Ruined shepherd’s hut in Higher Swaledale

Sat in the car somewhere high above Swaledale. Pulled in to the side of the road near a ruined stone building with an enclosed walled garden. It’s small and difficult to describe it as a cottage although it appears to have a chimney. Maybe it was some kind of shepherd’s shelter.

All I can hear is a babbling stream and some unknown birds clattering away. I can’t see them. I’ve driven from Keld towards Kirkby Stephen and back. Turned around when the road began it’s descent. It has only taken 20 minutes to cover what Tom and I took maybe 6 hours or more on foot. Seeing a lot more this time as we are concentrating on just getting there when we did the walk. My feet hurt most of the way.

No cars have passed since I stopped here perhaps ten minutes ago. No mobile phone signal. A wonderfully peaceful spot.

It’s amazing that there are so few people around. It’s a Saturday on a Bank Holiday weekend. I’ve moved on to a viewing spot looking down on what is presumably the upper reaches of the river Swale.

By Trefor Davies

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