Last day of our break in the North. We walked the mile or so out of Kirby Stephen to the railway station which lies half way down the Carlisle to Settle line - often described as the most picturesque train journey in Britain. The station itself stands proud looking down on the Smardale valley. In recent years it's been lovingly restored and a small team of passionate volunteers and enthusiasts maintain it for the many tourists and locals who take huge pleasure travelling through the North of England.
Kirkby Stephen lies slightly up the line from the impressive glories of the Ribblehead Viaduct but there was still plenty to see. We kicked off our boots, warmed our hands on steaming mugs of tea and coffee and, faces pressed close to the window, headed up through the evocatively named villages and hamlets of the Eden Valley: Langwathby, Kikoswald, Armathwaite, to our arrival in Carlisle.
We changed here and took a short hop back down to the waiting car in Penrith; where after an impressive Sunday lunch we started the long drive back South. For all yesterday's battles with the elements we're almost half way to Robin Hood's Bay.