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The picturesque village of Keld lies at the head of Swaledale. The village derives its name from the Norse word 'Kelda', meaning spring or stream.
Swaledale, one of Yorkshire's most beautiful dales, has a rugged appeal all of its own. It is a dale of fast flowing streams, impressive 'forces' or waterfalls and beautiful shimmering rivers. The river Swale flows through Keld, into a limestone gorge, surrounded by woodland before it meanders through some of the finest meadows in England.
Probably one of the most familiar sights in Swaledale are the many 'barns' or 'laithes' that feature in almost every meadow. They are probably the most photographed aspect of this dale appearing as they do from the upper reaches around Keld all the way down past Muker, Gunnerside and on to Reeth and Richmond.
All around Keld there is an abundance of industrial archaeology. The disused hushes and ruins of long since closed lead mines and quarrying now sit quietly among beautiful, unspoilt scenery populated by grazing Swaledale sheep.
From Keld you can head off on many wonderful walks - from gentle strolls by the river to more strenuous hikes over the local hills and moors. Probably one of the prettiest walks is along the riverside down to Muker. For those who enjoy a more substantial challenge Keld is close to half-way on the Coast to Coast walk and Pennine Way.
To the east of Keld are the villages of Thwaite, Muker, Gunnerside & Reeth, all offering a wide variety of pubs, tea shops, shops, galleries and outlets for local crafts. To the south you can walk or drive over Buttertubs Pass to Hawes and take in the breathtaking panoramic views in all directions. To the North, the Tan Hill Inn, England's highest pub, is only 4 miles away. Across the Cumbrian border to the West lies the town of Kirkby Stephen which offers a wide variety of shops and attractions.