Length: 17.3 miles. Height change: 3,957ft. Time: 7.5hrs.
This is a full days hike and is an excellent introduction to the upper dale: you will take in disused lead mines, Low Row, Gunnerside, Ivlet, Keld and Muker. The walk is an excellent mix of river valley and bleak moorland and you do not need to get in your car if you are starting from Strands.
Leaving Strands, turn right down Guning Lane until you meet a cart track. Take this and follow the foot path to Low Row. In Low Row double back on yourself and go up the minor road and then path onto the Corpse Way. This track then follows the hill and eventually meets Gunnerside Ghyll – a small beck. Cross the beck at Blakethwaite force and mine and walk up the otherwise of the valley. Eventually you will meet a track – do not turn left, but go right and up the hill. This will take you to Swinner Gill where you leave the track and onto a foot path. This path can be difficult in wet weather, so be careful.
Follow the path round and eventually you will come across the ruins of Crackpot Hall. There are fantastic views at this point. Continue along the path to East Gill Force and then on to Keld. In summer there is farm shop / cafe. In winter, there is the Keld Lodge Hotel, but do check it is open, because in low season at can be closed. From Keld follow the road then track up onto the top of Kisdon Moor. Having reached the summit, you then descend down into Muker – brilliant views from this point. In Muker there is the excellent Farmers Arms pub and Muker Teashop.
From Muker it is then follow the path along the valley bottom back to Strands, taking in Ivelet and Gunnerside. You will be ready for dinner!