Section 6: Keld to Kirkby Stephen

Keld – Kirkby Stephen (13 miles / 21 km)

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Today we walk undulating farm tracks, field paths and riverside trods to finally reach our goal of the origin of the Swale.  Beyond there is a roadside stretch, but along a quiet unfenced road with wide verges and fine views of the wide open spaces of upper Swaledale and, if continuing to Kirkby Stephen, panoramic views down into the Eden Valley.

Refreshments are available at Keld and Ravenseat farm, but opening times vary with the seasons.

Public Conveniences are at Keld and Kirkby Stephen.

The highlights of this section of the Swale Way (depending on the route taken) are:

  • The pleasant village of Keld with, time and weather permitting, tea and cake in its tea shop garden at the end of the circular route.
  • Two beautifully engineered stone bridges en route to the origin on of the Swale.
  • A pat on the back for reaching the Swale origin itself, set amongst remote, rolling moorland.
  • The canyon-like features of How Edge Scars and Oven mouth in Lower Whitsundale below Ravenseat.
  • Great views of the Eden Valley on either of the Kirkby Stephen routes.
  • The difficult choice between seeing the mysterious towering cairns on the summit of Nine Standards Rigg; or the prospect of famous ruined Castles and a pleasant riverside stroll into Kirkby Stephen