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2. Thwaite to Tan Hill Inn via Pennine Way

2. Thwaite to Tan Hill Inn via Pennine Way


Thwaite village which is in Swaledale, about 9 miles west of Reeth. Parking is very limited even out of season and, at busy times, one could have to use the Pay and Display car park in Muker which is about a mile to the east.


11 km.    About 3 – 4 hours.


No actual peaks but the highest point reached is about 540 m on the western flank of Tan Hill. The Tan Hill Inn is actually 526 m.

OL30 Yorkshire Dales: Northern & Central Areas


This route is entirely on the Pennine Way. In clear weather it is very easy to follow. There are no difficulties but much of the route is an ascent with the steepest section being from Kisdon Force. The section from Thwaite to Kisdon Force (near Keld) has some of the best views of the whole Pennine Way. After Kisdon Force, it is mainly high moorland with some wet and boggy sections. The Tan Hill Inn is well worth a visit.


(1) In Thwaite, walk past the Kearton tea rooms and continue to reach a sign post which directs one onto the Pennine Way and out of the village. Look for the sign going left soon after. Cross an earth bridge over a stream then go up to the top right corner of a large field where there is another sign and a much more obvious path takes over. This makes a rising traverse across the S flank of Kisdon before turning left at Kisdon House and soon reaching the W flank where the Pennine Way turns N with excellent views across the deep valley of Swaledale to the E. The deep cut gully of Swinner Gill is most noticeable as one heads N. The path crosses more scree slopes than one might expect in the Yorkshire Dales. After passing Swinner Gill, the path goes R and starts to descend towards the river. Just before Keld, the Pennine Way takes a reverse R fork down to the River Swale near Kisdon Force. There are some benches near the upper waterfall.

(2) Turn left, N, at the benches and climb fairly steeply up a good track. It is quite a long ascent but eventually the going eases. Navigation is obvious and there are sign posts as well. The Pennine Way passes below Frith Lodge. Further on, it crosses Lad Gill before climbing up onto Stonesdale Moor. About 1 km before the Tan Hill Inn, a gravel track is joined which leads easily to the Inn


(a) This walk took place on 25th March, 2019.

(b) Those who have to return to their car can park on the top road at Keld then get the bus to Thwaite, saving about 3 km of walking. If a bicycle can be hidden in the vicinity of the Tan Hill Inn then it is an easy cycle ride (mostly downhill) back to Keld.

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