Table of Contents
- Start Point: Reeth, Richmond DL11 6TX
- Finish Point: Reeth, Richmond DL11 6TX
- Distance: 8.25 Miles
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Fremington Edge dominates the confluence of Arkengarthdale and Swaledale, a towering wall of shimmering scree slopes and crags that rise sheer from the flat valley floor – our objective for today’s walk. From Reeth, this walk follows footpaths across meadows and pastures through Arkengarthdale, with the scars and steep slopes of Fremington Edge towering above and the sinuous Arkle Beck for company.
The views are superb, with wonderful panoramas across the wooded valley as it curves away towards the wild upper reaches of the dale whilst to the west rise the wild heights of Calver Hill. Langthwaite is a huddle of stone-built miners’ cottages with a traditional Dales’ inn tucked away in a corner of the small square, from where we climb up to the windswept hamlet of Booze with its derelict farmhouses set high on the hillside – the name ‘booze’ comes from the Old English word ‘bowehouse’ meaning ‘house by the curve’.
A delightful path drops down to the old farmhouse of Storthwaite Hall (‘storthwaite’ comes from Old Norse and means ‘clearing of the bullocks’) set at the foot of Slei Gill, which is badly scarred with the remains of lead mines. From Storthwaite Hall a path snakes its way steeply up onto the top of Fremington Edge through an area of old spoil heaps and workings of the disused Fell End Lead Mines. A large stone-built cairn stands at the edge of the escarpment from where there are breath-taking views across Arkengarthdale.
A footpath leads across the top of Fremington Edge, although the views are not as good as you might expect as the actual escarpment lies just to the west of our path. Underfoot the ground is soft and boggy, with the vast expanse of heather-clad Marrick Moor stretching away to the east – the path runs alongside a stone wall that acts as a very convenient wind-break. After just over a mile, we come to the old road over to Hurst, now just a rough stony track, which we follow steeply down to reach the whitewashed farmhouse of The White House – a well-known landmark – from where there is a superb bird’s eye view of Reeth set on the gently sloping flanks of Calver Hill with Swaledale snaking away into the distance.