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Swaledale & Arkengarthdale Business Forum (SABF)

Wheels & Water


With one of the fastest rising rivers in England, the Swale is a swift-flowing river to be respected.

Fishing – you will need a license, but there are enough idyllic spots to last you a lifetime.

Kayaking - from a leisurely drift to Grade V waterfalls, the River Swale has some great runs and you get to see places that cannot be seen from a public footpath.

Wild Swimming – fantastic crystal clear pools and waterfalls for this alternative pastime. Details of Kisdon Force can be found here. 


Mountain Biking – a mecca for MTB enthusiasts and a Bike Centre. No marked trails here, just a web of trails for you to discover yourself or with a guide. Courses galore, too. You can hire, compete, orienteer, race or night cycle.

Long Distance – there’s the Coast to Coast for MTB and road bikes, too. You can also camp and tour to your heart’s content.

Racing – a regular visit from the Tour of Britain Race shows how fast the professionals go and there are plenty of events for the amateur too.

Motorbikes – the sport of the locals is Trials riding and this is a popular spectator sport, but you’ll have to walk a little to see it.

AG Bikes Showroom and workshop is set in a beautiful location in the heart of Swaledale.

Tour de France - In 2014, Welcome to Yorkshire secured the Grand Depart of the Tour de France - and it came right through upper Swaledale.

The biggest free sporting event in the world, the Tour de France is massively popular in countries around the globe and attracts huge media coverage. The Yorkshire leg of the race was particularly opportune, with Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome having been our home-grown winner in 2012 and 2013.

On Saturday, 5th July, 2014, the cyclists made their way up from Leeds, through Skipton and Kettlewell, into Hawes in Wensleydale. From there it was over the iconic Buttertubs Pass into Swaledale, just below pretty Thwaite and down Swaledale to Grinton, before heading over the moors towards Leyburn and finishing eventually in Harrogate.

The Swaledale route took in some of the most breathtaking scenery in Britain, from wild fells and moorland to wildflower meadows and pasture, with wildlife second to none. Tourists already flock to this wonderful area to relax, hike and revel in the beautiful landscape, but the Tour de France certainly encouraged cyclists to explore this area.