Nateby & Waitby Common from Kirkby Stephen

A circular walk from the market town of Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria. The route explores the rolling country to the south-west of the town visiting the village of Nateby, before continuing close to Wharton Hall and across Waitby Common back to the start.

Technical sheet
No. 293203
A Kirkby Stephen walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 23/08/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h10[?]
Distance Distance : 6.11mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 387ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 387ft
Highest point Highest point : 965ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 551ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Yorkshire Dales
Location Location : Kirkby Stephen
Starting point Starting point : N 54.47327° / W 2.34846°
Download : -


(D/A)Kirkby Stephen usually has plenty of parking including a car park to the west of the main road (grid ref. NY772088). Wherever you park locate the entrance to the parish church in the Market Square. With your back to the church turn left and walk down the narrow road next to the newsagents. Follow the sign for River Eden and Frank's Bridge down an alley, Stone Shot. At the bottom turn left and cross Frank's Bridge. Turn right along a path following the River Eden which is on your right.

(1)Continue along the riverside path to reach a footbridge over Ladthwaite Beck (grid ref. NY779082). Here you join a walled track that leads you to the main B6259 through Nateby (grid ref. NY774069). Turn left along the road for a short distance and take the signed bridleway leading down to a bridge below Wharton Hall (grid ref. NY771064). Cross the bridge and walk up to a track which leads south to Wharton Hall.

(2)Turn right along this track for about 300 yards and take the track/footpath on your left which will take you gently uphill to a path junction at grid ref. NY766063. Here take the path on your right following the wall to take you under the Settle and Carlisle railway to Easegill Head. Continue through the buildings here and follow the access track up to the A683.

(3)Turn right along the A683 to Lane Head. Turn left here along the A685 and almost immediately turn right down a quiet lane leading to Waitby to cross the eastern flank of Waitby Common. After three quarters of a mile, take the lane on the right. This is the first lane on the right since leaving the main road. Follow this lane for about 200 yards to turn right onto a signed footpath.

(4)The path goes under the Settle and Carlisle railway. Ignore the path on your left and continue half right across the field to a wall (grid ref. NY756074). Here go half left and follow the path to Greenriggs. Go between the buildings and follow the access road back into Kirkby Stephen.

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 577ft - Start: parish church in Market Square
1 : mi 0.59 - alt. 594ft - Cross footbridge over Ladthwaite Beck
2 : mi 1.93 - alt. 699ft - Turn right along track
3 : mi 2.9 - alt. 909ft - Turn right along A683 to Lane Head
4 : mi 4 - alt. 869ft - Turn right onto signed footpath
D/A : mi 6.11 - alt. 577ft - Finish: parish church in Market Square

Useful Information

This circular walk starts from the market town of Kirkby Stephen and follows a circular route to explore the rolling country to the south-west of the town. The route uses riverside paths, paths across the rolling country and a short section of road walking. The views are generally good.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 4.06/5
Number of opinions : 6
Description quality : 4/5
Routemap quality : 3.67/5
Walk interest : 4.5/5

on Sat 11 Sep 2021 17:40:35 CEST

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 07/09/21
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Good

Good walk , read previous reviews and can only comment on these 3 points

1. D/A when you turn right at 'Franks Bridge' you are on a good track to walk along ,but once you go through a gate after a short distance you need to come off this track (which rises up) and take the grass field next to the river "riverside path ' to reach the footbridge

2.Point 2 . This is very tricky as there are no signs to follow once you have crossed the river and climbed up to the path / turned right.You need to stay to the left of any fences as the bridge under the railway is not easily visible(caught me out , hence I had to cross 2 barb wire fences to get to the bridge under the rail line

3 The farmer had 'kindly ' barb wired shut the gate and latch making it impossible to other option but to climb over

on Mon 10 May 2021 09:21:55 CEST

Global average : 3.67 / 5

Date of walk : 04/05/21
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Disappointing
Walk interest : Very good

Really enjoyed the walk but the route description was not the best, especially at the beginning. Parking was easy in Kirby Stephen.

on Mon 12 Oct 2020 10:01:58 CEST

Global average : 3.67 / 5

Date of walk : 12/10/20
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Average
Walk interest : Good

Lovely views on the walk by need more detailed directions at junction points

on Mon 16 Sep 2019 10:40:00 CEST

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 16/09/19
Description quality : Average
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

The description says that there is usually plenty of parking in KS - not on a market day which it was on 13.9.19. We had to give up and drive to Nateby where we found a lay-by and access directly to the walk. The walk details at 2 need more detail as it isn't obvious where this path goes - even the farmworker moving the cattle didn't know where the path to Easegill Head went - and the grass was so lush that no path was obvious. Not may people could have used it in the last month or so. Could do with a little more detail through the farm buildings to give us reassurance. We were fine until we reached 4. The path across the field to the railway was populated with a large herd of cattle including a massive bull. Being in our mid 70s discretion was better than valour so we retraced our steps back to our start point in Nateby. Not the best outcome but an enjoyable walk even if a bit longer than we expected.

on Mon 29 Apr 2019 09:16:43 CEST

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 29/04/19
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

A lovely and very interesting walk with no dificulty.

on Mon 26 Feb 2018 11:13:06 CET

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 13/02/18
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Good

Fairly straightforward walk around the environs of kirkby stephen and associated villages. Quite mixed terrain but very waterlogged when we did the walk so the fields were very muddy. Some lovely scenery and countryside to enjoy. KS has some nice places to eat aswell. Good introductory walk to the area without too much difficulty or route finding.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.