Smardale Gill

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Smardale Gill National Nature Reserve occupies a 6km/3.5 mile section of disused railway line which once ran from Tebay to Darlington. At the northern end, the nature reserve includes the steep wooded slopes of the gill carved by Scandal Beck, whilst south of Smardale Gill Viaduct the character of the nature reserve changes and you find yourself in open rolling countryside typical of the area. Woodland has probably been present in Smardale Gill since the medieval period and as a result a great diversity of plant species can be found here.

bird species include redstart, wood warbler and pied flycatcher whilst buzzard, treecreeper and sparrowhawk may be seen all year round

The reserve provides 6km/3.5 miles of level walking.

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Popularity rank: #11789


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How to get here


From the A685, approximately 4km/2.4 miles north east of Ravenstonedale or 0.75km/1 mile south west of Kirkby Stephen West train station, take the turning signposted Smardale. Ignore the turning to Waitby. Cross over the railway and turn left at the junction. Ignore the sign for Smardale hamlet and cross the disused railway, turn immediately left and then left again for the car park.


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