A week in the Western Lakes. 

A few days ago we got back from a whole week in the lovely Lake District. We stopped in a holiday cottage , just outside the Eskdale village of Santon Bridge. Eskdale is a glacial valley in the less touristy Western side of the Lake District National Park. For us it was the ideal getaway, a base to explore what this gorgeous area has to offer.

Ride on the Ratty.   One thing I knew I wanted to do was take a steam train journey on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway.  The railway is a 7 mile minimum gauge heritage railway , affectionately known as L’al Ratty. It was originally used to carry hematite iron ore from mines around Boot, nowadays  it’s  an inventive way to explore the surrounding countryside.  We bought return tickets from Ravenglass to Dalegarth station £13.90 each ( Hugo’s ticket was £1.50) and walked along the river Esk to Stanley Ghyll Force. Trust us to find a waterfall!  L’al Ratty also played host to an Art Installation on our visit.   The Curious Incident of the Stag on the Train Line was an exhibition  of 12 beautiful wildlife paintings by local artist Sarah Taylor.  It was fun to spot  them along the trackside. 🙂

 A Walk to Wastwater.   The nearest lake to where we were staying is also the deepest lake in The Lake District. Wastwater is three miles long , half a mile wide and 260 feet deep.  One day we walked from the  cottage to the village of Nether Wasdale and onto Wastwater. As  you can see we were lucky enough to experience the most amazing walking weather, and the Autumn colours were stunning. Hugo got to bag another lake , which brings his lakes & tarns tally to 13.  Plenty more to go at though!

 Owls at Muncaster Castle. 

Muncaster Castle dates back to medieval times and with 70 acres of wild woodland gardens , its grounds are there for exploration.  The main draw for me though was the Hawk & Owl Centre which puts on daily flying shows. I caught the morning World of Owls Flying Display, where several species of owls can be seen at close quarters. The centre works in partnership with the Hawk Conservation Trust and the talk was both informative and entertaining. Make sure you know how to duck!  Of course Hugo had to stay with Wil whilst I had all the owl themed fun. 😦 Dogs on leads are welcome in the gardens and at the afternoon Sky Hunters Display and Heron feed ( there is a special viewing area for dogs and their owners), but we left before then, to find Hugo an off lead walk.  

Bag a Wainwright.
Wil was determined that we would walk up a mountain on our holiday, and bagging a Wainwright should have been on my Bucket List! Despite not being fond of hills, I’m always in awe of the gorgeous views, once I make it up one. 😉  We chose Buckbarrow, as it was within walking distance of our cottage, and from it’s summit, we could see the sea from one side and Wastwater and the screes from the other. Quite a vista! There are 214 Wainwight Peaks altogether. This was my first! 


Head for the Coast.  Santon Bridge ( our base) is actually only a few miles  from the coast, so it was inevitable that we would head for the seaside. The pretty harbor village of Ravenglass has a couple of pubs , a beach and of course is home to The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. We also ventured further a field , following the coastal road to Barrow In Furness and the russet stone ruins of Furness Abbey. The ancient abbey is looked after by English Heritage and it and the museum/giftshop are fascinating to look round. From Barrow we really wanted to take a trip to Walney Island , a nature reserve that is home to a colony of Grey seals. Unfortunately a traffic accident mean’t we had to forgo our plans, so we went to Haverigg Beach instead. The beach here is especially popular with dog walkers and it looked like you could walk for miles and miles.

I really enjoyed our time in the Western Lake District. My only regret is that we didn’t get to explore some of the other lakes in the area. But we were without a car for a couple of days…..so I think we did pretty well considering. 🙂

What is your favourite part of this iconic National Park?


27 thoughts on “A week in the Western Lakes. ”

      1. Wow amazing photos of a beautiful place. The Lake District is amazing isn’t it. And you saw Red squirrels and deer! What is that building? Looks beautiful.

  1. I stayed at the Camping & Caravan Club site in Boot a few years ago, the site, the village and the weather were lovely. I also went on the train to Ravenglass and ended up (by accident) going on a really long circular walk.

      1. The camp site is along the ‘main’ road past Boot – turn left out of Dalegarth station and just follow the road. You pass the turn-off on the left to Boot village itself – there’s a pub/restaurant, Brook House Inn, right on the corner – then pass two fields and the camp site entrance is on the left. It’s a lovely site with a stream running through it and if you don’t want to tent camp they have dog friendly camping pods. It was never actually owned by the Camping & Caravanning Club, it’s privately owned by the people who farm there – a lovely couple – and was franchised to the C & CC, though I have it in the back of my mind that since I last went there it’s no longer anything to do with the Club. Anyway, here’s the website if you want to have a look – http://www.eskdalecamping.com/

        The accidental circular walk which took me miles out of my way – I started off at Ravenglass station – actually turned out okay as I photographed some lovely scenery which I wouldn’t have otherwise seen 🙂

  2. I stayed a couple of times over in the west. In a village called Dean. Its pretty close to Loweswater which is a lovely spot for a circular walk around the lake. The pub in the village (Royal Yew) is excellent. Well done on your first wainwright, 213 to go, plenty of those are similar or easier than Buckbarrow. Latrigg, Low Fell, Sale fell, Ling Fell, Binsey, Rannerdale Knotts are all easy ones in the northern/western side

  3. I always look forward to your posts, they are full of interesting places to visit. I love the photos of the owls, they’re beautiful!

  4. I love the first photo of you out side the little house, such nice places you have been to. Not sure why , and living not far , the Lakes is a place we don’t really go to. Must change that as it all looks lovely.
    Amanda xx

    1. You live in beautiful Yorkshire, so no need to travel far! I remember you going to Northumberland, somewhere I have only been the once. Xx

  5. Sounds like you packed quite a lot in your week to beautiful Lake District. I’ve not been to Muncaster Castle but its on my list. Those deer pictures look cute. I’ve seen them somewhere before? I love bird of prey displays too! If I had to choose a favourite place in the Lakes it would be the shores of Derwentwater 😁 Everytime I visit, it’s like seeing an old friend. Well done Hugo for bagging Wastwater. It was my most epic swim 😀. And there are some easy Wainwright’s for you to try. I can’t climb mountains either! X

    1. I think you would love Muncaster Castle , you can look round it too and its supposed to be haunted by several ghosts! Think I have seen her pictures before too. She actually paints them using drinking straws and a.hairdryer. 🙂 I love Derwent Water too. Need to head up that way again. I loved our wknd in Keswick earlier this year. X

  6. What a lovely post Shazza. I haven’t been to the Lake District for quite a while and you’ve made me want to pack our bags and get going! Hugo’s lake tally is pretty impressive. Harvey and Riley need to catch up! J x

    1. Oh thank you! Its quite local for us, being in Lancs. Plus I do have family near Ullswater too, so we go quite a lot. The western lakes are pretty neglected by us though, so I’m sure we will return. 🙂 We have a map of the Lake District in the kitchen and every time we visit a lake or tarn with Hugo we take a picture of him and pin it to the map. I’m sure Harvey and Riley would love it there. X

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