FREMINGTON Edge is a striking feature overlooking the village of Reeth in Swaledale. The limestone scar is the centrepiece of this walk which heads along its high ridge before return along the pretty dale of Arkengarthdale.

There is some very limited parking in the lower part of Fremington (nothing higher up) so it is best to park and start the walk in Reeth. From Reeth, cross the road bridge just outside the village. Join a footpath that cuts across fields to High Fremington. From here take the lane heading up 100m from where the footpath meets the road. Follow the lane as it climbs towards Fremington Edge.

After a third of a mile the road meets a gate and then enters open land. The views are excellent along Arkengarthdale. The moor lane continues to climb towards the summit of the edge.

However just before reaching the highest point a faint footpath leads off to your left. This footpath follows the actual Edge itself, the main track is further inland, tucked behind a wall. I strongly suggest following the footpath along the edge, the views are superb and there is a feeling of real openness.

Fremington Edge is a classic example of a scar formed by a retreating glacier ripping out the sides of the valley and exposing the underlying rock, limestone in this case. The limestone was later mined (along with lead) with the remains and spoil heaps peppering the northern end of the ridge.

The path follows the edge for three quarters of a mile, past two broken walls (the second having a rickety stile right on the edge). There are two large cairns en route, good viewpoints but after the second one a path heads away from the edge (on your right) and passes through a small gate in the wall. Turn left after the gate and re-join the main bridleway. Follow this wide path for half a mile (past the insignificant high point of the edge) and then through a gate on your left.

The path continues gradually downhill through some spoil heaps. The path then starts to wind more steeply downhill, heading for the valley floor. Pass through a gate and the track becomes more obvious as it winds its way towards a farmhouse (Storthwaite Hall) with drystone walls creating a lane.

On arriving at the hall (nothing splendid, just some houses), follow the signpost pointing to fields as it starts to double back along Arkengarthdale towards Reeth. The path soon meets Arkle Beck, don’t cross it but continue along a track leading uphill away from the river.

After 250m a footpath leads directly uphill (just before arriving at a private house), passes through a wall and then continues to contour along the side of the hillside for nearly 2 miles. This path is lovely as it winds through woodland, glimpses of the rocky edge above and the river and dale floor below.

The path turns in to a green lane and continues for a further half mile before arriving at Fremington again. From here follow the outbound route back to


Fact file:

Distance: Roughly 8.5 miles

Height to Climb: 410m (1,345 feet).

Start: SE 039992. There is parking on the central green of Reeth.

Difficulty: Medium/Hard: The walk is along good tracks and paths but in bad weather the edge is quite exposed.

Refreshments: Reeth has a choice of cafes and pubs.

Be Prepared: The route description and sketch map only provide a guide to the walk. You must take out and be able to read a map (O/S Explorer OL30) and in cloudy/misty conditions a compass (essential on this walk).

* Jonathan Smith runs Where2walk, a walking company in the Yorkshire Dales. He has published two books on the Dales, ‘The Yorkshire 3 Peaks’ and ‘The Dales 30’ mountains. Available direct from the Where2walk website.