Appleby, Cumbria Sunday 31st August 2014

Today’s Walks

Strenuous Leader: Chris Connor   Distance: approx. 12 miles

The strenuous walk starts from the beautiful village of Dufton. If you wish to do this walk then alight the coach here. This is one of the Northern Pennines Classic walks. We begin by taking the Pennine Way past Bow Hall and towards Peeping Hill. We continue pass up through some open moorland and a ruined farmhouse (that may remind some of Wuthering Heights) and steadily climbing up 500m to the final goal of High Cup Nick. After admiring the amazing grey/blue dolerite crags in the u-shaped valley (and taking some photos) we start the difficult but short descent to the valley floor. We then continue to follow the valley just above the river taking time to look back at what we have just climbed and follow the myriad of paths with a long but easy walk back to Appleby for well-earned refreshment.

Moderate Leader: Hazel Anderton & Ruth Melling   Distance: 8 miles

Our walk takes us north of Appleby as we make our way along tracks, woods, fields and little lanes. On a fine day there are good views of the highest peaks in the Pennines. We walk along fields, go up through Flakebridge Woods then head towards Dufton before turning south. We walk along the bottom edge of the Wood before coming across fields back to Appleby. The countryside is rolling with lots of ups and downs but nothing taxing. A few stiles are a bit wobbly, there’s some mud and muck, and pheasants which might make you jump in the woods.

Leisurely Leader: Steve Budd & Joan McGlinchey   Distance : 7 miles

This is a walk with plenty of up and downs together with loads of mud. We start our walk and head towards Brampton. We then head off towards Dufton. (We don’t actually go into Dufton). As we start our way home we head in the direction of the Castle Hill settlement, then into Flakebridge Woods, down to Hungriggs and then back to the coach.

Easy Leader: Allan & Nicole Fraser   Distance: 5.5 miles

After a short walk along the river Eden in Appleby, we strike out towards Colby across the fields. There are good views of the Pennines to the right. We reach the pretty village of Colby, where we will probably have lunch. The walk back to Appleby takes us onto part of the Dales Way.

Notes On The Area

Today we visit the attractive and historic town of Appleby which was once the county town of Westmorland. It used to be known simply as Appleby but when it became part of Cumbria in 1974, much to the dismay of the residents, it changed its name officially to Appleby-in-Westmorland. The area has been occupied by Celts, Romans, Anglo Saxons and Danes and was once a place of great importance.

At the time of the Normans it was part of Scotland and was then transferred to England in 1092. But it suffered several Scottish attacks later. It also suffered from the plague in 1592 and then defeat in the Civil War when it supported the Royalist cause, and has never recovered its proud status after these events. The Norman castle of Motte-and-Bailey type was reopened to the public this year. Its most famous resident was Lady Anne Clifford who did much to restore the castle in the middle 1600s. Other buildings have been named after her.

Today Appleby is a thriving market town nestling in the Eden Valley. The main street, Boroughgate, is unusually wide and has been described as one of the finest in England. There are many old buildings and much of the town centre is a preservation area. The Moot Hall dated 1596 is today occupied by the tourist information centre.

The town is a good place to explore the surrounding countryside. There is a station here on the Carlisle to Settle railway line – a great ride if you get the chance – and the very busy A66 passes nearby. Although the road is very close, fortunately, it has no effect on the town itself. Also nearby, is the Cumbrian Cycle Way, the Westmorland Way, the Pennine way and the Coast to Coast footpath.

These days Appleby is famous for the Appleby Horse Fair which was set up by charter in 1685 and runs for a week in June ending on the 2nd Wednesday. Today it is world famous, the largest in the world, attracting a huge gypsy and traveller gathering.