One of the best ways to explore Swaledale and its spectacular scenery is on foot, and we are happy to provide our guests with route maps for the many circular walks which start from Park House, ranging from 2-12 miles. These include the Keld loop, the Muker circular and the Ravenseat round, and we also have maps which can take you further afield to Tan Hill, Gunnerside or Reeth. Visit www.wildcardwalks.co.uk to see details of some local walks including professional photos taken along the way.
The Swale Trail is a 12-mile mountain bike trail created along the length of Swaledale.
Did you know the Tour de France passed within two miles of Keld? Why not try completing part of the course over the infamous Buttertubs Pass. You can hire a wide selection of bikes (including electric bikes) from the Dales Bike Centre in Reeth.
Waterfalls and Wild Swimming
Take a short walk to visit the Swale’s stunning waterfalls. During your stay you may see kayakers going over the falls or at certain times of the year look out for brown trout jumping up the waterfall as they migrate upstream and wild otters swimming in the river or playing on the banks.
In the right weather, these can offer great spots for wild swimming. Right beside Park House, runs the Rainby Force. A wide waterfall with a large swimming hole at its base, easy to access from the site. Nearby, the Wainwath Falls and Kisden Force also have their own pools.
The Dales Dipper however (www.dalesdipper.co.uk) offers fun, friendly, relaxed and safe guiding services to wild swimming groups and individuals of all abilities looking to explore and experience wild swimming in the local area and you can book with them directly.
Working Sheepdog Demonstrations
From May to October, International Trialist Richard Fawcett gives weekly sheepdog demonstrations just outside Hawes. The show is for all the family; Richard shows his dogs’ skills in a working environment showing flock work, a typical sheepdog trial, young dogs at various stages of training and ability, and two dogs working together. Richard intersperses demonstrations with information on local farming history, the area, the sheep, and his dogs, with a chance to ask questions at the end. For details visit www.sheepdogdemo.co.uk.
For the Adventurous..
Alfresco Adventures are a local company whose fully qualified instructors offer a wide range of activities including Canoe and Kayaking, Gorge walking, Mountain Biking and climbing in the area. www.alfrescoadventures.co.uk
ake a scenic drive or join the Pennine Way to walk four miles to the famous Tan Hill Inn, which, at 1,732ft above sea level, is the highest pub in Great Britain. Visit: www.tanhillinn.co.uk
The Wensleydale Creamery
We highly recommend a trip to Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes where they handcraft cheese to time honoured recipes. They have a modern visitors centre with museum and a viewing gallery where you can watch the cheeses being made, plus you get to finish your visit with a trip around the tasting room where you can sample of all of their delicious and varied flavours of cheese. www.wensleydale.co.uk
Hawes is just a 20 minute drive away and is a bustling market town with many interesting shops, craft workshops and cafes. You can also visit the National Park visitors centre and close to Hawes is Hardraw Force, England’s highest single-drop waterfall.
Just a 25 minute drive away is Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria’s upper Eden valley. It’s a traditional market town of historic buildings, cobbled yards, quaint corners and interesting shops and also has a station where you could board the train on the famous Carlisle to Settle railway line.
Just a 35 minute drive away is Barnard Castle, a lively and bustling market town, with regular markets, speciality shops, restaurants, bars and tea rooms. The town is steeped in history and you can take a tour of the castle or take a trip to the widely acclaimed Bowes museum.
A little further afield and just a 45 minute drive will take you to Richmond, a beautiful market town, with Norman castle, Georgian architecture, cobbled market place, monuments and abbeys.