Day 8 – Keld to Reeth via high lead mining route

First I want to say what a fantastic B and B Frith Lodge just above Keld is. Really friendly and helpful (e.g. they took my boots when I arrived and dried them out with newspaper inside etc), with very well appointed bedrooms and great food. When I went to finalise the bill they even made a donation to the charity. They gave me a postcard of this picture when I left. Very highly recommended!

The walk started on a mile of the Pennine Way down to Keld. 

At this point the Pennine Way and C2C meet. A lovely waterfall. 

Then there is a choice. An easy riverside walk or the original Wainwright walk across the top via the lead mines. Almost everyone else chose the easy option. Not I! And I think you will agree it was worth it. At the decision point was the remains of a tractor. 

After a short climb I reached Crackpot Hall, long since abandoned due to mining subsidence. Bits remain though. 

Like this rusting collection including a bath tub. 

And just around the corner… I wonder if these wheels were from that tractor?

As I climbed the easier river route came into view. 

But I was headed to the mines. 

The route is well used and safe.  Most of the dodgy bits have been protected. 

More great waterfalls still draining away the rain of previous days. 


After a climb up swinner gill I dropped down to my lunch spot. 

The view back down towards Keld was lovely. 


These are the remains of the Blakethwaite lead smelting mill. 

The was my view for lunch, sat on a wall. 


Then it was a short climb up the other side of the valley. 

And from here you start to see the impact mining has had on the landscape. 


I then had a steep climb to do up a hush. A hush is formed when a dam is built at the top of a lead ore seam and the water then released in one go, stripping the topsoil away. It rather changes the scenery!


At the top of the hush, the landscape is almost lunar. A stone breaker was left and now looks rather lonely. 


I couldn’t work out what these remains were but it looked like some kind of van. 


Selfie time. 

Some evidence of railways. 


What an extraordinary place!!

Coming down into the valley more remains came into view alongside the river. 

This is old gang smelting mill. 

Some of the equipment remains. 

And this fine chimney. 


Then it was a long slow descent. 

A family of grouse. 

This is the oddly named Surrender bridge. 


And beyond it the Surrender smelting mill. 

Just after that I had to descend into this tiny valley called Cringley bottom, luckily steps were provided. 

Then it was a final moorland traverse. Much less bog thankfully. 

I saw this slow worm. 


And soon Reeth came into view. 

This was a key turn off. Luckily marked by a small cairn. 


Reeth is lovely and my bed for the night is on the green. 

Stats for the day – 12.2 miles. 2019ft of ascent up to 1903ft at the summit. 

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One thought on “Day 8 – Keld to Reeth via high lead mining route

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  1. Like you I took the industrial route, which was fascinating – your photos brought it all back. Didn’t see much of Richmond apart from the theatre which I went to with my brother who joined me here for the next couple of days. Very civilized. A day of contrasts.

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