Todmorden, England, United Kingdom
August 30, 2002
Swaledale itself is narrow and steep sided, particularly in its upper parts and its barns are well known for their distinctive style.
Near Keld is a fine little waterfall, Kisdon Force and a walk up to Crackpot [yes!]. Downriver is Muker, a shopping destination for many at Swaledale Woollens with fine but not cheap local knitware. On again to Gunnerside, this stretch from Keld to Reeth being the most spectacular. However, fond as I am myself of the moors on both sides, I do not recommend them except to those who can find interest and fascination in the remains of lead mines. The natural scenery has been affected a lot and is not so entrancing as that of Wharfedale.
Reeth had some really good shops until fairly recently but is now mainly significant for several pubs and for being the point where Arkengarthdale, coming down from County Durham, comes into Swaledale. This is another dale which deserves to be followed upwards. It is now not far to Richmond.
Richmond must surely be one of the very best towns in the Yorkshire Dales. Its Norman Castle was built in the 11th century and enough remains to make the town's appearance from a distance. There is an amazing cobbled market square surrounded largely by fine Georgian houses. One of the most exciting buidings in Richmond is the oprational Georgian Thatre. It cannot claim to have been in continuous operation as it was closed as a theatre from 1848 to 1963. None the less it is little altered now from its 18th and early 19th century heyday. There is also a theatre museum about which I can say little because it has been renovated since my last visit - but it has to be worth seeing.
Lastly, just a short walk down the river is Easby Abbey. This is not one of Yorkshire's best known abbeys but there is a lot left to see and it makes a great stroll.
From journal Harrogate and its wonderful area