introduction to eskdale...
The green fields and woodlands of the valley of Eskdale, embroidered with the sparkling thread of the river Esk, penetrate deep into the central Lakeland fells. Where the fields peter out below Hardknott Roman Fort, the River Esk continues upwards embraced by mountains to its source at Esk Hause. The only exit is via the Hardknott Pass - a tortuous zigzag of switchback bends and steep inclines that is not for the faint-hearted. In the heart of this lovely valley is the small village of Boot, home to a working corn mill, three real-ale pubs and a micro-brewery.
At the coastal end lies Ravenglass where three rivers meet (Esk, Irt, and Mite) to form an estuary and natural harbour. From being an important Roman port and fishing town where ships once docked at the end of its main street, Ravenglass is now better known as a terminus for the Ravenglass & Eskdale steam railway or La'al Ratty.
A little inland stands Muncaster Castle, ancient family seat of the Pennington family with colourful spring gardens, a renowned owl centre, a celebrated ‘fool' and ghosts aplenty to keep visitors amused for hours. Nearby is Waberthwaite, famous for Richard Woodall's hams, bacons and Cumberland Sausage that are regularly despatched to the Queen.
This is the land of Bronze Age settlements, Roman forts, Anglian crosses, Viking remains, Norman churches, medieval mills and many other hidden delights awaiting discovery in this rich and welcoming corner of Cumbria.