This is a suggested itinerary for a few days stay in Kirkby Stephen but is just a flavour of what is on offer in around the Eden Valley.

Cumbria Classic Coach (car free)

Take a trip to Barnard Castle on a Cumbrian classic coach. Pick up the bus from Kirkby Stephen and then enjoy a scenic journey through the fells and reservoirs of the Pennines on your way to Middleton in Teesdale then on through the valley to Barnard Castle.

Spend your time exploring the Castle remains followed by a walk around the many independent shops or visit The Bowes Museum, the grade I listed building housing collections of decorative arts. Set in 22 acres of parkland with formal gardens there is plenty for everyone to enjoy.

(Please note bus runs Wednesdays only, in summer months there is also a service to Hawes every Tuesday)


Explore Kirkby Stephen (car free)

After a leisurely breakfast today is a day to leave the car, get your walking shoes on and enjoy some of Kirkby Stephens sights and history. Much of Kirkby Stephen is a designated conservation area with many interesting buildings and alleyways.

The Parish Church, known as the Cathedral of the Dales with its side chapels dedicated to the Wharton and Musgrave families. Richard De Musgrave once owned Hartley Castle which was unfortunately demolished in the 18th century. It's also home to the Loki Stone, a 9-10th Century Viking carved stone which depicts the mischievous Norse God Loki an is one of only two found in Europe.

A good yet straightforward walk is to follow the Coast to Coast route to Hartley and pick up the Poetry path, twelve large stones inscribed with poems representing each month of the hill farmers year. It offers good views to the North Pennines and follows a section of the disused Stainmore railway line and crosses the impressive Merrygill and Podgill viaducts. The path also takes you to Stenkrith where the river Eden rushes below the bridge with such force that it has created a pothole the width of the river- known locally as Cowkarney Hole. Approximately 2.5 miles.

On return to town, enjoy a rejuvenating coffee and cake before browsing some of the independent local shops.

Kirkby Stephen is a traditional market town and has a thriving livestock market, you are welcome to go in and watch but please remember to keep your hands low as we would not have space if you accidently buy a herd of cows!


A trip on the train (car free)

Kirkby Stephen is located on the famous Settle-Carlisle railway line which is renowned as being one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world. The journey either north to Carlisle or South to Settle is spectacular but some of the most dramatic scenery is to be seen if you head south including crossing the famous Ribblehead viaduct.

You'll have time to explore the Yorkshire market town of Settle or continue further south to Skipton where you can admire the Castle- once home to Lady Anne Clifford.


Explore the Eden Valley

Today is a day to explore more of the Eden Valley's stunning scenery and picturesque villages.

From Kirkby Stephen follow the A66 west heading towards Penrith for approximately 25 minutes before turning to Temple Sowerby and follow the signs to Acorn Bank.

Acorn Bank is a National Trust property whose gardens specialise in herb and fruit orchards with beautiful woodland walks and views towards the Lake District and the Pennines.

From Acorn Bank follow the B6412 via Culgaith and Langwathby alongside the River Eden to the pretty village of Little Salkeld and pay a visit to the restored Watermill.

Little Salkeld Watermill offers a tea room, Mill tours, gallery and if you are a baker they have a good range of organic and stoneground flours as well as occasional baking courses. Open daily 10.30am- 5pm.

If you have time and the weather is suitable why not pay a visit to Long Meg and Her Daughters, one of the largest Bronze Age stone circles in Europe.

From Little Salkeld it's a short drive via the A686 to Brougham Hall which is a 14th Century Hall and an ongoing restoration project and home to several arts and crafts workshops which are well worth a look around.

Time permitting, follow the country back lanes towards the picturesque village of Orton and pick up some sweet treats from the chocolate factory before heading back to Kirkby Stephen.


Trip to Yorkshire

Have your passports ready as today you'll be heading into Yorkshire. From Kirkby Stephen there are two routes to Hawes, the home of Wensleydale Cheese.

1. Head towards Nateby and take the road to Hawes which follows the River Eden through Mallerstang and past Pendragon Castle, near Aisgill keep an eye out on your left for Hell Gill Beck which is the source of the River Eden.

2. Head towards Nateby and take the road to the left towards Keld which will take you towards stunning Swaledale, take time to stop and enjoy the views at Wainwath Falls just before you reach Keld and follow the road to Thwaite before turning off the Buttertubs Pass.

It's a beautiful winding, hilly road and as you drive along spare a thought for the "lucky" cyclists racing here in the 2014 Grand Depart of the Tour de France.

Spare some time to explore Hawes and enjoy a visit to the countryside museum, rope making museum or the cheese factory.

Depending on time either return straight back to Kirkby Stephen via Mallerstang or head towards Sedbergh and enjoy and an afternoon tea at the Fairfield Mill.


A day in the Lakes

This is a classic journey taking in a variety of Lake District beauty spots.

