Tag Archives: Eden valley walks

Bluebells & Gorse flowers. πŸ’›πŸ’™

It was a beautiful sunny day on Saturday, perfect timing for a walk from Dufton in Cumbria’s Eden Valley. Nearby at Flakebridge Woods, the bluebells are a vast carpet of blue. Go see them before they disappear!

I have left the walks book we used at the caravan, so my walk description might not be totally accurate. I do have a photo of the route though, below.

Anyway ,we parked roadside in the pretty village of Dufton. There is a small carpark in the centre, but that was full. The village is popular with walkers hiking Dufton Pike, High Cup Nick and The Pennine Way. This walk though is mostly low level with lovely fell views.

We headed down into Dufton Ghyll. A rocky gorge woodland , managed by the woodland trust.
Leaving the Ghyll along a gorse covered path.
The gorse is looking beautiful at the moment.
Watching πŸ‘ Ewe.
There are a couple of conicle hills , I think this one is Dufton Pike.
More vibrant gorse giving out a gorgeous coconut aroma.
By the stream.
Looking back at Dufton Pike.
In Flakebridge Woods. My photos don’t do it justice, there are acres and acres of bluebells. πŸ’™
Bluebells and stitchwort.
Leaving the woods on a grassy lane.
Cuckoo Flowers , they are popular with the Orange Tip Butterfly.
More gorgeous gorse.
Cute miniature horses.
Dufton Pike looms ahead.
Back into Dufton Ghyll, where bluebells bloom too.
We emerge from the woodland into a field of Jacob 🐏 sheep.
Dufton village.
A much photographed view of the village. Water fountain on the green, The Stag Pub to the left and Dufton Pike in the background.
Dufton dwellings.
Love this gardener sculpture.
My ride home! Not really. 😍

This was a delightfully scenic walk, made more so by spring sunshine and spring flowers. Thanks for joining me!

* I have deleted a photo of moles hanging from a fence, a practice often seen in the countryside. The moles are considered

pests by farmers and the mole catcher displays them , he gets paid per mole. Sorry for any offence.


Knipescar Common and River Lowther Walk ~ Bampton, Cumbria.

If your thinking of doing a gentle walk in Cumbrias Eden Valley, then this one’s for you.

The adjoining villages of Bampton and Bampton Grange are lovely and quiet with a real community feel. We parked near the bridge in a small roadside parking spot by the river. From here we crossed the bridge passing St Patrick’s Church on the right and took a footpath to the side of the former Crown and Mitre pub. Then we headed across Knipescar Common and walked back along the River Lowther.

Bridge across the River Lowther.
St Patrick’s Church, Bampton Grange.
Heading towards Knipescar Common.
A quiet road crosses Knipescar Common.
Knipescar covered in gorse.
Love this road sign topped with a πŸ‘‘ crown.
It did get a bit squelchy making our way down to the river.
River Lowther
Hugo investigates the bridge.
We cross. It’s a swingy suspension bridge.
River reflection.
The bridge reflected.
We head back to the villages via the Riverside path.

Bampton has a community shop and cafe.
And some old fashioned diesel pumps at the garage.
We settle for a pint outside the Mardale Inn. The pub was bought by the villagers as a community venture in 2022.
Here’s a famous phonebox! It appeared in the cult film Withnail and I.
There’s a visitor book inside. Most people have written quotes from the movie in the book. It’s a totally nuts film.
Being watched.

This was a pleasant 2.5 mile walk in a little known area of the Lake District. πŸ‘

Walk ~ The Fells above Melmerby, Cumbria.

The morning of our planned 11 mile walk from our van in Melmerby, the sun was shining brightly. Having done a walk into the fells together a couple of years ago, Wil thought it was high time we got back up there. I agreed in principle ( I love a view! ) but I knew I would spend most of the hike trailing behind my other half, nearly all of my views would be of a couple of small specs disappearing into the distance. πŸ˜‰

Book ‘ Walking In The North Pennines Cicerone Guide ‘ by Paddy Dillon. Walk 6. Explorer Map 0L31. 18 km ( 11 miles).

Daffodils on the Village Green in Melmerby.
Inquisitive Horses on the signposted road/ footpath to Gale Hall/ Melmerby Fell.
Crossing a stream and through forest.
The track turns pink as it heads uphill.
Out on the fells.
Old truck engine.
Limestone boulders.
Knapside Hill Cairn 685m.
Knapside Hill Cairn.
Crossing squelchy grass and heather moorland.
Walking towards Fiends Fell.
Friendly Frogs. πŸ˜ƒ
Fiends Fell Trig Point 634m.
A tall pillar cairn. At this point we could see signs of civilization at Hartside Top. Hurrah!
Hartside Top, once the site of one of the highest cafes in England. The A686 passes by and it’s a popular stop off for motorists and motorcycles. It was wonderful to see this little ice cream van from Alston parked up. πŸ’•
Ice Cream at Hartside Top.
Motorcyclists Bench at Hartside Top.
On the descent. This stoney track went on forever!
We crossed the A686 and carried on downhill along another stoney track.
Wintery tree.
A crossroads and familiar bridleway.
There is a very rustic glamping site on the bridleway between Hazel Rigg and Melmerby.
New charming sign for the glamping site.
We were up on those fells!
Back into Melmerby we pass this chap.
A well deserved pint at the pub.

