Dawdles and Legstretchers
‘Dawdles’ walks are short guided strolls taking place every Thursday morning, starting from the Market Square in Kirkby Stephen. ‘Legstretchers’ are longer walks in the surrounding area, once a month on a Friday. Both are organised by the Walkers are Welcome group. Check out the current programme
Long distance paths
A number of long distance paths pass through Kirkby Stephen or nearby. The best known is Wainwright’s Coast to Coast. Others include the Lady Anne’s Way and the Pennine Journey (and Bridleway). Find out more
There are various accessible walks in and around Kirkby Stephen suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs and those who require a reasonably flat, firm surface to walk on. ‘Access the Dales’ is dedicated to promoting accessible walks in the Yorkshire Dales.
Geocaching is a popular outdoor activity involving searching for real or virtual caches in the countryside. The area around Kirkby Stephen has dozens of caches. Find out more
Guidebooks and maps
The best walking map for the area is the OS 1:25,000 Outdoor Leisure 19 ‘Howgill Fells and Upper Eden Valley’. The Walkers are Welcome group has published a series of Upper Eden Discovery Walks booklets. These and other guides and leaflets are available at the Visitor Centre. Find out more on the Visitor Centre website.
The area around Kirkby Stephen offers some fine walks along old railway lines, with some truly impressive viaducts to cross, reflecting the fact that the town was something of a transport hub in the Victorian era. Find out more
The Cumbria Wildlife Trust is custodian of some fabulous places to walk near Kirkby Stephen, including Smardale Gill, Argill Woods and Tarn Sike. There are full details of all the reserves and a map on the Cumbria Wildlife Trust website.
Watch out for our red squirrels, which are thriving thanks to careful control of the greys. On the fells there is very wide range of birdlife, while in the fields you may see hares and deer. You may be surprised to see macaws flying over the town.
Westmorland Dales Festival
Join us for a walk on Saturday 29th July as part of the Westmorland Dales Festival. There are guided walks to a Victorian folly, on old railway lines and to a limestone pavement, plus two around town. Booking essential. Find out more
Many of the best local walks can be found and downloaded to the Walkingworld app, which gives step-by-step instructions and OS mapping. Walkingworld is a local business but it features over 7500 walks nationwide. Find out more