/ Climbers in Appleby and the Eden Valley
I'm considering moving from Kendal, which I love, to Appleby where property is considerably cheaper. Location-wise it's probably just as good or better than Kendal for me: closer to work in Penrith, but further from friends and family in Manchester and Sheffield; roughly the same for the Lakes (better for north, worse for south), "back garden" crags are probably better, i.e. Coudy over Scout Scar, plus the incredible Windmore End.
The bit that troubles me is just how quiet the place is, having lived nearly all my life in cities. In Kendal, there are bars, and an arts cinema, and a big climbing wall, and loads of supermarkets (24h), restaurants, and all the shops I need. If I need to get something done I can do it without any planning. It's quiet, but there are plenty of climbers to meet at the wall, people out in the pubs, there's the festival once a year, I've been to gigs, comedy, etc, without getting in the car. Even though I don't do a lot of the cultural and social stuff on offer, I find the fact that it's going on just outside the door comforting - I don't feel isolated here, especially as it's easy to get to Manchester (though I rarely go). Life feels basically the same as living in a city but much, much more pleasant.
So, are there any climbers in Appleby and surrounding areas to go to Coudy with after work? There must be a few I've not met yet in Penrith I guess... And Eden Rock would be my local wall, which is great because it's probably my favourite wall in the country.
Any thoughts about life in the Eden Valley?
Theres an annual festival in Appleby as well......
And its probably equidistant from Kendal and Eden Rock carlisle.
> Theres an annual festival in Appleby as well......
> And its probably equidistant from Kendal and Eden Rock carlisle.
True - but the wall is a winter thing, and it'll be much easier to get to the M6 than to get over Asby Scar. I'm also more of a boulderer/circuit board guy at the wall, routes once per week max, so if I move I'll get membership at Eden. It is a brilliant wall - although Kendal's great now, thanks to the new route setting chap.
Well, I live and work in Kendal and love it but know what you mean about property, have you considered Penrith and the surrounding villages if you want to retain the bigger market town vibe ?
I wouldn’t live in Appleby myself for one reason and one reason alone as alluded to above.
> Well, I live and work in Kendal and love it but know what you mean about property, have you considered Penrith and the surrounding villages if you want to retain the bigger market town vibe ?
I wasn't going to move just now, but a really good value place next to my mates' house has just come up. New build, might be able to part exchange, very attractive to me. This is the impetus to move, otherwise I'll leave it another year probably.
> I wouldn’t live in Appleby myself for one reason and one reason alone as alluded to above.
Wow! That bad?
Apologies for being presumptuous, but reading between the lines it sounds like you’re really happy in Kendal for a whole host of reasons and the major factor is getting a better house for your money.
I’m kendal based too and all the positives you write about the town are spot on. Just wonder if you’ve got a bit of location paradise syndrome, I know I have to keep myself in check on that front!
If you did move away, there’s a lot of very cool stuff you might just be taking for granted.
Best of luck with whatever you decide.
PS Personally, I wouldn’t move to Appleby if you paid me because of the fair...
> Apologies for being presumptuous, but reading between the lines it sounds like you’re really happy in Kendal for a whole host of reasons and the major factor is getting a better house for your money.
I work in Penrith 3 days a week and Kendal 1, so reduction in commute is another factor (not that I dislike it, it's a beautiful drive). On the other hand, I'd be driving further to the wall, which I do roughly as often as working in the winter...
> I’m kendal based too and all the positives you write about the town are spot on. Just wonder if you’ve got a bit of location paradise syndrome, I know I have to keep myself in check on that front!
I love Kendal and was certain to buy a place here. But the ideal properyt for a seriously good price, next door to my mates, has come up in Appleby. An opportunity that needs to be considered in detail.
> If you did move away, there’s a lot of very cool stuff you might just be taking for granted.
