Walking around Grinton’s Lead Mines

Today is our first full day on Scar Close CL; we spent yesterday on the move from Holly Tree Cottage CL. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Upper Denby; the site was top class with a warm welcome and many interesting places to walk.  When planning our current tour we sought to identify two new sites to visit as well as staying at two of our favourite CLs.

We have returned to one of our favourites, Scar Close CL, last visited a couple of years ago, it is within the village of Hudswell which has an excellent community owned pub, The George and Dragon.  It’s not just me that thinks this is a good pub, it has numerous awards from the Campaign for Real Ale.  Being within Swaledale means this site is ideally located for some cracking walks.

The starting point for our walk today is close to the village of Grinton.  We park in the parking area south of the village on the edge of the moor. Our walk starts by heading uphill on the minor road.  The moor is an open access area, but with the dogs we need to keep to footpaths to avoid disturbing ground nesting birds.  The dogs also need to be on a lead.  As we climb we stop occasionally to take in the views behind us.

Around us there are plenty of Golden Plovers, they delay our progress whilst we stop to observe them.

There are a few footpaths leading across the moor on the left and right.  We ignore these until we reach a path that forks to the right heading uphill towards Height of Greets.

After going through a gate we join a track that heads steadily downhill towards Dent’s Houses.

At a junction of paths close to Dent’s Houses we turn right along a track, Apedale Road.

In the 18thcentury the area around Grinton was full of lead mines.  As we walk along we pass areas where old mines have reshaped the landscape.

It is a fine sunny afternoon and as we walk we talk about the challenges that mine workers  must have faced, it must have been a hard existence with limited life expectancy.  I wonder what they would have made of the digital and technological world that we now live in.

Our route is easy going along the track, we are gradually heading uphill and the scenery is stunning.

We encounter occasional short sharp inclines, but each is rewarded with a new stunning vista.

Close to the path is a pond, which appears to be the home of very watchful Greylag Goose, we assume that she has a nest nearby.  Apparently moor land such as this are their preferred breeding grounds.

A look at the map indicates we are close to Morley’s Folly, nothing is visible and we don’t want to venture off the path to try and locate a folly.  Our route now leaves this main track to take a footpath leading down Birks Gill.

The route roughly follows the gill and we soon arrive at an area of waterfalls, however, due to the recent dry spell there is no water falling.  I am sure this would be quite a sight after a prolonged wet spell, but it would also make walking this route more challenging.

The path is well worn and easy to follow as it leads away from the gill to cross the heather to reach a track heading north eastwards.  We stay on this track ignoring paths leading away to the left and eventually arriving at a gate close to Browna Gill.

Once through the gate we again ignore paths to the left and remain on the main track as it heads across High Harker Hill, this is another area full of old mine workings.

The track now starts to descend and as it turns sharply to the southwest we continue on a grass track heading east towards Grovebeck Gill.

After fording the gill we continue straight along the track to the minor road we walked up at the start of our trek.  We turn left, downhill to the car.  On our right is Grinton Lodge this former shooting lodge was built in 1817 but was sold to the Youth Hostels Association in 1948 and has been used as a hostel ever since.

Our walk has covered close to ten miles; it has been a cracking afternoon to be out.  Now its time to head back to Scar Close CL and trot up to the George and Dragon to sample some of their well-kept ale.

To view this 10 mile Walk on OS Maps Click Here

To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure Map 30   –Yorkshire Dales – Northern & Central Areas


23rd May 2018

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2018)

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