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The narrow dale of Mallerstang is the uppermost and remotest part of the Eden Valley (leading to the source of the River Eden on Black Fell Moss). You’ll get marvellous views into it as you descend from your highest point across the open fell along a narrow ribbon of tarmac. At the bottom you’ll find the remains of Pendragon Castle built according to legend by Uther Pendragon, father of King Arthur. There’s no public access beyond the gate but you get a good look at it (collect a leaflet from the TIC before you set off). If you like, carry on cycling up the dale for a while before heading back to Kirkby Stephen. At the start of the ride
you’re on a short section of National Route 71 (Penrith–Thirsk) and the Walney to Wear & Whitby Cycle Route (20).
Start/finish: Kirkby Stephen TIC in the town centre (free car parking is signed)
Grade: Medium · Hard (all on road)
|Time/Effort||2 out of 5|
|Refreshments||Pub in Nateby|
Kirkby Stephen, Nateby
1 Find the Tourist Information Centre in Market Street (see town plan), head north to the first mini-roundabout and turn L
2 Bear L by grammar school for Waitby and Smardale (also following blue 20 and 72 signs)
3 Bear R uphill, again following blue 20 and 71 signs
4 Turn L at xroads to Waitby
5 Turn R at X roads (steep at first) to Smardale, then first L just past old Waitby School
6 Turn L at T jct using grass verge, then, taking extra care, go across onto the Sedbergh road Mention taking first L turn to Wharton and following byway track to Mallerstang for alternative part of-road option?
7 Turn L into Mallerstang
8 To return directly to Kirkby Stephen, turn L at the castle and follow the road through Nateby
9 Turn R before traffic lights (Mellbecks), then bear L up and along Stoneshot lane