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Holidays in Swaledale

One of most northerly and starkly beautiful valleys in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

Swaledale and the surrounding countryside

Found to the east of the Pennine Way in the North Yorkshire Dales, the River Swale runs through the centre of the valley. Swaledale stretches from the east to the west on the high moors close to the Cumbria/Yorkshire border. It also reaches as far as the market town of Richmond, where Swaledale meets the lowlands. The Nine Standards are found along the high edge of the valley and the ruins of old mineworks dot the Limestone landscapes. There are numerous eye-catching waterfalls throughout Swaledale, punctuating the scenery for the trekkers and walkers that holiday here.

Swaledale is the perfect Yorkshire Dales location for a quiet retreat. Compared to Wensleydale, which is a famous for its cheese, or Coverdale with its James Herriot associations, Swaledale remains quite sleepy. There are no large towns up here like Leyburn, either. What Swaledale has in abundance are rolling hills, deep dales and the curious remnants left behind from the lead mining industry from two centuries earlier.

“Rolling hills and lush green deep dales give Swaledale a beautiful character…”

Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk passes along the vale on its way between Robin Hood Bay, on the east coast and St Bees in the west. A trek of contrasting beauty, the trail is a popular route with long distance walkers from all over the world. Another place of interest in Swaledale’s Museum which is located at the centre of the village of Reeth. The museum contains artefacts and stories and illustrate rural life in Swaledale and the wider Yorkshire Dales National Park throughout the ages. Swaledale is also home the Scott Trial – an off-road motorcycle race of about 85 miles. Running almost annually since 1950, the current Scott Trial continues to be a time and observation event divided into 76 sections. Riders lose marks for putting a foot down in the observed sections and for finishing behind the fastest rider. It is a popular charity event and is cited as one of the toughest in the country to complete.

Swaledale is relatively well-known for its cheese. Whilst it’s nowhere near as famous as Wensleydale Cheese, Swaledale’s has a growing reputation so look out for it the next time you visit a good delicatessen. It’s made at a factory in Richmond and it has a recipe thought to have originated from 11th century Cistercian monks from Normandy. Sheep-farming has always been central to economic life in Swaledale, which has lent its name to a breed made distinctive by their curly horns. Some of the local cheese is made from ewe’s milk, so residents and visitors know that the main source of the ingredients is sourced in Swaledale.

We have some lovely cottages in Swaledale. Why not visit our collection to feel inspired?

While you’re there

Scenic View Gallery

Pick up a lasting reminder of the stunning views in the Yorkshire Dales.

Garden House Pottery

Buy a handmade souvenir of your time in the Dales.

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Staying in the Dales is all about enjoying the beautiful countryside of the National Park.

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