Swaledale

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Description:
Swaledale is one of the northernmost dales (valleys) in the Yorkshire Dales National Park in northern England. It is the dale of the River Swale on the east side of the Pennines in North Yorkshire.

Geographical overview

Swaledale starts to the east of Nine Standards Rigg, the prominent ridge with nine ancient tall cairns on the Cumbria–Yorkshire boundary which forms part of the main east–west watershed of Northern England. To the west lies Kirkby Stephen and the Westmorland Limestone Plateau.

The moors on the eastern flank of the Rigg's moorland become more and more concave as they descend, to become the narrow valley sides of upper Swaledale at the small village of Keld. From there, the valley runs briefly south then turns east at Thwaite to broaden progressively as it passes Muker, Gunnerside and Reeth. The Pennine valley ends at the market town of Richmond, where an important medieval castle still watches the important ford from the top of a cliff. Below Richmond, the valley sides flatten out and the Swale flows across lowland farmland to meet the Ure just east of Boroughbridge at a point known as Swale Nab. The Ure becomes the Ouse, and eventually (on merging with the Trent) the Humber.

From the north, Arkengarthdale and its river the Arkle Beck join Swaledale at Reeth. To the south, Wensleydale, home of the famous Wensleydale cheese, runs parallel with Swaledale. The two dales are separated by a ridge including Great Shunner Fell, and joined by the road over......
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