The Eden Way

A couple of weeks ago I finished writing my latest guide book; The Eden Way. This is the third and final book in a series of three guides, following the rivers that rise on the ridge above the Mallerstang valley on the border of Cumbria and North Yorkshire. The other two books in the Rivers Trilogy can be found here: the Swale Way and the Yoredale Way.

You can buy all three book from the Pocket Routes website – they cost £10 inc. UK postage: Eden Way Book Shop


The Eden Way is a six-day, 83-mile, long distance walk that follows the course of the River Eden, from the point at which it empties into the sea, upstream to its source on the high fells in the Yorkshire Dales National Park above Kirkby Stephen. We follow in the footsteps of William Mounsey, the first person to make the journey from sea to source, in 1850, who left his mark all along the valley in various ways.

The river of course is almost timeless and cares little for the people who wander along its banks. The first written record we have of it comes from the Romans, who knew it as the “Itouna”. The Greek geographer Ptolemy described the river in the 2nd century, its name being derived from the local Celtic word “ituna”, which meant water.

The river rises on Black Fell Moss on the Mallerstang ridge, just yards from the ultimate source of the Swale and a few hundred yards from the source of the Ure. It starts life as Red Gill, which becomes Hell Gill Beck after a mile or so and once it tumbles through the gorge at Hell Gill and over the falls at Hellgill Force, it becomes the Eden. About 90 miles (145 km) later it flows into the Solway Firth and the sea.

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