Tag Archives: eskdale

A Weekend In Ravenglass & Eskdale.

Back in January a group of friends booked a holiday cottage on the Cumbrian coast. Little did we know then what a strange turn of events would unfold in 2020. A global pandemic would envelop the world, like something out of a Sci Fi film. We were definitely thankful that we had arranged our mini break for August in Ravenglass….and happily for us , it could still go ahead. Fortunately this little corner of the Lake District is relatively quiet and social distancing was easy. We also had amazing weather, which always helps. 😎

Looking over to Ravenglass.

Sunshine & Sunsets. So it was that 6 adults, 2 children and 2 dogs spent a happy 3 nights in lovely Ravenglass. Friday was enjoyed mostly on the beach in front of the cottage and admiring an incredible sunset from the balcony. One friend brought a Water Bottle Rocket 🚀 whose launches into the sky gave us endless entertainment on the sand.

Life’s A Beach.

Launching A Bottle Rocket.
Balcony view.
A Glorious Sunset.

A Ratty Trip , Walk To Eel Tarn & Wild Swimming. You can’t visit Ravenglass in the Summer without a ride on The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. Affectionately known as La’al Ratty, this narrow steam gauge railway takes passengers into the seriously scenic Eskdale Valley. We booked return tickets to Dalegarth Station near Boot, from where there are plentiful beautiful riverside and fell walks. Face coverings were advised though not enforced on the platform and inside covered carriages.

Our plan was to walk to a remote tarn for some wild swimming. However as stunning as the hike was, Eel Tarn itself wasn’t really suitable for water pursuits. Surrounded by boggy marsh, only Hugo the Labrador managed to spring in there for a cooling off doggy paddle. However the kids had discovered a promising looking waterfall pool in Whillan Beck , which we managed to visit later.

All aboard.

Eskdale Mill.
Whillan Beck Waterfall pool behind Eskdale Mill.
Sign to Eel Tarn and Scarfell Pike.
Heading up the fell.
Distant cattle.
Eel Tarn.
Picnic lunch.
Stone Peat Hut ruins.
Spot the Herdwick’s.
Direction to the pub.
A choice of destinations to head to from the Woolpack .
🐻 Bear at the Woolpack.
Time for a swim in the waterfall pool behind Eskdale Mill.

Saturday was a really hot day so the cool clear water in the beck was just perfect for swimming in. We had it all to ourselves too. As we left a local family arrived, the father had been coming to the waterfall for 40 years. To us it was an accidental ( and totally wonderful) discovery.

Eskmeals Nature Reserve. Having visited Ravenglass several times now, I hadn’t actually realised that the dunes I had seen on the other side of the estuary are part of Eskmeals Nature Reserve . We decided to visit here on Sunday for a walk. The dunes are home to rare natterjack toads ( we didn’t see any though) and many species of wildflower. There is parking by the viaduct at nearby Waberthwaite. Look out for a yellow flag. If it is flying the adjoining MOD land is in use.

Entrance to the reserve.
⛵ Boat.
Almost deserted beach.

Barrel jellyfish.
Sea Buckthorn.
We came across this pebble Union Jack in the sand.
Pebbles galore on a shingle spit.

A Few More Images From Ravenglass.

Tranquil waters.
Ravenglass has been a Roman port and was also visited by Vikings.
On a garden wall.
Hugo and yacht.
Little Egret.
The Queen wears a face mask in The Ratty Arms.
Anchor.
Bladderwrack seaweed.
A sea plane on the beach.

As we were leaving Ravenglass on Monday morning a man was setting up his sea plane for a 40 minute journey to a lochside cafe near Dumfries for a coffee. Can’t be bad!

Have you ever visited any places mentioned in this post?

🐚

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?

Hawthorn’s September Scavenger Hunt.

I wondered if I would manage to complete this months challenge in time. I’m still on holiday in the Lake District and recently realised I had better get snapping away ! Apart from 3 photos, most of these pictures were taken on my camera phone , over the past few days. 

lancaster and Morecambe 019

1. Shut ~   This butterfly’s wings stayed resolutely shut when I took this photo at The Butterfly House in Williamson Park, Lancaster.

2. Copper ~ There’s a copper  tinge to the days here in the Lake District at the moment. Autumn has arrived! This picture was taken on the banks of Wast Water a couple of days ago. The bracken is copper coloured, the foilage is changing from green to reds and golds. 

 

3. Wrist ~  I would have loved to have worn a pretty bracelet for this prompt, but as I don’t have one here with me, here are my Wristbands from a visit to Muncaster Castle.

4. Quarter ~ At Quarter past six yesterday I was contemplating tucking into this bad boy! Needless to say , I only made a small dent in it, even with my humongous appetite! 

5. It starts with a C ~ Here are Hugo and I outside Muncaster Castle , which is a short drive from where we are staying.  The castle is supposedly haunted by the spirits of a  White Lady, a crying baby and a mischievous fool. Jeepers! 

6. Foam ~  Sorry this prompt was a bit of a disaster for me! I’m trying to convince you here, that the green moss on the rocks in Ravenglass,  feels like Foam when you touch it. A-hem! 

7.  Scarf ~ You can just about see I am wearing my Autumn coloured Scarf , which I bought in Fat Face last September.  I am looking for an abandoned Japanese Garden in woodland near Eskdale Green. It was so abandoned, it took ages to find it! 

8. Line ~ Yesterday I bagged my first Wainwright!  This is the view of Wastwater from the top of Buckbarrow. The skyline is dominated by the Western Fells. It was wonderful up there, but I don’t think I will become addicted to climbing mountains! 

lancaster and Morecambe 066

9. Nostalgic ~  The Art Deco Midland Hotel in Morecambe adds a touch of  Nostalgia to the Lancashire Coast.  I quite fancy staying here one day. 🙂

lancaster and Morecambe 041

10.  My own Choice ~  Love this piccie of my nephew and niece eating their lunch in the back of our car, but can you see who is eyeing up their sarnies. 🙂

Thanks to Hawthorn for arranging the Scavenger Hunt. X