It's easy to leave the pressures of everyday life behind in Swaledale. With miles of hills, moorland, and mountains to explore, and few modern distractions, you can walk, cycle or ride to your heart's content. Stroll in any direction and you'll find fields of wildflowers, waterfalls, grouse and hares. And when night draws in, head for the sleepy villages of Reeth, Grinton or Gunnerside and spend a relaxing hour in a traditional tearoom or a quiet country pub.
Swaledale was made to explore and remains a paradise for artists, ramblers and outdoor lovers. Join the Pennine Way and you can follow in the footsteps of Roman lead-miners and the Cistercian monks who first made Swaledale cheese. Alternatively, hire a bike and head for the dry stone walls and wide open space of Arkengarthdale and James Herriot country.
A camera is a must in Swaledale, because wherever you look, you'll find an area of outstanding natural beauty. From the dramatic 'Viking' peaks of Blea Barf and Rogan's Seat to the tumbling waterfalls of Kidson Force and Catrake Force, every new turn reveals a spectacular new view. And few sights are more memorable that the area's vivid wildflower meadows, or more uplifting than River Swale in full flow. Set in the backdrop of spectacular scenery and natural vistas, immerse yourself in Swaledale's picturesque landscape, as wild flower meadows bloom in early summer, gradually making way for the stunning heather and bilberry moors late in August.
If exploring is your thing you've come to the right place. Swaledale has an assortment of beautiful hill walks and an abundance of wildlife on offer, ensuring that even the sharpest of photographers are kept on their toes, with large numbers of curlew, lapwing, oystercatcher, wild hare...and if you're lucky even the rare black grouse. You're really in for a natural treat, visit in April or May and you'll catch the new-born baby lambs too.
If you prefer a slightly less strenuous form of travel, why not give pony trekking a go. Swaledale's diverse terrain and tailored courses ensure that beginners and seasoned riders alike will leave wanting more. Alternatively adrenaline junkies can take it up a gear on our range of fast paced mountain biking routes, some of which will be featuring on the 2014 Tour de France.