Eskdale, England is a hidden gem of the English countryside, and a perfect destination for a weekend getaway. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing break or an action-packed adventure, you’ll find plenty to do in this charming part of the country.
From ancient ruins to stunning landscapes, there’s something for everyone in Eskdale. Here I’ve put together a list of the 15 best things to do in Eskdale, so you can make the most of your visit.
From exploring the majestic Muncaster Castle to taking a boat trip on Wastwater, you won’t be short of things to do. So let’s get on with it – here are the 15 best things to do in Eskdale, England!
Walk the Eskdale Trail
Come and experience the breathtaking beauty of the Eskdale Trail for yourself!
The trail is a 10-mile walk that takes you through some of the most stunning views of Eskdale.
As you make your way through the trail, you’ll be able to take in the lush rolling hills, quiet valleys, and picturesque meadows that make this area so special.
You may even spot some of the local wildlife, such as birds, rabbits, and deer.
The trail is easy to follow and is suitable for all ages and abilities, so you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of Eskdale at your own pace.
Along the way, you’ll find plenty of places to take a break, such as benches, picnic tables, and rest stops.
This is a great way to get out and explore this stunning corner of England, and you’ll be sure to take home some amazing memories.
Explore Muncaster Castle
Visiting Muncaster Castle is a must if you’re in the area – it won’t disappoint!
Located near the Eskdale Trail, Muncaster Castle is an impressive 8-centuries-old castle with a fascinating history.
It is home to the Pennington family and contains a variety of historical artifacts and artworks, as well as plenty of beautiful gardens and stunning views of Eskdale.
The castle also offers a variety of activities, such as an owl center, a maze, a garden center, and an adventure playground.
Visitors can also take part in a variety of guided tours, which explore different aspects of the castle’s history and provide insight into the lives of its former inhabitants.
Whether you’re looking for a fun day out with the family or an interesting history lesson, Muncaster Castle is sure to have something for everyone.
Visit the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
A ride on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway is an unforgettable experience. It takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in England and provides a unique insight into the region’s history.
The Railway is a seven-mile narrow gauge heritage railway. It runs from the coastal town of Ravenglass to the Eskdale Valley, with stops along the way at Dalegarth, Beckfoot and Boot.
Part of the journey takes you along the banks of the River Esk. This offers picturesque views of the surrounding area. The Railway is operated by Steam Locomotives, giving visitors a chance to experience the nostalgia of the golden age of steam.
The Railway’s main attraction is the ‘La’al Ratty’ service. It takes visitors on a journey through the Eskdale Valley, passing through the villages of Boot, Brotherilkeld, and Beckfoot. The journey offers stunning views of the rivers and mountains of the Lake District National Park, as well as the chance to spot local wildlife.
At Ravenglass Station, visitors can explore the Engine Shed Museum. It showcases the history of the Railway and includes a collection of vintage locomotives and carriages. For a truly unique experience, visitors can even take a ride in a vintage carriage pulled by a steam locomotive.
Take a Boat Trip on Wastwater
Wastwater, England’s deepest lake, offers a tranquil boat trip, allowing visitors to take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The boat trip is an ideal way to see some of the most beautiful parts of Eskdale, including its surrounding mountain ranges, and the two islands in the lake – Lingmell and Middle Fell.
The boat trips start from the village of Wasdale Head, which is just a few miles away from the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway.
The boat trip is approximately one hour long and takes visitors around the lake, with the skipper providing commentary about the history of the area. It’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon in Eskdale, with plenty of opportunities to take photographs of the stunning scenery, as well as the chance to spot some of the local wildlife.
Visitors can also take a break from the boat trip and enjoy a picnic lunch on the banks of the lake. Taking a boat trip on Wastwater is an unforgettable experience, and one that shouldn’t be missed when visiting Eskdale.
Stop by St. Bega’s Church
Take a break from your boat trip on Wastwater to visit St. Bega’s Church, an ancient and picturesque church located in the village of Wasdale Head.
The church, dedicated to St. Bega, is thought to date back to the 11th century, and is a Grade I listed building. Although it’s been renovated over the centuries, the original building is still visible in its structure.
The church is an impressive sight, with its Norman archways and ancient stone walls. Inside, it’s a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere, with its original pews and a tranquil air that makes it a perfect spot for some quiet contemplation.