This was quite a challenging walk for me with lots of uphill bits and a long slog back down from Hartside. The weather was on our side though and not a soul in sight for many a mile. With only tumbling lapwings and chattering meadow pippits for company, it’s certainly a great way of spending time with nature.

Snowdrops Galore.

I just had to share these photos from our walk on Saturday afternoon. We found ourselves in an enchanting snowdrop wonderland. And we had it almost to ourselves, apart from a couple of others with their dogs.

We were walking through a little woodland adjacent to NT Acorn Bank in Cumbrias Eden Valley. Although the house, gardens and watermill are closed until March, a public footpath meanders through the woods. Much of the ground was carpeted in one of our most delicately beautiful Spring flowers ‘ The Snowdrop’. Seen as a symbol of hope and purity, snowdrops were apparently named after pearl drop earrings, not flakes of snow.

It was really magical to wander amongst them. Have you seen any impressive Snowdrop displays this year?

Armathwaite and Coombs Wood Walk.

Saturday dawned grey and drizzley. Time for a woodland walk, somewhere with adequate shelter under a canopy of softly falling leaves. We headed to Armathwaite in Cumbria’s Eden Valley, Coombs Wood with its Riverside path, covered in crunchy copper beech leaves, was our destination.

There are lots of Woodland Walks like this, following the wide River Eden. We came across one of ten Eden Benchmark Sculptures , this one we have seen before, ‘ Vista’ by Graeme Micheson . It depicts a solitary walker who abandons his clothes on a rock , for a dip in the water below.

The Woodland in Autumn is ablaze with colour. I have yet to visit in the Spring when Bluebells, Wild Garlic and Yellow Star of Bethlehem cover the forest floor. Now is a good time to find fungi, see blazing gold bracken and patches of blooming Gorse.

Leaving Coombs Wood our route took us through the little hamlet of Longdales and along an old bridleway with Pennine Fell views, on a clearer day.

And then we headed back along the road to the village of Armathwaite, which had two choices for a pub lunch, a hostelry at each side of a bridge that spans the River Eden.

The Fox 🦊 & Pheasant beckoned, it’s the kind of pub that lights a welcoming fire and has some good real ales on tap. The locals hang their hats on a stuffed foxes head. We enjoyed sandwiches with chips on the side.

Have you been on any Autumn walks recently?

Shap Happy. 🐿️

At the weekend we returned to the village of Shap in the Eden Valley of Cumbria, to complete a walk we took back in June. At the time we ended up fleeing from a feisty herd of cows ( and a bull! ) , so didn’t finish our hike properly. This time we opted to do the final part of the walk first, ending at Shap Abbey and then retraced our steps back.

We used roadside parking in Shap near this handsome house called The Hermitage.
We took a footpath a little further on into fields with limestone walls.
And here is The Gobbleby Stone , dating back to 2000 BC. Click on the link for more info about this ancient piece of Shap Granite.
Watched by some wary ewes.
A signpost showing the way to the hamlet of Keld.
Keld Chapel, a simple medieval chapel owned by The National Trust. Closed for renovations at present.
A Keld Cat blends into a stone wall.

Keld was actually a slight detour for us. It is a pretty little place and from which a ‘temporary road’ known as The Concrete Road was built in the 1930s for the construction of the Haweswater Reservoir. Cars are not permitted as the cement track is full of pot-holes, though walkers and cyclists may use it apparently. Another time we will explore!

We turned round and found a footpath sign for Shap Abbey just before the hamlet. Scroll down for a surprise little face, peering at

us from a tree. πŸ€—

River Lowther at Keld.
Bright yellow Monkey Flowers on the river bank.
Squirrel Nutkin maybe.
Approaching the abbey ruins.
The 15th Century tower is most of what remains of Shap Abbey.

On the way back to Shap we passed more late summer flowers and some curious cows. Luckily they were safely tucked away behind those lovely dry stone walls.

Field Scabious.
Safe on the other side of the wall.
Lunch at Abbey Kitchen.

