Reader Richard Evans enjoys the walking in Cumbria's Eden Valley and has written to Cicerone to tell us about it. Thanks Richard!
I’m writing to tell you how much my friend Peter and I enjoyed doing three of the walks in your guidebook, Walking in Cumbria’s Eden Valley.
A few years ago we stayed in Appleby and did several walks using the Settle and Carlisle line. We looked up at Mallerstang and Wild Boar from the train and thought they looked wonderful ridges to walk. Then in May this year we were staying in the Lakes and found your guide in Penrith WH Smith, with routes for both sides of the upper Eden. We decided to come back to Cumbria at the end of August, and booked to stay in Kirkby Stephen.
We had just three days, which didn’t give us much room for manoeuvre if the weather was bad (as if!) but we were very fortunate. The first day was overcast but looked reasonably promising, so we decided to do the Mallerstang walk. Because of the times of the trains we found we could get going earlier by walking north to south, so we set out for the Nine Standards.
It started raining as we climbed up, and mist closed in when we reached the top. We turned south west and ploughed through boggy terrain. (Probably we should have veered more to the west to start with.) We thought we might turn back to Kirkby Stephen along B6270, but when we got to the top of the road the weather was looking better and the tops ahead were clear. Once we had got to the top of High Pike Hill it was pure delight. Most of the route was dry and gravelly, with only a few boggy bits. By the time we veered west to Mallerstang Edge it was getting much brighter and we had good views of Wild Boar. By the time we dropped to Lady Anne’s Way it was a warm and sunny afternoon, and we had time for a drink at The Moorcock before catching our train back to Kirkby Stephen. A great day.
The next day was wet, although it did improve in the afternoon. We did walk 3 in your book, along the valley bottom to Pendragon Castle, which gave us a different perspective of the valley. We made one or two false moves but we got back on track. We were glad you encouraged the digression to the Millennium Bridge on the outskirts of Kirkby Stephen to see the amazing shapes created by the water. We couldn’t get right up to Pendragon Castle as it was closed for repairs, but we were close enough to take photos.
The third day was mild and fine throughout. We caught the train to Garsdale and followed your route up onto Wild Boar. As you say, it gets better and better, as the views opened up towards the Howgills and the Lakes. Coming down from Wild Boar summit, heading north, the views of the Pennines in the bright sun were wonderful – from Cross fell to Stainmore and beyond.
We had a very successful three days, ended up feeling pretty pleased with ourselves, and greatly enjoyed using your guidebook. Without it we probably would never have done the walks.— Richard Evans
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