River Eden and Viaducts Walk

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Explore the River Eden and the impressive stone viaducts that carried trains over deep valleys to the east of Kirkby Stephen on the now-closed Stainmore railway. This is great night walk as well as during the day, with opportunities to see bats along the river at dusk and the night sky from the viaducts after dark.

We start along the banks of the River Eden near Kirkby Stephen via small country paths, to join the Viaducts Walk near Stenkrith. The Millennium Footbridge at Stenkrith offers fantastic views of the River Eden as it swirls through the rocks below.

The viaducts are looked after by the Northern Viaduct Trust (www.nvt.org.uk) who have worked hard to open a pathway along the railway line.

The Stainmore railway used to provide an essential link between the coalfields of South Durham and the iron and steel industries in Lancashire and West Cumberland. It was closed in 1962, despite strong opposition.

The section along the railway line is accessible for wheelchairs and buggies. You can see another of the viaducts on this railway, just a few miles away at Smardale on Walk 3375. A variant of this walk (4031) avoids the country paths in the first half which can be quite muddy and also includes I-Spy sheets for spotting features on the route.

England - North England - Cumbria - Eden Valley


Cafe, Church, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Good for Wheelchairs, Industrial Archaeology, Mostly Flat, Pub, River, Tea Shop, Toilets

July 2013 - a very pleasant walk with the added interest of the displays in the old railway buildings along the disused line. Although it was dry underfoot I would suspect it might be a bit clarty after rain between Waypoints 6 and 10.

6/24/2012 - Judy Brua

This is about as nice a short walk as you will find. The paths are easy to walk and directions are perfect. They have now erected along the Eden Valley impressive large stones on which they have carved poems - fun to look out for and read. Parking is free in the town centre for up to 2 hours but not otherwise, with no payment option for longer. You can do the walk in that time but not if you dawdle and enjoy reading the stones and the information about the viaducts and railway. We parked on a small street parallel with the main street and near Frank's Bridge (End of Waymark 1) which was unrestricted.

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23.6 Miles