Wild Boar Fell (Garsdale to Kirkby Stephen) walk

Remote ridge walk above the Mallerstang Valley with Howgill Fells views, via Swarth Fell to Wild Boar Fell and down into the Upper Eden Valley


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date Option Post # Weather
Thu, 31-Aug-23 Thursday Walk - Wild Boar Fell (Garsdale to Kirkby Stephen) [Cumbria/Carlisle Trip] [New Walk] 7 mostly sunny with clouds above the tops
Length: 23.3 km (14.5 mi)
Ascent/Descent: 676/756m
Net Walking Time: ca. 6 hours
Toughness: 7 out of 10
Take the 08.24 Leeds train from Carlisle, arrives Garsdale 09.33 (being an Off-Peak service, Senior Railcards are valid).
Return trains: 17.04, 18.33 and 20.02 (56 minutes journey time). Buy a Garsdale return
This is a varied and scenic route in very remote countryside (home to curlews and golden plovers) along the westerly edges of the dramatic Mallerstang Valley and the bucolic Upper Eden Valley, and entirely within the enlarged Yorkshire Dales National Park.
It starts at Garsdale, a very quiet station just beyond the watershed south of the Eden Valley and routes up the lonely Grisedale to the Yorkshire/Cumbria boundary on Grisedale Common. You then follow the long, mildly undulating ridge (mostly with a discernible path and always with either fence or wall nearby) up to Swarth Fell and through a dip further on to Wild Boar Fell.
From the two hills, you have very fine views (weather permitting): west to the Howgill Fells and the Lake District, north down the Mallerstang and Upper Eden Valleys to the North Pennines and east across to Mallerstang Edge and the watershed between the Rivers Eden and Ure, as well as south to the Yorkshire Dales.
You visit the enigmatic ancient stone cairns on the easterly scarp of the plateau and then descend gently along the scarp above Mallerstang and to the River Eden.
A short out-and-back to the romantic ruin of Pendragon Castle (as per the legend: built by King Arthur’s father) is followed by a bucolic stretch along the Eden through commons and pastures to Kirkby Stephen Station.

An optional out-and-back to a nearby pub and/or a loop through Kirkby Stephen with its refreshment options and sights help bridging any waiting time for one of the infrequent trains.

Walk Options:
An Extension Loop in the morning leads further up Grisedale to Round Ing and back to pick up the A Pennine Journey Long-Distance Path at Flust (map-led, add 1.1 km and 20m ascent).
Omit the out-and-back to Pendragon Castle ruins (cut 1.1 km).
An out-and-back to The Black Bull pub in Nateby, just before the end of the walk (add 1.2 km).
A loop to and through Kirkby Stephen at the end of the walk past many tea places and sights (add 5.0 km and 70m ascent).
Lunch: Picnic.
Tea: The Black Bull in Nateby (600m off route 2.3 km from the end of the walk, open and food served from 17.00). Plenty of options in Kirkby Stephen (add 5.0 km).
For walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here. t=swc.417
  • 25-Aug-23

    Kirkby Stephen Loop at the end of the walk now fully written up, adds 5.0 km on the newly amended route.

  • 31-Aug-23

    Haha Tandoori on Botchergate ans Taitby the I is. 7.30pm.

  • 31-Aug-23

    Correction The Masala Bazaar Botchergate and Portland Place.

  • 31-Aug-23

    7 diners had met the evening before for a get together, 6 of those were on the train this morning. 1 of those explored the expansion loop near the start through the Grizedale, and all 6 met again on the top of Swarth Fell. The sun was out with some fluffy clouds up high, which made the ascent a little harder. Down and up with fantastic views down the Eden Valley and across to the Mallerstang Edge and left to Howgills and Lakes but grey clouds were now passing, so when we sat down in the windbreak on Wild Boar Fell for lunch, layers were added. The glorious descent followed and we got to the decision point (pub and/or Kirkby Stephen or straight to station) in time for the 17.04 being in reach, so 5 of us went to the station. The other walker did the KS loop, picking up diner 7 at the Bull in Nateby. He had had a much interrupted sleep and didn't fancy the early start, so took a later train to Garsdale, pottered about, took a train back to KS and walked to Nateby then the KS loop. 7 mostly sunny with clouds above the tops

    A very remote walk with stunning scenery, few cars and lots of birds, but also more airplanes than I have ever seen and heard on a countryside walk. RAF jets and Spitfires going down the Eden Valley, private jet planes as well, and then lastly an RAF transporter plane.