Walk 2409 - printer friendly version
The Upper Eden valley without a car Walk
Author - Peter Schofield
Length - 12.0 miles / 19.5 km
Ascent - 1800 feet / 545 metres
Grade - moderate
Start - OS grid reference SD788918
Lat 54.321336 + Long -2.327429
Postcode LA10 5PP (approx. location only)
Located between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, the Upper Eden valley is less visited than its illustrious neighbours. Nevertheless, it offers fine walking with the scenic Settle-Carlisle railway making it very accessible. This linear walk links two of the stations on this line.
The walk starts at Garsdale station. From the station, go down the access road and turn right on to a lane to reach the A684 road after 200m. Turn right following the A684 for 300m to a stile on the left opposite a house. Cross the stile to follow a clear path across several fields as views open out to Dandry Mire viaduct and beyond into Wensleydale.
Crossing the railway by a footbridge, don't follow the track bearing right but keep straight ahead. The path isn't obvious but go towards a house about 200m from the bridge where you'll find a stile on to the B6259. Crossing the road, continue past the right hand side of the house for 400m to a bridge over a stream. This is the infant River Ure which flows into the North Sea; by the end of the walk the streams we encounter will all empty into the Irish Sea.
Go over the bridge and keep straight ahead for 200m to a waymarker at a stile. Cross the stile and turn immediately left to parallel the wall as the path gently climbs and then descends to the disused Lunds church while views open out to the north towards the brooding Wild Boar Fell. Walk past the front of the adjacent cottages as the path starts to climb steeply up Scars Gill. After 400m, go left through a gate past a sheltered rocky pool where the path ascends a flight of steps to continue climbing behind a house to reach a stile on to a broad track at grid ref. SD797950.
This track is shown as The High Way on OL19 but is also part of Lady Anne's Way, a one hundred mile waymarked walk linking Skipton and Penrith. Named after Lady Anne Clifford, a rather feisty 17thC aristocrat who lived a somewhat colourful life, it links a number of sites of historic interest with which she was associated. Go left as the mainly level track continues along the ridge. Across the valley, Wild Boar Fell is prominent while below trains crawl up the steep gradient towards Garsdale. At grid ref. SD789963, the route crosses the Ure for the last time and then the watershed before reaching the headwaters of the Eden at Hell Gill Bridge.
The route gently descends to the B6259 road (grid ref SD783005) as expansive views open out down the valley. Go right along the road for 50m and then descend left along a farm track to cross the Eden at Thrang Bridge. Turn immediately right over the bridge and follow the path along the river bank to the pretty hamlet of Shoregill where there are fine views across the valley to Mallerstang Edge. Beyond Shoregill, the path continues above the river to arrive at a minor road (grid ref. SD781028) where the ruins of Pendragon Castle can be seen through the trees. The castle dates back to the 12thC and was restored by Lady Anne before again falling into ruin.
Turn left up the road as it climbs to arrive at a bridleway after 300m, going right along the bridleway as it winds its way around the crag of Birkett Knot. As the track regains the river bank and turns left towards a house, go right over a stile to the ruins of Lammerside Castle, built in the 12thC to provide protection against the Scots. The route then continues over fields to arrive at a concrete farm road (grid ref. SD772057). Follow the gently undulating road for 600m to Wharton Hall, a fine example of a fortified manor built between the 14th and 17th centuries, which is now a private house. Continue along the farm road for a further kilometre to a cottage (grid ref. SD769071) and take the waymarked path to the left as it firstly descends and then ascends to the end of the walk at Kirkby Stephen station.
The Settle-Carlisle line offers a reasonably good service between Leeds and Carlisle seven days a week and the timetable can be found at /www.settle-carlisle.co.uk/timetables/index.cfm Note however that some trains don't stop at Garsdale if you're planning to return there after the walk.