Day 6 Thursday 19th July Shap to Kirkby Stephen
Distance 20 Miles .......... Ascent 2100 Feet

Leave Shap by going under the railway and over the M6 footbridge and on the footpath past Hardendale and Oddendale. The section as far as Orton Scar was over moorland with outcrops of limestone rock. At Orton Scar can go through Orton itself or take the main Coast-to-Coast route that through Scarside, Friar Biggins and to a second Scarside. Fro this point the walk is eastwards towards Kirkby Stephen along a fairly flat plateau just immediately to the north of which there are vast amounts of limestone outcrops. Initially there are a few cultivated fields but it soon becomes open fell land and a little moorland. Pass Sunbiggin Tarn which is famous for birdlife to a junction of the roads at Middle Busk and on the road to Mazon Wath. Cross eastwards on Great Ewe Fell using good turf paths to just north of Bents Farm and then continue contouring round the fell and past Severals which is an ancient village to reach Smardale Bridge. An interesting place with attractive bridge, an old railway with a viaduct and mine workings. Climb up onto Smardale Fell which is not too bad, a bit steep to start with and on a stony track but that is only for about a quarter of a mile. At the summit immediately start a gentle descent. Pass under the Carlisle-Settle railway into Kirkby Stephen. A long and tiring day.


I am booked into the Black Bull, Kirkby Stephen. Single ensuite £50 b&b

Click image for details or for other accommodation follow the Sherpa Van link

Signed up for this day: David Brawn, Keith Case, Nigel Williams

Some notes on the day

Set off on the supposedly easy day as there was not much climbing to be done. Actually there was a bit of climbing to do to get out of Shap and up onto Crosby-Ravensworth Fell. We went across the fell which undulates a bit and decided to go into Orton where we had a refreshing cup of tea. Left Orton and using a slightly different route from most people (the Hannon route) – the higher route around Sunbiggin Tarn. This was not a very good idea as it was quite muddy near Grange Scar. Then a road walk through Mason Wath. We arrived at Smardale Bridge quite exhausted. Met Dave’s friends there fortunately who walked us in and revived our spirits because it was a long slog in. Uphill for a mile or two and then the long, long walk into Kirkby Stephen. Overall and extremely energetic day. In the evening went to a very good Indian restaurant (Mango Tree).

Black Bull Kirkby Stephen website
Accomodation and baggage transport
Sherpa Van Website - Kirkby Stephen
Packhorse website
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