The most northerly of these is Arkengarthdale, which is relatively unexplored and one of the more tranquil dales. The other, Swaledale, is formed from gentle slopes as the meandering Swale winds its way to Richmond. Reeth, at the juncture of these two dales, is at the heart of Swaledale. It has a large village green where traditional events and markets are often held.
Reeth is the perfect place to sit back and relax with many tea rooms in which you can watch the world go by and perhaps after you can take a stroll along the river or explore one of the interesting craft shops producing traditional, high quality products.
There are fine walks to be found all over the area, varying in length from gentle strolls along the Swale paths, to day long routes, taking the energetic to the summits of Great Shunner Fell, Lovely seat and Addlebrough. Good walking (including the Coast to Coast path) can be found amidst magnificent scenery, caves and waterfalls. The River Swale is famous for its beauty and there are many well-signed walks along its banks.
Reeth is very popular because it is within easy reach of other popular destinations such as Richmond, Barnard Castle, Leyburn and Hawes, all within half an hour’s drive. Visit one of the many markets within the towns – Hawes on a Tuesday, Barnard Castle on a Wednesday, Reeth or Leyburn on a Friday and Richmond on a Saturday!
The area is rich in natural beauty and wildlife but it also has tremendous architectural, agricultural and industrial heritage. Agriculture thrives with the Swaledale sheep providing wool, and the cows, milk for the famous Wensleydale cheese. There are many local crafts in Swaledale and the nearby Wensleydale and these crafts are illustrated at museums in Reeth and Hawes. Visit the historic castles of Richmond, Castle Bolton, Middleham and Jervaulx Abbey.
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