Devil’s Bridge got its fascinating name from an old Welsh legend amplifying how the original bottom bridge came to be. Legend has it that the devil built the bridge to help an old lady get her cow back from the side of the steep gorge. In return for his help, the devil asked for the first living soul that crossed the bridge. But the old lady was cunning and sent her dog across first. The devil was so angry at being tricked he left in a fit of rage leaving the bridge behind. You can find devil’s bridges all over the world, all given to bridges deemed too difficult to be built by man. However this bridge was built by monks in the 11C.
Tremendously short route of 1.5 miles approx. 1 hour trek takes includes the stunning Devil’s Bridge and River Lune. A visit to Ruskin’s View and a wander through the historic heart of Kirkby Lonsdale. The whole route is well surfaced or tarmac. There is one flight of steps which can be avoided. There is plenty of parking on both sides of Devil’s Bridge as well as the ever popular tea wagon and toilets. There are large grassy areas to have a picnic by the river. From the town side of the bridge, take the well surfaced footpath signed to Radical Steps. Follow this broad easy path alongside the river until the first houses come into view. You can turn up to town here using Mill Brow road. Otherwise continue on by the river until the path turns and climbs up Radical Steps. At the top of the steps turn right for a short distance to admire Ruskin’s View. Then go in the opposite direction and through St. Mary’s churchyard. At the far end of the churchyard an alley takes through into the Swine Market with the old market cross in the center. This was where pigs were sold at one time. 6. Go straight over and continue down Horse Market Street. To visit the main part of town just takes one of the turns on the right. 7. To return to Devil’s Bridge follow Horse Market to the end and then the tarmac footpath back to the bridge.
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