Take some time to explore the church and its grounds, and take a few pictures to remember this unique experience.
St. Bega’s Church is a must-see for anyone visiting the area, a reminder of the beauty and history of this part of England.
Explore Hardknott and Wrynose Passes
Leaving St. Bega’s Church, I ventured further into Eskdale, England. I was excited to explore Hardknott and Wrynose Passes, two of the most beautiful and thrilling drives in the country.
Located in the Lake District, these passes are narrow and winding with steep gradients and sharp bends. The roads are surrounded by lush, green mountains and picturesque views of the countryside.
Driving through the passes is a thrilling experience. The roads are so narrow that two cars can barely pass each other, so I had to go slow and stay alert. The incline is so steep that I felt like I was driving up a mountain.
I stopped at several overlooks along the way to take in the stunning views. The drive was an adventure and an unforgettable experience.
Enjoy the View at Hardknott Roman Fort
After navigating the winding roads of Hardknott and Wrynose Passes, take a break and enjoy the view from Hardknott Roman Fort.
Built by the Romans in the early 2nd century, the fort is located on a hilltop with a commanding view of the surrounding area. The fort’s ruins contain the remains of barracks, granaries, an officers’ house, and a bathhouse, making it a fascinating historical site to explore.
From the fort, visitors can also take in the stunning views of the Eskdale Valley and the surrounding Lake District fells. The vista is breathtaking and makes for a great place to relax and take in the beauty of the area. On a clear day, it’s even possible to see all the way to the Irish Sea.
For a truly special experience, visit Hardknott Roman Fort at sunset, when the changing colors of the sky provide a spectacular backdrop.
Go Horse Riding at High Wray Farm
Explore the beautiful Lake District countryside on horseback with a ride at High Wray Farm. High Wray Farm is located in the Eskdale Valley, offering a peaceful atmosphere to take in the stunning views.
The farm provides a variety of horseback riding experiences including guided rides, pony rides, and trekking. With experienced, knowledgeable guides, you can explore the area’s trails, hills, and valleys in a safe and fun manner. Horse riding is perfect for all levels of experience, and the farm offers a range of routes to suit your skill level.
The farm’s horses are well cared for and trained, so you can rest assured that your ride is safe and enjoyable. Whether you’re looking for an exciting adventure or a tranquil journey, High Wray Farm has something for everyone.
With its picturesque scenery and friendly staff, your ride at High Wray Farm will be an unforgettable experience. So saddle up and enjoy the best of Eskdale on horseback!
Visit the Eskdale Folk Museum
Immerse yourself in the rich history of the Eskdale Valley at the Eskdale Folk Museum. Located in the village of Boot, the museum has been open since 1967 and provides a window into the past.
Explore a variety of artifacts from the region’s past, such as 19th-century tools, photographs, documents, and other items that tell the story of the Eskdale Valley and its people. There are also interactive displays and workshops, such as spinning and weaving.
Visitors can also learn about the Eskdale Railway, which operated from 1876 until 1931, and the Eskdale miners who helped drive the local economy.
The museum is open year-round, and admission is free. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for something to do in Eskdale, the Eskdale Folk Museum is a must-see.
Enjoy the Views at Scafell Pike
After exploring the Eskdale Folk Museum and learning about the history of the area, it’s time to take in the views of the area by visiting its highest peak, Scafell Pike. Standing at 978 metres, Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England, and a popular hiking destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
I had the opportunity to hike up the mountain and take in the stunning vistas. The air was clean and fresh, and the landscape was breathtaking.
The hike up to the summit was quite challenging, but the views were worth the effort. The scenery included rugged mountains, valleys, and lakes. The summit was stunning, and the panoramic views were spectacular.
I was also lucky to spot some of the region’s wildlife, such as red deer, hares, and grouse.
The experience of hiking up Scafell Pike and taking in the views was an unforgettable one. It was truly a special experience that I will never forget.
Take a Walk on Wastwater Screes
Take a stroll down Wastwater Screes for a mesmerizing, panoramic view of the lake and its surroundings. This walk is a great way to take in the beauty of the area and one of the best things to do in Eskdale, England.
The path is an easy, mostly flat trail that winds through the rocky terrain, providing stunning views of Wastwater Lake and the surrounding mountains. The path takes you to the top of the screes, where you can look out over the lake and take in the stunning views of the peaks of the Cumbrian Mountains.
