There are many outdoor sculptures to be visited in the area around Kirkby Stephen, set in evocative landscapes. Eden Benchmarks is a series of ten contemporary stone sculptures set along the length of the River Eden, with the first near the source in the Mallerstang valley. To find out more about this and other sculpture projects visit www.edenbenchmarks.org.uk.
The Poetry Path
Renowned landscape artist Andy Goldsworthy lived and worked near Brough at the start of his career and a number of his sheepfold and enclosure projects can be found nearby. To find out more visit www.sheepfoldscumbria.co.uk.
The Poetry Path takes you on a short walk through the landscape surrounding Kirkby Stephen. A circular route of public paths either side of the river Eden is taken, including a short section of the disused Stainmore railway managed as a nature reserve by the Northern Viaduct Trust.
Twelve short poems written by Meg Peacocke have been carved by lettering artist Pip Hall on blocks of stone. You will find them installed at intervals along the way. They tell of a Cumbrian hill farmer's year, month by month.
As well as the poems, carved decorative motifs depict some of the activities associated with each month of the hill farmer’s year. Rubbings can be taken from these using paper and a crayon.
A leaflet with the text of the poems, walk guide and simple map is available from the Tourist Information Centre, Local Links Centre and Halls newsagents, priced £2.
You can download a set of MP3 audio files to play on your iPod or MP3 player. These include a spoken guide and each poem recited by the author. The file named '00_kirkby.mp3' is an introduction and following that there is a numbered file for each stone. Download the files (ZIP, 6MB)