North Yorkshire

Keld is a village in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire.

Keld is situated just above the River Swale and is the highest village of Swaledale, 7 miles (9 miles by road) north of Hawes and 17 miles (23 miles by road) to the west of Richmond.

There has been a village in Keld since Scandinavian settlers arrived there between the 9th and 10th centuries, its name deriving from the Norse word for spring or well.

In addition to farming, lead mining played an important part in village life and the village grew to a larger community than exists today. Its school, Methodist Church and an inn have all closed, but its United Reformed Church survives and its Literary Institute, opened in 1861, is now the Keld Resource Centre including a Countryside and Heritage Centre with displays about the area.

The attractive village is popular with walkers and is on the route of Alfred Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk.

 Village features

Keld is in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The village is on the River Swale.
Keld is on the Coast to Coast walk, a mostly unmarked 192-mile walk from St Bee's in Cumbria to Robin Hood's Bay in North Yorkshire, created from the guide book of renowned hill-walker Alfred Wainwright.
Keld has a community centre.
Restaurant dining can be found in Keld.
Places to stay in Keld include hotel, guest house, holiday home, camping accommodation.
There are public toilets in the village.
Place of worship: United Reformed.


Bus travel

The village has an infrequent bus service.

Road travel

Keld can be reached via the B6270

Places to visit

Bolton Castle

Bolton Castle

Castle Bolton, near Redmire, North Yorkshire
One of Britain's best-preserved medieval castles was built as one of the finest homes in the land and is still in the ownership of a descendant of the castle's original owner. With a commanding view over Wensleydale, the castle is situated near Redmire, about 5 miles west of Leyburn and 6 miles east of Askrigg. Although partially slighted by Oliver Cromwell during a Civil War siege it has been preserved in excellent condition. The castle is opened to visitors daily between the end of March and end of October except on dates when weddings are being held. Visitors can access much of the castle and its gardens and daily displays include birds of prey, archery and wild boar feeding. Full details can be found on the owner's website.

More information at the  Bolton Castle website.
Find on map:  Bolton Castle

Leeming Bar station

The Wensleydale Railway

Scruton - Leeming Bar - Bedale - Finghall - Leyburn
A railway service into Wensleydale running from Scruton and Leeming Bar, near the A1(M) , towards Bedale, Finghall, Leyburn and, if reopened, to Redmire at the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It operates a heritage diesel service and steam on some dates. The line was extended eastwards to Northallerton West, but the effects of flooding on a bridge at the end of 2015 resulted in that section of line remaining closed to passenger services. The railway company currently has aims of restoring a section of the track westward from Leyburn into the National Park at Redmire which has also been closed in recent years.

Further information at the  Wensleydale Railway website

Aysgarth Falls

Aysgarth Falls have been a much-visited Wensleydale beauty spot and a tourist attraction for more then two centuries. The River Ure falls down a series of rocky steps near to the village of Aysgarth. The falls provided a dramatic film location for the 1991 film "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves", starring Kevin Costner. A woodland nature reserve alongside the falls is run by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, which also runs a National Park Centre, cafe and car park there. Nearby is the Yore Bridge across the river and the Yore Mill, a grade II listed watermill on the site of a medieval fulling mill. The present mill dates from 1854 and was built to produce both woollen textiles and corn. It replaced an earlier 18th century cotton mill which was damaged by fire. There is now a tea shop and craft shop at the mill.

Find  Aysgarth Falls on map.

Hardraw Force

Hardraw, near Hawes
Situated about a mile north of Hawes in Wensleydale, this waterfall visitor attraction claims fame as "England's highest single-drop waterfall". The fall is around 30 metres (100 feet) high and was used as a backdrop to scenes in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. There is now also a Heritage Centre in the grounds of the falls, access to which is usually open from 10am to dusk with an admission fee.

Details can be found on the  Hardraw Force website.

Dales Countryside Museum

Station Yard, Burtersett Road, Hawes
The Dales Countryside Museum is located at the former Victorian station in Hawes and tells how the landscape and people of the Yorkshire Dales have evolved over thousands of years. An old locomotive and carriages are preserved at the platform as a reminder of the days that train services connected the isolated Wensleydale town to the rest of Yorkshire. A Yorkshire Dales National Park Centre is also housed at the museum.

Find out more at the  Dales Countryside Museum website.

Yorkshire Dales National Park

The western half of Richmondshire is all within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Leyburn is the gateway to the Wensleydale area of the National Park, the wide and beautiful upper valley of the River Ure into which many tributaries flow. There is a National Park Centre in Hawes. Find out more on our Yorkshire Dales National Park page.

Emergency services

North Yorkshire Police  North Yorkshire Police website.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service  North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

Local government

Civil parish council

Muker Parish Council
Provides some local services in the area.

District authority
Richmondshire District Council
Richmondshire district council is one of the seven large district authorities within the county of North Yorkshire. It covers 509 square miles of the mainly rural area of the north west of North Yorkshire with its administrative centre in Richmond.

Much of the district is within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It has boundaries with the Craven, Hambleton and Harrogate districts of North Yorkshire, with Cumbria, including a former part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and with County Durham, including part which was formerly in the North Riding of Yorkshire.

Up to 2019 the council was made up of 34 councillors representing 24 wards, each electing between 1 and 3 councillors. After Boundary Commission review the number of seats from the 2019 election is down from 34 to 24. Councillors are now elected across 16 wards: 1 with three councillors, 6 with two councillors and 9 with one councillor. The whole council is elected every four years.

There are also 54 Parish or Town Councils and 26 Parish Meetings within the Richmondshire district.

The  North Yorkshire County Council will absorb the services of Richmondshire District Council and six other district councils as a unitary authority area of more than 3,100 square miles from April 2023.

Link to  Richmondshire District Council website.

Places in Richmondshire include: Askrigg Catterick Gilling West Hawes Leyburn Reeth Richmond

The political composition of the council after the May 2019 election was:

10 1031
24 members

County authority

North Yorkshire County Council
Includes Richmondshire and six other non-unitary districts of North Yorkshire.
 North Yorkshire County Council website.

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire
Covers the county of North Yorkshire and  City of York.
 Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire website.

Ceremonial county

North Yorkshire


-1974: Within the North Riding of Yorkshire.

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