GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Kirkby Stephen River Circular Walk

4 miles (6 km)

This circular walk takes you along a section of the Pennine Journey long distance trail before returning along the River Eden.
The small market town of Kirkby Stephen is located in Cumbria, near the border of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It's surrounded by some lovely countryside, with the rolling hills and the River Eden to admire. The Pennine Journey waymarked trail runs through the area and provides a link to the river for walkers.
The walk starts in the centre of the town and heads east along the river towards Frank's Bridge and Hartley Castle. The path turns south and continues towards the village of Nateby where you could pause for refreshments at the nice country pub.
Just after Nateby you cross the river and turn north passing Stenkrith Park where the river scenery changes fromlimestoneat the head of theEden Valleyin Mallerstang, to the redsandstonewhich is characteristic further along the Eden Valley. The river at Stenkrith has carved this rock into many fantastic shapes, collectively known as theDevil's Grinding Millor Devil's Hole.Also look out for the ten'Eden Benchmarks', a series of sculptures that have been placed at intervals along theRiver Edenfrom its source in Mallerstang to theSolway Firth.
The walk continues along the river passing Stenkrith Hill before returning to the town.
To continue your walking in the Kirkby Stephen area, you could try the climb to Nine Standards Rigg. From the 662m (2,172ft) summit of the hill you can enjoy wonderful views over the Eden Valley.
You can also continue along the Pennine Journey. Follow it south and it will take you along the river to the atmospheric ruins of the 12th century Pendragon Castle. Just on from here you can enjoy another climb to Wild Boar Fell. One of the highest fells in the Yorkshire Dales, it commands fabulous views over the Eden Valley. Around here you can also pick up the long distance Pennine Bridleway.
If you head south west you can visit the impressive Smardale Gill Viaduct and visit the pretty village of Ravenstonedale. There's lovely walks here along the Scandale Beck and through the Smardale Nature Reserve.

Kirkby Stephen River Circular OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Kirkby Stephen River Circular Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


The Black Bull Hotel is a good choice for some post walk refreshments. They do good food and also have a nice beer garden if the weather is good. You can find them at 38 Market Street with a postcode of CA17 4QW for your sat navs.

Dog Walking

The country and river trails on the route make for a fine dog walk. The Black Bull mentioned above is also dog friendly.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

Head north and you will soon come to the interesting town of Brough. Here you'll find the historic ruins of the 11th century Brough Castle and some nice trails along the Swindale Beck.


Eden footbridge - - 1533290

Eden footbridge



Kirkby Stephen - - 258893

Looking north along the A685 Kendal - Brough road as it passes through this small market town.

Footbridge over River Eden - - 1533270

Footbridge over River Eden

GPS Files

GPX File

Kirkby Stephen River Circular.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Kirkby Stephen River Circular.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)