Nine Standards
The story of the Nine Standards in the Wainwright style.



Shap to Kirkby Stephen - 32 km (20 m)

The Lakeland Fells are now left behind and the walk moves into lesser known, but historic interesting limestone. After crossing the M6 the quit valley of Oddendale is reached, passing a stone circle and tumulus on the way. A cairn at Black Dub is marked on the OS map as Robin Hood's Grave (the Bay is still a long way to go). Next is the limestone area of Orton Scar. After passing Rayseat Pike and the lower slopes of Crosby Garrett Fell comes the prehistoric village of Severals followed by the valley of Smardale and the limestonekilns on Smardale Fell. It is easy going terrain compared to the steep climbs in Cumbria but the distances covered are larger. The overnight halt is at the old market town of Kirkby Stephen with an abundance of shops, pubs, pubs and pubs.


Kirkby Stephen to Keld - 20.5 km (12¾ m)

Three important milestones are reached in this stretch: the Yorkshire Dales National Park is entered, the main watershed of the Pennines is crossed and Keld is reached. Keld is halfway between St. Bees and Robin Hood's Bay! Much of the walking is on pathless moorland terrain, which could be difficult in bad weather. The long climb to Nine Standing Rigg commences up a cart track leading along old coal mine pits. Further along this ridge is the highest point of the fell at 726 m (2178 ft); this is the precise point of the Pennine watershed, from now on all the rivers and becks flow to the east, the way you are going. Keld is the first village in the Swaledale and it takes its name from the norse "a place by the river". Here I ran for the first time in my life into
midges!


Resting at the Nine Standards
above - Nine Standards serve as a good resting point on a hot day!
below - After Raven Scar we missed the path and ended in How Edge Scar a small, secluded dale.

How Edge Scar How Edge Scar



Keld to Reeth - 18 km (11¼ m)

This section passes through the former lead mining areas of the upper Swaledale; in misty weather it is advisable to follow the course of the River Swale. From Keld a footbridge crosses the Swale near East Gill Force, followed by a climb to the ruins of Crackpot Hall. First are Swinnergill mines, followed by Blakethwaite Smelt Mill and Bunton Hush in dramatic Gunnerside Gill. The Old Gang Smelt Mill marks the 100 mile point of the walk. Most of the mines date back to the 17th and 18th centuries but there is evidence of the Roman extracting lead. Passing Surrender Bridge and the ravine of Cringley Bottom the road follows field paths to Reeth, on the lower slopes of Mount Calver where Swaledale and Arkengarthdale meet.


Bunton Hush

What is a hush above - Dramatic and colourful Bunton Hush in Gunnerside Gill
left - Wainwrights explanation of a hush.



Reeth to Richmond - 17 km (10½ m)

Now the county side changes completely along the wooded valley of the Swale. This is an easy half day's walk to allow some time in Richmond, the largest town visited on the Coast to Coast. Leaving Reeth the route passes Marrick Priory, a former Benedictine monastry, Marrick church and finally the village to Marske in the Swaledale. From here the walk proceeds below the limestone cliff's of Applegarth Scar and through Whitcliffe Wood. The first sight of Richmond emerging out of the wood is dominated by the castle with its massive Norman Keep.


Richmond to Ingleby Cross - 37 km (23 m)

A long stretch between the two National parks of Yorkshire across farmland follows. Leaving Richmond by the old railway line the path follow the Swale downstream, passing Easby Abbey to the villages of Colburn, Catterick Bridge and Bolton-on-Swale. Ellerton Hill is the start of a continues eight mile of tarmac walking, due to the lack of right of ways, passing the lowest point of the walk at Danby Wiske, 36 m (110 ft). After crossing the east coast railway line, the A167 and A19 trunk road the villages of Ingleby Arncliff and Ingleby Cross at the foot of the Cleveland Hills are reached.