Smardale Gill & Moors

  • History & beauty in Smardale Gill
  • An airy moorland stroll
  • Pretty woodland and grasslands

Only a few miles from Kirkby Stephen lies Scandal Beck and the magnificent Smardale Viaduct which lies on the old NER mainline. Walking is easy along the disused track bed whilst the lower alternative is glorious,surrounded as you are by vibrant rare flora birds and butterflies amidst the lovely trees and grasslands (access to the valley floor is for permit holders only).

Smardale Gill National Nature Reserve and Scandal Beck are well managed by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust and is rich in wild flowers; I am led to believe that bird’s eye primrose, bloody cranes bill and melancholy thistle are just some of the rare flowers I may have seen. The viaduct is also superb and the lonely moors 100s of feet above the gill top off an excellent and varied walk.

Recommend: If you are on the Coast to Coast this is a detour that is certainly worth making, a hidden gem I certainly passed without a 2nd glance

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Smardale map


All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL19 Howgill Fells & the Upper Eden Buy Map
Start Point: NY729094. Crosby Garrett is an attractive village to start the walk. Head under the railway and the track for the open moors just beyond the farm
Height to Climb: 223 ms (731 feet)
Terrain: A good path passes over the moors and Smardale has good tracks whether on the old railway or down by the river
Eating & Drinking:
Similar Walks Nearby: Northern Howgills
Ancient Castles of Mallerstang
Appleby & the River Eden
Places to Stay: