Self-catering with 10 units, £450-£3300 pupw sleeps 2-14
Farmhouse with 3 rooms, £75-£80 prpn
Holiday & Camping Park with 12 pitches, £15-£16 ptpn
Alternative Accommodation with 4 units, £70-£100 pupn sleeps 4 , £75 pupw sleeps 1-4
Self-catering with 1 unit, £250-£350 pupn sleeps 8
Guest House with 7 rooms, £32-£43 pppnb
Country House Hotel with 11 rooms, £55-£135 pppnb
Self-catering with 1 unit, £235-£340 pupw sleeps 1-4
Wigton (2 miles, 3 km)
Wandering Aengus are based in the Lake District and we are the specialists in self-guided Lake District walking holidays.
Caldbeck (0 miles, 0 km)
The idea is for a working studio gallery showcasing a unique range of work from post-graduate students and established artists/makers, hence the name Hesta Scene? (hesta is 'have you' in Cumbrian dialect).
Hesket Newmarket is known for its community-owned pub and brewery. Attractive 18th century houses are ranged down either side of its central green where the market cross still stands. It appears that in 1751 the ‘old’ market in Hesket was improved – an event that was marked by affixing the compound ‘new market’ to the name. The old market hall still stands on the green in Hesket Newmarket.
Tall Georgian houses lining its streets, an attractive memorial fountain gracing the old market place and an elegant Georgian church all suggest that Wigton was a market town of some importance in days gone by, with its jumble of streets, narrow lanes and alleyways somehow earning it the nickname ‘The Throstle’s Nest’.
Caldbeck is named after the river on which it stands – the Cold Beck. The river once supported many industrial processes – milling, fulling, bobbin making, paper manufacture and brewing – and contributed towards making the village the industrial hub of the area. There were two corn mills, known as King’s Mill and Priest’s Mill (the latter now home to several thriving craft enterprises); a woollen mill which once produced the coarse cloth for John Peel’s ‘coat so grey’; two fulling mills to process the coarse cloth, a flax mill, paper mill, four wood-turning mills and a bobbin mill (the picturesque ruins of which can still be seen at The Howk). Caldbeck also had its own brewery, now part of a house but still recognisable with its tall square cornered chimney.
However, the most important industry (after farming) was mining. In Elizabethan times, it was said that ‘Caldbeck and Caldbeck Fells are worth all England else’ because of the huge wealth derived from its precious mineral reserves. At least 20 different ores were mined here over 400 years, including silver, copper, lead, zinc, barytes, tungsten and other rare minerals. The first miners were German, invited here by Elizabeth I for their superior knowledge of mineral extraction and eventually integrating into the local communities. Many miners lived in villages and hamlets surrounding the Caldbeck Fells, walking daily to their 8-hour shifts in the mines and returning at night. Mining activity was at its peak during the Industrial Revolution with high demand for lead and copper, but by the late 19th century, the ore veins were becoming exhausted and most mines closed as it became uneconomic to work them. There was a brief resurgence in the early 1900s for barytes and tungsten, but by the 1960s all mining had ceased.
St Kentigern’s Church, Caldbeck
This 12th century church is one of a cluster of churches in the area dedicated to the 6th century saint, who probably preached at the nearby well that bears his alternative name, St Mungo. One of its earliest relics is the 13th century grave slab cover of Thomas de Bray (on view in the chancel). Outside, the churchyard contains the elaborate grave of John Peel, the famous huntsman immortalised in the poem ‘D’ye ken John Peel’.
The Howk Bobbin Mill, Caldbeck
A limestone gorge provides the setting for a 19th-century bobbin mill that was in operation between 1857 and 1924. The remains of a coppice shed and the main mill building are still standing. At one end is the huge wheel pit that once housed the ‘Red Rover, a giant waterwheel that drew visitors from far and wide to admire its size (dismantled during World War II). The Howk was one of the most northerly bobbin mills in Cumbria, utilising coppiced wood grown in nearby woodlands.
Ireby Old Church
Standing alone in a field to the west of Ireby is the remarkable sight of this isolated chancel (all that remains of the original 12th century church). The 1½ mile (2.4 km) trek every Sunday must have been too much for the villagers, so in 1845 work started on a new church closer to home, with the building materials coming from the demolished nave and north aisle of the old church. A 14th century grave slab was also taken to the new church of St James (built into the porch wall), along with the font with its unusual carved roundels.