Grinton Smelting Mill

An easy circular walk from Grinton with lots of interest. The moors above Grinton have the remains of the lead mining industry and on this walk, you will see those remains plus a well preserved smelting mill and its flue which runs up the hillside. The area is now a grouse moor and you will pass shooting butts and feeding stations for the birds. Great refreshments in Grinton and also over the bridge in Fremington at the Dales Bike Centre.

Technical sheet
No. 2907482
A Grinton walk posted on 19/01/20 by Alwayswiththehills. Update : 20/11/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h35[?]
Distance Distance : 4.12mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 833ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 833ft
Highest point Highest point : 1378ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 594ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Yorkshire Dales
Location Location : Grinton
Starting point Starting point : N 54.375501° / W 1.929797°
Download : -
The gap/stile in the wall at point 5. See the erosion in the bank behind. The gate in the wall diagonally across from point 4; Grinton Hall in the background The Flue Info Board


Parking :
There is not much parking in Grinton itself, the road is too narrow. The Bridge Inn has a good car park but it is for patrons only. You can park there but only if I intend to have a meal in the pub afterwards.

Heading out of the village and over the bridge towards Fremington, there are places for two cars just over the bridge and on the right of the road. You might also get cars parked carefully on the verge between the bridge and Fremington but the verge can be soft and you must ensure that you do not obstruct the road. In Fremington, there is patron only parking at the Dales Bike Centre and space for two cars just past the Bike Centre at the right hand turning onto the road over to Marske.

This walk starts at parking up the hill out of Grinton at the junction where the road to Redmire turns right off the Leyburn road; there is space here for about six vehicles. If that is full, there is parking further along the road to Redmire at (2).

(D/A) From the parking, walk up the Redmire road on the right hand side to where it bends to the left and a good track leads off on the right. You know you will be in the right place as there will be a grouse moor sign. Take the good track and ignore any feint paths lead up just after the grouse moor sign. About 250m along the good track, you will come to a more grassy strip running up on the left. As you look up you will some grouse butts.

(1) The grassy strip leads up to grouse butts, follow the path up beside the butts to where it joins another good track coming in from the road to Redmire. (It is also possible to park here.) Cross the track and follow the path slanting up and left, this brings you to a wooden fingerpost beside the road to Redmire. Turn right and follow the road. You are looking for a place where on the left where there is a vague stream (Ridley Hush) and then on the right where parking is obvious there is a grouse moor sign and wooden fingerpost indicating the path to the Heights of Greets.

(2) Now cross the road and take the 4x4 track which leads to the right of the more obvious V shaped hush; this is How Hush. The 4x4 track can be followed all the way down to the old level but it is more interesting to leave the track after about 300m and drop down into the hush where there is a clear track at the bottom. The track leads down to the old levels and the remains of a building where you will pick up the 4x4 track again. Continue along the 4x4 track crossing a stream and then dead down towards Grinton Smelting Mill; the old flue is an obvious landmark, running up the hillside.

(3) Explore the mill and then head uphill taking the path on the left of the flue. It is also possible to crouch down and walk up the flue itself, you will not need a torch as it is broken in places and there is always 'light at the end of the tunnel'. Keep a lookout for a path on the left just before the outcrop of rock on Sharrow Hill. You are following the path to head for three man made arches in front of the crag which look like the remains of lime kilns. Follow the path past the arches and crag to where it joins and crosses the Leyburn Road. Go through the gate on the other side of the road and follow the path across the field to a second gate.

(4) As you can see on OS map, many paths intersect at this gate. After passing through the gate, the main path goes down and around to Cogden Hall and the road into the village. This is the best descent if there has been a lot of rain. If you are doing this walk in a dry spell, then follow the following directions.
After passing through the gate (4), trend diagonally left across the field, descending gently. There is no path but there is a small wooden gate in the dry stone wall. To make sure that you get to the gate, aim off to left by walking towards the end of Grinton Lodge Youth Hostel which you will see on the far bank of Cogden Gill. Once you see the dry stone wall in front of you, start to veer rightwards keeping the wall to your right and you will soon see the small gate in the wall. Go through the small gate and down the step. Now, follow the small track diagonally down the bank and to the bottom of the gill. The gill and path here were badly eroded in the floods of 2019 but the gill is still passable when the water is not in spate. If you think that you cannot cross, you will have to go back and follow the main path via Cogden Hall.
Presuming that the gill is not in spate, turn right and head upstream with the gill on your right. On the far bank, you will see a ramp descending, that is your route. Walk upstream until it is possible to cross the gill using stones and boulders. We managed to do this at the point where the ramp on the far side meets the stream. Walk up the ramp to a drystone wall, wooden post and gap/stile.

