Walk No. 5 - Kisdon Hill Circular
A lovely circular walk around the base of Kisdon Hill with stunning scenery of Swinner Gill, Beldi Hill Old Lead Mines and the many stone barns featuring within the landscape. Starting at The Farmers Arms at Muker, following and keeping the River Swale to your right all the way to Keld, then returning via Angram and Thwaite.
Start: The Farmers Arms, Muker
Distance: 6 miles (approx.)
Duration: 2 1/2 - 3 hours (approx.)
Facilites: Public Toilets at Muker and Keld
Refreshments: Muker, Thwaite and Keld
Difficulty: Medium - A relatively flat walk through fields and woodland to Keld, with the occasional incline. Returning to Muker through meadowland via Angram and Thwaite.
Map: OS Explorer Map OL30
1) Start from The Farmers Arms at Muker and walk up the snicket to the right of the pub. At the top, turn right and follow the row of houses on your left. Pass the narrow lane that goes off to your left and carry on until you reach the post box then turn left and follow the flagged footpath through the seven fields to the River Swale.
2) As you pass through the last small wooden gate before reaching the river, look left and take the footpath that goes to your left and head for the stone barn. Pass this barn on your left and you will see a knee-high footpath sign pointing you in the direction of Keld, follow the direction of this sign, keeping the River Swale to your right. The footpath is well defined for the most part, running parallel to the river through a series of fields.
3) After about 3/4 mile through fields, the footpath leads you alongside a wired fence which separates you from the river (pictured below). Just after you pass through a small wooden gate, you will need to cross a small water course which flows into the River Swale. There are plenty of stones and tree branches to help with this.
4) As the land greens up in front of you, again the path is quite clear but where it appears to fork, keep right and head for the barn (pictured below).
5) Pass through another field and you will fine a stone wall boundary to your right and a large tree (pictured below left). Head uphill through the crumbled gap in the stone wall ahead. You will come to another barn on your right where it is signposted to Keld, head uphill again in between two crumbling stone walls (pictured below right) and passing a row of dilapidated miners cottages on your left until you reach a wooden gate. If you look to your right at this point, you will see the Beldi Hill Old Lead Mines at the other side.
6) After the wooden gate, a well defined stony path takes you through some woodland. Follow this footpath until you come across a 3-way signpost; follow the sign to Keld.
(Should you wish to double back at this point via the Pennine Way to Thwaite or Muker, beware as the footpath can be quite treacherous especially when wet; it's very rocky and there are lots of loose stones underfoot.)
7) The footpath to Keld leads you through another wooden gate onto a narrow track with a dry stone wall to your left and a wired fence to your right; keep heading straight on into Keld. You will arrive into Keld ath the bottom of the village, keep the church on your left and walk up the road past the church, The Keld Heritage Centre (which is worth popping into if you are interested in local history, it's free and open all day). The public conveniences are also on your left and you continue straight on taking the left hand road out of Keld, following the road until you reach the main road (B6270) junction and the red telephone box.
8) Turn left and follow the road towards Angram for about 100 yards where you will see a track go off to your left (pictured below left), keep on the road past this track for a further 30 yards up the main road and you will see a footpath sign to Thwaite on your left (pictured below right). Follow the direction of this sign and climb over the stone-step style over the wall. There is a footpath sign pointing you across the field towards a small wooden gate through the next stone wall. Keep walking in the same direction, following the arrows and each time passing through the stone walls via the small wooden gates.
9) When you pass through the wooden gate witht the giant pine tree directly in front of you (pictured below left), head towards it and you will find and cross a small footbridge. You will find yourself in a field with a random stone wall in the middle (pictured below centre), keep to the left of this wall and head for the far boundary wall where you will pass through another small wooden gate into a field with a natural valley to your right (pictured below right). Head through this miniature valley where you will find the next gate.
10) Follow the signposts along the wall side towards the barn ahead, and bear diagonally across the fields to the far right corner to find a small gap in the wall. The next wall has a gap in it next to a farm gate, go through this and the footpath takes you through another small wooden gate which is easy to see straight ahead. Do not head up the obvious track which leads you into into Angram.
11) Head towards the barn in the far field, passing a dilapidated building on your left (pictured below left). On entering the small field with the barn you had been heading for, walk past the barn and the next gate is on the other side. The path is easy to follow to the next wooden gate before coming out onto the main road again. Turn left down the road for about 50 yards before following the next footpath sign to your left (pictured below right).
12) Head diagonally down the field in the direction of the sign, towards and just left of the barn in that same field. After the barn you will see a gap in a stone wall, go through this and look beyond the trees, you will see another barn in the distance, head in the direction down a short but steep descent to a small water course crossing. Follow the footpath round the telegraph pole and right, up a couple of steps, which can be a little slippery, and through a small gate.
13) Follow the defined path with the boundary wall on your left and through a gate with the warning 'Beware of the Ram'. Keep following the footpath, keeping the boundary wall on your left, and head to the next barn where you will see the next wooden gate. The path continues along the crest of the next field heading for the barn directly in front of you. The path then runs parallel with the beck to your left, go through the gap in the stone wall (pictured below left) and then the overgrown flagged footpath leads you to the far corner of the field and through a small wooden gate, NOT through the large gateway (see picture below right).
14) Head diagonally left again towards the farm buildings (pictured below left) through another field. Pass through the last small gate next to a larger gate and walk round the farm buildings to the metal gate where you will see a gap to the left of it. Go through this and turn left. Follow the well-defined footpath through two small wooden gated into a field, continue straight on, ignoring the Pennine Way footpath which forks off to your left, and head in the diraction on Muker for about 3/4 mile unil you reach a road bridge where the path leads through a gate and onto the road.
Keep straight on and follow the road a hundred yards or so until you reach Usha Gap Farm and Campsite, follow the footpath sign which guides you left into the entrance of Usha Gap Farm (pictured below right).
15) Bear right and go through the farm gate past the dog kennels and through another gate into the field, bear left then head diagnonal right towards the top of the field where you will see a small wooden gate through the stone wall. The path is easy to follow through the meadows with each gate almost always visible ahead. As you reach Muker and go through the farm gate by the row of houses, turn right down the snicket which takes you back to the entrance of The Farmers Arms pub at Muker.
The Farmers Arms is open all day, serving food from 12pm-2:30pm and 6pm-8:30pm.
You can download a printable version of this walk, by following the link below.