The River Lyvennet

The River Lyvennet

Walk Summary

A nice little walk along a stretch of the River Lyvennet below the village of King’s Meaburn, a few miles outside the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Distance: 2.6 miles
Total ascent: 310ft
Walk Rating: ***
Parking: Village Institute, King’s Meaburn
Route: Download Route [GPX]

Photo Gallery

Walk Report

This short walk is taken from Paul Hannon’s ‘Eden Valley’ walking guide. He describes the walks as, “a real gem: don’t miss it on account of its length.” Intrigued as I was by this recommendation I wasn’t going to drive all the way from Harrogate to do this walk. However, with my wife and I celebrating our wedding anniversary by spending the night in nearby Appleby it seemed the perfect opportunity to see if this was as good as Hannon suggests.

King’s Meaburn is situated on a small hill in that lovely pocket of countryside between the River Eden to the north and the Orton Fells to the south. The recent increase in the size of the Yorkshire Dales National Park has seen the boundaries of the latter move up to within a couple of miles King’s Meaburn. So while the latter sits well within the historic county of Westmorland I feel justified in including this walk on my website.

“Turning left we continued on a pleasant path through woodland and across meadows alongside the Lyvennet. It was all very pleasant and in one flower filled meadow I got a good picture of a Peacock butterfly.”

While I parked on the road side there is a decent sized parking area next to the village institute and that is where I’d recommend as the best starting point. The village institute building, dating from 1914, is a reddish brown colour making it easy to identify.

From the institute we walked north along the road to the outskirts of the village. The route, as described by Hannon, takes a diagonal path through some fields to Chapel Bridge. However, the first field was full of cows, calves and a giant bull. It was not a combination I relished passing through, so instead we carried on the road a short way to take the bridleway directly down to the bridge.

Turning left at the bridge we continued on a pleasant path through woodland and across meadows alongside the Lyvennet. It was all very pleasant and in one flower filled meadow I got a good picture of a Peacock butterfly. In places we got glimpses of Jackdaw’s Scar but the summer foliage largely obscured this feature which was a slight shame.

Eventually we came to a white cottage in a beautiful spot below the hidden scar and next to an old ford and a footbridge. Continuing south alongside the river the footpath wasn’t always clear in places and, after passing the bridge leading to the old King’s Meaburn Mill, we came across one section where for a few feet the path seems to disappear into the river itself.

Finally, after passing a newer plantation we did a sharp left turn to climb away from the river. After passing a modest field brow King’s Meaburn came back into view backed by a superb prospect of Cross Fell and the Dun Fells. The walk ended on a slightly sour note due to an electric shock from a cord that had been placed right across the right of way. The following gate was also virtually blocked, presumably the farmer does not like a path running through his yard (update 05/11/20 – this was my thoughts at the time but see Hugh’s comments below).

There is no doubt that this is a nice little walk though Hannon definitely over eggs it and I’m glad I’d not travelled all that way just to do it. On the other hand if I’m ever in the area again with a spare couple of hours I’d do it again.

4 thoughts on “The River Lyvennet

  1. It is a beautiful walk I must admit. I’m fortunate to have grown up here and actually call the “unfriendly” farm you finished your walk in, home.

    Trust me, we are very happy to have the footpath running through the yard. The electric fence is positioned like that to direct cows back into their field after they leave the dairy. The trailer will have been parked there temporarily while another job was being performed and certainly was not placed their to inconvenience walkers. All the same, I’m sorry for the trouble this caused to you, however, moving machinery and electric fences are just a fact of a modern, working farm.

    I’m very glad that you enjoyed your walk, it’s great that this hidden corner of Cumbria between the Lakes and Dales can get some well deserved recognition.

    P.S. The village institute was built in 1914…somewhat more than a couple of years old.

    1. Hi Hugh, thanks for leaving your comments. I’ve amended the dating of the village institute and also added an extra line directing readers to your comments. It is over three years ago now that we did this walk and it was a little gem – certainly my memories of it weren’t clouded by the incident with the electric fence ๐Ÿ™‚ Cheers, Matt

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