Kirkby Stephen (/ˈkɜːrbi/) is a civil parish and small market town in Cumbria, in North West England. Historically it was part of Westmorland. The town lies on the A685, surrounded by sparsely populated hill country, and about 25 miles (40 km) from the nearest larger towns, Kendal and Penrith. The River Eden rises 6 miles (9.7 km) away in the peat bogs below Hugh Seat and passes by the eastern edge of the town, almost unnoticeably. Kirkby Stephen has a parish council and acts as a centre for surrounding villages and parishes, including Nateby, Ravenstonedale and Mallerstang. A community and council centre in the library provides information and services for all the local councils (county, district and parish).