Things To Do


  • Trail Walking – so many to choose from, the Coast to Coast, Pennine Way, Corpse way, the Innway.
  • Ambling – public footpaths everywhere and vast tracts of Open Access land.
  • Running – fell running, the awesome Swaledale Marathon, orienteering, children’s sports days, local country show fell races with world records to beat.
  • Circular walks – a plethora of routes, down rugged valleys and mountain streams, wonderful waterfalls, strange limestone rock formations, steep cliffs and caves, gorgeous heather moorland and of course delightful village greens and the welcoming Inn.
  • Geocaching – plenty of caches here linked to this very popular Global Positioning System (GPS) pastime, go on line to
  • Skills Courses – map and compass skills courses to help you make up your own walks and avoid getting lost or misplaced. You can even try night walking, barefoot walking or Nordic walking
  • Creative guided photographic and painting tours as well as outdoor events as part of the Swaledale Festival.
  • Visitor Centres - Keld Heritage and Resource Centre provide information and history about the local area; landscape, people and buildings.
  • Relaxing – great picnic spots next to babbling streams and fords with quaint footbridges where children can play. You could even do nothing, enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this forgotten Dale or walk outside at night and see the Milky Way.
  • Rocks – plenty of bouldering and a few sites to climb too.
  • Camping – take your pick, from well-equipped sites to rustic farm fields, camping barns and log cabins.
  • Winter – the snow stops nothing, wax those alpine skis and dig out the toboggans for some real adventure!
  • Outdoor Centres – from the traditional activities to the complex, with high ropes courses and a zip wire across the river Swale at Marrick Priory - outdoor education and residential centre.
  • Underground – for the experienced and supervised there are caves and lead mines aplenty with all of the associated industrial archaeology.


With one of the fastest rising rivers in England, the Swale is a swift-flowing river to be respected.

  • Fishing – you will need a license, but there are enough idyllic spots to last you a lifetime.
  • Kayaking - from a leisurely drift to Grade V waterfalls, the River Swale has some great runs and you get to see places that cannot be seen from a public footpath.
  • Wild Swimming – fantastic crystal clear pools and waterfalls for this alternative pastime.Details of Kisdon Force can be found here.


  • Mountain Biking – a mecca for MTB enthusiasts and a Bike Centre. No marked trails here, just a web of trails for you to discover yourself or with a guide. Courses galore, too. You can hire, compete, orienteer, race or night cycle.
  • Long Distance – there’s the Coast to Coast for MTB and road bikes, too. You can also camp and tour to your heart’s content.
  • Racing – a regular visit from the Tour of Britain Race shows how fast the professionals go and there are plenty of events for the amateur too.
  • Motorbikes – the sport of the locals is Trials riding and this is a popular spectator sport, but you’ll have to walk a little to see it.
  • In one of the biggest coups of last year, Welcome to Yorkshire secured the Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France – and it came right through upper Swaledale! Find out more on our TDF page by clicking here.



Where do we start?

  • Music – The Swaledale Festival in late May lasts 2 weeks and attracts international stars across a wide spectrum of genres.
  • Church Life - details of services, events, fundraisers and a flavour of the diversity of our four parish churches.
  • Brass and Silver Bands Reeth Brass and Muker Silver bands play at village shows and events and compete internationally.
  • Concerts and Shows – orchestras and choirs performing in local churches to Georgian theatres, local thespians in village halls and much much more. The acclaimed Swale Singers perform regularly throughout the area.
  • Agricultural Shows - traditional village shows displaying the labours of the land and the traditional skills of the local artisans, as well as the enthusiasm of the children, take place in Reeth on the late August bank holiday Monday and Muker on the first Wednesday in September every year.
  • Farms – local farm stays and Hazel Brow visitor centre, as well as the phenomenally popular Hay Meadows, a must for late May where you will see more wild flowers in a square metre than in the average garden.
  • History – Swaledale Museum celebrating the huge diversity and change the dales have seen from neolithic man to the present day.
  • Environment – get involved with the local National Park Volunteers, the Dry Stone Walling Guild for a skilful workout, archaeologists with the SWAAG (Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeological Group). Birdwatching for the ornithologists with curlews, golden plover, sand martins and many more. As a geologist you will be astounded by the fossilised marine life and coral reefs.
  • Shopping – local craft centres, art galleries, village shops and post offices packed with local produce and traditional village markets that go back centuries selling fresh produce and Swaledale Cheese.
  • Inns, Pubs and Hotels – no outdoor experience is complete without a traditional homecoming to a historic pub frequented by a fictitious James Herriot (the vet of TV fame), a warm fire, a yellow glow at the window and a smooth pint of a traditional Yorkshire Square Brew beer (they do coffee too!).
  • Cafes – plenty of these, too. You can even sit outside, European-style, and savour locally homemade cakes.
  • Sport – there are areas of flat land for football but the game up here is Quoits. You’ll find the pitch next to a pub – ideal!

Photo: Swaledale Festival

Photo: Graham Franklin
Photo: Graham Franklin
Photo: Swaledale Festival

Courtesy of Leni Hatcher and the National Trust's Outdoor Nation Project