The trail is also full of interesting and diverse wildlife, making it a great spot to spot some rare species of birds and other wildlife. Be sure to bring your camera along for some great photo ops!
The trail is also great for picnicking, as there are plenty of spots to set up a blanket and enjoy a scenic lunch. With its breathtaking views, diverse wildlife, and easy path, a walk on Wastwater Screes is definitely a must-do experience when visiting Eskdale, England.
Explore the English Lakes at Wastwater
Experience the stunning English Lakes at Wastwater and take in the breathtaking views of the Cumbrian Mountains. Located in the beautiful Eskdale Valley, Wastwater is the deepest lake in England.
Its peaceful blue waters are surrounded by some of the most spectacular fells in the Lake District. Take the opportunity to explore the lake’s shores and discover a variety of wildlife, including birds, otters, and the occasional red deer.
Climb to the top of nearby Scafell Pike for stunning views of Wastwater and the entire valley.
For a truly unique experience, try a guided boat tour. Enjoy a leisurely cruise around the lake, admiring its stunning shorelines and learning about the area’s history.
There’s also a variety of water activities available, such as paddle boarding, canoeing, and kayaking.
Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, Wastwater has something for everyone. With its picturesque views and stunning wildlife, it’s no wonder Wastwater is one of the best places to visit in England.
Enjoy a Round of Golf at Eskdale Golf Club
Challenge yourself to a round of golf at Eskdale Golf Club and enjoy a scenic course with breathtaking views of the English Lakes.
The 18-hole course is located in the stunning Eskdale Valley and offers a variety of terrain for all levels of golfers.
Designed in the early 20th century, the course has remained largely unchanged in the intervening years and is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area.
The course offers a variety of challenges, including a number of water hazards, strategically placed bunkers, and undulating greens.
The clubhouse is well-stocked with amenities and provides a great place to relax and unwind after your round.
The friendly staff and pro shop are always on hand to help make your experience at Eskdale Golf Club a memorable one.
With its picturesque setting and challenging course, Eskdale Golf Club is the perfect destination for any golfer looking for a great day out.
Explore the Local Wildlife at Drigg Nature Reserve
Drigg Nature Reserve is the perfect spot to explore the local wildlife, offering a tranquil and picturesque setting to observe some of the area’s most fascinating creatures.
Located near the town of Eskdale, the reserve is home to a variety of birds, including redshank, curlew, oystercatcher, and lapwing, as well as wildfowl in the form of shelduck, teal, and widgeon.
The area is also home to a variety of butterflies, moths, and other insects, making it a perfect place for nature lovers and photographers.
The reserve also features a variety of habitats, including wetland, grassland, and heathland, making it a great place to explore and learn more about the local environment.
The reserve is open to the public and offers a range of activities such as guided walks, birdwatching, and photography. There’s also an education center where visitors can learn more about the local wildlife and the importance of conservation.
With its stunning scenery and diverse wildlife, Drigg Nature Reserve is a wonderful destination for anyone looking to get close to nature and explore the local wildlife in Eskdale, England.
Shop for Local Produce at the Eskdale Green Farmers Market
Take a stroll through the vibrant Eskdale Green Farmers Market and discover a wealth of locally-sourced produce grown in the area.
Discover fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses, and more, all grown and produced by local farmers and artisans.
Enjoy the sights and smells of the bustling market, as vendors offer samples of their delicious products.
Spend some time chatting with the vendors and learning about the region’s unique farming traditions.
Pick up some of the freshest, locally-sourced produce available, and enjoy the flavors of the Eskdale countryside.
The Eskdale Green Farmers Market is a great place to find unique and delicious foods, while supporting local farmers and businesses.
Whether you’re looking for a few ingredients to cook up a meal or just browsing the stands, you’re sure to find something to make your visit to Eskdale especially memorable.
I’ve had an amazing time exploring the best of Eskdale, England! From walking the Eskdale Trail to exploring Muncaster Castle, the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, and Wastwater, I’ve had plenty of wonderful experiences.
I’ve also visited St. Bega’s Church and enjoyed a round of golf at the Eskdale Golf Club. Additionally, I explored the local wildlife at Drigg Nature Reserve.
Shopping for local produce at the Eskdale Green Farmers Market was a great experience too.
I’ll definitely be coming back soon to explore more of this beautiful part of England!