Nateby Common, also known as Tailbridge Hill, is a grassy fell situated just north of the summit of the B6270, the high road from Nateby in the Eden valley to Keld in upper Swaledale.
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Nateby Common protrudes to the north-west of the broad boggy saddle separating High Seat from Nine Standards Rigg. Whilst neighbouring Nine Standards Rigg is a notoriously boggy fell Nateby Common is quite different due to its underlying limestone. As a result Nateby Common is a largely grassy fell with none of the bogs, reeds and tussocks kist a short distance to the east.
Nateby Common is partly separated from Nine Standards Rigg by the deep cleft of Dukerdale. A bridleway heading for Nine Standards Rigg crosses Rigg Beck at the head of Dukerdale allowing for a fine view down into the little valley.
On the gentle south-east slopes of Nateby Common, before it merges into Lady Bog, there is also a nice area of heavily weathered limestone pavement on Lamps Moss. On my last visit I noticed a series of new fences and gates that had been erected across the limestone. What their purpose is I don’t know but they do somewhat spoil the natural beauty of the limestone.
Nateby Common is quite possibly the easiest 500m+ fell in the Yorkshire Dales to bag. Cars can be parked just off the roadside at Tailbridge Neck where the B6270 levels out after a steep climb up from Nateby. From the parking area the summit can be reached by an easy five minute walk on a broad grassy path. The 37m in height needed to gain the summit is at a very gentle gradient and from the path there are some tremendous views of the Eden valley.
The summit is an obvious grassy mound that is topped by a prominent cairn. My first visit to Nateby Common was in awful weather and for a long time the only picture I had of the fell was my friend stood near the cairn in the rain and hill fog.
A long-delayed return visit in July 2017 revealed a superb panorama from the summit with views including the Howgill Fells, a long Lakeland skyline and the high fells of the North Pennines.