(5) Cross the wall, then a wooden board and head diagonally left again to cross two further walls, the gated stiles are obvious. Head across the next field where there is a gate in the corner. Go through the gate and follow the wall on the right, then squeeze between two stone uprights just in front of a stone culvert that takes a stream beneath the wall. Cross the next field diagonally again, heading towards the end of a low stone barn. There is another obvious gate here. Go through the gate and head downhill with the wall on your left to cross a final wall and onto the road.

(6) Cross the road to the path, turn left and walk into Grinton. The Bridge Inn serves good refreshments.

(7) At the junction next to the Bridge Inn, turn left and walk up the road. Partway up you will see a footpath on the right running up beside the stream to rejoin the road at Vicarage Bridge. At the time of writing, this was out of action because of the 2019 flood damage so take the road all the way back to the car (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 820ft - Car park
1 : mi 0.42 - alt. 1033ft
2 : mi 1.23 - alt. 1378ft - How Hush
3 : mi 2.14 - alt. 1073ft - The mill
4 : mi 2.74 - alt. 1001ft - Gate
5 : mi 3.09 - alt. 791ft - Wall
6 : mi 3.52 - alt. 617ft
7 : mi 3.67 - alt. 594ft - The Bridge Inn
D/A : mi 4.12 - alt. 820ft - Car park

Useful Information

Once upon the moors, there is a shelter in Grinton Smelting Mill but be warned it is used by sheep and occasionally can be home a decaying corpse.

There are refreshments at the Bridge Inn in Grinton and also at The Dales Bike Centre in Fremington. The former is good for a pub lunch and the latter for tea/coffee and light bites.

It can get cold up on the moors, make sure you have a windproof/waterproof with you. In dry conditions (e.g. after a dry spell in summer), the walk can be done in approach shoes. In normal UK conditions, you will want waterproof footwear.

Please note there was some flooding in 2019 which eroded the banks of the streams, gills and rivers. This erosion has caused some paths to be closed but these are well marked by the National Park Authorities. The closed paths affect this walk on the small section from Grinton back to the car, but it is safe to walk in single file up the road.

The other section affected is the crossing of Cogden Gill, if there is a lot of water coming down you might not get across at present and should take the route past Cogden Hall. It is obvious on the OS map. We managed to cross safely on an average day in an average British winter.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

The grouse moor shooting butts and bird stations are of interest. When we last did this walk in January 2020 the gamekeepers were burning heather off the moor near to How Hush. Look closely at the moors and you will see that they are a patchwork of heather in different stages of growth. Old heather provides good ground cover for the birds but not much food, whereas young heather provides food for the birds and sheep. Burning the heather in rotation also helps maintain the diversity of wildlife on the moors.

This area of the Pennines was mined extensively for Galena which is lead ore. You will pass the doughnut shaped rings of spoil from small bell pits and you will walk down one of the hushes created to strip away topsoil in order to get at a vein of ore. The spoil heaps and the end of one building are all that remain of the washing floor at the level but if you cross over to the spoil heaps and hunt about you might find small pieces of rock with Galena still attached. The smelting mill is largely intact and there are two good information boards inside the mill itself. Crouch down and go through at least one section of the flue. Children were sent up here to scrape away deposits of lead, mixed with soot which had solidified on the flue walls. Near the path away from the flue, you will find a window in the flue wall which was used as an entry point to do this.

This website has some interesting information about lead mining and if you enjoyed this walk check out one of my other walks which explores the remains of the mining industry :

Opinions and comments


Global average : 4.67/5
Number of opinions : 1
Description quality : 5/5
Routemap quality : 5/5
Walk interest : 4/5

on Tue 26 May 2020 00:32:07 CEST

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 23/05/20
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Good

Weather was changeable with driving rain for the middle part of the walk. The scenery is spectacular when you can see it.
One of the amazing scenes was seeing the torrential rain across the valley while we were bathed in sunshine. The scene was also reversed. These 2 scenes were the highlight of my 16 year old son's walk.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.