This is a superb short walk in upper Swaledale. Kisdon is an isolated hill that stands between Swaledale and the valley of Skeb Skeugh. From the summit of the hill we get great views down Swaledale, while from the eastern and northern flanks we get a close view of the wild upper reaches of Swaledale and the fells beyond.
Ascent: 900ft/ 6km
Length: 4 miles/ 280m
Map: Explorer 030 Yorkshire Dales North and Central
Last Walked: 5 May 2007
On my last visit there was a privately operated car park at the very northern tip of Keld, next to a very nice tearoom, so we start from there.
We now have a choice of routes, one on the footpath and one across access land. To take the footpath route, follow this track around this first field, and then into a lane that heads downhill towards Muker. After about a third of a mile we reach a T-junction - turn left here, and then almost immediately turn left onto the Pennine Way. Follow the Pennine Way all the way round to step six
The only problem with this route is that we lose a great deal of height that we almost immediately have to regain. An alternative route heads across the access land to the left, and cuts off a sizable corner, as well as staying on the high ground.
First we need to get into the access land. In the first field after the large open area follow the left hand wall until we reach a gate. Pass through this gate (please close it behind you). We are now in the first of three fields that run parallel to the Pennine Way along the top of Kisdon.
In this first field follow the wall to the right until we reach the top of the steep bank above the Pennine Way. Turn left and follow the top of this bank north into the next field.
Here we find the first route down to the Pennine Way - a gully cuts into the bank, providing a way straight down to the path - clamber down into the base of this gully, turn right and follow it down hill until it reaches the Pennine Way.
If this gully looks too steep, continue along the top of the bank to the northern end of this second field. Turn right and follow the line of the wall for a short distance, until you reach a path that climbs up from the Pennine Way. Turn right onto this path and follow it down to the main path. This second route is probably easier, but less fun!
Whichever route you have chosen, take care. Once on the Pennine Way, turn left, and follow it anti-clockwise around the eastern and northern slopes of Kisdon. This is a spectacular walk, with great views across Swaledale and into the fells beyond.