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Hawes, North Dales

Details for Birkdale

Birkdale is one of the smallest of the Yorkshire Dales and is located in the far north west of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and has just one small settlement at Keld.

Situated close to Swaledale and Wensleydale, Birkdale is a much less visited and tranquil place to explore and relax. Birkdale Beck runs through the valley and meets with Great Sleddale Beck to then become the River Swale. At Keld there are a number of magnificent waterfalls including East Gill Force, Catrake Force and Kisdon Force.

The small village of Keld is situated high up where the Pennine Way and the Coast to Coast Walks cross. It was once a much larger village which housed people who were involved in the booming lead mining industry and it was developed in the late 19th century to include a number of fine buildings including a school, churches and a Literary Institute, which are now all Grade II listed buildings. The village has a hotel with a bar and restaurant, however there is no village shop.

High on the northern slope of the valley, and with stunning views over Swaledale lie the impressive ruins of Crackpot Hall. This fine old double storey farmhouse which has been maintained by the Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust to prevent any further damage, is full of historic interest. The site was once believed to have housed a hunting lodge for Thomas the first Baron of Wharton during the 16th century, but then was possibly used as offices during the lead mining days. It has a rich history, has been the subject of novels and is definitely well worth a visit.

Birkdale offers the ideal place for walkers, ramblers and mountain bikers and the...


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