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Old Gang Smelt Mill and Reeth High Moor

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Yorkshire Dales National Park

Old Gang Smelt Mill and Reeth High Moor is a 5.7 mile loop trail located near Richmond, North Yorkshire, England that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching.

Distance: 5.7 miles Elevation Gain: 895 feet Route Type: Loop


nature trips


bird watching



wild flowers

no shade

A circular walk across the Reeth High Moor in the Swaledale area of the Yorkshire Dales. The route visits the remains of the largest lead smelting complex in the Dales, now a Scheduled Ancient Monument, before climbing high onto the Reeth High Moor for the return leg. These high moorlands are very exposed so please do ensure you are properly prepared with warm clothing and other essentials. The route has several steady but long climbs and descents and follows a stone track bridleway the whole way round. You will need to negotiate a couple of wide gates but there are no steps or stiles on the route. The first two miles of the track is at least 2m wide, is compacted with a well-compacted aggregate and the steepest gradient is 1:10, making it suitable for rugged pushchairs or disability buggies. The rest of the route climbs a bit more steeply, is more uneven, and crosses a couple of shallow fords but in good conditions may also be suitable for the most rugged types of buggies should you be up for the challenge. You will be sharing the paths with sheep for the entire walk. The high moor is used for grouse shooting and the season for this runs from 12 August to 10 December each year. There are no toilets or other refreshments on route. Approximate time 3 hours.

10 months ago

Fabulous easy to follow route, fantastic views and great underfoot. Actually loved the second half unlike some others. The sweeping views down across the grouse mood towards Swaledale were stunning.

10 months ago

We, including the dog, very much enjoyed this walk. Lovely scenery and the information about the mining activities etc. was a bonus. Would definitely recommend it.

Sat Jun 08 2019

A stunning walk with wonderful views and industrial archaeology at every turn. Personally, if I did this again I would turn around before the second ford gate waypoint and retrace my steps. The slog uphill and the descent to the end were an anticlimax compared to the first half of the walk.

Sun Feb 24 2019

Absolutely beautiful walk, lovely walk along the stream followed by stunning views all round. So peaceful, had a picnic stop halfway to take in the view. Easy trail to follow too.

Sat Nov 17 2018

Great walk with big views and no people �

Sun Jun 28 2015

This is a great walk if you like being high up on the moors with a bit of industrial archeology thrown in. You can of course shorten the walk (and still see nearly all of the industrial archeology) by making it into a linear walk and retracing your steps back before you reach the 'Second Ford Gate" waypoint.

Thu Jun 27 2019