Starting point and OS Grid reference:
Langthwaite - Pay and display
car park (NZ 005023)
Ordnance Survey Map
30 Yorkshire dales – Northern and Central.
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miles (excluding optional diversions)
Date of Walk: 16 March 2012
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Arkengarthdale was an area of extensive lead mining until the end of the
19th century. There are spoil heaps everywhere and evidence of
the “hush” mining where water was run over the ground to erode the
surface layer revealing mineral bearing rock beneath. Langthwaite is the
“capital” of Arkengarthdale, a pretty village whose main
claim to fame is that its bridge featured in the opening credits of All
Creatures Great and Small, the 1970s TV series based on the books of the vet
James Herriot. There is the Red Lion pub in Langthwaite for refreshments.
The walk starts from a small pay and display
car park on the south side of Langthwaite. To get there, turn north from the
B6270 in the centre of Reeth in Swaledale, to the right of the Bull Hotel,
signposted Langthwaite 3 miles.
Turn right out of the car park (NZ 005023) then right again across the
bridge over Arkle Beck. Walk straight through the village, climbing between
the cottages. Stay on the tarmac road until it peters out to a track which
leads to the unusually named hamlet of Booze (NZ 015025). I am assured this
is pronounced Bose and is nothing to do with drink but comes from either the
Old English for house on the bend of the road or a reference to “bousing”,
a process connected with lead mining.
Fremmington Edge towers above the hamlet.
Ignore a track to the left and stay on the
one straight ahead where there is a notice warning “No cyclists or horse
riders”. Walk straight through the farmyard of Town Farm.
Once past the farm, the path contours round
the hillside. As it turns left upwards towards a barn, go right along the
grassy level track. Pass to the right of the ruined Sleigill House and head
towards the valley staying on the same contour level path. It then descends
gently to the stream (Slei Gill) where you turn left.
You approach what could be mistaken for the
remains of a lime kiln but which is actually was the waterwheel pit for
Washy Green Mine (NZ 022035). Pass to the right of this and climb the steep
path up the bank. At the top, the route ahead through the heather is clear.
When it forks after a few yards, keep right.
Head for the dark brown wooden building where
you join a broad track and turn left (NZ
018041). Stay on this main track as it meanders between the old spoil heaps.
As you pass a stone cairn on the right, the track starts to descend. When
you get to a ‘T’ junction, by a wall, turn right (NZ 009036). Pass
beneath some rocky cliffs shown as Winegg Vein on the map and stay on this
main track for another ¾ mile
or so until you reach the road (NZ 004048).
Turn left at the road and follow it for a
mile crossing Stang Bridge, ignoring the right turn for Eskeleth and
eventually turning right at the ‘T’ junction signposted for Tan Hill.
After you have turned, note the unusual six-sided building on the right (NZ
999034) which was a magazine built in the 1800's to store gunpowder for the
mines in the area.
Continue along the road for half a mile,
crossing a cattle grid and look out for a barn on the right built into the
wall. Take the bridle path opposite this (NZ 991038), to the left, off the
road. Bear right over a large gravel area and stay on the clear track as it
gradually climbs the hill sweeping right. It climbs towards a prominent
large flat topped spoil heap on the edge of Whaw Moor. As you draw level
with the top of the spoil heap, turn left, back on yourself (NZ 976035).
There are good views here north to the top of Arkengarthdale and you may be
able to see lorries on the A66.
As you crest the ridge after a stony section,
turn left on the broad track. Follow it for about a mile and it starts to
descend towards the road. You can either follow it to the road where you
turn left, or, if you fancy something a little more exciting, bear left
across the access land towards the corner of the trees (NZ 990023). Be sure
not to aim to the right of the corner otherwise there is a deep ravine to
negotiate. Turn right at the wall and follow it down to join the road. You
pass to the left of the ravine with yet more evidence of mining at what was
Turf Moor Hush.
Turn left at the road and follow it for ¼
mile where you turn right at two finger posts, one either side of the track
(NZ 998026). At the fork, go right then
left at the next junction and follow the track alongside the stream back to
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hiking equipment/clothing before your trip see the Hiking
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