Great Little Walks



GLW100707: Muker to Keld via Swaledale

7th July 2010

The drizzle through which we drove to Muker was not what we had expected.  The mist covering the hills provided no invitation to visit them.  And the rain when we arrived determined that we should have our picnic in the car like a couple of old pensioners. After which, we reclined the seats and were about to nod off when the rain stopped.

It was without conviction that we set off into the village.  It was still damp in the air as we walked round this once wealthy and still attractive village- it had made its money from lead mining.

We decided would just go down to the river, along the flagged path through the wild flower meadow, and then return.  As we reached the river, it rained properly, driven by a strong wind but we found a wall behind which to shelter.  It soon blew through and it looked as if the day would at last brighten up.  

We decided to continue on the way to Keld.

St Andrew's Church, Muker

The flaaged path through the meadow

Sheltering behind the wall


Swaledale has many buildings; one our side some still in use agriculturally and the occasional derelict farmhouse. On the other, some abandoned industrial units from the mining days

Derelict famrhouse

Old mine workings

I had read that it was a good idea to take a detour to visit Kisdon Force.  Unfortunately, the path that I chose was not the one recommended!  We should have stayed on the main path until after it had been joined by the Pennine Way where there was a properly signposted trail to the top of the falls.  Ours was a rather less travelled, more off piste journey to the bottom of the falls; steep, slippery and not for the faint hearted.  

Kisdon Force

I had hoped that there might be an easier way back but to join the upper falls path mean a vertical climb up wet rock.  We had to retreat, not quite the way we came, but a slightly safer direttissimo up the hill.

Refreshments to calm the nerves were available at Keld and any unrequired food would be removed by the most cheeky sparrow!

Don at Keld

Keld Chapel

Cheeky sparrow

Keld Chapel House bell

We returned on the east side of the river, past several small waterfalls with rather easier access!  

Lower Catrake Force

Upper Catrake Force

Looking down Swaledale towards Muker

Industrial workings

Swinner Gill Falls

By now it was a lovely late afternoon, in marked contract to when we first trod the flagged path..  

Looking back up Swaledale

The flagged path to Muker

Rather than repeat the long and winding road along which we had travelled to Muker, we chose an even longer but possibly slightly less winding road to Kirkby Stephen, past another waterfall then round the back of Mallerstang, before turning west for Kendal.

Muker washing

Wain Wath Forcer

Back of Mallerstang

Don, 7th July 2010



7th July 2010


7.0 miles

Height climbed:

927 feet

Key Features:

Swaledale, Muker, Keld



For more, click on Great Little Walks 2009 or Great Little Walks 2010



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 These pages are
photo archives of
Don and Margaret's



Lily Tarn?

Loughrigg Terrace


Elterwater and Loughrigg Tarn

Ings & the Williamson Monument

The Coffin Route Reversed

Muker to Keld via Swaledale





For more,
click on
Great Little Walks


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