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Red squirrel watch

Red squirrel

If you see one of our cute red squirrels Red Squirrels Northern England would love to know. Please fill in their report form.

Great walking in the Upper Eden Valley

Kirkby Stephen nestles in a corner of Cumbria often missed by visitors to the county. The attractive and friendly market town sits on the upper reaches of the River Eden, before it winds its way through the Eden Valley towards the Solway Firth.

Water Cut sculptureFor those who do find us there is plenty of walking on offer, from challenging fells to quiet riverside strolls. Within easy reach are the Howgills, outlying fells of the Lake District but without the crowds. To the east are the North Pennines, complete with a section of the Pennine Way and the extraordinary geological feature of High Cup Nick. Leaving from the town itself it is possible to climb to the enigmatic Nine Standards, a line of nine drystone cairns whose original purpose is shrouded in mystery.

In the Eden Valley itself you will find gentler walks along old railways, nature reserves in rare limestone pavements, ruined castles and stone circles, barrows and ancient settlements.  

Walkers are Welcome
In April 2009, Kirkby Stephen became the first town in Cumbria to be awarded Walkers are Welcome status. The national Walkers are Welcome (WaW) scheme involves a longterm commitment to surveying local paths, establishing a new rights of way problem reporting system and improving facilities for walkers. Work also involves encouraging walkers to visit Kirkby Stephen and the beautiful surrounding countryside, wherever possible using public transport.

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Railway walks

Viaduct walk
Kirkby Stephen offers some fantastic walking along old railway lines, with great stone viaducts spanning deep valleys and plenty of fascinating railway history. Find out more

Free walks

You can download and print out two free walks near Kirkby Stephen from the Walkingworld website.

One is a circuit of the Smardale nature reserve including the imposing viaduct. There is an exploration of the Eden Viaducts near Kirkby Stephen that includes I-Spy sheets for spotting features en-route. The third is a rugged hill walk to the summit of Wild Boar Fell. Simply join Walkingworld to access these walks.
Kirkby Stephen & District Walkers are Welcome Steering Group. Contact us
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