Author Topic: Keld to Raven's Seat  (Read 5358 times)


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Keld to Raven's Seat
« on: 16:17:30, 16/08/14 »
We parked at Rukins Campsite, which boasts  an actual car park in the hamlet of Keld, with an ‘honesty box’ for payment

Keld was originally settled by the Norsemen who gave the village its name of ‘Keld’, which means ‘stream’.  It is no more than a farm and a few houses arranged around a turning circle at the bottom of a lane signposted ‘Keld only’. It has its own heritage centre, village hall and public toilets.
A sign at the entrance to the car park told us we could get light refreshments and ice cream. As it was raining when we set off, we decided we would bear the refreshments in mind for our return.
The car park is on the opposite side of the turning circle from where our walk began

at the bottom of a steep and slippery path (mud and loose stones), we reached the banks of the River Swale, at the foot of Kisdon Falls

We crossed the footbridge over the river, turned left, then right, and climbed up from the river bottom, to the top of the bank near East Stonesdale Farm. It was at this point we joined the Pennine Way, which we followed for a short distance. It was a good track, which meandered along through several fields and meadows

The rain (it was no more than drizzle really) stopped and for the next while we walked in sunshine off and on. At Currack Falls, we turned right through a gate into a field, where the path became all but invisible. We followed the river until we came to a copse of trees, where we walked uphill, away from the river for a time, to avoid them. A short while later, the path returned to the side of the river with only a few trees between us and it. Turning left, we crossed another footbridge through the trees and across the river. At the end of the footbridge, we turned left again

The path continued invisibly through a couple of fields before emerging at West Stonesdale farm, where there is a group of houses, a phone bax and a post box

Looking back across the fields we had just crossed:

Turning right, we crossed the road to enter another field through a gate. This field was very wet. We crossed a small steam and headed towards a wall, which was to be our companion for the next several miles. We followed it as it wandered in and out, up and down across several fields, before finally descending to a well trodden track near a semi-derelict barn

We were now on Wainright’s Coast to Coast path. One of the few signs was here, in the middle of a field:

The path began to deteriorate from this point on and soon we found ourselves trudging through copious amounts of mud. The mud was so bad (and remember, this is summer time) that on occasion it was impassable and we had to take a detour round the muddiest parts:

However, there was much compensation in the wonderful views in all directions:

...and waterfalls in abundance:

Eventually the muddy path ended and we arrived at what had been a stile, leading into a farm yard. It was however, unusable. The wall at one side was collapsed and wooden structures, including the original gate, were tied together across the gap.

Good thing there was a farm gate right next to it then!
We had now arrived at Raven’s Seat farm, providing refreshments. And, as its own web page states: a welcome respite from trudging through the peat bogs! We couldn’t agree more:

As an interesting aside, the older daughter of the farmer here was called Raven.
After partaking of some light refreshment, we continued over an old packhorse bridge:

[The couple of walkers in the picture reached the farm before we left. They were wearing light t-shirts, shorts, and walking boots and they also had a map; but they had no water or backpacks (and therefore no waterproofs etc) with them whatsoever].
The packhorse bridge crossed the river (again), and we crossed, thankfully leaving the Coast to Coast and its mud and peat bogs behind us. The lane out from the farm was tarmac, which made walking a lot easier. At the end of the lane was a sign telling us we had been to Raven’s Seat:

The lane merged into another and we followed this to the point where it joined the road. Crossing slightly to the right, we took a gravel track down towards Stone House. The weather from the west looked threatening and we expected to get a drenching, so we hurried on

Next to Stone House is a nineteenth century stone bridge. Dogs were forbidden on the land between the track and the bridge (grouse moor), so we turned left to follow the river downstream. A little upstream from this point is the confluence of two streams, Sleddale Beck and Birkdale Beck. Where the two join is the start of the River Swale, from which Swaledale gets its name.
Looking back along the brand new River Swale towards the stone bridge:

After passing a barn, we went through a gate and shortly found ourselves approaching the twin bridge to the one at Stone House:

This time, we crossed the bridge (no exclusions for dogs) and followed an ill-defined path to the road at Hoggarths Bridge

The bridge crosses yet another waterfall:

From here, the route is all road walking back to Keld, but there was very little traffic (only three or four vehicles in a couple of miles). The road follows the right bank of the river downstream. There were several derelict farms, boasting a more populated past. Some were in better condition than others:

There were also indications of possible former lead mining in the area:

...including something called Brian Cave:

I have no idea how it came to have that name and a search proved fruitless. If anyone can enlighten me, I would be very grateful.
We shortly passed along Cotterby Scar, some sheer limestone cliffs on the opposite bank of the river:

...thereafter along to Wain Wath Falls:

[size=78%]At the now ex-Methodist chapel along the main road (currently at the time of writing, for sale, presumably for conversion to a dwelling), we turned left to take the lane back into Keld[/size]

The rain had thankfully held off, its threatenings coming to nothing. As it was later than we had anticipated, instead of stopping at Rukins Campsite for refreshments, we decided to set off towards home. We drove back parallel to the route we had just walked and stopped at the Tan Hill Inn (dog friendly), where we had a very welcome drink (driver: tea; navigator: wine), before heading home

 Distance: 8 1/2 miles
Height gained: 365 m[size=78%]


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Re: Keld to Raven's Seat
« Reply #1 on: 16:31:07, 16/08/14 »
Thanks for posting this walk.  We also did this one last November.  Unfortunately we found that they don't serve teas at Raven's Seat at that time of the year.  Incidentally, Amanda & Clive Owen and their children are a lovely family who were featured extensively on the ITV series "The Dales" a year or two ago.  We are looking forward to our next visit in a few months time.


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Re: Keld to Raven's Seat
« Reply #2 on: 16:41:24, 16/08/14 »
I think we met the whole family - at least three or four children (there were others, but they may or may not have been relatives!), the wife (putting out the washing) and the dog(s). Their sheep dog is an odd animal. Same colour as our Storm, about the same height/size, but looked like a cross between a border collie and a small old English sheep dog. Couldn't make it out at all, but it was very friendly.

Their web page says they are open from March to September and even that depends on farm work - so ring ahead to find out if they are open. I suspect however that some, like ourselves, might not know about it till they get either there or home! I looked it up when we returned, or I wouldnt know that information myself.

If you continue past Raven's Seat on the C2C, you come out at Tan Hill, so that might be a good option if RS is closed


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Re: Keld to Raven's Seat
« Reply #3 on: 17:33:15, 23/08/20 »
Belated correction - the waterfall at the start of the walk (in the third photo) isn't Kisdon Force, which is on the Swale proper, a little way downstream and requiring a steep detour from the Pennine Way on the southern bank. The falls next to the PW and Coast to Coast (on East Gill, not on the Swale itself) are known as East Gill Force.
Walk leaflets for pubs, hotels, B&Bs and campsites:

rural roamer

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Re: Keld to Raven's Seat
« Reply #4 on: 22:37:46, 23/08/20 »

Incidentally, Amanda & Clive Owen and their children are a lovely family who were featured extensively on the ITV series "The Dales" a year or two ago.  We are looking forward to our next visit in a few months time.

They now have their own TV series, Our Yorkshire Farm, current series is on Tuesday 9pm C5. We had cream tea there back in 2011 when we did the C2C, they only had 4 or 5 children then, now there’s 9.