Area Guide

Swaledale

Keld, Swaledale

Keld

Keld is a remote hamlet, home to a small rural community situated in Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park near to the County Durham border and is either the first or last village in the Yorkshire Dales depending on your direction of travel.

Waterfalls near to Keld

The name Keld derives from the Viking word Kelda meaning a spring – a laughable representation of the River Swale as it rushes over four beautiful waterfalls, Kisdon Force, East Gill Force, Catrake Force and Wain Wath Force. All of which are a short walk from Keld in any direction close to the limestone gorge on the River Swale.

Keld Chapel

Keld Chapel is a lovely little chapel in the centre of Keld.  All are welcome in the chapel, whether you wish to pray or just visit to admire its beauty. Next to the graveyard there is a very well kept ‘Well-being garden’ which was established after the death of the previous minister, Gillian M Bobbett, as a place of peace and tranquillity.

Keld Heritage Centre

Although Keld is only a very small community it houses a heritage centre which is bursting with the history of the hamlet. The walls are full with all the stories of years gone by, there is also a verbal community history featuring some of the current residents including the eldest resident of the Keld.

Walking from Keld

Keld is lucky to be situated on the crossing point of the Coast to Coast Walk and the Pennine Way. The Coast to Coast walk was initiated by Alfred Wainwright who frequented Keld often as knew the owner of Butt House which is situated on the outskirts of the hamlet.

Unfortunately for those passing through there is little in terms of shops or cafes for refreshments. However, there is Keld Lodge that is perfect for a pit stop, offering tea and coffee and a small bar. For more selection you will need to march on two miles to Muker or hit the wilderness to the not so nearby Tan Hill Inn – the highest Inn in the UK and definitely worth the extra hike!

If you are looking for a different challenge from long distant walks of the Coast to Coast or the Pennine Way, Kisdon Hill is nearby, towering an impressive 1640 feet, a challenging hike for the best of us!