Now that lockdown has eased in most areas, the majority of businesses are starting to reopen and get back on their feet, we want to share some information with you about our beautiful local area.

Many of us have had holidays abroad cancelled this year, but to help with our country’s economy we can instead look to spending some well-deserved time away from home within our own borders.

The Lake District is a prime destination for some beautiful scenery and relaxation. Whilst also providing plenty of attractions and activities.

Kirkby Stephen centre, featuring the church cloisters.

Our shop is situated in the ancient market town of Kirkby Stephen in the Upper Eden Valley. Kirkby Stephen can trace it’s roots back to when the Danish (Vikings) first settled in the North of England, around the 10th century. We are perfectly placed between the Lake District National Parks and the Yorkshire Dales.

Our little shop, becoming part of the long history of Kirkby Stephen.

Kirkby Stephen became Cumbria’s first ever ‘Walkers are Welcome’ town back in April 2009 and is now part of a national system of over 100 towns and villages. The Walkers are Welcome initiative is a community led project which develops the local economy, helping to improve physical and mental well-being through walking.

Recently, ‘Walkers are Welcome’ have created a bench walk program for Kirkby Stephen, liasing with the local Women’s Institute and other community partners. There are 80 benches mapped throughout Kirkby Stephen. The project’s main aims are to allow less able people in the community and visitors the opportunity to take part and benefit from short accessible walks, whilst also combating feelings of isolation and loneliness, raising activity and engagement within the community. You can access the leaflet HERE.

What else is there to do in and around the Kirkby Stephen area?

At Kirkby Stephen East Station and Stainmore Railway Company, you can visit the old railway station and view a collection of vintage locomotives, carriages and memorabilia. This volunteer run heritage railwat is open weekends from 10am unitil 4pm and admission is free.

Brough Castle

The impressive English Heritage site of Brough Castle is open everyday 10am to 3pm. Situated on the ridge of Stainmore Pass, it was a key strategic post. The Keep was built around 1200AD on the site of a Roman fort, called Verterae, and was frequently raided by the Scots. Whilst getting your teeth into some medieval history, you can also enjoy the Brough Castle Ice Cream Parlour and Tearoom nearby.

If the weather is nice and you fancy some time outside, there are multiple parks and public walks in the local area. The nearby Stenkrith Park includes an old railway line, two viaducts and a waterfall, with parking available. Jubilee Park has a collection of rare plants and beautiful summer house. There are also the Cumbrian Wildlife Trust Nature Reserves at Argill Woods, Augill Pasture and Waitby Greenings.

For a more serious challenge, there is a trail route starting in Kirkby Stephen centre, through the Ewbank Scar Woods and, if you’re strong enough, a 7 kilometre trek up Hartley Fell to the mysterious Nine Standards. For more info see the Eden Rivers Trust trail leaflet HERE.

If you are feeling inspired and want to see what else is available, there are some more great ideas for activities and days out. Try visiteden.co.uk or kirkbystephen.com.

We would love to welcome you into our shop, adhering to the social distancing and health measures to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Stay Safe and Shop Local where you can.

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Written by Siobhan Green.