Nine Standards Rigg, Kirkby Stephen, Yorkshire Dales National Park, North Yorkshire.
6.0 miles / 9.5 kilometers
Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Map: OS Explorer OL19 - Howgill Fells & Upper Eden Valley
This 6 mile walk takes a moderate ascent up to the summit of Hartley Fell in Swaledale and visits the Nine Standards Rigg. The walk is fairly easy going in an area of outstanding natural beauty of Swaledale.
It is unclear what the Nine Standards are for, or what they represent, or how old they are. They are different shapes and sizes. Maybe they are just some sort of local early form of art work. Nonetheless they are a crowd puller and the walk is a very pleasant walk 'in dry conditions!', and a great place for a picnic, with some great views.
The starting point of the walk is not clearly obvious.
From Nateby follow the B6270 for about 2.5 miles to a small public bridleway fingerpost signed 'Coast to Coast, December - April'.
There is a lay-by a couple of hundred yards passed the fingerpost. There is a notice indicating three routes - 1. Red route for May - July, 2. Blue route for August - November and 3. Green route for December - April. There are no markings along the route for confidence and guidance to indicate which route is being followed. PLEASE keep to the obvious trails to preserve the habitats and prevent moorland erosion.
Head north up the eastern flank of Tailbridge Hill on Nateby Common. The ascent up to the Nine Standards Rigg is steady and easy going along well trodden and well defined paths with very picturesque views of the surrounding area.
That said, this walk is best done during the dry summer months, as the route is predominantly over peat moorland, which can be very boggy during the wetter months or after rain - when waterproof boots and gaiters are essential.
It is not uncommon to encounter RAF helicopters and jets flying in the area.