FREE North Yorkshire Pub Walk: Muker & The Farmers Arms (6 miles)
The following walk is taken from our Guide to North Yorkshire Pub Walks, a pocket-sized guidebook packed with 20 brilliant routes that all start and finish at a great local pub.
MUKER & THE FARMERS ARMS
A beautiful walk in spectacular Swaledale countryside. There are glorious Pennine views, limestone cliffs, waterfalls, and two attractive and interesting villages. Part of the route is on a section of the Pennine Way – a fine terrace path high above the valley.
- How to get there: Muker is at the far (western) end of Swaledale, eight miles from Reeth along the B6270. Sat Nav: DL11 6QG.
- Parking: There's a car park on the left (£4.50 all day) at the entrance to Muker village.
- Recommended pub: The Farmers Arms, Muker
1. Turn left after leaving the car park, cross the fine bridge over the Straw Beck, and follow the road into Muker village. At the small green open space, turn right and walk up the road past the charming small building that was the former Literary Institute. Go to the right of a house called “Armsleigh” and just round the corner there is an excellent information board about the stone field barns that grace the local hillsides.
Keep to the left of the postbox then follow a lane signposted “Public Footpath to Keld”. The lane soon becomes a track, turns sharply left and zigzags up the hillside climbing steeply. Keep straight on when the track turns left through a gate, and soon the path joins the Pennine Way (footpath sign).
2. Turn right and follow the Pennine Way along a terrace route on the side of Kisdon Hill. There are stunning views into the valley below. The path is a glorious stretch of walking, but needs some care as it is rocky underfoot. Keep to the Pennine Way at all path junctions, (though if you have time and energy you may wish to turn off to visit the Kisdon Falls). Nearly two miles after point 2 you come to a junction of paths (signpost) where the Pennine Way turns right.
3. Turn right and continue along the Pennine Way (now also the Coast to Coast Walk) as it descends the hillside and crosses the River Swale (an idyllic spot) then go up the hillside for a short distance to view East Gill Force waterfall (another idyllic spot – and seats provided). Eventually drag yourself away from the stunning scene, retrace steps to the junction of paths at point 3 and turn right, soon to reach Keld. Don’t miss the information board – in the heyday of lead mining, Keld was a much larger place. Turn left along the village street, left at the road junction by the public conveniences (another 20p), and left along the B6270 for a short distance.
4. Turn left along a track signposted “Public Bridleway Muker 2½ miles”. After a brief descent, the track climbs up the side of Kisdon Hill and it is quite a steep climb. Ignore side paths. When the crushed-stone track turns left to a house, keep straight on along a wide grassy path and through the farm gate ahead. Now follow the grassy path for about a mile as it crosses Kisdon Hill (at about 480m) – enjoyable easy walking with good views including Great Shunner Fell to the far right. The path then drops steeply with fine views into Swaledale. Go left when you meet the Pennine Way again (signpost) and after a few metres return to point 2 from where you go down the hill back to Muker.
- Rory Batho