Activities in Eskdale

Caroline and Steve Ashall of West Lakes adventures are happy to arrange certain activities such as biking, archery, canyoning, ghyll scrambling, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddle boarding for any friends or family or participant in the X-Lakes Challenge.

Call them on 019467 23753 to discuss options and availability.

For those with more sedate ambitions then the valley has plenty of other things to do. 

The La’al Ratty

One of the best and most unusual ways to explore Eskdale is on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway – locally known as the La’al Ratty. This very special route stretches for seven miles between Ravenglass on the coast and the village of Boot, where our event is based. You can enjoy the whole return journey in full or hop on-and-off at whichever station you like. Or take a linear walk through the valley and return to your starting point via a ride on one of the engines The popular attraction is also dog-friendly and hosts regular special events.

Wild Swimming

On a hot summer’s day, what could be better than a quick dip in one of the crystal-clear river pools in upper Eskdale? Burnmoor Tarn on Eskdale Fell is a wonderfully isolated spot for a dip, or the pool at Trough House Bridge is popular with locals. Why not pack a picnic, take a stroll along the river, and just find a suitable pool for lunch and a refreshing swim? 

Eskdale Mill

This Grade II* listed 16th century building is a must-visit for all history lovers and those who have an interest in the heritage of Eskdale and the Lake District. Open to the public since the ‘70s, Eskdale Mill went through a £1 million restoration in 2019 and is the only working water-powered corn mill in the National Park. Visitors can learn about all stages of the milling process and see the two impressive waterwheels in action as well as take a look at the hands-on exhibition, enjoy a guided tour, or see a milling demonstration. 

Hardknott Fort

The drive up the steep, winding, narrow road to the fort is spectacular and the scenery incredible. A Roman road ran from the coastal fort at Ravenglass (Glannaventa) up the Eskdale Valley to Hardknott Fort before continuing over the Hardknott and Wrynose passes towards the other Roman forts at Ambleside (Galava)to Penrith along ‘High Street’ in the Eastern Fells. Built between AD120 and AD138 it housed a cohort of 500 men, the fourth Cohort of Dalmatians, infantry soldiers from Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro. Living at 815ft above sea level, they guarded the Roman road between Ambleside and Ravenglass from invasion by the Scots and Brigantes. The fort is 375 feet square and covers an area of around two- and three-quarter acres. 

Muncaster Castle

Muncaster Castle is a privately owned castle overlooking the River Esk about a mile east of Ravenglass. Supposedly haunted it features a Himalayan garden, bluebell woods and commands great views of the estuary from its lofty fellside position. There is a Hawk & Owl Centre with regular flying displays, an enchanted trail, the Meadowvole Maze, playgrounds and miles of woodland trails to explore, with the usual range of gift-shops and cafes.