Back in the village and just in time for lunch. I love the little cafe there , which is named after the abbey. Ploughman’s for Wil and homemade quiche for me. A happy morning indeed. πŸ™‚

Temple Sowerby Walk. πŸ₯Ύ

Today’s walk is one from the weekend. A gentle saunter starting at NT Acorn Bank and taking in the pretty village of Temple Sowerby in the Eden Valley district of Cumbria. The route can be found on the Acorn Bank Website. Because we are members of the National Trust we parked on the car park at Acorn Bank. Non members may have to adapt the walk a little.

Shepherds Hut at Acorn Bank entrance.
Walk Map.
Beautiful Bluebells.
Pear Blossom and Daffodils.
Walking through Wild Garlic.
Crowdundle Beck, a tributary of the River Eden.
We passed under a railway viaduct.
What Ewe Looking At?
Bridge over the Beck.

We passed through a small village called Newbiggin , one of several Newbiggins in Cumbria. I love the rosie coloured sandstone that the buildings are made of. Here it was taken from Crowdundle Beck.

St Edmunds Church, Newbiggin.
A farmhouse at the crossroads built in 1695.
And curious cattle.
A bit of road walking. Very peaceful though.
Lots of stitchwort out in the hedgerows.
Distant Hare.
Heading through Borough Fields and on to Temple Sowerby.
Temple Sowerby through a ginnel.
The houses are set around a village green.
St James Church, Temple Sowerby.

Temple Sowerby is an attractive village , once known as the Queen Of Westmorland villages. It was named after the Knights Templar who briefly owned the settlement and nearby Acorn Bank. Temple Sowerby was once a tanning village and other industries in the area included the mini ng of gypsum. There is still a gypsum plant at Kirkby Thore.

Victory Hall.
The House at Temple Sowerby B & B. Cafe for residents and non residents called Temple Velo.
Lunch at Temple Velo.
Heading out of the village.
A short country lane walk and then we are back in Acorn Banks parkland.
Acorn Bank.
Mellow yellow.
Flowers galore.
A peek in the orchard.
Clock Tower.

After a look in the second hand book shop at Acorn Bank it was time to head home. What a lovely walk. 😘

Up Melmerby Fell.

I think we can safely say that our caravan in Melmerby is fast becoming our second home. Now that England is coming out of lockdown restrictions, we are hoping to spend more time there, hopefully at least two weekends a month. There’s still so much of the Eden Valley to be explored, not least from our own doorstep. Never one to suggest a hike up a hill, I left it to Wil to persuade me that a fell walk from Melmerby on a clear Spring day was a good idea. πŸ™‚

After breakfast at the van, we set off from the village, following a well defined track up through woodland and into the hills. And there are plenty of hills!  Melmerby sits at the foot of the mighty North Pennines.

Ford and stream.
Hills. ⛰️
Wil waiting for me….as usual.
Looking back.
Looking up.

Eventually after a lot of lagging behind I caught Wil and Hugo up. The views are extraordinary , with the Lake District fells and even the sea in sight on a clear day.

Hills and sky.
Perched on a hill..
Views across to the Lake District Mountains.
A Dunlin.  Although more commonly associated with the coast, dunlins breed in the uplands. This one wears it’s breeding plumage.
A rusty machine skeleton.
Another upland bird, the beautiful Golden Plover.

Now there are several summits in the fells above Melmerby. And Melmerby Fell is certainly one of the bigger ones at 709 metres ( not that much shorter than two of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks, and higher than Pen Y Ghent ) but sorting which cairn or trig belongs to which fell is a bit tricky.

Possibly Meikle Awfell.
Knapside Hill, maybe.
This unimpressive looking  Cairn is the top of Melmerby Fell. Yay!
A rest on Melmerby Summit.

Up on the tops the weather had turned from t shirt weather to something a bit more wild and cold. It even tried to snow! We soldiered on along the Maiden Way, a Roman road later used as a Drovers route.

Walking along the Maiden Way. Cross Fell in the distance, I think.
Rosy coloured sheep.
Along the Maiden Way.
Another fell bird ~ the pretty Wheatear.

We made our descent by following an old tramway , now almost given back to nature. It leads down to a large lime kiln by Ardale Beck. I think the kiln looks like a miniature castle. And then on to Townhead, Ousby.

Following the old tramline into the valley below.
Back of Townhead Lime Kiln.
Townhead Lime Kiln.
Below the hills we walked across.
A contented little lamb.

The final part of our walk took us along pretty country lanes from Ousby back to Melmerby.

St Luke’s Church, Ousby. Made from the rosy red sandstone so typical of the area.
A sheepdog sees us off.
Sheep jam on the way out of Ousby.
A pair of partridge.
A Tunncks Tea Cake back at the caravan.

In the end I was glad that Wil persuaded me to join him on this hike up Melmerby fell. πŸ™‚

Os explorer 0L31

11 miles ( 18km).

Walking in Cumbrias Eden Valley ~ Vivienne Crow.