The lovely rolling countryside of the Upper Eden Valley, bounded by an assortment of different fells, is a great area for leisure cycling because it has such an interesting network of quiet roads, country lanes and byways, a perfect way of exploring the charming villages and hamlets of this area.
There are five planned leisure cycle rides that start and finish at Kirkby Stephen.
ROUTE 1 Villages and Fords 15km 9.4 miles
Apart from one steep but short uphill gradient this is an easy route which goes through the villages of Waitby, Soulby, Winton and two fords.
ROUTE 2 Great Asby Scar 46 km 27.6 miles
Ideally a full day out allowing time for a visit to Kennedy's chocolate factory and a lunch stop in Orton village, also to appreciate the limestone pavements and rare plant species of Great Asby Scar. The villages of Hartley, Winton, Little Musgrave, Great Asby, Orton, Raisbeck, Little Asby, Crosby Garrett and Smardale are all visited on the route.
ROUTE 3 Upper Eden Rivers and Brough Castle 26 km 15.6 miles
Crossing the River Eden, River Belah, Argill Beck, Swindale Beck and Scandel Beck this route also features Brough Castle, rebuilt by the Normans and later Lady Anne Clifford on the site of a Roman Fort which guarded the Stainmore Pass. This route takes in the villages of Hartley, Winton, Brough, Great Musgrave, Little Musgrave, Soulby and Smardale.
ROUTE 4 Pendragon Castle 16 km 10 miles
In the lee of Wild Boar Fell stand the proud remains of Pendragon Castle, built according to ledgend by Uther Pendragon father of King Arthur. This route goes through Waitby, Smardale along the stunning Mallerstang Valley, Pendragon Castle, then on to Nateby passing Stenkrith Park and back to Kirkby Stephen.
ROUTE 5 Smardale Gill 11 km 6.6 miles
This route also involves some walking, it takes you to the entrance of Smardale Gill Nature Reserve where you will need to lock your cycle to the fencing and walk along the disused railway track into the nature reserve to the impressive Smardale Gill Viaduct about 4 kilometres there and back. This route visits Crosby Garrett, Smardale and Waitby.
Other routes that pass through Kirkby Stephen are The Eden Valley Circular Cycle Route, 40 km 25 mile route from Appleby to Kirkby Stephen. The W2W Walney to Wear a 262 km 163 mile from Walney Island on the Cumbrian coast to Sunderland on the North East Coast. The Coast to Coast mountain or road route from St. Bees to Robin Hoods Bay.
We have secure indoor cycle storage here at Fletcher House.
www.coasttocoastcycles.co.uk Cycle hire and repair in Kirkby Stephen
Inspiring Cycling www.inspiringcycling.co.uk Cycle Hire.