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For the 2nd in the 365 Ways to Discover the Dales series, we're heading north to Tan Hill, a high point on the Pennine Way in Richmondshire, above Keld. It's an isolated spot, known for Tan Hill Inn, the highest inn in the British Isles 1,732 feet (528 m) above sea level. The surrounding moors may look completely deserted but were once a hive of activity, with workers digging lead mines and coal pits until the 1920s when mining ceased. Given the high windswept location, it's perhaps not surprising that pub revellers have often been snowed in, sometimes for several days!
The views from Tan Hill can be stunning on a clear day - it's said you can see as far as Redcar, 70 miles away. In Winter, a real highlight is the opportunity to see Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) in the night sky, as this short film from Joe Burn shows. I know of one Swaledale resident who flew specially to Iceland for five days to see the Northern Lights but came home disappointed. She was just putting her key in the door of her Swaledale home when they appeared right in front of her! January and February can be some of the best months to see them, with really dramatic night skies. The Dark Skies Festival takes place across the Yorkshire Dales in February, with lots of opportunities to discover our starry skies.
365 Ways to discover the Yorkshire Dales - a daily blog of insider tips - places to go, things to do, where to eat and what to enjoy as a visitor or local.