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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.  

Gateway to the National Park
Kirkby Stephen is the ideal gateway to the Yorkshire Dales National Park, which was recently extended to include some beautiful areas of the Upper Eden Valley, now known as the Westmorland Dales. The town is also right on the edge of the North Pennines Area of Natural Beauty, which incorporates some stunning landscapes. Staying in or near Kirkby Stephen you can explore both areas and be in easy reach of the Lake District too.

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.

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

Download to an app or print out three free local walks.

They are a circuit of Smardale nature reserve including the imposing viaduct, an exploration of the Eden Viaducts near Kirkby Stephen with I-Spy sheets for spotting features en-route, and a rugged hill walk to the summit of Wild Boar Fell. Simply join Walkingworld to access these walks.

Visitor Guide and Town Map

Kirkby Stephen & District Walkers are Welcome Steering Group. Contact us
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