Smardale Gill

A relatively easy short walk through Smardale Gill Nature Reserve.

On Location: 11th April 2013

Parking: Limited parking in the small hamlet of Smardale. Please be considerate to farmers and other users of the byway. GR: NY74060 08230

Route map: click on the arrow to play the route. GPX route available by clicking in the link at the bottom right

Route map for Smardale by Andy Beck on

Smardale nature reserve

Parking up at Smardale there is plenty of information about the reserve.

Smardale hall

Smardale Hall which dates back to the 14th century now available for holiday lets.

Smardale railway walk

Easy walking along the old railway. Recent coppicing has opened up the views.


Nice to see signs of Spring.

Smardale bridges

Passing under the bridges, the far one is still in use, part of the Settle to Carlisle line.

Smardale reserve

Looking back to the first viaduct.




A nice contrast of colours and textures on the old timber piles.

Smardale viaduct

Smardale Viaduct, we didn’t cross it but took the path off to the left.

Smardale viaduct

The viaduct from the valley. Note how brown the grass is, normally by this time of year it would be a decent green.

Viaduct Smardale

it certainly is an impressive sight in the landscape.

Smardale line cottage

Across the valley is the old railway workers cottage and an unusual wall pattern forming a “funnel” to get under the line.

Swaledale sheep group

Being watched.

Swaledale sheep

On the edge.

Smardale Gill

Smardale Gill.

Coast to Coast

Soon we we onto the old drove road which is part of the Coast to Coast route.

Smardale bridge

Smardale Bridge.

Smardale bridge

We took the path up past the bridge to the old railway.

Smardale gill and bridge

Looking back to the Howgills beyond the bridge.

Old line Smardale

Once on the railway it’s an easy way back to the viaduct.

Smardale railway cottage

Passing the old railway cottages.

Lime Kilns Smardale

And the old Lime Kilns.

Lime kiln

Inside the kiln.

Smardale viaduct

Approaching the viaduct.

Smardale viaduct

The viaduct.

Smardale gill

Smardale Gill from above.

Smardale reserve walk

and then back along the track to the start.

It’s not a long walk but very enjoyable and not difficult. Well worth a look if you are in the area.

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