Wordsworth’s Grasmere and Rydal Walk

William Wordsworth – famous poet and wanderer of the Lakeland valleys and fells. He spent his early life in Cockermouth, Penrith  and Hawkshead, but is more famously associated with Grasmere and Rydal where he lived for most of his adult life.

William Wordsworth

Spend some time discovering his homes around Grasmere and walk in the footsteps of William and Dorothy as they travelled round the area visiting friends and gaining inspiration for the poems William is famous for, as well as local news and natural history for Dorothy’s journals.


Start your walk on the outskirts of the village of Grasmere; this charming lakeland hamlet was where Wordsworth decided to settle. He came across the house that is now called Dove Cottage, which was then an inn called the “Dove and Olive Bough”. Here he and his sister lived from 1799 to 1808.  By then, William had married Mary Hutchinson, a childhood friend, and they already had 3 children and were expecting another.

Dove Cottage

Now head in to the village. As you enter the village look up the valley to the peak of Helm Crag. This peak is often referred to as “The lion and the lamb”, look at the summit rocks and see if you can work out why.

Summit Rocks, Helm Crag

In the village you will find the church of St Oswald, enter the church yard to find the last resting place of Wordsworth and many family members.

Grasmere Church

This church was an important place as it was the parish church for Rydal, Grasmere and Langdale and as a result the church has three entrances.

Wordsworth's Grave

Next to the church is the famous Sarah Nelson Gingerbread shop. Started in 1850 this shop sells freshly made gingerbread made to the original secret receipe.

Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

Buy some for the walk and sit and enjoy it whilst admiring the view.

Grasmere Gingerbread

From Grasmere you head out of the village on Red Bank Road. Up on the hill to your right you will spy the large house of Allan Bank. This grand house was considered an “abomination” by Wordsworth at first as it spoiled his view of the fells from Dove Cottage. When his family outgrew Dove Cottage in 1808 he  moved into Allan Bank and grew to like it as it has wonderful views.

Allan Bank

In 2011 Allan Bank suffered a fire. Luckly the house was not burnt down, but it did require major renovation work. The unfurnished house is due to open to the public for a year at the end of March 2012, whilst its future is decided.

Allan Bank

From Grasmere you head past the Fairy Garden tea rooms. This small tea room has a miniature gypsy caravan, benches with views across Grasmere and row boats for hire.

Fairy Garden

Follow the road past a number of houses until you reach the permissive right of way down to the lake shore. This path gives fantastic views across the lake to the fells of Heron Pike, Seat Sandal and Dollywaggon Pike.  Grasmere is fairly shallow and in cold winters it freezes. This provided the villagers and the Wordsworths with a place to ice skate.

Grasmere Frozen

Cold winters are fewer and so ice skating has become a thing of the past.

Grasmere Lake

The path comes to a small dam and the entrance to the River Rothay. You could cross the bridge into the woods and spend some time exploring White Moss Common. However, head uphill in front of you towards the coll above the woods. From here you could walk up Loughrigg Terrace with great views down on to Grasmere before climbing to the summit of Loughrigg.

View from Loughrigg

If you wish drop down to Rydal’s lake shore, but better still take the higher path which takes you to Rydal cave. This large cave was formed from slate extraction – a major piece of engineering when you stop and think about how they got all the slate out. Today, the cave is used from time to time for carol singing due to its accoustics.

Rydal Cave

Follow the old track used for carrying the slate out until you come to a gate. From here, head down to the lake and then follow the track through the woods and over the river to come out in Rydal.

Rydal Water

Just before you cross the river you pass Cote How, an organic tea room and B&B. After you cross the river you come out opposite the Badger Bar – a good place to stop for a pint.

The Badger Bar

Walk through Dora’s field which is a sight to behold when the bluebells or daffodils are out. The daffodils were planted by Wordsworth and his family in memory of his daughter Dora. .

Dora's Field

Dora's Field

Head to the church which you should find open. The church was built in 1823 by Lady le Fleming of Rydal Hall. It was attended by the Wordsworths when they lived at Rydal Mount. William was churchwarden there in 1833. If you look, you will find his pew as well as that of Dr Arnold, Head of Rugby School, who lived at Fox How, Under Loughrigg and was a personal friend of the Wordsworths.

Rydal Church

Continue up the hill to Rydal Mount the final home of William, his wife Mary and Dorothy Wordsworth (from 1813). The house is still owned by descendants of the Wordsworths and the garden is still very similar to the one designed and planted by William and is an example of a “romantic style” garden.

Rydal Mount

Spend some time in the house and grounds as well as enjoying tea and cake in the garden.

Rydal Mount Gardens

Opposite Rydal Mount is Rydal Hall. This property was built in the 16th Century by the Le Fleming family. It is presently owned by the Diocese of Carlisle and is run as a Christian centre.

Rydal Hall

The hall now provides conference facilities and accommodation for the general public. There is also self catering, eco pods and camping at the Hall.

Eco Pods at Rydal Hall

You will also find another great tea room in the Old School House at Rydal Hall. This is open to the public and serves great food for hungry, wet and muddy walkers. Dogs are also welcome here.

