Reeth; Easter Sunday Walk
A group of 16 gathered on Reeth village green on the driest day of the Easter weekend for a leisurely walk in Swaledale. There was a cool breeze but Spring was definitely in the air. We set off across the fields above the River Swale, where we saw several newborn lambs, to reach the village of Healaugh. From there we crossed more fields to join the driveway to Thiernswood Hall and continued along the fields above Barney Beck. After a pause for coffee we continued along the top edge of the wood where the view towards Surrender smelt mill opened up in front of on the edge of the moor. In a puddle close to the smelt mill we saw frog spawn which should be hatching any day now.
We had our lunch (and mini Easter egg) and explored the derelict buildings from the lead mining era at Surrender. Then we headed up onto the moor with the breeze now behind us and the sun shining. There was a bit of a scramble down into Cringley Bottom and up the other side. The beck in the bottom was fuller than usual after the previous day’s rain and, unfortunately, Judy slipped whilst crossing and sat down in the deepest part. Luckily she didn’t hurt herself and she was quickly pulled out. The path took us along the lower edge of Calva Hill where we heard grouse and lapwings calling and back into Reeth via Skellgate Lane. This infamous lane is the route back to Reeth at the end of the Swaledale marathon and is often where the trips and falls occur after such an exhausting event. No such problems today, with everyone negotiating its loose rocks and running water safely. Once back in Reeth it was ice cream, beer and coffee all round.