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Appleby Circular Day Hiking In Eden Valley Cumbria England

Appleby Circular Day Hiking Eden Valley Cumbria England

Appleby Circular Day Hiking In Eden Valley Cumbria was the second day hiking trip myself and my partner Anne undertook on our Eden Valley walking holiday in Cumbria.

Appleby Day Hiking, Eden Valley, Cumbria Video

Appleby Day Hiking – Eden Valley, Cumbria

This video slideshow shows the highlights of this Appleby Day Hiking – Eden Valley, Cumbria trip.

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Appleby Day Hiking, Eden Valley, Cumbria Route

The route was circular in an anti-clockwise direction south of Appleby-In-Westmorland in Cumbria. Appleby is located in the Eden Valley, which gets its name from the lovely River Eden and borders the Northern Pennines, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). After walking south through Appleby we hiked in a south westerly direction across open fields to Hoff Beck stream.

We then headed south along the river, crossing it several times until we reach Rutter Force waterfall. After taking several photographs our hiking took us North East along country lane to the village of Great Ormside where we had lunch near St. James Church. We continued hiking in a north easterly direction until we met the beautiful River Eden. We then headed in a northerly direction with the river on our right until we returned to Appleby. The distance was about 8 miles or 13 kilometres with a couple of easy inclines.

To sum up, Appleby Circular Day Hiking In Eden Valley Cumbria is a moderate day hike and quite easy, level walking. However, the fact that we had full sun most of the day made it very hot day, and as there was very little breeze, it made the hiking quite tough. It was a great introduction to the Eden Valley and the River Eden area. It was along a clear, well marked route, including some country lanes. There was a bit of erosion along Hoff Beck and we did encounter a small mud slide, which may be a problem in wet weather and over time. We hiked through some beautiful riverside scenery and also visited a picturesque waterfall, Rutter Force.

Appleby Day Hiking – Eden Valley, Cumbria Local Info


The county of Cumbria is in the North West of England. To the north of Cumbria lies Scotland and on its eastern border is County Durham and Northumberland. In the south east lies North Yorkshire and on the southern border is Lancashire. Finally, to the west of Cumbria lies the Irish Sea. Within Cumbria you will find the Lake District and the Lake District National Park. Many people regard “The Lakes” as one of the most stunning regions in England. In fact, Cumbria has been an inspiration to many artists, writers and musicians. Mountains cover a great deal of Cumbria, with the highest mountain being Scafell Pike, also the highest in England at 978 metres, or 3210 feet. In fact, Cumbria contains all mountains in England over 900 metres, or 3,000 feet above sea level.

Eden Valley

The Eden Valley gets its name from the River Eden which begins in the Pennines near the North Yorkshire border. The valley is a green and fertile region and in medieval times the valley was susceptible to raiders from Scotland. As a consequence, there were a number of “pele towers” and castles built in the region as a defence against the Scottish marauders. As you travel north down the Eden Valley you’ll notice that it is wide and that the hills each side generally low, which gives a feeling of wide open spaces. Most of the countryside is farmland, with open fields bordered by hedgerows and dry-stone walls. This is all excellent walking country with many paths to choose from. As you travel northwards along the valley you’ll come to the old market town of Kirkby Stephen. The countryside around Kirkby Stephen is ideal for hiking and cycling with six long distance walks and cycleways going through it, one of which is the renowned “Coast To Coast” walk of Wainwright. Further north is the market town of Appleby-In-Westmorland and you eventually arrive at Carlisle and then the sea at Solway Firth.

River Eden

The lovely River Eden is entirely Cumbrian. It is the longest in Cumbria at a length of 145 kilometres, or 90 miles. It goes through north and east Cumbria from its source in the Pennines near the North Yorkshire border to its mouth at the Solway Firth. It is one of the few large rivers in England that travels northwards.


Appleby-In-Westmorland in Cumbria is located in the Eden Valley and borders the Northern Pennines, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). A tree lined main street connects the Castle at the top of the hill with the Parish Church of St. Lawrence. Appleby is one of the most attractive towns in the Eden Valley. Appleby Castle was constructed by Ranulf le Meschin, a Norman at the beginning of the 12th century. The Normans used the loop in the River Eden to provide a natural means of defence. In the 17th century, the castle was restored by the formidable Lady Anne Clifford. If you like horses then visit the town in early June as it holds the biggest horse-fair in Britain. However, if you like a bit of peace and quiet then avoid that time as the town is thronged with visitors eager to see the large piebald horses ridden bareback, through the streets to the River Eden. Once at the river the horses are watered, washed and pampered like beauty queens. Several thousand gypsies, travellers and market traders station their caravans on Fair Hill, above the town. For about a week or so before the fair, small groups travel to Appleby from all the counties bordering Cumbria.

Eden Valley Railway

The Eden Valley Railway used to run between Penrith and Kirkby Stephen via Appleby-In-Westmorland. However, the track was steadily reduced until there is now only a 6 mile track between Appleby and Flitholme.

Great Ormside

The charming village of Great Ormside is positioned about four miles south-south-east of Appleby, up river by The Eden. At the northern end of Ormside is the ancient St. James Church, where a Viking sword was found in the churchyard. There is also Ormside Hall which has a 14th century pele tower. There is a massive sycamore tree growing out of the steps near the church and it is believed to have been planted in 1693 to replace an old market cross, which was most likely ruined during the Civil War.

Rutter Force Waterfall

Rutter Force waterfall is located in an well-preserved beauty spot about 4 miles south of Appleby. Rutter Force has a gentle horseshoe shape with two sections. The major falls are on the right side, with a secondary more gentle falls on the left. Rutter is an impressive waterfall when the river is in full flow but when we arrived, the river was low and we only observed a gentle trickle from the main right side falls. Next to Rutter is a mill with millwheel which is now used for self catering accommodation. Just down river of the falls is a footbridge and a ford.

When Done & With Whom

I did this hike with my partner Anne whilst on an Eden Valley hiking holiday in Cumbria, England, during June 2010. We drove from our holiday accommodation in the village of Warcop in The Eden Valley to the starting location which was on the street just outside the train station in Appleby-In-Westmorland at grid reference NY685206.

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