Monks Bridge is the perfect base for a walking holiday, being located within the Yorkshire Dales National Park and within easy reach of the Lake District and the Pennines. There are also some beautiful walks straight from the door. There are routes for all abilities from serious fell climbs to gentle strolls and we have put just a few of our favourites here to start you off.

Summer evening stroll before dinner

We love to walk up the hill and enjoy the beautiful view across the village to the Lake District beyond as the sun starts to go down. Turn right out of the cottage, cross over the bridge and walk up Bank Head following it round into Bank Lane. You can go as far along the lane as you like. There is a bench at the top of the hill where you can sit and enjoy the view. If you look over the wall behind you there is a good view of the Pennines too. If you carry on further up the field to the top, you get a 360 panorama of the Pennines and the Lake District and everything in between.  For a short evening stroll you can come back down the lane and take the path off to the left to cross over the river to Silver Street.  We quite often do this walk on our way to The Butchers Arms for dinner!


Looking across to the Lake District in the distance

A Short Walk Along the River to Maulds Meaburn

If you cross over the bridge next to the cottage and take the footpath between the river and the farmhouse you can wander along the river and through the fields to Maulds Meaburn. As you approach Maulds Meaburn village you will pass through a stone arch along the path with Flass House on your left. Flass is a Palladian-style villa with a colourful history which was rebuilt in the mid-19th century by the Dent family. Owned by them until the 1970s it has sadly fallen into disrepair but has recently been sold again so let’s hope the new owners can restore it to its former glory.

Pass Flass and walk into the village and say hello to the sheep on the village green. You can then cross over one of the bridges and walk along the lane back to Crosby. Sometimes they do coffee and cake at the Maulds Meaburn Village Institute if you fancy a break.

If you would like a more taxing walk to Maulds Meaburn you can walk up Bank Head and follow the paths across the hills and back round to Maulds Meaburn by Brackenslack Farm. This leaflet is good for more detailed information on these local walks.

Crosby Ravensworth Fell

A good walk exploring the local fell taking in a stone circle, Coronation tree and the source of the Lyvennet if you desire. There are lovely views too across to the Lake District, the Pennines and the Howgills. Make sure you time it so that you can finish up with refreshments at The Butchers Arms when you come back through the village. Again, the leaflet mentioned above has all the details.

High Cup Nick

High Cup Nick is a spectacular U-shaped glacial valley carved out of the Cumbrian side of the Pennines. You can see it in the distance as you emerge from the trees on the drive towards Appleby on the B6260. There are various routes you can take. When we did it I had a bad back so we parked at the side of the road by High Cup House and walked up past Harbour Flatt, taking the low path to the bottom of the valley. Next time we will take the high route from Dufton to get the spectacular views from the head of the valley. This website is excellent for this and other walks in the area.

Ullswater & Aira Force

There are numerous options for walks around beautiful Ullswater, described as “that loveliest of lakes” by Alfred Wainwright.  The Ullswater Way now has loops which incorporate Lowther Castle and Dalemain Mansion as well.  We like to drive to Pooley Bridge at the north end of Ullswater, about half an hour from Monks Bridge. You can park here and catch the Ullswater steamer for a pleasant boat ride down the lake to one of the stop-offs and then walk back to Pooley Bridge, taking in the stunning scenery. We have walked Howtown back along the lake side to Pooley Bridge which was an easy walk.  Another more challenging option is to take the higher route towards Howtown and then walk back along the lake shore.  The views from the fells are beautiful in all directions and well worth the climb!   There are numerous opportunities for refreshments in Pooley Bridge.

Further round the lake the steamer also stops at Aira Force or you can equally easily drive there if you prefer. It is just over 40 minutes from Monks Bridge. When we went it was the week I had my bad back so we literally just walked up to the waterfall from the lakeside car park. There are other car parks and various walks taking in the surrounding fells as well as the Force.

Cat Bells, Derwentwater

Derwentwater is a beautiful lake with various islands and stunning scenery all around. Mind you, I think this applies to most of the Lake District! We drove to Keswick, about 45 minutes from Monks Bridge, and caught the Keswick Launch to Hawes End where you can follow the signs to Cat Bells. The path up is obvious and can be quite steep with a bit of a scramble in places. It is a popular walk so can get busy. The views at the top are absolutely beautiful in all directions and well worth the climb. The path continues south from the summit and as you descend you can head left, back towards the lake where you can catch the launch at High Brandelhow after a cooling paddle in the lake! There are other landings not far away if you want to extend your walk further.

Appleby to Rutter Falls

This is a lovely circular walk which takes you from Appleby, alongside the River Eden towards Great Ormside, across to Rutter Falls with its impressive waterfall and pretty mill and back to Appleby via Hoff and along Hoff Beck. It is a lower level walk with pretty riverside views and the opportunity to pop into the New Inn at Hoff for refreshment along the way!

You can see the route here:

Somehow we managed to miss out Great Ormside but will visit another time. Rutter Falls is a lovely place to linger, watch the birds feeding in the river and enjoy the view of the mesmerising falls. After a pause here you follow the route to Hoff and back along Hoff Beck to Appleby. The route takes you along pretty river banks, through woodland and across green pastures and meadows with an abundance of wildflowers so there is plenty to see without the big climbs!