Nine Standards Rigg
Nine Standards Rigg is an iconic landmark near the summit of Hartley Fell in Cumbria. Nine cairns, some which once stood nearly 4 metres high, stand at 2170 ft above sea level and provide spectacular 360 degree, panoramic views of the Teesdale hills, Swaledale, the Cumbrian hills and the Lake District mountains in the far distance. Nobody really knows why they are there. Some say they could have been an ancient boundary marker between Swaledale and Westmorland. Another theory is that they were built to give the impression of a large army encampment and that the 'standard' or flag would have flown from the top of each cairn, sending a warning to any approaching foes.
Whatever their purpose, I am pleased I made it to the top, Another boxed ticked!
My walk stared in the pretty village of Hartley just outside of Kirkby Stephen. The village has popped up along both sides of a babbling stream with several attractive little footbridges that knit the village together. At the top of the village is a short path (thoughtfully signposted) through a wooded area that is a pleasant diversion from the road. Coming out of the wood carry on up hill to a left hand junction clearly marked 'Walkers path and C2C'.
|The first glimpse of the Nine Standards|
The trail is very easy to follow. The first mile or so is along a the tarmac road that leads to the fell gate.
Through the fell gate and a wooden seat provides a good stopping place to take on water and admire the wonderful views of the Eden Valley that has been left behind. The whole walk is largely uphill. Hartley is 575 ft above sea level and Nine Standards Rigg stands at 2170 ft above sea level. It doesn't have to be an uphill struggle but it does take stamina and a degree of determination.
|Looking back from whence you came.|
The path is easy to follow. There are however three different colour coded routes for different times of year. These are for guidance only and are for those who are following the C2C trail all the way through to Keld. For the purpose of walking to Nine Standards walkers are asked to use the Permissive Path.