Kisdon

Kisdon

Kisdon is a hill in upper Swaledale between the villages of Muker and Keld, just falling short of 500m, Kisdon still has enough prominence to be a Marilyn.

Height (m): 499
Height (ft): 1636
Prominence (m): 184
Classification: Four, Marilyn
Hill No: 2774
Grid Ref: SD899998
OS Map OL19, OL30
No. of Visits 1

Surrounded by the Swale gorge to the north and east, and the valleys of Skeb Skeugh and Straw Beck to the west and south Kisdon rises almost island like in upper Swaledale. Separated as it is from the higher surrounding moors Kisdon ranks quite high on the list of most prominent hills in the Yorkshire Dales, despite a fairly modest altitude of 499m.

Kisdon from above Swinner Gill
Kisdon from above Swinner Gill

The summit of Kisdon is sat back from any of the right’s of way on the hill. It is however on access land and, one careful wall crossing notwithstanding, it is fairly easy to visit from the bridleway to the south. An alternative route is to leave the bridleway much lower down to the west and enter access land at a gate at grid reference NY896002.

Kisdon from above Angram
Kisdon from above Angram

The highest point is seemingly unmarked though a low circle of stones in the heather is very close. Also close by but slightly lower than the highest point is a large currick which can be seen from some distance away. The summit area is heathery with cloudberry to be found in small clusters. The view is one of higher distant moors including Rogan’s Seat, Nine Standards Rigg, Lovely Seat and Great Shunner Fell.

The large currick close to the summit of Kisdon
The large currick close to the summit of Kisdon

Although there are no clear paths leading to the summit there are two cracking paths that traverse either side of the fell, both of which connect Muker at the south-east corner of the hill and Keld at the north-west corner. The northern path which crosses Kisdon Side also coincides with the Pennine Way and features superlative views of Swaledale and the Swale gorge.

A flowering cloudberry on the summit of Kisdon
A flowering cloudberry on the summit of Kisdon

If approaching on the bridleway from Muker keep an eye out on the wall on the right hand side when the grassy path begins to flatten out. Here you will see a memorial stone dedicated to a Neil Jones who died in 2005 at the relatively young age of 40. The memorial concludes with the words ‘A beautiful place, A wonderful man’. Anyone who has seen the primrose covered slopes of Kisdon in the springtime or looked down on the buttercup filled meadows around Muker in early summer will certainly agree Kisdon is a beautiful place.

The memorial stone to Neil Jones
The memorial stone to Neil Jones

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