The area surrounding Kirkby Stephen is fantastic walking country and the town has official “Walkers are Welcome” status. You can enjoy anything from a pleasant stroll along the river to a fell top hike or a longer distance themed route. Visit the Upper Eden Visitor Centre in Kirkby Stephen for more information about these and other walks.

Kirkby Stephen has a number of narrow passageways waiting to be explored, some of which lead down to the River Eden.

There are some lovely riverside walks and Franks Bridge picnic area is a delightful spot to spend some time. Stenkrith Park, on the edge of town is a natural park with a deep river gorge.

  • The Northern Viaduct Round is a fully accessible path following the disused Stainmore Railway with viaducts and great views
  • Smardale Gill National Nature Reserve (a Site of Special Scientific Interest) has a walk with a spectacular viaduct and old lime kilns
  • Enjoy an exhilarating walk up to Nine Standards Rigg – nine very old and unique mysterious cairns on Hartley Fell
  • Several long distance routes pass through or near Kirkby Stephen.  These include Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast, Lady Anne’s Way, Pennine Journey, The Eden Way and Yoredale Way
  • A lively walking programme of guided walks and talks takes place throughout the year. Useful information on walks around Kirkby Stephen can be found on www.walkeden.org
  • Poetry Path – Twelve poems are hand carved onto stone, celebrating a year in the life of a hill farmer.
    These are along a two mile circular route either side of the River Eden