Best Walking Neighbourhood
Kirkby Stephen and Stocksbridge Walkers are Welcome towns have both been shortlisted for The Ramblers Best Walking Neighbourhood Award. Voting is open until 13th March at http://www.ramblers.org.uk/Get%20involved/Campaign%20with%20us/Britains%20Best%20Walking%20Neighbourhood%20award?utm_source=walk%20mag&utm_medium=
‘Nestled in the Upper Eden valley, Kirkby Stephen is a Walkers are Welcome town with attractive historic buildings and cobbled yards. Amenities are easily accessed by pedestrians, with well-maintained footways. The town also has links to long-distance trails including Wainwright’s Coast to Coast and Lady Anne’s Way.
It’s the little touches that make this town particularly enjoyable to explore on foot, from the large planters lining the streets to eye-catching displays of herbs and vegetables. A particular highlight for residents and visitors alike is the Poetry Path, which celebrates the beautiful Eden Valley and describes the area’s farming heritage through a series of inscribed stones, placed along a network of ancient lanes.
Frank’s Bridge dates from the 17th century and is popular with families, providing a safe space for children to feed ducks and enjoy picnics. The Northern Viaduct Trust Path also offers an accessible all-weather route along a disused railway.’
Situated on the edge of the Peak District in the Upper Don Valley, Stocksbridge is a former steel town that now boasts Walkers are Welcome status. Much of Stocksbridge is subject to a 20mph speed limit. Pavements are maintained and streets are well lit. Numerous paths lead directly to the town centre, while other walking routes criss-cross the town. In many cases, walking is the quickest option for making a journey.
Many streets are lined with trees, hanging baskets decorate buildings and planters have been placed at each of the entry points to the town. Interpretation boards provide local information to visitors. This all helps to give walkers an enjoyable experience.
For those looking to walk further afield, the Trans Pennine Trail passes close to the town. This coast to coast route is popular with walkers and cyclists alike.
“Walking the Transpennine Trail towards Barnsley is an unglamorous stroll, but it cuts through history like a knife. Here we are walking by sites from the Industrial Revolution and the post-industrialisation that knocked this place for six, and still reverberates like a struck gong. Walk by the site of the Oaks Colliery disaster – still the biggest mining disaster in UK history – and pass over Stairfoot Roundabout, where all those railway lines used to converge.”’