Length: 8 miles. Height change: 1,312ft. Time: 3 hours 15 mins
This is a medium length figure of eight walk: taking in the valley bottom, a small section of the Corpse Way and one quintessential Swaledale hamlet with pack horse bridge.
From Strands, head down the road towards Low Row. The river meets the road at Rowleth bottom, walk on and once you come across an unofficial parking / turning area take the foot path off through the fields. Follow this path all the way to the road bridge – Isles Bridge. Once there, turn left up the road to Low Row.
Walk through Low Row until you reach the second green. Here, turn left and double back on yourself to go up the road to Blades – one of the oldest settlements in Swaledale. Once in Blades, take the road up the dale, which follows the hill edge – this is the Corpse Way. Eventually the road peters out into a cart track and then a cart track. Once you pass through a gate in a dry stone wall, watch out for a path descending the valley – it can be easily missed!
Once in Gunnerside, follow the main road through the village, over the Gunnerside Ghyll bridge and continue to follow the main road as it turns left out of the village and on towards the Swale. just before the bridge over the Swale, there is a path up the Dale – take this. You will follow the left bank of the Swale eventually reaching a style in a fence after which the path rises up a hill. At the top, go through another style and turn to your left. Look back for some lovely views. Continue on the path all the way to Ivelet – on arriving at Ivelet the path drops down into woodland and over a bridge before coming up into the hamlet.
The walk turns right and follows the road up the hill. However, if you want to see the single span pack horse bridge, turn left and follow the road back to the Swale. Continue along the road for half a mile and you will see the bridge.
Back on the walk, follow the zig zagging road up the hill and past Gunnerside Lodge – once a holiday home belonging to the King of Spain. Stay on this road back to Gunnerside – there are great views down the valley.
Once in Gunnerside, go back over the bridge and turn right before the pub to follow the footpath back to Strands via Gunnerside bottoms. When the path meets the road at the far end of Gunnerside bottoms, you can walk back to Strands via the road or around the bottom field.
A great walk for most weathers.
Photos from the walk
GPX file for use with GPS apps.
The full list of walks or hikes
The Corpse Way, Keld Circular, Surrender Bridge, Tea Shop, Strands Circular, Gunnerside to Muker, Reeth & Grinton, Fremington Edge, Muker circular, Muker to Low Row, Gunnerside Ghyll, Richmond & Hudswell, Gunnerside Lead Mines, Marske and Helwith Circular, Medium length Strands circular, Ivelet and back, Dubbing Garth Lane.