Hoove is a hill in the far north east of the Yorkshire Dales, sitting just inside the North Yorkshire side of the county border with Durham.
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Situated in the far north-east of the Yorkshire Dales, Hoove is the highest of three hills on the eastern side of Arkengarthdale that rise above 500m in height, the other two being Booze Moor and Cleasby Hill. Hoove is the only one of the three to qualify as a Dewey and, more importantly perhaps, it also qualifies as a Marilyn, making it the most northerly Marilyn in the Yorkshire Dales.
Hoove’s summit stands a several hundred metres inside a boundary line that divides North Yorkshire with County Durham as well as the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the North Pennines AONB. The hill is situated on the Swale – Tees watershed, water flowing northwards off the moor finding its way into the Tees via the River Greta while the water draining to the south feeds the River Swale via Arkle Beck.
The summit is a flat windswept moor with very little of immediate interest with the exception of a lonely trig point. The 1:25,000 OS Explorer map gives the trig point spot height of 553m as the highest point. Somewhat unusually the 1:50,000 OS Landranger map gives a higher spot height of 554m to the south of the trig point.
There is nothing on the ground to mark the 554m spot height and in truth it looks no higher than the trig point so I would suggest that the latter should be regarded as the top except to the most dedicated of peak baggers. The only trouble with this being that the only people likely to be on Hoove in the first place are peak baggers – the top of the hill having little to recommend itself to the casual walker.
This is not to say that there is nothing at all of interest. About half a mile north of the summit there is the modest Elsey Crag which features a decent outcrop called the Fryingpan Stone. The ground to the north of the crag drops away enough to ensure an excellent view to the northern Dales heights of Water Crag, Rogan’s Seat, Nine Standards Rigg, High Greygrits and Great Pinseat.
While Elsey Crag exceeded my expectations I was quite disappointed with Hoove Tarn. While none can match the mountains tarns of Snowdonia and Lakeland there are still some lovely tarns to be found in the Dales. Unfortunately Hoove Tarn is not one of them. Fenced off, it seems to be nothing more than a reedy marsh, its current state perhaps a result of the man made drainage ditches that cross the moor in this area and which seem to be a part of the management of this section of the moor for grouse shooting purposes.
Lead mining was once a major industry in Arkengarthdale and Swaledale and the area around Hoove was no exception. Extensive mine workings can be found in the side valley of Faggergill which separates Hoove from its northerly neighbour Cleasby Hill. Unfortunately I did not get to investigate the area in much detail but I imagine it may be of interest to some.
Finally, connoissieurs of peat should take note of the small area to the west and south west of the tarn. Here the hags and groughs rival anything I’ve come across elsewhere including on the Kinder and Bleaklow plateaus.