Circular Walk from Reeth via the Swing Bridge
A lovely walk for walkers of all abilities. Suitable for families.
Approximately 3.5 miles of easy going along woodland and riverside paths that take you to the impressive Swing Bridge and then through pastures back to Reeth.
Leave your car in the centre of Reeth. There is always plenty of parking on the green. Walk down the hill and follow the road across the bridge. Keep on the footpath on the right until you see the sign for Fremington. Immediately opposite the village sign is a gate and fingerpost directing you to Grinton.
Follow this path until you come to a gated stile in the centre of Grinton Bridge.
Through the gate, turn right and cross the bridge. The Bridge Inn is on the left and the church of St Andrew, the parish church of Grinton is on the right. The church is at the end of the Swaledale Corpse Way and was where people who died in the upper dale were brought to be buried.
A few yards past the church turn right signposted Harkerside and the Swale Trail.
The track runs adjacent to fields and the river and is surrounded by magnificent scenery.
There's an abundance of interesting wildlife to be seen on the river and the tree lined footpath is bordered with wild flowers, shrubs and ferns.
After a while the landscape opens up. The path leads to a gate and a small wooden bridge. Here is where we leave the Swale Trail and turn right, over the wooden bridge towards the impressive Swing Bridge.
Sandmartins nest along the banks of the river here. Look out for Oyster Catchers, Greylag Geese and Mallard ducks.
After crossing the Swing Bridge turn left. This is a new path as the old path (right when you cross the bridge) has been closed due to erosion. I prefer the new path, it is well maintained with duck boarding and footbridges and clear waymarkers.
Look out for a sharp right hand turn as a gate and a fingerpost direct you to double back through a wooded area back in the direction of Reeth.
The path rises and the walk is now in green pastures. The river and the Swing Bridge has been left behind, way below on the right. Follow the green path through several gated squeeze stiles until it becomes a vehicle track that passes the playpark and the doctor's surgery.
Make your way through the houses and back to Reeth Green for a well earned cup of tea, refreshments or an ice-cream. My favourite is the Overton Cafe. I can recommend the cheese scones!