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Things to do

As well as serious walking there are plenty of other things to do in and around Kirkby Stephen. Here are just a few of the possibilities:

Free Town Trail leaflets
KS walkYou can download and print out a Town Trail for Kirkby Stephen, taking you to all the fascinating spots in this historic market town. Download the trail (PDF)

The Kirkby Stephen Family Adventure 3K Trail has lots to look out for along the route plus a long list of free and inexpensive family activities to keep everyone entertained whatever the weather. The trail starts at an old fashioned sweet shop and finishes at one of two play parks.
Download the trail (PDF)

The Brough Buggy Walk leaflet is ideal for families with small children, pushchairs and even wheelchairs with alternative loops in Church and Market Brough. Visit a free castle, playground, ice cream parlour, cafes, caves and lots more, all easily accessible on all weather surfaces. (N.B. The Castle itself is more challenging for wheelchairs)  Download the walk (PDF)

The Kirkby Stephen Family River Trail has a simple map of circular routes by the River Eden, one taking about one hour and one taking about two. There are lots of suggestions for things to do by the river. Download the trail (PDF)

The Walkers are Welcome group has been working with the Upper Eden History Society to install Blue Plaques within the Kirkby Stephen Conservation Area.  Rather than highlighting an historical person, these plaques, with QR codes, tell the  fascinating history of the building.  Further information

Walkingworld offers three free walks in the area to download and/or print out. The Eden Viaducts Trail includes a sheet of unusual features to look out for on the short 3 mile walk. Links are in the panel on the right - you just need to join Walkingworld as a member to access these walks and you can follow them in an app.

provide a treasure hunt around Kirkby Stephen you can buy as a booklet sent in the post or download to print out yourself.


Brough and Pendragon Castles are both free to visit. Pendragon Castle is found just off the road through Mallerstang. It is a ruin in an atmospheric location; park in the small layby opposite and take care crossing the road. Brough Castle, to be found on the road between Kirkby Stephen and Brough, is in the care of English Heritage. Much of the keep still stands. There is a privately owned tea room near the entrance selling home-made ice-cream.

Year round fishing for all abilities can be found at Bessy Beck at Newbiggin-on-Lune, on the main road from the M6 to Kirkby Stephen. Equipment can be hired and bait purchased. There's an onsite tearoom. More at www.bessybecktrout.co.uk

Kirkby Stephen East Heritage Centre
You can find out more about the railway lines that ran through from Darlington and Barnard Castle, via Stainmore Summit, to Appleby and Penrith. Buffet car, shop and small exhibits museum. Free car parking and admission. www.kirkbystepheneast.co.uk

Sunsoar Paragliding is based in Kirkby Stephen and uses the local hills as a training ground.

Horse riding
The surrounding countryside has a good network of bridleways. The Stonetrail Riding Centre offers treks for beginners and experienced riders, from 1 hour to a full day. 

Special offers

You can download to an app or print out three 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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