This is a suggested itinerary for a few days stay in Kirkby Stephen but is just a flavour of what is on offer in around the Eden Valley.

Cumbria Classic Coach (car free)

Take a trip to Barnard Castle on a Cumbrian classic coach. Pick up the bus from Kirkby Stephen and then enjoy a scenic journey through the fells and reservoirs of the Pennines on your way to Middleton in Teesdale then on through the valley to Barnard Castle.

Spend your time exploring the Castle remains followed by a walk around the many independent shops or visit The Bowes Museum, the grade I listed building housing collections of decorative arts. Set in 22 acres of parkland with formal gardens there is plenty for everyone to enjoy.

(Please note bus runs Wednesdays only, in summer months there is also a service to Hawes every Tuesday)


Explore Kirkby Stephen (car free)

After a leisurely breakfast today is a day to leave the car, get your walking shoes on and enjoy some of Kirkby Stephens sights and history. Much of Kirkby Stephen is a designated conservation area with many interesting buildings and alleyways.

The Parish Church, known as the Cathedral of the Dales with its side chapels dedicated to the Wharton and Musgrave families. Richard De Musgrave once owned Hartley Castle which was unfortunately demolished in the 18th century. It's also home to the Loki Stone, a 9-10th Century Viking carved stone which depicts the mischievous Norse God Loki an is one of only two found in Europe.

A good yet straightforward walk is to follow the Coast to Coast route to Hartley and pick up the Poetry path, twelve large stones inscribed with poems representing each month of the hill farmers year. It offers good views to the North Pennines and follows a section of the disused Stainmore railway line and crosses the impressive Merrygill and Podgill viaducts. The path also takes you to Stenkrith where the river Eden rushes below the bridge with such force that it has created a pothole the width of the river- known locally as Cowkarney Hole. Approximately 2.5 miles.

On return to town, enjoy a rejuvenating coffee and cake before browsing some of the independent local shops.

Kirkby Stephen is a traditional market town and has a thriving livestock market, you are welcome to go in and watch but please remember to keep your hands low as we would not have space if you accidently buy a herd of cows!


A trip on the train (car free)

Kirkby Stephen is located on the famous Settle-Carlisle railway line which is renowned as being one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world. The journey either north to Carlisle or South to Settle is spectacular but some of the most dramatic scenery is to be seen if you head south including crossing the famous Ribblehead viaduct.


You'll have time to explore the Yorkshire market town of Settle or continue further south to Skipton where you can admire the Castle- once home to Lady Anne Clifford.


Explore the Eden Valley

Today is a day to explore more of the Eden Valley's stunning scenery and picturesque villages.

From Kirkby Stephen follow the A66 west heading towards Penrith for approximately 25 minutes before turning to Temple Sowerby and follow the signs to Acorn Bank.

Acorn Bank is a National Trust property whose gardens specialise in herb and fruit orchards with beautiful woodland walks and views towards the Lake District and the Pennines.

From Acorn Bank follow the B6412 via Culgaith and Langwathby alongside the River Eden to the pretty village of Little Salkeld and pay a visit to the restored Watermill.

Little Salkeld Watermill offers a tea room, Mill tours, gallery and if you are a baker they have a good range of organic and stoneground flours as well as occasional baking courses. Open daily 10.30am- 5pm.

If you have time and the weather is suitable why not pay a visit to Long Meg and Her Daughters, one of the largest Bronze Age stone circles in Europe.

From Little Salkeld it's a short drive via the A686 to Brougham Hall which is a 14th Century Hall and an ongoing restoration project and home to several arts and crafts workshops which are well worth a look around.

Time permitting, follow the country back lanes towards the picturesque village of Orton and pick up some sweet treats from the chocolate factory before heading back to Kirkby Stephen.


Trip to Yorkshire

Have your passports ready as today you'll be heading into Yorkshire. From Kirkby Stephen there are two routes to Hawes, the home of Wensleydale Cheese.

1. Head towards Nateby and take the road to Hawes which follows the River Eden through Mallerstang and past Pendragon Castle, near Aisgill keep an eye out on your left for Hell Gill Beck which is the source of the River Eden.

