Thursday 22 June 2023

Tan Hill to Pry House Farm via Keld with optional extension via Ravenseat

 Walking on Top of the World 

Tan Hill Inn to Pry House Farm on both the Pennine Way & Coast to Coast Paths or finish in Keld

This is a linear walk of between 4.5 and 10 miles depending on which route you choose.

By prior arrangement only and for a small bribe, Pry House Farm B&B guests can ask to be transported to Tan Hill.  Otherwise 2 cars are required, one being at your finishing point.    

Start at the Tan Hill Inn and take the Pennine Way footpath which is directly opposite the pub and clearly signposted.

Looking back at Tan Hill Inn, this is top-of-the-world walking. 

The path is well marked with fingerposts and waymarkers.  Along the entire route the footpath is pretty obvious and relatively easy going.  The day I did this walk the weather was very warm.  Despite this, a sweatshirt was definitely required.  At 1700 ft above sea level, even on the hottest day, the breeze on the tops dictates an extra layer.  

Under foot was dry, tinder dry, infact unusually dry for the peat moors of the upper dales.  But don't be fooled, whatever the weather and whatever the season strong, waterproof footwear is essential. 

Its wild up on the open moors but there is plenty company; curlew, skylark, golden plover, grouse, pipets & peewits and naturally lots of sheep and lambs.

In late spring the moor is covered in cotton flower, blowing delicately in the wind.

The path winds and turns, down over becks and streams, twisting and turning past shepherd's sheep pens and exposed black, peat hags.  Reassuringly the Stonesdale to Tan Hill road is often in view far below to the right.  There is no chance of getting lost or going astray on this well worn track with so many landmarks to guide you.

Frith Lodge Ahoy!

After passing through a gate between a couple of stone farm buildings or cow'uses as they are known as in Swaledale the first and only dwelling between Tan Hill and Stonesdale comes into view;  Frith Lodge.  Frith Lodge is an exceptionally fine Bed & Breakfast establishment that is reknowned for its high standard of accommodation, panoramic location and wonderful hospitality.

Looking down to West Stonesdale and towards Swaledale. 

Having past Frith Lodge, the path meanders down to Keld village in less than an hour.  As the track decends look out for a fingerpost marked Pennine Way straight ahead and public bridleway right.  If journey's end for you is Keld village then continue downhill following the Pennine Way.  If you are walking back to Pry House Farm turn right here along the public bridleway behind East Stonesdale Farm (now a very smart looking house) and on to meet the twisty road to Tan Hill.

Turn right, uphill for a few strides and on the opposite side of the road pass through the waymarked gate.  The path is adjacent to the B6270 road and the River Swale but high above both tracking the limstone scar.  This is a lovely path with occasional glimpses of the river below through fissures in the giant limstone rock.  Some parts are open, others shaded with woodland or crowded with giant fern.  

Shortly the path meets a track that goes down to the road.  Turn left and at the road turn right to walk the last half mile back to Pry House Farm making the walk a total of 6 miles. Alternatively turn right and continue up hill on the rough track which is the Coast to Coast path to Ravenseat.  At Ravenseat take the single track tarmac road for one & a half miles back to Pry House Farm.  The Ravenseat option extends the walk by 4 miles making a total of 10 miles.
Click on this link.  It describes the path to Ravenseat. Ravenseat walk  

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