Muker

Posted on 29th January 2019

Muker in Swaledale

Why we love MUKER

Peace and tranquillity, beautiful scenery, dry-stone walls and barns – and the narrow, winding mountain passes you can drive through to get in and out of the village.

Where:

Nestled at the bottom of the hillside above the meandering River Swale is the tiny but delightful village of Muker – one of Yorkshire’s hidden gems.

Muker is home to fewer than 300 people and boasts England’s highest inn. The village is surrounded by dry-stone walls and an unusually high density of dry-stone field barns – features that beautifully complement the dramatic scenery of Upper Swaledale.

Particularly popular with walkers and hikers, Muker’s location high in the Yorkshire Dales National Parkmeans it doesn’t get the vast number of visitors who flock to nearby Hawes (the narrow country lanes surrounding Muker are a ‘no-go zone’ for coaches and tour buses). Consequently, Muker is one of the most peaceful and unspoilt villages you can find anywhere in the Yorkshire Dales.

History:

There’s evidence of a settlement at the same location as far back as the Bronze Age, an ideal location where the Straw Beck flows into the River Swale. Surrounded by lush meadowland, Muker attacted Viking settlers who lived off a mixture of farming that the area easily supported, as well as fish caught in the River Swale.

The rich mineral stocks in the nearby hills include lead, limestone, coal and slate, which have all helped to support local industries over the centuries.

Today:

Muker remains the focal point for a thriving local farming industry and is also a popular thoroughfare for walkers, hikers, cyclists and motorcyclists. The local pub is a popular lunch stop at the midway point of a day’s walking through Swaledale.

Swaledale Woolens
Swaledale Woolens has helped revive the art of hand-knitting; you can buy woollen products in Muker that were hand-knitted in Muker by more than 30 local contributors. All of the wool used is sourced in Swaledale or in Wensleydale (just next door!). Find out more at www.swaledalewoollens.co.uk

Origin of the name:

The village name derives from Old Norse (Major-aker) meaning simply “narrow-acre”.

Tours:

We visit Muker on our “Yorkshire Dales & Fountains Abbey” day trip and will often include the village on private tours of the Dales and on a transfer tour through the Yorkshire Dales.

Where to eat:

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Where to go for a coffee:

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Where to go for a drink:

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Where to stay:

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What to see:

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