Off the beaten track, secluded, remote… Swindale is all of these things. There are a handful of cottages and farmhouses here, but the sealed road goes only as far as Swindale Head and then abruptly ends. Those venturing further can follow a bridleway upstream, past two impressive sets of waterfalls at Forces Falls and the delightfully named Hobgrumble Gill, to reach the hanging valley of Mosedale, a place that’s even more off the beaten track, secluded and remote than the lower dale.
Swindale is on the route of the Mardale-to-Shap ‘corpse road’. Before Mardale got its own consecrated burial ground in 1736, villagers had to carry their dead along this path – across the fells – for interment in Shap.