Remote Arkengarthdale in the Yorkshire Dales provides perfect peace and magnificent views

1. Walk north on the road north from Reeth, passing the Buck Inn on your left. Just after a cattlegrid turn right onto a footpath to Langthwaite. Walk parallel with the river, passing through several gap stiles. Ignore a track through a gate into a wood and instead bear left and upwards. The path kinks uphill briefly to cross a beck via stepping stones. Gradually, descend to the riverbank. Pass to the left of East Raw Croft Farm.

Great British Life: Langthwaite is half way through the walking route - so a good place to stop for brew or beer. (c) Paul KirkwoodLangthwaite is half way through the walking route - so a good place to stop for brew or beer. (c) Paul Kirkwood

2. Follow path as it briefly becomes a track past West Raw Croft Farm and continue ahead in the direction of a fingerpost. Cross the Arkle Beck via a footbridge the turn left to continue on a track beside the river into Langthwaite.

Great British Life: Autumn colours near Storthwaite Hall. (c) Paul KirkwoodAutumn colours near Storthwaite Hall. (c) Paul Kirkwood

3. Turn right in Langthwaite and continue on a road steeply up and bearing sharp right out of the village. The road becomes a bridleway/track at which fork right onto footpath signed to Slei Gill. Fork right again into the village onto a concrete track. Just after entering Town Farm turn right onto path and follow a fingerpost to Storthwaite Hall.

Great British Life: Fremington Edge along the walking route. (c) Paul KirkwoodFremington Edge along the walking route. (c) Paul Kirkwood

4. At the next fingerpost turn left onto bridleway to Fremington. Cross a ford at the Hall via stepping stones and onto walled lane. Pass another farmhouse and onto cart track. Pass through gate with sign for Haggs Farm then fork right onto footpath that initially stays close to the river.

Great British Life: A stone sign beside Reeth bridge. (c) Paul KirkwoodA stone sign beside Reeth bridge. (c) Paul Kirkwood

5. Follow signed footpath past Castle Farm and farmhouse ruins. After passing the end of a high wall turn right through narrow gap in wall and descend through field passing a barn with giant arrow on it to rejoin river. Turn right at the B6270, cross the bridge then turn left signed Beckside Walk. Bear left under the bridge and follow path to the end where it bears left into Reeth.

Points of interest

Booze cruise

You can get two types of booze on this trip. Partake of ale at a very authentic Dales pub in Langthwaite, strategically positioned half way around the route, then head up to the wonderfully named but sadly signless Booze. It is also one of the few settlements in Yorkshire that doesn't have any roads. In 2008 the Royal Mail ceased deliveries because of the narrow, steep and hazardous access, only to reinstate them following appeals from residents and road improvements. The service is still going strong judging from the red van that drove out of the hamlet as I walked in. I later spotted the postman from the hilltop, easy to distinguish in his red uniform, as he delivered to the pub. Previously perceived perilous but what a round.

In the fells above Booze you can spot what's called a hush, a ravine scoured by water released from a dam to expose lead veins. The hamlet's name may be a reference to a lead meaning process called bousing or derive from the Old English 'bowe-house' meaning ‘house by the bow or curve of land’.

Arkengarthdale is named after its Saxon lord, Arkil, and was a lead mining centre in the 19th century. The valley gained a large new church, St Mary's, just north of Langthwaite, but its construction in 1817 had as much to do with the collapse of the old church, undermined by the Arkle Beck, as the mining boom. The village is best known for its bridge featured in the opening sequence of the All Creatures Great and Small TV drama in the 1980s.

Eat here

Great British Life: Red Lion. (c) Paul KirkwoodRed Lion. (c) Paul Kirkwood

The Red Lion, Arkengarthdale. Along with a selection of Black Sheep ales pub serves sandwiches, pasties, sausage rolls and hot drinks. NB: no full meals.

Ivy Cottage tea room, Reeth. Newly refurbished and offering home-made soups, scones and cakes including gluten-free options. Bed and breakfast also available.

Great British Life: Ivy Cottage tea room, Reeth. (c) Paul KirkwoodIvy Cottage tea room, Reeth. (c) Paul Kirkwood

Compass points

Start/finish: Reeth. DL11 6SZ,grid ref SE 038993.

Time/distance: 5 hours/12km.

Accessibility: Straight forward walking with one short, stiff ascent after Langthwaite.

Maps: OS Leisure OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central Areas. OS Landranger 92 Barnard Castle & Richmond.

Parking: On the green. Honesty boxes.

Map link:

Great British Life: OS Leisure OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central AreasOS Leisure OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central Areas