- Route Kirkby Stephen station – Halfpenny House – Wharton Hall – Lammerside Castle – Pendragon Castle – Southwaite – Ridding House – Thringill – Nateby – Broad Ing Sike – Franks Bridge – Kirkby Stephen – Stenkrith Bridge – Halfpenny House – Kirkby Stephen Station
- Distance 11.23 miles
- Duration 6hrs 30 mins
- Getting there Train to Kirkby Stephen
- Weather Sunny, although it threatened rain
Why this route?
- TOH still has a sore foot so I needed a fairly gentle walk without too much ascent or descent.
- After Pen-Y-Ghent and Malham I also fancied a break from walks where the limestone is the focus, but couldn’t be bothered to head down to the Peak District or over to the coast. This is another Dales Rail Trail, this time promising a gentle walk steeped in late medieval history. As I was keen to find a cafe at the end of the walk I extended it to cover a lot of the ground from another one of the book’s routes.
- Most of our walks very recently have also been popular tourist routes so I wanted to get away from the crowds. This walk definitely met that bill – until we got to Nateby we met a total of three walkers and one cyclist.
- Finally, the Day Ranger goes up in price next month now the Settle to Carlisle line is fully back in action, so worth doing this trip now!
What did we learn?
- It’s time to pack the sunhats again. And don’t leave the suntan lotion on the kitchen table.
- Wharton Hall, although from a nosiness perspective sadly a working farm, so we didn’t get too close.
- Lammerside Castle
- Pendragon Castle – I’ve never seen a castle so covered in loebelia before, let alone one buzzing with bees.
- Stenkrith Viaduct and Eden Gorge. It’s crazy to think how many people visit The Strid or Linton Falls and yet this was deserted.
- Spring – springing forth with a vengeance. The paths and hedgerows were a-bud, bees were buzzing, birds were swooping, and there were buttercups in the fields.
- What look to be a series of native tree plantations up and down the valley, I assume as part of a Natural Flood Management strategy.
- The silence…