High Harker Hill from Grinton (or Reeth)
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Our soggy walk started at the Bridge Inn in Grinton, about a mile outside of Reeth. Normally the car park at the Bridge Inn is for patrons only but, and I quote “if you’re popping in for a cheeky pint after the walk your more than welcome to park here” Andrew, Landlord. Alternatively, you can park in Reeth and start the walk from there.
If you do choose to park in Reeth, there is parking on the village green which is payable on a donation basis of £1 for the day – bargain! Once you’re parked up, walk down the hill in the direction of Grinton. Follow the road around until you reach the Bridge Inn.
Turn right out of the Bridge Inn car park and past the dog kennels. After about half a mile you shall come across a footpath through a meadow on your right. Go through the style and walk up the meadow, continue through the gap in the stone wall and on to the final style. This meadow is used for grazing of sheep so it is wise to keep any dogs on a lead. In the distance you shall be able to see the Grinton Youth Hostel an impressive former shooting lodge.
Once you cross the final style you come to a road, to your left will take you to Leyburn, to your right takes you back down to Grinton and straight on takes you to Redmire. Continue along the road towards Redmire with the Harkerside Moor land surrounding you.
Roughly about a mile along this road you shall see a well-established path to the right. This path will take you directly to the peak of High Harker Hill. The footpath is well established, in very good conditions and is a very gradual incline. In my opinion it is suitable for most walking abilities.
A mile or so along this path will bring you to a gate, which you pass through and to a stream. Even on our wet May day we found it very easy to cross so in dryer weather it’ll be a breeze and extremely shallow and narrow.
Continue on for about a mile and you reach the summit of the hill, you may miss the summit as the cairn is only small. Unfortunately for us the visibility was poor so we didn’t get a great view down the Swale Valley (…we’ll have to do it again).
From the summit the walk continues across the ridge of High Harker Hill. Eventually the path forks, (fork right) and starts the gradual decent. While descending we came below the cloud and could see some of the spectacular views of Swaledale.
Directly opposite was the peaceful hamlet of Healaugh, and in the distance is Low Row. We walked on and the path leads you down to a narrow country road. When you reach this road turn right and follow this until you see the farm track leading to Harkerside Farm.
When approaching the farm you may be tempted to take the path to the right before entering the farm itself. Don’t do this, walk over the cattle grid and veer right with hay barrels to your left and a wire fence to your right.
This path leads you to another meadow - walk thought this meadow following the footpath to the Reeth Suspension Bridge which takes you across the River Swale.
Cross the bridge and follow the path, which will lead you to a gate. Go through the gate and continue along the path to Reeth.