River Eden Facts

Located entirely in Cumbria, England, the River Eden’s source is in Black Fell Moss in Mallerstang in the Yorkshire Dales. It is approximately 145 km (90 miles) long, and it empties out into the Solway Firth.

The River Eden in the Late 1800s
The River Eden in the Late 1800s

Facts About the River Eden

  • In its upper course, the River Eden is known as the Red Gill Beck and then Hell Gill Beck.
  • The River Eden flows through Appleby-in-Westmorland, Kirkby Stephen, and Wetheral.
  • Some of its tributaries include the River Caldew, River Petteril, River Eamont, and River Irthing.
  • The River Eden forms Inglewood Forest’s eastern border.
  • It flows very close to Long Meg and Her Daughters, a Neolithic stone circle located to the north of Penrith.
  • In Wetheral, the River Eden is crossed by Corby Bridge, an 1830s railway viaduct.
The River Eden at Wetheral
The River Eden at Wetheral
  • Hadrian’s Wall crosses the River Eden at its junction with the River Caldew in north Carlisle.
  • The River Eden is home to lots of wildlife, including Atlantic salmon, otters, brown trout, grayling, chub, dace, eel, perch, pike, roach, river lamprey, sea lamprey brook lamprey, bullhead, and white-clawed crayfish.
  • Its name is not related to the Garden of Eden from the Bible. It is thought to derive from the Celtic word ituna.
  • The river flows in a northely direction.
  • The famous Settle to Carlisle railway follows the direction of the river for much of its course.
  • The Eden Benchmarks are a collection of ten sculptures located in the Eden Valley. They were commissioned by the East Cumbria Countryside Project.
  • The Bailey Bridge built over the River Eden in 1968 was meant to be a temporary replacement for the former bridge washed away by floodwaters. It is now one of the longest-lasting temporary bridges in the world.
  • The River Eden Catchment has an area of approximately 2500 square kilometres.
  • There are more than 180 plant species linked to the River Eden. This is more than any other of Britain’s rivers.
  • The town of Eden takes its name from the river.

Visit our Rivers resources page, or discover more about the longest rivers in the UK.