Lady Anne’s Way – Walking the Yorkshire Dales & Eden Valley

by David Murray on 1 July 2011

in Cumbria, Eden Valley, Kirkby Stephen, Walking, Yorkshire Dales NP

Recently I’ve made several references to castles in the Eden Valley, Cumbria, which were rebuilt or considerably restored by Lady Anne Clifford in the 17th century. There was a post about Brough Castle and also a quick photo upload of Brougham Castle by the River Eamont near Penrith. I’ve still to add others, especially Pendragon Castle in Mallerstang, Appleby Castle in the Eden Valley, and Skipton.

Lady Anne’s principal home was as Skipton Castle in West Yorkshire. Living much of my early life just over the Lancashire border from there I grew up knowing something about this remarkable woman, but was less familiar with her possessions in the northeast of Westmorland until moving to live in this part of the country. Now I’m planning to revisit Skipton and learn still more, both about the woman herself and her impact on the north of England of her time.

Some months back I came across a book on my shelves describing the roads and trackways of the Yorkshire Dales including the routes she took on her extensive journeyings. Of course, four hundred years ago she didn’t do the trip in a couple of hours by car on well-surfaced roads. This was wild country.

Amazon ImageStill today people travel the wild-country routes, some setting out to walk the whole of what is now known as “Lady Anne’s Way”, others to limit themselves to shorter sections of it. In 1995 Sheila Gordon put together a very helpful little book describing the walk in six stages: Skipton to Grassington; Grassington to Buckden; Buckden to Hawes; Hawes to Kirkby Stephen; Kirkby Stephen to Appleby; Appleby to Penrith. It was reissued as a revised version in 2003, and again in 2013 from a new publisher. It is also available in a Kindle edition.

Buy the book, enjoy the walks. The countryside is magnificent and the history fascinating. You’ll talk about it for years.

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