Eskdale is an inspiring Lake District valley of mountain, crags, river and forest with England's highest mountain - Scafell Pike at its head. The natural beauty is an outdoor playground especially for walkers on paths that are demanding or gentle with plenty in between. The newly opened Eskdale cycle trail makes the valley easy to explore if cycling is your thing, and the steam railway, La'al Ratty which winds its way 7 miles up the valley, has bike carriers so you can plan a circular trip in the saddle (or on foot) and leave your car behind.Hard Knott Roman Fort high up in the valley with a commanding view is a testament to the Roman presence here nearly two thousand years ago. Recent discoveries at Muncaster Castle show how important this area was to Rome. St Bega's Church is a good first port of call as it houses an excellent exhibition detailing the many delights of the Valley.