Reeth enjoys a magnificent setting on a plateau above the River Swale, surrounded by a great panorama of hills and moors. Today it is the main settlement in Swaledale, but in Norman times, the tiny village of Grinton just to the south, was the most important settlement in the valley. For hundreds of years it had the only church and Christian burial ground in upper Swaledale. You may hear locals referring to Corpse Ways. These were routes taken by people carrying coffins down the valley to Grinton for burial. The journey sometimes took several days.
It wasn't really until the local leadmining industry took off in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that Reeth grew to be the village you see today. It stood at the junction of roads up Swaledale and Arkengarthdale and became an important service centre for the mines and smelt mills based in these two valleys.
Heritage and history
Today Reeth welcomes locals and visitors to its excellent facilities. A good place to start is Hudson House overlooking the central village green. Here you will find our National Park Centre and lots of friendly advice and information along with a delighful community orchard in the walled garden round the back. The fascinating Swaledale Museum is also worth hunting out if you'd like to know more about the history of the village and its people.
Pubs, cafes and afternoon tea
Given its history, it's not surprising that Reeth offer lots of places to eat and drink. Dating to 1680, long before the lead miners came, the Black Bull Inn used to serve travellers and farmers. The Buck Hotel was a coaching inn dating back to 1780 and now has an Italian pizza oven. Both pubs serve traditional food and have warm log fires in the winter.
Reeth has several excellent cafés and tea rooms. Try Overton House Café with its legendary cheese scones or The Copper Kettle Tea Rooms, both located on the Green with fine views. For a real treat, check out the The Burgoyne Hotel which offers fine dining and afternoon teas.
Stay the night
There is a popular Youth Hostel up on the moors above Grinton and lots of charming B&Bs and self-catering cottages. Visit our National Park Centre for more help. There is also the Dales Bike Centre just outside the village which offers quality hostel accommodation, bike hire, courses and a café.
Reeth can be reached by bus from the nearby market town of Richmond. Parking is available around the edges of the large central village green, there are honesty boxes at several points
Visit the Reeth-in-Swaledale website for more places to eat, drink and stay in and around the village.