Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer


16th July 2022




Meadows Swaledale Signpost

Generally, I'd prefer to visit Swaledale when the meadows are in full colour, but this year it didn't work out. Now, in mid-July, nearly all the colour has drained out of the fields and the non-grazed meadows are in the process of being cut for winter feed. I decided to take a walk down to the river on Friday evening (15th July) and call in at the Farmers Arms on the way back.

Farmers Arms Muker

The Farmers Arms, Muker

I greeted the owner and ordered a pint of beer. Upon attempting to book in for a meal the following evening, I learnt the pub would be closed on Saturday and Sunday for personal, family reasons. Oh dear, it's burgers on the BBQ this evening, but I had made no provision for Saturday night. I managed two pints of "Crackpot" (I think) and had a chat with a couple of other visitors also sat on the beer patio.

Usha Gap Muker

Usha Gap, Muker

I can't think of a better place for me to go camping than right here. Not too far to drive, always a warm welcome, flat and well-drained site, great facilties and nothing is done in a hurry in Upper Swaledale. Dogs should be kept under control, which is always better for Molly than dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.

Usha Gap

Usha Gap Farm & Campsite

After a somewhat slow start to the day (Saturday) and a lot of map reading and head scratching, I planned a walk from Gunnerside to Keld and back to Muker. The first part of this plan involved catching the Little White Bus from Thwaite to Gunnerside at 10:20hrs. So, this is the scene as we set off to walk to Thwaite from Usha Gap, briefly on the road and then on the footpath through meadows to Thwaite.

Kearton Hotel
Kearton Hotel & Tearoom
Little White Bus

It would appear that at the time of writing, The Kearton Hotel and Tearoom is for sale, although the sign has been carefully placed above the latter. The businesses seem to be all part of one enterprise. Soon, the bus appears after starting its journey in Keld. I am the only passenger on the bus en route to Muker. An earlier bus is available if it is booked in advance with the LWB company.

Kings Head Gunnerside

Kings Head, Gunnerside

The bus driver dropped us off in Guunerside and continued his lonely journey towards Reeth. I felt a tad guilty at this point because earlier in the day I had seen the heavily-laden adventurers troop away from the campsite in Muker. Maybe I should have tipped them off and we could all have travelled down here for the £3.70 I had just paid. This pub will open on this Saturday, but my car is not moving and I won't be walking down here this evening.

Gunnerside Swale at Gunnerside
The River Swale at Gunnerside
Meadows More Meadows
To the Meadows
Meadow Scenery

The "river" walk soon becomes a meadow walk and it's getting warm. This part of Swaledale scenery isn't new to me, but it's more than 10 years since I last walked through these fields.

Even More Meadows

Even more Meadows

A French lady asked me why we all walked through the narrow wall passages when in some cases the gates were open or missing. Hmmm, I pondered, "It's a British thing, it's the right way to do it..." she smiled are carried on towards Gunnerside.

Ramps Holme Barn

Ramps Holme Barn

Visitors are encouraged to walk in a straight line and singularly to inspect the historical barn features. Molly understands the importance of keeping to the worn path.

Ramps Holme Bridge

Ramps Holme Bridge

12:30 and it was tempting to wander back to the tent for a break. But, I'd have not got going again and wouldn't have made it to Keld. So, after 15 minutes R&R, we set off to Keld along very familiar paths and tracks.



Swinner Gill

Swinner Gill

Molly Tractor

The remains of the tractor diminish year-on-year, but nobody ever passes it without taking a photo and I'm no exception.

To Keld...

It's very dry and quite hot. Hopefully the little cafe in Keld will be open for light refreshments. I was planning a visit to Kisdon Force, but caught a glimpse of the crowd down there and vetoed the plan.

Keld Cafe

Tea n'Tiffin at Park Lodge

Refreshments in the shade at Keld. A little bit of normality returns after two years of pandemic-inflicted cafe-closing misery.

Keld Woods

To Muker

The River Swale

Cooling Off

Molly led down in the river for a full five minutes. We then crossed over to the other side where the walking is slightly better and headed back to the bridge.

Muker Church

Muker Church

We left the campsite at about 0950hrs and we still have a short distance to go. Not sure of the time of this photo, but I've craved for a shot of the church without cars or other modern accoutrements. There is a car right in front of the gate, so I used the building to hide it and I could have cropped the photo to get rid of these other two.....but then there's the cones.


Usha Gap

Usha Gap

The morning after (Sunday), we had a walk up The Pennine Way and might have gone on to Keld, but from this vantage point I could see I'd left one of the rear doors open on my car (centre,left). It turns out that Richard & Jane (van and tent, right) had noticed this and left it open in case I'd done so with good reason. The good reason was numptiness! So, I used this as an excuse to cut the walk short and drop into Muker to attend to the car. I think both Molly and I were a bit tired after the longish walk on Saturday.

Tuesday Weather

Tuesday 19th July

The weather was warming up and Monday into Tuesday were scorchers. Indeed I was in a car on Tuesday that recorded an outside temperature of 40.5 degrees.

Walkers: Me n' Molly

Time taken: 6hrs 40mins over a distance of about 11 miles.

Route: To Thwaite from Usha Gap Campsite. Bus to Gunnerside; down to the river to follow a footpath which then rises to join the bridleway to Ivelet. Then footpath again to Ramps Holme Bridge; Swinner Gill above West Wood to Keld. After refreshments, back to Muker via the path under Rukin Wood and over the river to RH Bridge for the seven meadows to Muker and road walk (had enough of meadows) back to the campsite.

Weather and Conditions: Sunny and warm.

Refreshments: Tea n' Tiffin at Park Lodge, Keld. Excellent, just as it always has been.

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2022 ©

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....