Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Swale Trail - family friendly bike trail

The Swale Trail from Keld to Reeth

Swaledale's dramatic & untamed landscape has always been popular with experienced mountain bike riders but what about families and novice cyclists?  Many of the well trodden / well riden paths are too challenging or simply not suitable for the whole family.  
Not any more.  Welcome to the Swale Trail!.

The Swale Trail is a Yorkshire Dales National Park initiative and a huge amount of work has gone into creating the trail and erecting new finger posts.  On Sunday 29th April the route was officially opened and with a group of friends from Keld I took up the challenge to ride the 12 miles from Reeth to Keld.

 As the majority of us had not ridden a bike for decades we decided a little help was sensible and we pedalled our way up the dale on electric bikes courtesy of the Dales Bike Centre in Grinton.
These e-bikes are amazing!  They provide different levels of power depending on the steepness of the incline ahead.  

Myself, Jacqui and Karen are all Bed & Breakfast providers and we are keen to encourage families and young people to come to Upper Swaledale.  How could we possibily 'sell' the Swale Trail if we hadn't done it ourselves?

Almost the entire trail is on bridleways or on largely unused, very quiet lanes.  The Swale Trail can be done in sections depending on ability and age.  At the Reeth end the first few miles are very gentle with some lovely picnic spots by the river where you can skim stones and dangle your feet in the water.

 The section between Gunnerside and Keld becomes more challenging but I'm sure more experienced cyclists would take it easily in their stride. 

I completed the Swale Trail.  I have earned the knowledge and am here to help.
  If you have your own bikes both Pry House B&B and Hillcrest Cottage have secure bike storage and bike washing facilities.  If you haven't I can thoroughly recommend hiring from the Dales Bike Centre.  Come and have a go - you will love it!


  1. Next time I visit I’ll give it a try. Keld-Reeth v.v. 👀

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