Thursday 27 October 2022

Autumn Walking in Swaledale - Reeth to Langthwaite & return

 Reeth to Langthwaite following Arkle Beck 

7.5 miles of easy walking however please always wear strong, preferably waterproof, footwear.

Park on Reeth Green and pick up any provisions you require.  There is a pub at the half way point in Langthwaite however although the Red Lion has a good supply of crisps, chocolate, muesli bars etc they do not serve meals.  We packed our own sandwich and enjoyed it with a drink sitting outside the pub on their comfortable seating.

Walk downhill off the green following the B6270 until you come to the bridge over the river.  After crossing the bridge take the first public footpath fingerpost on your left signposted Langthwaite 3 miles.

Walk upstream following the path across the fields, past a field building or 'cowus' with a painted yellow arrow and onto a gated stile. From here bear right, up hill, as if you are heading for Fremington Edge.
The path is well signposted all the way with finger posts, waymarkers or hand painted arrows and yellow circles.  Once you get your eye trained to spot the yellow markers, stiles or gates, the path is plain sailing.

Don't worry you are only walking up hill to the top of the field not climbing all the way up to Fremington Edge!  From here look back at the view towards Reeth and the opposite side of the valley.
Squeeze through the squeeze stile (literally!) and turn left along an old metalled track / bridleway.  From hear the track winds its way through pretty woodland and down towards the beck.  

At the junction keep right on the bridleway across fields to Heggs House.  Shortly after Heggs House the path descends once again to the beck side and another bridge across the Arkle however do not cross the river here instead carry on across two fields to Storthwaite Hall which sits next to a ford with good stepping stones.

From the ford, climb the concrete track to a junction.  Here you have a choice of routes a) turn right signposted Slei Gill and after 100 yards bear left towards the hamlet of Booze before dropping steeply to the village of Langthwaite or b) carry forward along the track which descends to a clear path that runs adjacent to Arkle Beck and into Langthwaite and the famous All Creatures Great & Small bridge and the welcome sight of the Red Lion pub.  You have reached half way.

The Red Lion sells hot drinks as well as the usual alcoholic beverages. The pub was used extensively for the BBC tv series, All Creatures Great & Small and for fans of the James Herriot stories has an interesting display of photographs of the filming and stars.  Having rested a while begin your return by walking between the cottages opposite the pub and picking up the path alongside the river (as in the photo above).  If you entered the village by option b) you will be retracing your steps.

 Follow the path along the river to a wooden footbridge.  Cross the bridge and turn immediately left.  The path clings closely to the beckside until it comes to a gated stile with a fallen tree forming a low bough.

From here follow the path across pastures, looking out for where it passes through gaps in the wall, through gates and over stiles.  After a while the track comes to a junction.  At the junction do not take the track uphill but drop down and walk past a large farmhouse with attached buildings.  Pass through the five-bar gate and take a track immediately right (look out for a low waymarker pointing the way).
From here the path is easy to follow across pastures & fields.  Landmarks to look out for are waymarked stiles, a large power line structure with a yellow circle on and finally a large white house.  Pass through the gated stile at the side of the white house, turn left and follow the road for the last 1/4 mile of the walk back into Reeth.  Enjoy a well earned ice-cream from the Ice Cream Parlour or cup of tea at one of the many tearooms / cafes / take-out outlets. 

With thanks to Jonathan Smith and Where2Walk.  Jonathan produces a walk for our local weekly paper, The Darlington & Stockton Times.  If it is relevant to our area its cut it out and laminated for the use of my guests at Pry House Farm and Hillcrest Cottage.  There is a portfolio of local walks at both Pry House Farm B&B and Hillcrest Cottage but take a look at the Where2Walk website for other areas.  

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