Weather Misty, damp and autumnal
Both routes start the same. We began today by watching sheep being rounded up by quads and ten sheepdogs, working in pairs, and driven over the narrowest of bridges. Just below Crackpot Hall, the route divides and you decide whether you want to follow the river Swale, or take the higher level route through the abandoned lead mines. We opted for the higher route with stunning views over the river valley. In the end, we made a mistake, and found a third route, through farms and villages. As it was, I’m not sure it was such a bad mistake, as the route through the mines sounded like a bit of an ordeal, being rough underfoot, and AW does recommend you find your own way! But the point is, that in many places the route is unmarked and indistinct.
Our route took us a lovely pastoral way, through Gunnerside and Heerlaugh, very quiet, isolated hamlets, all the time following the river Swals but from a higher level.