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“A hidden beauty ”

Smardale Gill Nature Reserve
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
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.

Date of experience: June 2018
1  Thank stevendG6907LL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"old railway"
in 8 reviews
"red squirrels"
in 2 reviews
"lovely walk"
in 2 reviews
"wild flowers"
in 2 reviews
"brownber hall"
in 2 reviews
"don't forget your camera"
in 2 reviews
in 4 reviews
in 5 reviews
in 7 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 3 reviews
in 2 reviews
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6 - 10 of 19 reviews

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 .

Date of experience: June 2018
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.

Date of experience: February 2018
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.

Date of experience: October 2017
3  Thank Danny C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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?

Date of experience: August 2017
1  Thank Lynette54uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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