Fremington Edge is a steep limestone escarpment that dominates the village of Reeth and the lower part of Arkengarthdale.
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The escarpment runs for almost three miles from above High Fremington all the way to Fell End above Slei Gill. From Reeth it appears like a steep wall and is also equally impressive when seen descending the Leyburn to Grinton road which was my first view of Fremington Edge.
Almost the entire edge is made of limestone which has been extensively mined and quarried in the past. Indeed the remnants of this industrial past are rarely out of sight with disused shafts, tips and pits abounding. Although scarred by mining and quarrying it somehow makes Fremington Edge even more impressive.
Due to the steep western flank of Fremington Edge there are no easy approaches from Arkengarthdale. Perhaps the two most popular routes are via the path that winds up Fell End or via the road and track that passes the White House, a conspicous landmark from nearby Reeth.
In addition to these two routes there are numerous other options, some marked on the map and others not. It is worth noting that between Fell End and the path leading up from the White House there is a superb grassy path that follows the edge. This path doesn’t appear on the Ordnance Survey map but is a much better alternative to the track that follows the wall.
The walk along this ‘edge’ path is an absolute delight and provides stunning views up and down the length of Arkengarthdale. On the other side of the valley Calver Hill looks particularly shapely while up dale hover the dark moorland heights of Great Pinseat, Booze Moor and Hoove.
The summit of Fremington Edge is possibly one of its least inspiring aspects. Sat back from the edge towards its northern end the summit is at an unmarked spot next to the wall. Forty metres or so to the west, on the edge itself is a small cairn which although lower than the summit is a much finer place due to the views down into Arkengarthdale.
Fremington Edge’s finest cairn however is the superbly built cone shaped cairn on Fell End. Situated above a steep drop to the west and with the remains of the Fell End Lead Mine immediately to the north the cairn commands a great view of Slei Gill and the area around the small hamlet of Booze.
All in all a walk along Fremington Edge is one of the finest routes in Swaledale and is not to be missed.