Gunnerside Gill and Keld
Walk 1 - Gunnerside Gill- Swaledale - Muker. A superlative circular walk starting at Gunnerside near the Kings Head 12 miles - 5 hours. There is also the option of arriving by the Northern Dalesman bus on Sundays and bank holidays which allows a shorter version finishing at Muker - 9 miles - 4 hours. The the buses run from Ingleton via Ribblehead and Hawes and also from Darlington via Richmond - see www.dalesbus.org for detail. Back to Swaledale
If arriving by bus alight at Gunnerside. On leaving the Kings Head, pass along footpath to the right hand side of the beck going up-stream. The path goes around the former school house and continues through woodland before opening out into the gill. Many old lead mining workings and dressing floors become apparent. Keeping to the right hand side of the gill climb alongside the wall to get an elevated view in narrow valley. Soon after passing Bunting Mine start to descend through the spoil heaps to reach the valley bottom and contineu upstream to reach Blakethwaite Smelt Mill and the stone slab footbridge.
Crossing the stream return on the far bank for a few yards. The path then takes a zig-zag up the hillside eventually following a 'hush' and old workings to reach the top of the moor. The path then joins a cart track over the summit of the hill. Follow this path for 1/2 mile through a gate. The path eventually leaves cart track at a marker post to enter Swinnergill now descending steeply.
Following the track around Swinnergill mine maintain the right hand path at a fork, climbing slightly around the shoulder of hill to reach Crackpot Hall and a further track. Bear right and continue towards Keld dropping down to cross the foot bridge across the River Swale. Bear right an follow the path for short distance into Keld where there is a tea room in the farm.
On leaving Keld retrace steps passing the footbridge but staying on the right hand bank of the river. The path becomes slightly tortuous as it weaves its' way around the trees and obstacles passing around the foot of a crag. After a short distance Kisdon Force Waterfall will come into view. To reach the waterfall the best policy is to take a path a small distance beyond rather than try to descend the slope.
Continue along the path to join the main footpath amd then an easy route across several fields following the right hand bank to reach a footbridge near Muker.
If walking to Muker continue straight on along the paving slabs inset into the pasture. However, for the return to Gunnerside cross the footbridge and follow the footpath on the left hand bank to the hamlet of Ivlet, a slight dog leg around the estate office and on to Gunnerside. The route demands no further explanation and is very easy to follow using the OS map.
Back to Swaledale