Yes - I think that Appleby will feel more isolated, I'll have fewer people stopping by and visiting (where the hell does Jon live again? Some gypsy village on the scottish border or something...do you think he's OK?). On the other hand, the Eden Valley is absolutely beautiful, and I'd rather climb on red Penrith sandstone after work than that nonsense at Scout Scar...and only 15 minutes to Windmore End - that's there all the time, unlike the fair.
I moved out of Kendal to live in the Eden Valley some 13 years ago and haven't looked back. You get much more house for your money and although I now commute its a lovely drive with little or no traffic. There's a few local climbers about and there is quite a nice scene going on some summer evenings at the local crags. As you say certainly beats Scout Scar and Badger Rock. Its easier to get into the North Lakes too. Summer evenings in Borrowdale straight from work takes some beating. The horse fair is only on for a week or so, always the first week in June and the ideal time to holiday in Scotland. Some lovely pubs and community goings on if thats what you want. You havn't got the Brewery on your doorstep but its easy to go in for an evening. Asda also deliver for a quid, so you don't even have to trawl round the supermarket!
> I moved out of Kendal to live in the Eden Valley some 13 years ago and haven't looked back.
> The horse fair is only on for a week or so, always the first week in June and the ideal time to holiday in Scotland
Now there's an idea!
Thanks for all the posts so far, plenty to chew on. I think the 'Kendal premium' on house prices could be pretty significant, plus if there's a 'gypsy discount' for Appleby and I go north every year (which I generally do any without the push factor) that's a lot of days work I won't have to do to pay off the mortgage. It's all got to be factored in...
I grew up in the North Lakes and went to School in Penrith.
I’ve been to Appleby a few times, but never been massively sold on it. Penrith is a much better location for a climber in my mind and not too bad a spot, with good transport links and facilities.
Have you considered Shap? Or Langwathby?
> and only 15 minutes to Windmore End - that's there all the time, unlike the fair.
Not exactly Stanage is it?!
> Any thoughts about life in the Eden Valley?
I would say you need to know yourself - where does your future lie?
Do you want city life or would you be content in a rural environment?
One of those is much more in harmony with nature and the natural environment than the other.
However, many people that come to my rural village move away again after a few years, they are not content.
Know yourself. Set a target and you will achieve it.
> Not exactly Stanage is it?!
I f*cking love windmore end. Admittedly expectations were low, but it is an absolute gem, particularly if like me you have a penchant for crimpy highball walls (bear in mind that I developed a soft spot for the urban charms of Shipley Glen).
Stanage is alright too, but any after work crag gets boring after 15 years.
> Have you considered Shap?
Shap is very, very strange.
I lived Shap for a year and found it very friendly - but the weather is grim up there.
Also Penruddock/Motherby for 3 years - fine, but man the wind whistles through there all year and wears you out.
Greystoke for 9 years. Really nice place.
I wouldn't live in Appleby if you gave me a free house. The invasion is not just for one week unfortunately.
And you know why they call it Shap...
...because they couldn’t make their mind up between Shit and Crap.
Really, it’s just a small village? Not exactly Royston Vassey. That said I’ve never lived there.
If Royston Vasey had a horse fair it would put a different slant on people's viewing and test their liberalism to the extreme.
> Really, it’s just a small village? Not exactly Royston Vassey. That said I’ve never lived there.
It's a rather unusual village IMO - you could definitely set some kind of dark LoG sitcom on the estate I visited (that was just to pick someone up to go climbing). Not saying it's not friendly or anything...the patients I see from Shap are generally very nice (but sometimes peculiar).
Thing is I'm not looking to move out of Kendal, the place is completely ideal for and the commute 3 days a week isn't a problem at all. It's just that I'm renting at the mo, and the sooner I bite the bullet and sell up in Sheffield where my flat's rented out and get a place up here the better. But Kendal has a premium on property prices, presumably because it's a great place to live and is commutable from Manchester/Lancashire mill towns.
If you are currently renting, then why not rent in appleby to see how you get on with it before you commit?
It might be best to make your decision once you have experienced the horse fair.
> I would say you need to know yourself - where does your future lie?
> Do you want city life or would you be content in a rural environment?
Good questions, thanks.
