Smardale Wildlife Reserve

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A lovely, simple and easy walk along the Smardale Wildlife Reserve, a disused railway and a haven for wildlife. Cross a dizzyingly high viaduct to see limekilns before returning along open access countryside on the other side of the valley for spectacular views of the viaduct.

A moderate grade due to just one short part of the route which is a little precarious. The path is thin at this point and traverses a steep slope, so care is needed, especially after rain or snow.

There are plenty of information boards along the way to fill you in about the local wildflowers, wildlife and the limekilns.

It's a good walk for dogs but they should be on leads, at least on the open farmland. Some folk allow well-behaved dogs free along the railway nature reserve where it's well enclosed and away from livestock.

Much of this walk would be accessible for people with wheelchairs and pushchairs, but crossing the valley and returning on the other side would not be possible as there are steps to climb and stiles to be crossed. However there's no reason you can't take the outward journey and come back the same way.

England - North England - Cumbria - Eden Valley

Features

Birds, Butterflies, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, Mostly Flat, Nature Trail
27/06/2013 - Brian Scott

Decided (incorrectly as it turned out) to walk the Smardale Gill walk today Thursday 27th June and not to do it yesterday because the weather forcast was for rain in the afternoon earlier on Wednesday. Started out early as it's a 2hour trip from home. Dry when we arrived and set off. Me and my dog Harry. Took a copy of the route from the site but other than taking the correct turn on the return leg following the route was not a problem. Lots of historical information along the way and found it most interesting. The rail crash notice was bewildering (leave you to check it out for your self). Took loads of photo's of wild flowers and a few of birds. Sadly not of a raven which is the reason I decided to go do the walk. I have no idea how long ago raven's were seen there but no sight of them now. Rain came early and spoilt the return along the vally side but overall enjoyed very much.

01/06/2009 - Walkingworld Administrator

This walk has 3 stiles and only one is dog friendly. The other two may need human help in getting large dogs who can't jump over as no alternatives for dogs are provided.

24/09/2006 - Ian Fairnie

Lovely walk exactly as described. Follow the sign for Crosby Garrett when reaching Smardale. Smardale is tiny put the car parking is tucked away and not immediately visible. The walk is a delight and mostly on the flat except where described. It would be very difficult to get lost. A glorious sunny day when I did it - 23/09/06. The Rowans were full of berries and still blackberries to be sampled but no crabs on the bountiful crab-apple trees, just apples... The information boards are brilliant along a wide, flat track.

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