2. Head towards Nateby and take the road to the left towards Keld which will take you towards stunning Swaledale, take time to stop and enjoy the views at Wainwath Falls just before you reach Keld and follow the road to Thwaite before turning off the Buttertubs Pass.

It's a beautiful winding, hilly road and as you drive along spare a thought for the "lucky" cyclists racing here in the 2014 Grand Depart of the Tour de France.

Spare some time to explore Hawes and enjoy a visit to the countryside museum, rope making museum or the cheese factory.

Depending on time either return straight back to Kirkby Stephen via Mallerstang or head towards Sedbergh and enjoy and an afternoon tea at the Fairfield Mill.


A day in the Lakes

This is a classic journey taking in a variety of Lake District beauty spots.

Driving via Kendal you pick up the road to Windemere and enter the Lake District National Park. If you wish to take a trip on a lake then Bowness-on-Windemere is probably one of the best places to stop. It is also home to the Beatrix Potter visitor attraction. If you don't want to stop at Windemere continue to Ambleside or Grasmere - the home of William Wordsworth, one of the most celebrated Lake District poets and if you have time enjoy a short walk to enjoy some of his favourite views at Rydal Water, Alcock Tarn or visit his former home Dove Cottage.

Head back towards Ambleside to pick up the Kirkstone Pass and enjoy a drink with a view at the Kirkstone Pass Inn. The road then brings you down to Patterdale and Ullswater and head back to Kirkby Stephen.


Activities & Events

We can also help organise activities such as horse riding, mountain bike hire & paragliding or if there is anything else you would like to experience whilst staying in the Eden Valley.




Terms & Conditions

All bookings will only be confirmed when the deposit has been paid.

Cancellations can be made free of charge up to 14 days prior to the date of the booking and your deposit will be returned.

Cancellations made between 14 and 2 days prior to the booking date will result in the deposit not being paid.

Cancellations made less than 2 days before the booking date will result in a full charge for the booking being made.


Find Us

Whatever your enquiry, we look forward to hearing from you. Please contact Nick or Rachel at:

The Old Croft House
Market Street, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, CA17 4QW

Tel: 017683 71638
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.theoldcrofthouse.com 



The double and twin rates are per room per night based on two people sharing with full cumbrian breakfast.

If you would like to enquire about making a booking just give us a call on 01768 371638 or check availability on the required dates and we will be in touch to confirm your booking.

Bookings require a £30 deposit.

Please note the change in rates for 2014.


Superior Double en-suite
with bath & shower £80 prpn

  Twin en-suite
with power shower £74 prpn

Superior Double en-suite

Twin en-suite   Double en-suite
with power shower £74 prpn
  Single with private bathroom
with roll top bath &
separate shower £38 prpn


 Kirkby Stephen is an excellent base for both road cycling and mountain biking. 

Some great rides can be enjoyed along the quiet highways and byways of the Eden Valley and surrounding areas and we have information for rides of varying distance and difficulty starting from the door or nearby. One our favourite loops is from Kirkby Stephen to the highest pub in the country, the Tan Hill Inn and back via Keld, we usually cycle this to kick start our Spring cycling but it make take until Summer until we have forgotten the uphill!! 

 The Visit Eden website has some cycle rides that you can download including the Villages & Viaducts with sections along the dismantled railway with great views over Kirkby Stephen.  The Eden Rivers & Brough Castle provides a scenic route along quiet country lanes over five Eden Valley rivers and alongside Brough Castle were you can stop for a much needed ice cream from the ice cream parlour in Church Brough.

 As well as having lovely quiet roads to cycle on there are plenty of off road routes within easy reach to provide a more muddy alternative for all abilities, the Howgill Fells are a short drive from us and Mountain Bike Rider Magazine rated as one of their top 20 routes in the UK, "A classic ride in the Howgill Fells is a loop which can rival the best the Lakes has to offer but without the traffic that can blight the best Lakeland trails"

For those enjoying a longer challenge Kirkby Stephen is on the Walney to Wear (W2W) - a coast to coast cycling route and the central section of the Pennine Cycleway passes through the town.

 We have secure storage for your bike and should you have any mechanical problems during your stay we have an excellent bike repair shop opposite us.