The Eden Valley has some of Cumbria’s most incredible scenery, with lush green countryside, ancient castles, traditional towns, and an abundance of walking trails.

If you are looking to escape the crowds this summer, then the serene Eden Valley should be high on your list.

The ancient market town of Kirkby Stephen makes a great base for exploring the Upper Eden Valley, with beautiful historical buildings, a surprising mix of independent shops and cafes and plenty of charming villages nearby to discover.

Visitors can follow the ‘Town Trail’ which loops around the town centre, taking in key highlights such as the Parish Church which contains fascinating relics including the Nordic ‘Loki Stone’.

Away from the main street lies hidden passageways, these twisting underground passages once provided refuge from the Scottish raids and have an intriguing history of smuggling.

Set between the North Pennines AONB and the Yorkshire Dales, the Eden Valley is a walkers’ paradise with expansive green landscapes.

Visitors can amble along the River Eden paths or take a walk to one of the many ancient castles and ruins dotted about the countryside.

Nearby Brough Castle is believed to have been built in 1092 on the site of a Roman Fort, and its impressive remains command brilliant views across the Pennines.

Meanwhile Kirkby Stephen has four nature reserves within a 5-mile radius.

Smardale Gill is managed by Cumbria Wildlife Trust and its wheelchair accessible paths lead through beautiful and diverse array of flowers including bluebells, primrose and wild garlic.

Look for the rare Scotch argus butterflies and beautiful birdlife that call this reserve home.

Visitors looking to get about on two wheels will enjoy the miles of cycling routes available.

The 12-mile Mallerstang Route takes you through the most remote part of the Eden Valley, with spectacular views as you descend from the open fells.

Book in for lunch at the award-winning Black Swan restaurant in Ravenstonedale, the menu offers something for everyone with delicious dishes inspired by seasonal Cumbrian produce.

Not ready to head home?

Extend your day out with a stay at Augill Castle.

This 19th century castle is a truly unique place to escape for the night, with spacious beautifully decorated rooms and huge comfy beds, complete with fluffy bathrobes.

You will be greeted with a warm and relaxed atmosphere and can nestle up for the night after a big day of walking.

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