. There is a variety of inns, hotels, cafes, and craft shops around its village green.

The villages of Swaledale are full of corners to explore and there are endless opportunities for walking.


The northernmost dale in the district is the remote valley of Arkengarthdale. Leading from Reeth in Swaledale, the Arkengarthdale road rises steeply into leadmining country; an industry which thrived here until the turn of the century. Perhaps more sparsely populated than other dales, it has a bleak and dramatic appeal.

The two small villages of Arkle Town and Langthwaite blend into the landscape, and the latter may look familiar as it was featured in the opening shots of the first series of "All Creatures Great and Small". The road leads on to Tan Hill where the highest pub in England stands exposed and lonely, surrounded by moorland and grazing sheep.

Another Herriot location can be found en route from Arkengarthdale to Swaledale where a shallow ford crosses the moorland road. This is breathtaking walking country and views and wildlife will delight the seasoned walker as well as anyone out for a short stroll from the car or nearby pub.


Centred around a vast cobbled market place, Richmond boasts a rich and vivid history. Set high up, the Castle dominates the Richmond skyline and views from the top of the massive keep look between the folding hills of Swaledale to the west and the vast acres of the Vale of York to the east and south.

Richmond has an abundance of places to explore and volunteer guides will be happy to share Richmond's secrets on a Wednesday or Sunday afternoon during the summer. Museums describe the history of the Green Howards Regiment and its association with the town.

Those interested in social history will enjoy a visit to the Richmondshire Museum which has a scale model of the old Richmond railway station and the set of the vet's surgery from James Herriot's "All Creatures Great and Small". The Georgian Theatre Royal is one of Richmond's treasures and still comes alive with a wide range of performances from jazz to Dryden and for those wishing to see behind the scenes a tour of the museum gives a fascinating insight into its history.

Hay Meadow in Swaledale River Swale Reeth from Grinton Moor Swaledale Stone Barns
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Easby near Richmond , Swaledale
2 Rooms

In the hamlet of Easby with abbey ruins and a short riverside walk to historic Richmond and its Castle, Theatre, and new Station visitor centre, Easby Cottage offers two individually decorated bedrooms and a large guest lounge.

Easby Cottage Bed & Breakfast
Low Row near Reeth , Swaledale

Scabba Wath campsite is situated next to the River Swale, close to Reeth. Pitches are available with or without electric hook up and water. Camper vans, caravans with cars, large and small tents are all welcome. Pitches available with roadside frontage to the B6270 where Le Tour de France will pass.

Scabba Wath Camp Site
Thwaite , Swaledale
Sleeps 4 to 6

4 delightful 17th Century cottages in Thwaite, Upper Swaledale in an area of outstanding natural beauty. There are many walks from the front door with both the Pennine Way and Coast to Coast walks passing close by. The cottages are well equipped and furnished with either an open fire or wood burner and are pet friendly.

Thwaitedale Cottages
Low Row near Reeth , Swaledale
2 Rooms

Summer Lodge Farm offers en-suite B & B accommodation with homemade preserves and free range eggs on a Swaledale working farm. Peaceful base for walking, bird watching and exploring the Yorkshire Dales National Park

Summer Lodge Farm
Kearton , Swaledale
2 Rooms

Located in the hamlet of Kearton, between Reeth and Low Row in Swaledale, 18th Century Park End Country House offers en-suite B&B rooms that have been modernised with comfort, character and luxury. Find wonderful walks on the the ‘Coast to Coast' walk and close to the ‘Pennine Way'. Relax with wood burner and sky TV in lounge.

Park End Country House
Low Row near Reeth , Swaledale
Sleeps 12 to 36

2 self-catering Bunk Barns for group accommodations, near Reeth, Swaledale. Low Row West sleeps 24 people, whilst Low Row East sleeps 12 people. Book them separately or together for groups of 36. Low cost venue for Country Weddings, Special Occasion Celebrations and annual get-togethers.

Low Row Bunk Barns
Skeeby near Richmond , Swaledale
4 Rooms

Skeeby Lodge is an oasis of rest and relaxation when travelling to or from the Lake District or Scotland or if you are visiting the Yorkshire Dales. Located in open countryside just 1.5 miles from Scotch Corner.

Skeeby Lodge
Reeth, North Yorkshire

Dales Bike Centre provides for the every need of cyclists visiting the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It is based in Fremington, near Reeth, Swaledale with it's famous mountain biking hill climb Fremington Edge! The Tour de France 5 July 2014 Stage One passes nearby.

Dales Bike Centre
Muker, North Yorkshire

Muker Agricultural Show, Swaledale is held in the enviable location of the meadows in Muker village. It offers such delights as Fell Racing, Sheep Dog Trials and a chance to hear the Muker Band play! Held every year at the beginning of September.

Muker Agricultural Show
Reeth, North Yorkshire

Reeth Show is a traditional Yorkshire Dales agricultural show in the picturesque surroundings of Swaledale. Held every year at the end of August

Reeth Show
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Yorkshire Dales
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Le Tour 2014
Stage 1 Route
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Map Key:

OS Explorer OL30 Yorkshire Dales - Northern & Central areas covers Wensleydale and Swaledale. Highlights include: The valleys of Swaledale and Arkengarthdale, Aysgarth Falls, Hawes, and the River Wharfe.

Swaledale East Ordnance Survey Map is water and tear resistant and covers Langthwaite, Reeth, Healaugh, Gibbon Hill and Crackpot.

Swaledale West Ordnance Survey Map is water and tear resistant and covers Great Shunner Fell, Keld, Muker and Gunnerside

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