Unsurprisingly, Kirkby Stephen is used as a base for walkers and cyclists, exploring the Eden Valley.
Old drovers ways and packhorse routes snake their way to this attractive little settlement. Kirkby Stephen is on the Settle to Carlisle railway line, although the station is about a mile and a half outside the centre.
You'll quickly notice the influence of sheep, from the carved sheep bench to the auction mart where up to 5000 sheep can be sold on one day.
Inside the Parish Church is the Loki Stone, one of only two in Europe, with a further sheep connection. Loki was a Norse god and the carved stone shows a figure with sheep's horns.
The bell is still rung at eight each evening, with eight rings for the time and then once for every day of the month.
It would once have acted as a curfew, with the local saying that if children were not home by eight the taggy man would get them.
Another interesting building is the Temperance Hall, built in 1856 for those who had taken the 'pledge' to never drink alcohol.
There were brewery buildings too around Frank's Bridge (Frank was a brewer), once part of a Corpse Way. You can see the stone at the end of the bridge where coffins could be rested en route to burial. The ghost of Jangling Annas supposedly haunts the bridge, after she escaped from a nearby prison still wearing her chains but then drowned in the river.
On the edge of town in Stenkrith Park the River Eden drops into a gorge with odd circular holes created by pebbles and the force of the water. The gorge has several different and odd names such as Devil's Mustard Mill and Coop Kernan Hole. While you're in the area, don't miss the chance to walk the Poetry Path, and to explore nearby Pendragon Castle and Nine Standards Rigg.