The valleys of the beautiful River Eden and its many tributaries
flowing through the historic counties of Westmorland and Cumberland
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Mallerstang and the Howgills in the Snow

It’s Saturday morning and the snow has mostly gone (for now) but here are some upper Eden Valley shots from Thursday morning taken from, or close, to the roadside on the A683 between Kirkby Stephen and Sedbergh, including Mallerstang and also one of the Howgills. But first the view from my desk that morning of the still snow-covered fells above Hartley.

Kirkby Stephen Cumbria - Eden Valley winter

Snow on the Fells above Kirkby Stephen – View from my desk

Snow over Mallerstang

I’ve driven over the Sedbergh road several times in recent weeks. There are some great views over Mallerstang, round to Wild Boar Fell, and then toward the Howgills. On Thursday morning I stopped several times to capture something of the snow before the promised (threatened?) rain washed it away. It was just as well that I did because by Friday morning the scene was very different with the re-emergence of green.

Mallerstang Edge on a cold morning - from the Kirkby Stephen to Sedbergh road

Snowy view over Birkett Common to Mallerstang Edge as the mist was clearing

I was fortunate in being there for a short period between very misty and very cloudy. This first shot, looking east, shows a layer of mist over the Mallerstang valley behind Birkett Common, and with Mallerstang Edge rising above it. Then the sun strengthened as thin cloud drifted away and I walked back to a spot where I’d been fifteen minutes earlier to get this next shot.

Cumbria - Mallerstang Valley and Birkett Common - River Eden by Dalefoot

Looking down to the River Eden by Dalefoot in the Mallerstang Valley

There is one point on the Sedbergh road from which you can catch a glimpse of the River Eden in the distance as it emerges from Mallerstang, winding around Birkett Common on its way to Kirkby Stephen and beyond down the Eden Valley. It is just visible in the above shot.

Invisible from here, almost in the foreground but hidden by the rolling terrain, is the Settle-Carlisle railway line. A little beyond it is Lammerside Castle, but again, not quite to be seen from here.

The Howgills – They’re not in the Eden Valley are they?

It would have been good to drive down from this high spot into the valley itself but the clock was catching up on me. I did, however, stop once more along the road to get a distant view of the Howgills in the west. The clouds looked as though they were going to beat me to it and turn everything into dismal grey but before that happened I managed to catch this one.

Cumbria - Snowy Howgills seen from the A683 near Kirkby Stephen

Snowy Howgills from the north east, seen from the Sedbergh to Kirkby Stephen road

You might, of course, ask, “Why put a photo of the Howgills on an Eden Valley web site? Don’t the Howgills belong to the River Lune and Lonsdale?” Well yes, to a large extent. In fact more than ninety percent of the water falling on the Howgills flows down into the Lune either directly or via the River Rawthey. But, in this top north east corner several Howgill streams, such as Thackthwaite Gill and Artlegarth Beck, run off the fells into Scandal Beck … which runs down through Ravenstonedale along Smardale Gill to Soulby and the River Eden. I would have liked also to get a snowy shot of Wild Boar Fell, where the infant Scandal Beck rises, but misty cloud defeated that attempt. Maybe another day if the snow returns.

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