Reeth, which in Saxon times was only a settlement on the forest edge, but by the time of the Norman Conquest it had grown sufficiently in importance to be noted in the Doomsday Book.

Later it became a centre for hand-knitting and the local lead industry was controlled from here, but it was always a market town for the local farming community. It's eighteenth-century houses and hotel clustered around the triangular village green make it one of the honey pots of the Dales.

Reeth lies where two of North Yorkshire's finest dales meet. The most northerly of these is Arkengarthdale, which is relatively unexplored and one of the more tranquil dales. The other, Swaledale, is formed from gentle slopes as the meandering Swale winds its way to Richmond. Reeth, at the juncture of these two dales, is at the heart of Swaledale. It has a large village green where traditional events and markets are often held.

Reeth is a popular place with visitors to the Dales, and has many tea rooms in which you can relax, perhaps after a stroll along the river, and interesting craft shops producing traditional, high quality products.

In the 18th Century Reeth was the capital of the lead mining industry. Its history can be traced in the Folk Museum, which houses exhibits illustrating the life and traditions of Swaledale, and outlining the principle theme of lead mining. Reeth was the capital of this industry, with a population of 1460 in its heyday. Cheaper foreign imports doomed the Swaledale companies and by1885, the area was already converting to the idyllic farming community that we see today.
Nearby is Grinton with its Norman church, the Jacobean-style pulpit, "Lepers Squint" and stained glass are worth inspection.

Walkers will be fascinated following the ancient ‘Corpse Way’, which may still be picked out running from Grinton to Keld, at the head of the Dale. Because this was the only consecrated ground at the time, the dead were carried here in wicker baskets along an ancient track.

The scattered villages in their dramatically beautiful settings, all have stories to tell. The hardy sheep here have a pedigree that dates back to the time of the Viking settlers and may be seen wherever you travel throughout this lovely dale.

There are fine walks to be found all over the area, varying in length from gentle strolls along the Swale paths, to day long routes, taking the energetic to the summits of Great Shunner Fell, Lovely seat and Addlebrough.
Richmond, Barnard Castle, Leyburn and Hawes are all within half an hours drive, and there is no shortage of eating houses in Reeth to enjoy after a long day’s walking or sightseeing.

Market Days in the Area

Wednesday:Northallerton & Barnard Castle
Friday:Reeth & Leyburn
Saturday:Richmond, Darlington & Northallerton