A delightfully sleepy hamlet just 1 mile west of Reeth, in days gone by Healaugh featured a school, chapel, post office and shop. Alas, nowadays the hamlet is just a pleasant place to rest and eat your packed lunch whilst sitting on the lichen-encrusted benches.
Snuggling below the prominent Calver Hill, the village name comes from the old English (heah +leah) meaning high clearing or wood. A babbling brook does, in fact, flow down the gill behind the village through a veritable arboretum. The original village was more likely higher up near Daggerstones and the other dwellings on the southern slopes of Calver Hill.
Records date back to the Domesday Book in 1086 and it is claimed there are remains of a hunting lodge said to have belonged to John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. The village consists of about 45 dwellings and a working sheep farm.
Visitors are drawn to its simplicity and quirkiness. The telephone box has many visitors intrigued by its carpet, waste bin, fresh flowers and a donations box. Several stone troughs run with water fed from the hillside streams. The beautiful cobbled square and its bench are a welcome resting place for Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition groups and Coast to Coast walkers taking a breather before their final push to Reeth for the night. Nearby are a fine set of stepping stones across the Swale which make a circular walk possible from Reeth when the water levels allow.