Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme finished in early 2024 with projects successfully delivered by a wide range of project partners, community groups and individuals. 
Over the coming months, we’ll be updating this site to highlight what’s been achieved, so please keep checking back.

Welcome …

… to the Westmorland Dales website.

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme aimed to unlock and reveal the hidden heritage of the Westmorland Dales, enabling more people to connect with, enjoy and benefit from this inspirational landscape. Specifically, its objectives were to:

  • Reveal the area’s hidden heritage.
  • Conserve what makes the area special.
  • Engage people in enjoying and benefitting from their heritage.
  • Sustain the benefits of the scheme in the long-term.

This was achieved through a programme of projects developed and delivered through the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership, led by Friends of the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, and mainly funded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund. It ran over a five-year period from March 2019 to February 2024.

Here you can discover what makes the area so special, find out about the scheme’s projects, and view and download resources produced.

The Westmorland Dales

The Westmorland Dales is a beautiful area of Cumbria lying  north of the Howgill Fells and within the north-west corner of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It stretches from Tebay in the south-west to Kirkby Stephen in the east and to Maulds Meaburn in the north-west. At its heart are the limestone fells above Orton and Asby, rich in natural and cultural heritage, and with magnificent views to the Pennines, the Howgills and the Lakeland fells. It drains into the Lune river catchment to the south and the Eden river catchment to the north. Relatively overlooked compared with its better-known neighbours, our projects have aimed to reveal its heritage for more to enjoy without detracting from its unique qualities. (Click on map for larger image)

Contact information

Friends of the Lake District
Murley Moss, Oxenholme Road, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 7SS
Main Telephone:  01539 720788
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
Yoredale, Bainbridge, Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 3EL
Main Telephone:  01969 652300

An interpretive project looking at the way people have travelled through and left their mark on the area from prehistoric times to the present day, with a series of website blogs, a pack of village heritage walks leaflets and posters.

To explore the routes through the Westmorland Dales which people and animals have used for thousands of years, the physical and cultural marks they have left and share the story with the wider public.

Project lead: Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

The Westmorland Dales is bounded on all sides by major through routes - the Lune gap; the Eden valley; and the route running east from Tebay through Ravenstonedale and onto Kirkby Stephen. For thousands of years people and their animals have passed along these routes and they have unsurprisingly left their mark both physically and culturally on the landscape around them. 

This is a community interpretation project that will gather together research on an important aspect of the history of the Westmorland Dales and then share this story with a wide audience through imaginative interpretation. 

A great deal is already known historically and through archaeological field work about the various users of the through routes, from Roman soldiers with their fort at Low Borrowbridge to the cattle drovers of the seventeenth century to the builders of the first railway lines into the area. The Westmorland Dales also had important turnpike roads and coaching routes. The strategic location of the Westmorland Dales means that it is the focus of both north-south and east-west routes as they find their way through the weak points of the surrounding hills. Much of this historical information is presented quite dryly however and there is also a lot of detail yet to be uncovered or joined up to create a more interesting story. 


  • To work with volunteers from the local community and already formed local history groups to unearth the areas rich history. Identifying the surviving evidence on the ground left by these journeys and the stories they reveal; from the pubs where the drovers drank to the stances where cattle were rested and grazed each day. From the coaching inns and toll houses to the small clues in the built environment which create interest and are easily missed.
  • To enhance the content on the National Park’s Out of Oblivion archaeology website to reflect the new geographical area’s historic and archaeological resource. Thematic essays on topics such as Roads and Trackways; Routemarkers and Railways would benefit from having examples from the Westmorland Dales adding as a result of this project.
  • To share the stories through a wide range of imaginative interpretive mediums.