Surrounded by spectacular scenery, the aincient market town of Kirkby Stephen in the Upper Eden Valley enjoys an enviable position between the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District National Parks and makes an ideal base for exploring the local area and further afield.
A traditional market town of historic buildings, cobbled yards, interesting shops and places to eat. Kirkby Stephen was first granted a market charter in 1353 and to this day the market has survived which is held each Monday.
The most prominent feature of the Market Square is the old Cloisters which form the entrance to St. Stephens Church, locally known as the Cathedral of the Dales which houses many ancient monuments, one being the eighth century Loki Stone, a chained figure that depicts the Norse God Loki who plays a part in Scandinavian Mythology.
The famous Settle to Calisle line passes by Kirkby Stephen, the station is about one mile from the town itself, trains run from Leeds to Carlisle stopping at stations along the way. It is famous for its stunning route that cuts through the beautiful scenery of the Yorkshire Dales, over the 24 arches of the Ribblehead Viaduct, through the Blea Moor tunnel, before scaling the heights of Ais Gill in the Mallerstang Valley. It is rightly considered to be a masterpiece of Victorian engineering that crosses some of the most challenging terrain of northern England.
The Kirkby Stephen East Heritage Centre is owned by the Stainmore Railway Company which is run by volunteers and was formerly the South Durham and Lancashire Union Railway. The old station building has been restored to its former glory, a section of track has been re-laid and rolling stock, steam engines and locomotives nave been acquired for restoration. The Heritage Centre is open to the public at weekends and has a small museum, buffet car and shop.
Kirkby Stephen has an excellent range of Shops, Pubs, Restaurants and Cafes. The nearby Villages of Ravonstonedale, Nateby and Winton also have Pubs serving good food.
Cumbria Classic Coaches runs excursions throughout the summer on their classic buses to Kendal on Mondays and Thursdays, Hawes on Tuesdays via the scenic Mallerstang Valley and stopping at the Hawes Creamery home of Wensleydale Cheese, then time for lunch and a look around the market and charming shops of Hawes. On Wednesdays the excursion goes to Barnard Castle via Middleton in Teesdale this trip also coincides with market day. Have a leisurely look round the shops or a visit to the magnificent Castle. English bus pass holders go free.