Swaledale is situated towards the north of the Yorkshire Dales National Park on the B6270 and about 2 hours drive from Leeds and Manchester. I have found it to be one of the quieter locations in the dales when compared to places further south as Malham in Malhamdale and even Hawes in Wensleydale, which is essentially the next door dale – this makes it a great spot for photography even when the tourists are out in force.
If you are visiting for the first time I would suggest you explore the area surrounding Keld, Muker and Thwaite as there is plenty variety from barns to waterfalls.
The above photo is taken between Keld and Thwaite looking towards to Thwaite and is a wonderful example of the dales landscape. There are some road side parking spaces (unmarked) along the road and many of the shots can be grabbed from the road side.
During the summer months the meadows throughout Swaledale are full of wild flowers, a really special sight. Some of the best examples can be found at Thwaite on the public foot path that runs past the village. Parking in Thwaite can be tricky at weekends but there is a pay and display car park at the entrance to the village. The photo above is taken just outside the village and shows the wonderful colours.
Muker has a more flower meadows although some are harder to get access to due to streams and fences, still well worth a nosey. I found the above shot just inside a farmers field off the main road.
Some other locations worth looking at are around Keld, there is a car park in the village and a couple of waterfalls in short walking distance which are worth a visit if the water levels are high.