Yorkshire walk - Fremington Edge, Swaledale

Reeth and Fremington Edge seen from above

Reeth and Fremington Edge - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Let your car do the work on the ascent to the high moors behind Fremington Edge west of Richmond in Swaledale then enjoy the panoramas along it with some industrial archaeology along the way

1 Walk west along road to and past Hall Farm and continue ahead through gate to follow broad, stony track past mine workings. After grouse butt fork left following broader of  two tracks ahead, down to and through wooden fieldgate.

2 Turn immediately left to walk beside wire fence and wall. Turn left again over ladderstile and head towards cairn. Pass to right of ladderstile and across two collapsed walls. Walk through mine workings and past large cairn.

Lead mine chimney, Hurst

Lead mine chimney, Hurst - Credit: Paul Kirkwood

3 At fingerpost turn sharp left signed to Hurst up a stony track. Go through wooden fieldgate and turn immediately right and over stile to continue with wall on right. Go over ladderstile beside rusting remains of radio aerial base.

4 After 200 yards go through wooden gate then turn left and walk beside wall for 60 metres. Cross collapsed wall then head in 2 o’clock direction towards wall corner. Just after corner drop steeply downwards and bear left to follow ledge leading to cave up on your left. Return the way you came to the wooden gate, as above. Turn right onto track across Marrick Moor back to Hurst. Turn right through gate onto road and back to car.

Note: Fremington Edge including Jabz Cave is within Open Access land.


Points of interest:

Chimneys at the start of the walk look incongruous in such a peaceful landscape. Left over from lead mining days and surrounded by grass, they're reminiscent of those chimneys that dramatically burst from the ground to depict the Industrial Revolution during the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony. The landscape, also including shafts and spoil heaps, gives the feeling of being backstage, waiting for the show to begin. And what a show. Emerging on and processing along Fremington Edge the views are magnificent.

Arkengarthdale - from Fremington Edge

Arkengarthdale - from Fremington Edge - Credit: Paul Kirkwood

To your right gaze across the village of Langthwaite and deep into Arkengarthdale. On the far side of the valley the hulk of Calver Hill towers over the vista, a wiggly track leading up to it mimicking the meanders of the Swale below. Soon the village of Reeth grabs and holds the attention as you continue along the edge. Save some time for a mooch around its large green after your walk.

Jabz Cave

Jabz Cave - Credit: Paul Kirkwood

The adventurous will enjoy an out-and-back extension to Jabz Cave. More of a fissure in the limestone scar than a cave, it's named after Jabez Raisbeck, a printer, stationer and newsagent from Reeth who died in 1894. He used to come up to the cave to write poetry. It's said he added some features to the rocks including what looks like a chair.

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Eat here

Copper Kettle Kitchen, Reeth

Copper Kettle Kitchen, Reeth - Credit: Paul Kirkwood

The Copper Kettle Kitchen, Reeth. facebook.com/thecopperkettlekitchen. Serves breakfasts, lunches, homemade cakes and snacks including paninis. The coconut and lentil soup is highly recommended. Plenty of vegan and gluten-free options too. Refurbished in June 2021.

Kings Arms, Reeth

Kings Arms, Reeth - Credit: Paul Kirkwood

The Kings Arms, Reeth. thekingsarms.com 

Traditional, early 18th century Dales pub overlooking the green with inglenook fireplace. Good value with main courses typically £11. Dogs particularly welcome – and have their own menu!


Compass points

Start/finish: Postcode DL11 7NW, grid ref NZ 052026.

Time/distance: 3 hours/10km.

Accessibility:  Extension to Jabz Cave involves steep, rocky descent and ascent plus good navigation. You can always trim this part of the route off.

Map: OS Explorer OL30, Landranger 98.

Parking:  Space for three or four cars beside phone box between Hurst and Washfold, as above.