Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer

~Nine Standards Rigg~

22nd April 2017

Nine Standards

The Standards

Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....

Ratmobile Kirkby Stephen Station
Parking at Hellifield
Kirkby Stephen Railway Station

A rare late start with the 11:37hrs train taking us from Hellifield to Kirkby Stephen. The MX-5 was bought in June 2007 and is still in excellent condition, spending every night at home in the garage and averaging less than 2,500 miles per year over the period with just 250 miles last summer. Molly loves it, pity I can't fit her with googles and a scarf.

Station Walk

The railway station is a good 20 to 30 minutes walk from the town of Kirkby Stephen. We use the "Station Walk" to get closer to the usual starting position for a walk up to Nine Standards Rigg.

Wild Boar Fell Stainmore line

The Stainmore Line

Picking up the disused Stainmore Railway Line at Stenkrith Bridge, we walked along the route of the railway, admiring the work of the restorers, the growth of the Birch trees and the architecture of the Victorian navigators.

Podgill Viaduct

Podgill Viaduct

North Pennines

North Pennine Fells

The line of the North Pennine fells from Podgill Viaduct.

Merrygill Viaduct

Merrygill Viaduct

Merrygill Viaduct Hartley Fell Lane
On Merrygill Viaduct
Hartley Fell Lane

For some, this will be too much walking on hard surfaces, but it doesn't bother me and traffic is somewhat intermittent on the lane (right).


Gorse lines the lane and hawthorne trees offer a guard of honour to Coast-to-Coast walkers heading east.

Looking Back


High Dukerdale


Wonderfully remote Pennine territory. Perhaps this later start has put me behind today's batch of Coast-to-Coast walkers; this is on the route taken by such. A notice I passed proposes that these walkers use different routes during three different periods of the year in order to minimise the erosion caused by excessive footfall on the fragile moorland.


Sheep resting in Reigill denying Molly a chance for a drink, but that comes a little further on. Thus refreshed, she jumps on to the stone seat.

To The Standards

The Nine Standards

Molly can't decide which to treat as "the top", knowing that jumping up earns a treat!


Treat Time!

We took lunch in an abandoned sheep fold near the cairns, safely out of the cool breeze. Life really is too short, so I didn't bother seeking out the trig point further to the south, knowing that the best views can be enjoyed from this point. Long distance sightings include many Lakeland fells, the North Pennines, Pen-y-Ghent etc.

All Gone!

She's not having another. We headed off into the moors, Standards Mire is well named and then wew came across Greyrigg Pits.

Greyrigg Pits

Greyrigg Pits

Birkett Hill

Birkett Hill

Heading back along the same route as the outward journey.



The hamlet of Hartley lies just east of Kirkby Stephen. From here it was a well signposted path across a meadow and along the boundary fence of the cricket ground to Frank's Bridge and Kirkby Stephen.

River Eden

River Eden at Frank's Bridge

Kings HeadKirkby Stephen

Kings Arms Hotel (obviously)

The above had just reopened after a refit and change of management, so I'm not going to be too harsh. The atmosphere was sterile, the seating arrangements in the public bar are not well suited to diners with dogs, the food was good but not what I ordered. Incidentally there were no cask ales available due to an oversight, but that didn't bother me. They have much to do...

Kirkby Stephen Railway Station

Kirkby Stephen Railway Station

We walked the "fields" route back to the station, Molly had a dip in the river and as a result we arrived here with less than five minutes to spare before the punctual 19:02hrs arrived. It is the last train of the day that heads south...

Walkers: Molly and Me.

Route: KS station to Stenkrith Bridge, Stainmore Line to Hartley Fell Lane, the lane as far as the approach paths for Nine Standards Rigg. NSR cairns, Standards Mire, Greyrigg Pits, rejoining the track and lane and heading into Hartley for the grassy approach to Kirkby Stephen.

Refreshments: Ah, why do cafes close at teatime??? Three closed cafes at just after 5pm, one pub not serving until 6pm and one - Kings Arms - that could offer a dog-friendly eating opportunity.

Weather: Sunny for much of the time with a cool breeze.

Time Taken: 5hrs 30mins over a distance of about 10 miles.

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2017 ©

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