Saturday, 4 August 2012

Eden Valley Viaduct Walk

Eden Valley Viaduct Walk - Kirkby Stephen

 2.5 miles

This is a great little circular walk starting from the tourist information centre, Market Square in Kirkby Stephen.

We headed south along the High Street. 100m after the High Street becomes South Road, a fingerpost can be seen across the road. The footpath (gently rising) crosses three fields populated with sheep before it joins the Nateby Road (B6259). With Stenkrith Hill on the left, there was just 250m of road walking before we turned through a gate into the wooded Stenkrith Park.
River Eden at Stenkrith Bridge

Here a footbridge crosses the River Eden. Upstream, the river seems to enter a cauldron as the riverbed forces the water through narrow channels before it plunges far below Stenkrith Bridge. Downstream, the river seems much more benign as it glints in dappled sunshine.

We turned east onto the now dismantled railway. It's now a beautiful walk, as the footpath curves through the former railway cutting. Coppiced trees provide gentle rustling and a dappled effect. Bridleway gates underneath railway bridges in the distance look inviting and beckon you through. Former railway buildings act as information points, telling the history of the line, and provide shelter should there be a sudden downpour. Eventually, the walk heads in a north easterly direction as it straightens out. The walk opens up as the route crosses the Podgill and Merrygill Viaducts. The Northern Pennines and Eden Valley can be seen from here. Steps down to the left enables the walker a closeup view of the amazing feat of Victorian architecture and endeavour.
Kirkby Stephen church nestling amongst the trees

The Northern Pennines

Leaving the second of the viaducts, we joined the minor Hartley road, taking off-road  footpath alternatives where they were offered. We crossed the bubbling Hartley Beck and passed pretty cottages in Hartley village. 
Hartley Beck

We headed west at the village noticeboard along a tarmac footpath that took us through a sheepfield and on towards Frank's Bridge. From here, we could see Wild Boar Fell. 
Wild Boar Fell

Once again we crossed the River Eden before heading up through a ginnel to the Market Square.

A beautiful walk... accessible to most.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let me know your thoughts here...