The impressive parish church of Kirkby Stephen is sometimes called the ‘Cathedral of the Dales’ © Sower Pow
As well as being the newest part of the national park, the Cumbrian corner is without doubt the quietest.
The northwestern corner of the Yorkshire Dales National Park is made up of three separate upland massifs, each with a very different character: the Howgill Fells, Baugh and Wild Boar Fells, and the Westmorland Scars. Most of the watercourses here drain southwestwards into the River Lune but in the north the beautiful River Eden flows in the opposite direction through Kirkby Stephen on its way towards Carlisle and the Solway Firth.
Although all of the land in this area falls within the recently extended national park, in a quirk of local government border setting, virtually none of it is Yorkshire soil. It was part of the old county of Westmorland and is now administered by Cumbria County Council.
As well as being the newest part of the national park, the Cumbrian corner is without doubt the quietest. Even at the peak of the tourist season when thousands of people are queueing to climb the Three Peaks and Wensleydale’s tea shops are bursting at the seams, it is still possible to stride along Mallerstang Edge or explore the flora of Great Asby Scar National Nature Reserve without seeing another person all day.