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Review Highlights
Absolutely gorgeous walk

This was one of the highlights of our recent trip to this area. We were staying at Brownber Hall... read more

Reviewed September 29, 2018
JHM231
,
Connecticut
Wonderful Walk

We walked to the viaduct and back along the valley, having parked on the roadside in Kelleth Road... read more

Reviewed September 23, 2018
ZaksAngel
,
Gorleston-on-Sea, United Kingdom
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Reviewed September 29, 2018

This was one of the highlights of our recent trip to this area. We were staying at Brownber Hall (see review) so walked from there. The views are beautiful, across the stream to the hills beyond, there are scenic ancient bridges, fields of sheep grazing, and everything is so peaceful. Wildflowers blooming (in September), and lots of butterflies and birds. This is not a strenuous walk as it is along the old railway line. You will pass old abandoned cottages and the quarry. The viaduct is 90 feet high and is a dramatic part of the walk. We walked along the railway line to the viaduct and then crossed the stream to the other side of the valley giving different views. Frequent stopping to take photos! Just lovely!

1  Thank JHM231
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2018

We walked to the viaduct and back along the valley, having parked on the roadside in Kelleth Road. It is a lovely flat route with lovely scenery, along the old railway line past the Brick Kilns. Then suddenly, you are upon the viaduct with gorgeous views ahead, behind and below. You can carry on walking into the reserve but we chose to walk back along the side of the valley with the viaduct behind us and the beautiful lake below. I kept stopping every 50 yards to turn back to get another view of the Viaduct - it is awesome. Eventually the path leads back to an old bridge which at one stage was the road crossing for the main road centuries back, and the information board back near the path on which we had walked towards the viaduct said that there was once a pub there. It really added to the mysteriousness of the area and you felt like you could almost be back in that time. So quiet and peaceful, and I just hope not too many people get to know about it as its seeming isolation is such an appeal. We saw 1 other couple in the few hours that we were there

1  Thank ZaksAngel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2018 via mobile

Some great walks around the Smardale area. Very small parking area and then you can walk along the nice flat and now unused railway line along to the stunning Smardale Gill Viaduct which you can then walk over. Plenty of interesting flow and fauna with detailed interest boards dotted along the route. Very quiet away from it all walking. No roads nearby and nowhere to get food or drink in the immediate vicinity so stock up before you walk!!

Thank PeteandE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2018 via mobile

We stumbled across this wonderful nature reserve almost by accident whilst staying at Brownber Hall (a must for a peaceful retreat lovers) at Brownber. This eliminated the issue of where to park which I can imagine being a problem. Whilst at the Hall we used the trail several times a day: from an early morning stroll before breakfast, or an evening walk to allow dinner to digest, to walking its full length and back and the adjacent fells. Whatever the time of day its beauty is outstanding and you could not be unimpressed. I would imagine that even non walkers or the lesser abled would be able to enjoy the attraction as the gradient is non challenging. The trail would be ideal for everyone as it has something for every taste or interest.

1  Thank stevendG6907LL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2018

My wife and I have just walked from Newbiggin on Lune to smardale hall along the old train line over the spectacular Smardale viaduct.and back,birds singing wild flowers every where ,air so fresh and clean.and so peaceful .

Thank geoff0521
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2018 via mobile

We started in Ravenstonedale and walked up to the viaduct and back along the old railway line. Easy to follow route and plenty to see en route. Lots of wildlife and archeology. A great little walk.

2  Thank Tramper88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2017

I'm lucky as i live just a few miles from the Smardale Gill Nature Reserve and this walk is one i undertake two or three times a month. A little gem of a walk, which is about 3.4 miles from end to end. It is a flat walk (slight incline when walking from the Smardale end) and on even ground, though the cutting at the Newbiggin on Lune end can be slightly muddy at times. Parking is available at both ends, though it is very limited at the Smardale end; i always park at the Newbiggin end just off the A685 at the Great Asby turning and just on the old road that goes to Kelleth. From there it is just a few minute walk to the old rail line, which is via the Brownber entrance. The walk will take you along the rail track, through cuttings and embankments, past Smardale Bridge, past derelict houses, past a large limestone quarry and over the stunning Smardale Gill Viaduct. You will then cross a smaller bridge and eventually go under the Smardale Viaduct, which is still in use and forms part of the Carlisle-Settle line. During the walk you may be lucky enough to see red squirrels, deer, hares or a variety of birds. The walk ends at Smardale and its small (4 car) carpark. You can either walk back the same way or there are routes via Crosby Garrett or via Smardale village, both of which will take you onto the fells that flank the rail line on each side. There is a Garden centre in Newbiggin that has a very good cafè or two good pubs in Ravenstonedale, which also serve food.

3  Thank Danny C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2017 via mobile

I was lucky enough to live in the gorgeous hamlet of Smardale for 4 years while at uni: I'd move back tomorrow if I could, but in the meantime I make do with the reserve. Apart from the easy access, it's on a Beeching line so it's flat and fully accessible to prams, wheelchairs & mobility scooters, it's one of the last 2 places where you can see the rare Brown Argus Butterfly and as exciting as that is to lepidopterists don't catch them! There are many species of flora & fauna to be found along the path and spectacular views cry out for photos, so don't forget your camera.
You can also get brilliant views of Smardale Hall, a beautiful 15-16th century tower house, built on the site of a much earlier settlement. Please note that this is a private home on private land, is a working farm and is NOT open to the public. Further along the path you will cross over Smardale Viaduct, a feat of Victorian engineering with great views down the valley. Brilliant day out for kids and adults, take a picnic! Dogs are welcome but keep them on a lead; there are lots of animals and wildlife to disturb and we wouldn't want that, would we?

1  Thank Lynette54uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2017 via mobile

We visited the reserve yesterday morning in gorgeous sunshine. After a slight problem finding somewhere to park (the locals are very anti parking but the trust are working to resolve this) we set off down the track to the reserve. Although there are red squirrel feeders we sadly didn't see any but we did see lots of Scotch Argus butterflies which are only found on two sites in England. We also had a fleeting glimpse of a lizard and a green woodpecker. It is a beautiful place and very easy walking, well worth a visit.

Thank Liz E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2017

Took a walk along the old railway to the viaduct. It was a delightful day, and the walk was thoroughly enjoyable, with plenty of birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Some great views too, particularly the old Smardalegill Viaduct.

2  Thank Souwester147
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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