The Eden Valley in Cumbria
Welcome to the EDGE Guide to the Eden Valley.
Lazonby bridge over the Eden.
Aptly named the Eden Valley is a truly beautiful place to visit.
Bounded on three sides by superb countryside (east: the North Pennines 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' - south: the fells of the Yorkshire Dales National Park - west: the Lake District National Park).
The River Eden starts in the fells of Mallerstang Common on the border between Cumbria and Yorkshire and meanders down the Eden Valley for some 100mls/160kms or so before reaching the Solway Firth close by Carlisle and the border with Scotland.
The Eden has a reputation for fine Salmon and Trout fishing. It is also less frequented by fishermen than more famous rivers of the south of England such as the Test.
Combine these two attributes and you see the Eden makes for a great destination for a day spent on the banks of this lovely river - you may may well have a stretch all to your self for the day.
Walk the banks of the Eden at Wetheral, Armathwaite or Lacy's Caves near Little Salkeld to gain a truer understanding of the rivers character.
Lovely as the River Eden is it is not the only reason
for visiting the Eden Valley.
"England's green and pleasant land." is a line that could have been written to describe the Eden Valley.
It is indeed a verdant area with some of the most fertile farmland in England.
Gently rolling, fields enclosed by red sandstone walls or hedgerows, trees and woods, the valley is dotted with picturesque villages and hamlets.
Kirkoswald village square, the Eden Valley.
Villages such as Melmerby, Great Salkeld, Glassonby, Kirkoswald, Temple Sowerby, Milburn, Kings Meaburn, Crosby Ravensworth and Orton to name but a few should feature on your list of places to visit.
Penrith, Appleby, and Kirkby Stephen are the towns found here with Penrith being the principal, although at one time Appleby was the capital of the old county of Westmorland. For more detail on these and the other towns of Cumbria and the Lake District please go to the towns section or click their names above.
The Eden Valley is rich in history and evidence of mans occupation from prehistoric times can be seen all around. Mayburgh Henge and King Arthur's Round Table can be visited at Eamont Bridge near Penrith. Also of great interest is Long Meg and her Daughters one of the largest stone circles in England.
Later the Romans came and left their mark, building forts and roads. Villages sprang up around them to supply the garrisons with goods and services.
During the Mediaeval period, long after the Romans had left, castles were built usually at the same places the Romans had chosen (for strategic reasons). The villages grew up and became established towns and gained their own identities.
Stone was taken from the old Roman Forts for use on the construction of the castles.
The following castles can trace their beginnings to that period, each having endured a different history, time has been kinder to some more than others: Carlisle, Hutton in the Forest, Dacre, Penrith, Brougham, Appleby, Brough, Pendragon.
Hutton in the Forest.
House & garden open to the public.
Its not just history that you will find of interest. There are many visitor attractions for you as well. Gardens are open at Hutton in the Forest, Acorn Banks,Winderwath (near Temple Sowerby on the A66) and though in the Lake District Dalemain is close enough to feature on this list. In some instances the house is open as well.
For a comprehensive list of places to visit and places of interest go to Attractions in the Eden Valley and North Cumbria.
The Eden Valley near Renwick.
Four main roads run through the valley.
The M6 Motorway is the principal road on the west of England and running up the length of Cumbria and on into Scotland. For much of its length in Cumbria it is followed by the A6 which joins Kendal with Penrith and Carlisle.
The A686, listed as one of the best drives in the World for its scenery connects Penrith with Alston in the North Pennines 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty'.
Stop at Hartside Pass on the A686 and gaze down over the valley below. The panorama includes the Lake District fells, the Solway Firth and the Galloway hills in Scotland.
The A66 comes over the fells from Scotch Corner on the A1 to the south east in Yorkshire. It runs close by Brough and Appleby before reaching Penrith and then on into the Lake District past Keswick, along the western bank of Bassenthwaite lake and ends at Cockermouth.
The Eden Valley is crisscrossed by narrow country lanes and it is these that you should take for a more rewarding experience when exploring this wonderful land.
When using these lanes please bear in mind that this is home to many people so please drive with consideration.
You may wish to let the train take the strain for a day and make use of the magnificent Carlisle to Settle railway.
Sometimes used by steam trains (the Orient Express once paid a visit to Appleby using this line) a regular timetable allows for a relaxed journey through the Eden Valley.
The line runs up into the hills of the North Yorkshire Dales National Park before descending over the famous Ribblehead Viaduct to Settle - a charming destination for a day out.
Please take your time to see all that the Eden Valley has to offer when visiting Cumbria.