A natural amphitheatre, surrounded by spectacular scenery and stunning panoramas, Reeth was championed by Ella Pontefract, one of the Yorkshire Dale's most esteemed authors as "a little country in itself." This quirky Saxon settlement had a huge voice in the domestic economy and is best known for its extensive contribution to England's lead industry - (in its heyday Reeth was producing over 10% of the country's lead), as a result it is regularly referred to as the capital of Swaledale.
Relaxing in and around Reeth
Whether you are planning on pony trekking, pot holing, mountain biking or simply getting away from it all, Reeth is a good place to start. At the centre of the Northern Dales, this compact 18th Century town is home to some of the region's finest arts and crafts, country inns and scenery. It's also perfectly placed to explore the rolling Viking Valleys and peaks of nearby Arkengarthdale and Swaledale, and a landscape of secluded villages and cascading moorland streams.
If exploring is your thing, then you've come to the right place. Reeth has a variety of beautiful yet challenging hill walks and an abundance of wildlife on offer, guaranteed to satisfy even the most seasoned of sightseers. There's large numbers of curlew, lapwing, oystercatcher, wild hare...and if you're lucky even the rare black grouse. Visit in April or May and you'll catch the new-born baby lambs too.
Reeth was also the birthplace of popular fiction novelist Ruby Ferguson, whose stories were enjoyed so much by The Queen Mother that she was invited to Buckingham Palace for dinner. Ferguson's atmospheric inspiration arguably came from Reeth's mysterious yet picturesque landscape of wild flower meadows and stunning heather, which is concealed between the hills.
If you prefer a slightly less strenuous form of travel, Reeth's moors provide the perfect terrain for pony trekking, a firm favourite method of transport among visitors. Alternatively adrenaline junkies can take it up a gear on our range of fast paced mountain biking trails, bike hire and courses are available from the nearby Dales Bike Centre.
Swaledale & Wensleydale Arts & Crafts Trail
Many Arts and craftpeople live and work in Swaledale and Wensleydale, finding inspiration in a unique country side of pastoral riverside villages, tumbling waterfalls, sweeping fells and moorland. Download the trail (PDF).
They are a diverse band of artists working in and with a wide variety of materials wood and wools, metaland glass, clay and candle wax, rope, felt and copper. All of them are dedicated to creating high quality beautifully crafted products for the market both at home and overseas.
Visit them in their own workshops and take home a piece of the artistic Dales. The villages where the workshops can be found are Reeth and Muker in Swaledale and Hawes, Hardraw, West Burton, Wensley and Garriston, in Wensleydale.