Driving via Kendal you pick up the road to Windemere and enter the Lake District National Park. If you wish to take a trip on a lake then Bowness-on-Windemere is probably one of the best places to stop. It is also home to the Beatrix Potter visitor attraction. If you don't want to stop at Windemere continue to Ambleside or Grasmere - the home of William Wordsworth, one of the most celebrated Lake District poets and if you have time enjoy a short walk to enjoy some of his favourite views at Rydal Water, Alcock Tarn or visit his former home Dove Cottage.

Head back towards Ambleside to pick up the Kirkstone Pass and enjoy a drink with a view at the Kirkstone Pass Inn. The road then brings you down to Patterdale and Ullswater and head back to Kirkby Stephen.


Activities & Events

We can also help organise activities such as horse riding, mountain bike hire & paragliding or if there is anything else you would like to experience whilst staying in the Eden Valley.




What our guests thought of us

  • "I arrived colder than an Eskimo's nose and wetter than an otter's pocket; never was a welcome felt so warm."


  • "A haven after a very trying day. Fantastic welcome, fantastic place. I will be back"


  • "Nick & Rachel made me feel so welcome for my prolonged stay here. There enthusiasm and interest in visitors, walking in the fells etc are infectious. This has been a super stay in a lovely home - thank you so much and I look forward to staying again next year.

    Philip J

  • "Really wonderful! Thank you for the lovely welcome and hospitality. Amazing Sunday roast, lots of laughs! Great night's sleep (and afternoon) & the footspa was just heaven!"

    Cath & Jeff, Manchester.

  • "This is just lovely. Thanks Nick and Rachel for your kind hospitality, lovely tucker and for sharing this fascinating abode."

    Alex & Cath, Canberra, Australia.

  • "2nd stay in a week. Wonderful hospitality - fantastic dinner - thank you both so much."

    Nick & Kathryn

  • "Hiking Coast to Coast - arrived after a long day on trail due to losing our way! Great hot shower and dinner! Fantastic room and bed. Thanks to our Host & Hostess - GREAT INN, we will return.

    Mike & Christina, Orlando, FL USA.

  • “Wonderful stop, good company & facilities. Pity only one night”

    The Hill family


    Wally and Sue

  • “A perfect last night to our holiday!"

    Chris & Jude

  • “Thanks for a super stay – especially the kippers!”

    Harry and Pat, Tuscon AZ

  • “This is the loveliest spot we’ve found on the Coast to Coast walk, thank you so much for your outstanding hospitality”

    The Copleys, California

  • Best overnight stay on the C to C. Great house, food and very friendly

    Steve & Jane
  • Nothing like this in Australia. Fantastic!

    Dan & Robyn
  • 6 Stars. This place is heaven. Thank you so much.

    Nicky & Karen
  • Just what a perfect guest house should be, we'll be back!

  • Fantastic comfortable room and a wonderful breakfast. Thank you.

  • Fantastic, definitely lived up to recommendations and reputation!

    Ian & Lindy, Australia
  • Stylish and beautiful, excellent breakfast and coffee! Many thanks.

    Julie, USA
  • 2 stops here on the C2C - how lucky we are. Fully revived for the next stage. Thankyou so much.

    Ros & Gordon
  • Great stay - best stopover by far. Many thanks .

    Bill, Canada
  • Fantastic Place! Our favourite on the C2C. Thank you.

    Foster & pam, USA
  • So warm, welcoming & helpful. A lovely home Rachel & Nick!!

    Ian, Australia
  • What a lovely warm welcome, hidden gem, fantastic B&B. Loved it and fabulous porridge.

    Linda & Rick
  • I Just knew I'd be back!!. Lovely night, breakfast just sets up a body brilliantly. Many thanks.

  • We had a great relaxing evening in your cosy house. Thank you very much.

    Silvia & Willy, Germany
  • My second visit in 2 years and as always a fantastic stay. Thank you very much andhope to be back in 2017.

  • Once again a wonderful stay - great hosts! 
    Thank you

    Gill & Andrew
  • Lovely house, thank you for a great stay, taking care of our hiking gear, superb breakfast.
    A wonderful rest.

    Annabel & Sandy
  • Wonderful welcome & hospitality. Home comforts and a glorious location.

    Trevor & Lorraine
  • 10/10 in every aspect, fantastic food, surroundings and food.
    A defintie return is planned.

    Alan & Dawn
  • A wonderful welcome and great advice for walkers.

  • So nice to return here and spend a little longer. Thank you Rachel & Nick for your kindness. The advice on walks, maps and leaflets were much appreciated. 
    Best wishes to you both...and Dylan.

    Lynn & John, Australia.
  • Now we've found you we will be back. A beautiful B&B and wondrous hospitality.

    Helen & Guy.
  • Lovely stay- integral part of our C2C planning to stay at The Old Croft House. Cake, Porridge , Nick & Rachel- Fantastic!
  • Thank you for an exceedingly warm welcome, value and a wonderful stay.

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