Gunnerside Westward

This route is fairly straight-forward and is well marked so walkers can easily find the way. The walk is mostly flat except for when travelling up and down the sides of Gunnerside Gill.

Circular  |  15.3km (10 miles)  |  Difficulty: Medium

Please note that the route given is a rough guide and should not be relied upon solely when planning a walk. Remember to plan ahead, get a proper map and ensure you have the right equipment.

The later parts of the route are straight forward and could be considered dull if it wasn’t for the views of Muker and Keld from above that the path offers.

1: Walkers can follow this walk in either direction.  Going anti-clockwise gets the steep parts out of the way first.  When travelling on the Eastern side of the valley the route follows the river at the bottom of the valley for a while, cutting through a small wooded area.

2:  The route then heads uphill.  The route follow an old stream bed to the top but there is a proper path which splits off up hill from one of the wooded areas (this alternative route is signposted.)  At the top of the valley the route passes some of old kilns and other ruined mining buildings.

3:  Eventually the route will reach a crossroad when the path splits.  Walkers can follow the path straight ahead or downhill.  There isn’t much difference between these routes as they both eventually reach the same place.

4:  The route eventually reaches the ruins of several old buildings.  From here walkers could head further up the valley to the Blakethwaite Dams.  The route however heads the other way back down the valley.  Walkers now start to climb the Western side of the valley.  Here at the top of the slope there is another choice in route.  Walkers can choose to cut across on a small trail to the top of the moor or follow the main path which loops around but eventually reaches the same place.  From here the route crosses the moor.

5:  On the far side walkers see another valley in which they can see the village of Keld (the starting point for a route to Tan Hill).  Keeping on the path keeps walkers on top of the moor and eventually leads back round towards Gunnerside.

6: The path eventually heads downhill, through a gate and further downhill and eventually reaches a road.  The remainder of the route is following the road on the left back to Gunnerside.

There are many great sights along the way such as all the old lead mining buildings.  If following the walk in the late summer the moors will be covered in purple heather. This area north of Gunnerside is full of fantastic trails, perfect for both walking and cycling.


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