I think the balance between city and rural life is perfect for me here in Kendal. I'm pretty sure I don't want to live in a village, but I think Appleby would be big enough for me to blend in sufficiently - it just doesn't have the amenities of Kendal or Penrith. And there's gypsy week to consider - but my friends on the ground said that on the estate on the edge of town there was very little impact.
> If you are currently renting, then why not rent in appleby to see how you get on with it before you commit?
The reason to move would be to snap up a particular property that's just been built. The question is, is the attractive cost and convenience of this move worth the slightly less attractive (but still rather wonderful) location...and then there's...
> It might be best to make your decision once you have experienced the horse fair.
Buying a new house and selling the old one is expensive and real hassle with loads of hidden pitfalls. Time energy and money you could be spending climbing. So if you are currently reasonably happy, don't do it, unless the changes are really positive for you and at least medium term. If you really need more space can you put an extension on or do a loft conversion?
> Buying a new house and selling the old one is expensive and real hassle with loads of hidden pitfalls. Time energy and money you could be spending climbing. So if you are currently reasonably happy, don't do it, unless the changes are really positive for you and at least medium term. If you really need more space can you put an extension on or do a loft conversion?
It's just a nettle that must be grasped sooner or later. At the mo, I have a flat in Sheffield which isn't bringing in the greatest rent ever (some of which is being siphoned off by an estate agent), and I'm paying a whopping great rent for my place in Kendal. I'm perfectly happy with where I'm living, but it's pouring cash down the drain, and all the while there's the risk that something goes wrong with my flat in Sheffield. Not sustainable.
If you know anyone who wants a 2 bed flat in Heeley/Meersbrook, do let me know!
Appleby is closer to Sheffield than Kendal is.
My best mate used to live in Maulds Meaburn and my Dad used to live near Langwathby. Nice cycling. In winter it is bleak.
The cultural hub seems to be Rheged.
I climbed at Coudy this past May. There's not much there.
Penrith, it’s the town in North Cumbria (apart from Cockermouth) that is almost perfect, plenty going on, great transport links (the train station is even in the town), lots of new housing developments, good town centre with proper shops, loads of good eating places in and around Penrith, it’s a short bike ride to the National Park.
Appleby - a lovely town, ruined by the horse fair, and that includes the surrounding villages, the thieving and violence are just intolerable we bid on the farm just above Great Asby that has a great chunk of Asby scar on it, luckily we were out bid, I know a couple of farmers in the area and it’s an absolute trial for them.
If you have the option, Great Salkeld, Kirkoswald, Armathwaite are nice Eden valley villages, but I’d look for something to the west of the M6 if you can afford it, just a better location, closer to the LDNP which will always help with resale value.
> Penrith, it’s the town in North Cumbria (apart from Cockermouth) that is almost perfect...
Yes, I really like Penrith - I work there 3 days a week. As Tom says, it's no further from Sheffield driving-wise, although the A66 can be a disaster. Also good for Northumberland and Slipstones areas so I shouldn't miss the access to bouldering I have in Kendal. I'm looking into the new developments there.
My sister in law lives in Bolton (the one just south of Penrith), the village where Leo Houlding was born. It's a small village but has a good local community and is only a short drive from Penrith.
I don't live there but Mum and Dad moved to just outside Brough three years ago. It's absolute magic. As much as I love living in Glasgow the Eden valley is the most amazing escape from everything. Combine this with very easy access to the M6 and you've got a great combination.
I agree it can be quiet but I'm fairly sure there are a few climbers around. Also if you fancy a change then Windmore End is a reasonably good highball circuit for after work climbing.
Having lived in Penrith for 14 years, I do miss the town. Everything was within walking distance, lots of useful shops and still has many independent ones.
Good climbing scene with many locals of all ages. Easy access to northern fells for either climbs or fell walks after work in the summer and the Eden Valley has many good quality esoteric gems.
Good middle distance to all major climbing areas as well. Scotland, Northumberland, lakes, Yorkshire, even Wales and Sheffield.
