Lady Anne Highway
Walk 3 - A fairly easy but long linear walk from Kirkby Stephen Station following the upper Eden valley along Lady Anne Highway, an old coaching road, to the Moorcock Inn and Garsdale Station passing a few points of interest enroute - 12 miles - 5 hours. By Car or train - if arriving by car it will be necessary to park at Kirkby Stephen or Garsdale Stations and travel one stop on the train. Back to Moorcock Walks
Start at Kirkby Stephen station and pass though gate off the station access road following the footpath downhill and parallel with the road to Kirkby Stephen. At the bottom of the hill at Halfpenny House turn right [due south] along a private road towards Wharton Hall. Pass to the right hand side of Wharton Hall between the farm buildings. At Mire House Bridge leave the concrete road passing through a gateway on the left [do not cross the river!]. Follow the left-hand side of the field passing through two small gates and emerging at Lammerside Castle [remains]. Then proceed slightly downhill with Croop House Farm to the right. Pass through the gate and then immediately turn left through another gate. Follow the bridleway track with the River Eden on the left. The track follows the river for a mile rising slightly uphill until a minor road [Tommy Road] is reached.
At this point a detour is possible to investigate Pendragon Castle. If so, follow the minor road across the river bridge and the castle will be soon reached. The castle stands on a mound and whilst privately owned access can be gained through a gate. Either retrace steps or continue along the road through Outhgill to regain the main route beyond Thrang.
Unless the aforementioned detour is taken - cross the minor road along a farm access track. Pass High Cocklake Farm and continue downhill to Sandpot, a private house. The footpath passes immediately to the right of the house itself. Continue across approximately 6 fields and a stream emerging at the quaint hamlet of Shoregill. Bear left down the track towards the river. Before the river bridge turn right and follow the wooded river bank with the river on the left. Pass through some farm building and continue following the river until reaching Thrang Bridge. Cross the river Eden and the 'main' road along the Mallerstang valley and immediately on the other side of road look for a track proceeding diagonally uphill.
This is the Lady Anne Highway rising uphill for the next mile and eventually levelling out at a plateau where an interesting sculpture known as the Water Cut can be found.
Continue along the grassy track for 1.5 miles crossing Hell Gill ravine on an old stone bridge and follow the gently undulating 'highway' taking the left hand fork [at a vehicle prohibition sign] eventually with a wall to the right. After 1 mile the ruin of High Hall is reached and a ford. Another 2/3 mile further along the highway reaching a gate across the track. There are two main options for the return.
The easiest route involves passing through the gate and carrying on along the highway. The track dips into a small ravine and has been subject to landslip in the past. About 1/4 mile after the ravine look for a new gate in the wall. Pass through the gate with a lime kiln on the left. This is the new Pennine Bridleway and is waymarked with wooden posts down to the side of Cobbles Plantation and emerging at Ure Force waterfalls. Cross the bridge and follow the bridleway to the Moorcock Inn.
The second option takes in Shaws Waterfall and Lunds Church: Passing through the stile immediately before the aforementioned gate Lady Anne Highway proceed diagonally downhill to a gate at the rear of Shaws and the by steps down to a wooden footbridge in front of the waterfall. Shaws, now a private house was formerly the Garsdale Youth Hostel until the 1970s. Continue downhill across another footbridge and passing through a deserted farmyard to the little hamlet of Lunds with it's now disused church.
Note there are various ways back from Lunds - an alternative more straightforward way is to cross the river by the footbridge at the perimeter of the churchyard and follow plantation access track up to the main road, turn left and thence back to the Moorcock. The downside is 1/2 mile of road walking! Alternatively:-
Bear left from the church and passing through a stile over Cowshaw Hill and two more stiles heading towards Blades, a small hamlet of cottages. The path goes to the left hand side [rear] of the main house and crossing a small stream joins the farm track. At a bend in the track bear left following the left hand bank of the River Ure. Eventually the path will meet Ure Force waterfalls and an old bridge with it's modern replacement. Cross the bridge and follow the bridleway to the Moorcock Inn.
For the return walk to Garsdale Station, on leaving the Moorcock turn right and proceed along the main road towards Sedbergh for a very short while then turning left through a gate to follow the recently opened Pennine Bridleway which proceeds directly to the rear of the station passing under Dandry Mire Viaduct enroute. The station is slightly under a mile from the pub and 30 minutes should be allowed for this uphill walk! Remember that southbound trains run from the farthest platform and it is necessary to pass under the road bridge to gain access.
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This page was last updated on 16-Nov-2014
©John Carey 2009