Return to the Eden

by David Murray on 3 October 2011

in Cumbria, Eden Valley, Kirkby Stephen, Railways, Rivers, Walking

How good it is to be back in the Eden Valley after a week in Brussels. A string of lectures, project supervision and a panel debate with Euro-officials and politicians were hard work but very enjoyable, especially the days spent with a group of twentyfive wonderful 20-25 year old students from countries all over Europe.

The River Eden by Stenkrith Bridge near Kirkby Stephen Cumbria

The River Eden looking upstream to the Stenkrith Bridges

Now, however, the adrenalin has died down and I’m tired, but where better to relax than by the Eden. This weekend’s easy walks included Stenkrith Park, by the Nateby road out of Kirkby Stephen, with its amazing rock formations and the River Eden pounding over them. The Millennium Bridge has made access to the river bank so easy now, and even easier is the Poetry Walk along the old Stainmore Line railway track bed with its slabs of rock at intervals inscribed with verse. A beautiful sunny afternoon.

These photographs were taken three months ago in early July. This weekend the roar of the water was much stronger.

Two bridges can be seen here. The road bridge towering over the Millennium footbridge also, to the left of the photo, crosses the track bed of the railway that used to climb up from Cumbria and drop down into County Durham over the Stainmore pass. The railway then had to cross the Eden. That bridge is long gone, but its foundations can still be seen and there’s a river viewing point accessible from the caravan park on the other side.

Stenkrith is one of the many “hidden treasures” of the Eden Valley. It deserves to be far better known but at the same time its quietness, apart from the music of the water, is one of its great attractions.

The River Eden below Stenkrith Bridge - Kirkby Stephen - Cumbria

The River Eden in July, looking downstream below Stenkrith Bridge

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