Eskdale is one of the most picturesque valleys in the Lake District National Park. It stretches from Gosforth to the West Coast of Cumbria, along the base of the renowned Hard Knott Pass. Scafell Pike – the tallest mountain in England is situated at the head of the valley. It is the only place in the country where mountains directly meet the sea.
The area is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with many visitors flocking to the region to soak up the spectacular scenery. There’s an abundance of walking trails to explore – with something to suit avid hikers and those looking to enjoy a leisurely afternoon stroll.
Eskdale Valley attractions
There are plenty of attractions to keep you busy during a day trip to Eskdale valley. Below we list just some of our favourite places to visit while staying at Skelwith Fold Caravan Park.
Eskdale Mill is one of the best places to learn more about the area’s rich industrial heritage. The unique visitor attraction showcases the traditional craft of stone corn milling, through an interesting multi-sensory tour. As you walk through the exhibition, you’ll get to see a variety of machinery and the inner workings of the mill. You also learn more about local families that worked in the mill through the ages.
Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway
Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway is one of the most popular attractions in the area. The narrow-gauge railway was originally built to transport iron ore from the mines. Today, it ferries passengers through the Lake District National Park. Passengers sit in cosy carriages – some open top. You can enjoy far reaching views in every direction as you travel up the line. On a clear day you can see some of The Lakes tallest mountains in the distance. The railway is open March – October with special Christmas services in late November and December.
Eskdale Cycle Trail
Keen cyclists should take the time to tackle the Eskdale Cycle Trail while exploring the region. Load your bike onto the Ravenglass and Eskdale railway and enjoy a scenic train ride to Delgarth, before cycling back down. Along the route you’ll pass through picturesque countryside, woodland and meadows. If you’re lucky you’ll catch a glimpse of the local wildlife, which can include deer, buzzards and even elusive red squirrels.
The route is approximately 8.5 miles long over fairly easy terrain with a gentle gradient. The trail should take around 2 hours, depending on how many stops you take (plus the 40-minute train journey).
Visitors interested in history should pay a visit to the Hard Knott Roman Fort. It was built to overlook the Roman road from Ravenglass to Ambleside and is one of the most remote outposts of the Roman empire. Archaeological findings suggest it was used as a temporary shelter for passing patrols and travellers. It was demilitarised and then abandoned in the third century.
The remains include a headquarters building, commandants house and bath house. There is also evidence of a parade square and Roman road.
Getting to Eskdale
It takes approximately 50 minutes to drive to the Eskdale Valley from Skelwith Fold Caravan Park. Make a day of it and explore the beautiful scenery and abundance of things to see and do. There are plenty of attractions to keep the whole family entertained.
Photo credit: Dave Wallis
How to find Eskdale
Opening times: Always open
Distance from park
26.0 miles (approx. 1 hour 5 mins)