River, Lake, Dale, Fell or Mountain...
When the journey is better than the arrival...
Whether it's a short stroll, a long hike or a major expedition you're after, the choices are endless. Again the Lake District or Yorkshire Dales need little introduction. Up high, there are also the Howgills (made famous by the Wainwright guides) and the North Pennines (the Pennine Way touches down in the Valley at Dufton) - which have been described, and written about, by David Bellamy as England's last great wilderness (Book and DVD in the house). Walking is a year-round activity here, with the seasons giving plenty of variety to the same walk. In the Valley, there are many pleasant (and relatively short and easy) walks. Some even have Pubs at the end (so the arrival can still have it's pleasures!)
Sitting just above Appleby, to the North East, are some of the most striking views of the Pennine chain, up to it's highest point, Cross Fell at 2930 feet, which used to be called Fiend's Fell until christianity arrived! In front of the escarpment are a series of ever decreasing conical hills (pikes), with Murton Pike being the largest. A drive up to Murton, and a walk up the pike will reward you with excellent views of the valley - without crippling the less healthy members of the group. Another slight "cheat" would be to take the fell road between Knock and Silverband to 2500 feet and save your legs for a stroll around this AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and also Britain's largest NNR (National Nature Reserve). Up here you can find rare arctic and alpine plants, a remnant of the last ice-age. It's also not far to a very small stream, which given a few miles will turn into the mighty River Tees. Note: If you take this road - look out for the "optical illusion" just before the road takes a nearly vertical ascent up to the last part, you get the strong impression you are going downhill, well you're not - try stopping and leaving the brakes off.
A familiar view across the Eden Valley to the west is the peak of Blencathra, locally known as Saddleback (for reasons that will be obvious when you look at it). This view shows the mountain in a different guise.... Throughout the Lake District there are many short and long walks. Places to go along the edge of the Eden Valley include the Bampton area and Haweswater (home of the drowned village of Mardale and the Golden Eagles); Ullswater and a little further in (via the A66 west of Penrith) Bassenthwaite and Derwent Water (if you go this way, take time to visit Castlerigg Stone Circle, the panorama around the site is one of the best, anywhere). Guides on the net and the bookshop abound - so I'll leave the rest to your research.
The Yorkshire Dales offer outstanding scenery, a diversity of wildlife habitats, a rich cultural heritage and peacefulness. In 1954, 1769 square kilometres was designated a national park in recognition of these most important qualities. The Dales lie astride the Pennines in the north of England in the counties of North Yorkshire and Cumbria There are over 20 main dales, differing much from each other in character and atmosphere. To the south of the area lies a highly populated industrial area while to the north thinly settled uplands stretch to the Tees and beyond. About 20,000 people live in the scattered farms, villages and small market towns of the Dales. The Dales can be reached easily by car, or via the scenic Settle - Carlisle railway.
High Force is a waterfall on the River Tees, near Middleton-in-Teesdale. Despite popular belief it is not, at 20 metres (70 feet), the highest waterfall in England: Cautley Spout, in Cumbria's Howgill Fells, is almost 180 metres (600 feet) high; and Hardraw Force, in North Yorkshire, has an unbroken drop of 30 metres (100 feet). Nevertheless, High Force is one of England's most impressive falls, since the river is quite powerful; and it draws many visitors. The northern side of the Tees in this area is owned by the Raby Estate, and visitors must pay a fee to gain access to the falls. The Pennine Way passes by the southern side of High Force; although the falls are visible from the trail, the connection by foot is indirect, for the nearest bridge over the river is at Holwich Head, about half a mile downstream of the falls. There are two other waterfalls on this stretch of the Tees. Low Force is about 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles) downstream, whilst Cauldron Snout is some 10 kilometres (6 miles) upstream. The Pennine Way passes all three sets of falls.
Eden Holidays - Holiday Cottage, Appleby, Eden Valley, Cumbria