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Gunnerside

    This small Swaledale village takes its name from a Viking chieftain’s summer pasture – Gunnar’s Saetr. The King’s Head Inn sign in the village centre celebrates this link with the village’s Anglo-Viking past.

It is the more recent lead mining industry of the 16th to 19th centuries that dominates this and other Swaledale hamlets and villages. Characteristic of this are the rows of cottages with long narrow gardens or small holdings attached, where mining families sustained themselves with a combination of summer hill farming and winter mining. The Old Working Smithy & Museum at Gunnerside is also a fascinating local attraction.

The village lies at the foot of Gunnerside Gill, a narrow, rocky gorge where extensive remains of the mining industry are still to be found. Tracks lead over surrounding heather moors to Swinner Gill, notable for a cave where local Catholics reputedly held services in times of persecution. You can also join the popular Coast to Coast route here or walk on gentle riverside routes through wonderful, herb and flower rich meadows, ablaze with colour in late spring, upstream to Muker and Keld, or downstream via Rowleth Wood and Low Whita to Reeth. Strong walkers can head northwards to Tan Hill Inn - the highest pub in England - to pick up the Pennine Way.

Public Transport Links:

  • Buses 30 (Monday to Saturday), 803, 830 (Summer Sundays)
Bus times can be checked at the Transport Direct and Dalesbus websites (links open in new windows).

Local services: Toilets, café, pub, accommodation, Park Information Point (PIP)

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