Appleby sounds like it would be too quiet for you with not too much going on and far fewer shops. The house you have a eye on in Appleby is probably a good buy but sounds a bit of an impulse buy.
I would definitely recommend having a look at Penrith if you do decide to move further north.
Jon, thank you so much. I just had a look at Windmore End, and it looks brilliant.
Are you taking a mat there, or just full on highballing? I’m bored out of my mind with the Peak, and have been having a wonderful time trawling the right hand side of the M6 corridor from Lancaster upwards. This looks like a winner for a stop off on the way up to Eden Rock!
I would take a mat (or two) if visiting. The landings are very good in general but there are a couple of areas where there are small stones or a slight ledge.
Be sure to check out the Lastra Wall area and the climbs around Trouble Without Cause. There are good topos in the FRCC Eden Valley guide.
Most rock is sound but some of the finishes can be loose or having to pull over onto flat grassy top outs.
Some people do lead the routes, a good selection of micro wires will be found very useful.
Enjoy, it's a quality spot.
Thanks Pete, am going to take it in on my next trip north. Any more recommendations for bouldering between Barnard Castle and Penrith?
I grew up between Shap and Appleby, and went to school at the latter. It’s pretty redneck round there which is good and bad. F*ck all going on in Appleby these days as I understand it, there used to be a lot of thriving pubs in the late nineties but many have closed now. It’s a nice town in many respects, and someone bolted up some nearly town centre sandstone a while back (not climbed on it). There are some quality local venues such as Kings Meaburn, where I got started but ultimately you’re not as well placed as Kendal or Penrith so South/North lakes respectively. You will certainly find like minded people about, though not in the same concentration as Penrith. Don’t move to Shap, it’s very weird. I lived only 3 miles away and it was considered another world over there...
Totally agree with Pete - take a couple of pads to Windmore. The height varies from bouldering to frankly too high, and lots perfectly in between. There's only a couple of 'proper' problems around the V7 mark just left of the brilliant little crack Rebel Without a Pause (E3 5c) - ignore the E3, it's about font 6a.
I was nervous about crappy top-outs before I went, but it's totally fine. It's absolutely magic on a summer's evening, with spectacular views across the valley, but I haven't been in winter. On the right day I think it's climbable, not seepy. The grades at the crag are a total joke - "E3" is usually V2/3. It's a high-volume kinda place - on my first visit I climbed tons of these highball V2/3s until I couldn't pull anymore.
Have to say I wasn't as sold on Goldsborough Carr - worth calling in, but only just IMO. Grimer should have definitely included Windmore in Boulder Britain rather than Goldsborough.
Thanks everyone for all these posts. I've pretty much been persuaded away from impulse-buying in Appleby and will take my time a bit more. I reckon I'll probably choose between staying in Kendal if I can get something suitable in budget, or moving to Penrith which is a bit cheaper. I'm pretty certain I like being in a town with shops and whatnot, and both Kendal and Penrith are great places.
Also Healaugh Crag or Crag Willas has some good problems in a very remote setting in upper Swaledale.
There is a better approach than following the valley and up the old chimney flue but it's best to take that on your first visit.
The Fiars Wall and Slab are superb.
No way! More secret crags!?
That looks beautiful, I'll be paying a visit some time. I bet you've got more of these up your sleeves.
Where have you been if you think these are secret crags. They are all in the Climbon North of England guide and in the data base here.
Hi Jon have you visited Sunnybrow or Crag Hill? They are also good esoteric bouldering venues with quite a few problems (ebeit in the easy range) to go at. In the same area as Goldsborough.
As webbo says, try and get hold of the North East England guide by smartboys publishing and Cleveland mc (out of print but I think it's all online.
Pdf of crags at bottom of page:
Awesome, thanks. Many years of exploration to come.
I'd hang on until June next year if I were you, then drive to Appleby and have a look.
I've not lived there but, mistakenly drove through there last year to get to Coppermines, from the NE. It takes ages, there are horses and caravans for miles around too.
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