Stainmore Railway Company at Kirkby Stephen East

Kirkby Stephen is a market town in the Pennines with Walkers are Welcome status and to find out more about the area please click on the following link: WAW Kirkby Stephen

The Northern Viaducts Trust and Cumbria Wildlife Trust have restored and currently maintain areas of the Stainmore Route as public footpaths and these are the only parts of the route that are accessible to the public. 

We get many queries about walking on other part of the former Stainmore Route and Eden Valley line and this page is will outline the accessible parts of the route.

The accessible parts of the line are detailed below

  • Smardale Gill Viaduct
    • Cumbria Wildlife Trust (CWT) and the Northern Viaducts Trust (NVT) have worked together to restore this part of the line and it is a beautiful area
    • The details of the walk can be found in this link to CWT - Smardale Link
    • The walk can be accessed from either Ravenstonedale or Smardale
      • Access By CarA685 between Ravenstonedale and Kirkby Stephen take the turning signposted Smardale (this is0.75km/1m south west of Kirkby Stephen West rail station).  Ignore the turning to Waitby. Cross over the railway and turn left at the junction. Ignore the sign for Smardale hamlet and cross the disused railway, turn immediately left and then left again for the car park.  GPS co-ords: 54.459667, -2.421846  
      • Alternative route by car: From the A685 Newbiggin-on-Lune take the turning towards Kelleth and Great Asby. Take the immediate left sign posted Kelleth and park on the roadside. From there, it is approx. 50 metres walk following sign post to Great Asby, then turn right down the private road to Brownber. The nature reserve entrance is approximately another 50 metres ahead.
  • Waitby Greenriggs Nature Reserve
    • CWT have restored this part of the line and it accessed from the roadside but is not accessible by wheelchair and there is limited car parking. The following link details the amazing flora that can be seen there in the Spring and summer: Waitby Greenriggs link
      • Access by car: From A685 between Ravenstonedale and Kirkby Stephen take the minor road signed Smardale (0.75km/0.45 miles south west of Kirkby Stephen West Station). Take the right hand turn for Waitby, go under the railway bridge and turn right at junction. Waitby Greenriggs Nature Reserve is approximately 0.75km/0.45 miles from this junction.
  • Podgill and Merrygill Viaduct
    • NVT have build a car-park for visitors to this wheelchair accessible part of the Stainmore Route
    • AccessFrom Stenkrith Park, Kirkby Stephen (NY 782080), enter the park via the wicket gate on the Nateby Road (B6259), turning right to cross the new Millennium Bridge with spectacular views of the River Eden as it passes through a rocky gorge. Turn left along the trackbed footpath to reach Podgill Viaduct in about three-quarters of a mile. Continue for a further half mile to Merrygill Viaduct and access to the road into Hartley village. The Stenkrith Park access is suitable for all types of user, including wheelchairs. The path is also open to cyclists and horse-riders.

There are NO public footpaths linking these sections and it is NOT possible to walk from Warcop to Kirkby Stephen East Station (KSE). The disused track-bed between our friends at the Eden Valley Railway and KSE is privately owned by multiple individuals and all the bridges on this section have been taken out so it is NOT possible or advisable to attempt this walk. Stainmore Railway Company have re-established an operational railway from the station site to Greenriggs Farm and this is therefore not accessible to the public.

The schematic below illustrates the footpaths, rail lines and footpaths in the area around our site. Please note this is not to scale