Old School House Tea Room

If you continue up the hill past Rydal Mount you come to the old coffin route. Turn left on to this and follow this track. This was the track used to carry the coffins from  Rydal to Grasmere church for burial.

Start of coffin route at Rydal

Here also is the end of the classic Fairfield horseshoe walk. A route that starts in Ambleside and climbs up over High Pike and round onto Fairfield before descending over Heron Pike to Rydal and then along the valley back to the start.

Fairfield Horseshoe from Heron Pike

As you walk along the track keep your eye out for a dead tree studded with money on the side of the track. This is done to bring good luck.

Lucky Money

Further on you will come across the stone bench used to rest the coffins on.

Coffin Rest

The coffin route gives great views down on to Rydal Water and the route you have taken to get here. Beyond, the peaks of Great Langdale and Coniston rise in the distance.

Eventually you come to White Moss Tarn. This tarn may have been used to wash wool in the past as Grasmere wove cloth to be sent to Kendal as “Kendal Green”. It was also another favourite skating pond for Wordsworth.

White Moss Tarn

Follow the road down the hill, look out for another coffin stone on your right. As you come down the hill you will end up back at Dove Cottage with a short walk into Grasmere.

Coffin Rest

For a full day out discovering more about Wordsworth and his homes why not hire a Blue Badge Guide to help you make the most of this walk. For those wanting guided walks up the many fells in the area, including the Fairfield Horseshoe, Eden Outdoor Adventures can provide a qualified mountain leader to guide you.

So why not discover the homes of Wordsworth, enjoy some great walking and spend time enjoying a cup of tea and eating cake with family and friends?

Grasmere Rydal Walk

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Discover Beatrix Potter’s Borrowdale

As a child, Beatrix Potter spent a number of summers on family holidays in the Borrowdale Valley. She used these holidays to gain inspiration for some of her famous “little books”.

Beatrix Potter

Eden Outdoor Adventures can help you explore this beautiful area, discovering many of the scenes used in Beatrix Potter’s books, as well as having some adventures along the way.

Peter Rabbit

Squirrel Nutkin

The famous market town of Keswick guards the entrance to the Borrowdale valley. It offers a great place to base yourself with self-catering, camping, YHA, B&B and hotel accommodation. There are a variety of specialist shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs to explore after a day out in the area.


Keswick is at the foot of Derwentwater, considered to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the Lake District. With fantastic views, islands and secluded bays, the best way to explore this lake is by canoe. Head out and stop off to explore the bays and islands Beatrix Potter used  for her book, Squirrel Nutkin. From the lake you also get glimpses of Lingholm and good views of Fawe Park, with its glass houses and walled garden which were her inspiration for Mr McGregor’s garden and Peter Rabbit – these were the houses she stayed at during her long summer holidays.

Canoeing on Derwentwater

For the less adventurous you can take the Keswick launch which makes its way round the lake stopping off at various points to allow you to walk along the lakeshore path. Alighting at Nicol End  allows you to take a public path behind Fawe Park and Lingholme and it is possible to have a peep through the fence and see a few scenes from Beatrix’ little books.


The view from the lake is dominated by many mountain peaks. On the western shore you will find the shapely peak of Cat Bells. This peak can be climbed by a number of routes. By combining it with a canoe trip or launch ride you can start from the landing stage at Hawes End.

Cat Bells Across Derwentwater

Ascend its north ridge on a mainly good path with some short rocky scrambles along the way. The summit offers 360 degree views of the fells and down on to Derwentwater and over to Bassenthwaite Lake. From the summit continue along the ridge south to the coll known as Hause Gate.

View from Cat Bells

It is possible to descend back down to Derwentwater from here and follow the path along the lake shore to one of the jetties to catch the launch back to Keswick. Or head to the village of Grange for ice cream and cake before catching the open top bus back.

Village of Grange

From Hause Gate head west down past the old lead mine workings. If you know where to look you might find the cave entrance featured in Beatrix Potters sketch book. This may of been the inspiration for Mrs Tiggywinkle’s home. As you get down to the valley ahead of you is the hamlet of Little Town. This was the home of the vicar’s daughter called Lucy who is featured in Mrs Tiggywinkle.

The cave drawn by Beatrix Potter

Close to Little Town are a number of scenes seen in Mrs Tiggywinkle. In the Newlands Valley is also a fantastic example of mining history. Here you can find examples of Elizabethan and Victorian mining which made this and other parts of Cumbria such an important part of industrial Britain.

Inside a copper and lead mine

A walk back out of this valley takes you to Skelgill and yet another backdrop for Beatrix Potter. From here a short walk takes you back to Hawes End where you could return by canoe or launch back to Keswick.

Skelgill drawn by Beatrix Potter

Keswick and the Borrowdale valley have also been home to other people of interest. Samuel Taylor-Coleridge, Robert Southey, John Ruskin  and Canon Rawnsley all spent time in Keswick. A wander along the shore from the launches in Keswick will bring you to the monument celebrating John Ruskin as well taking you to a fantastic view from Friar’s Crag looking out over the lake.

Ruskin Memorial

Friars Crag

A short drive down the valley will bring you to two of the classic view points in the valley: Ashness Bridge, an old pack horse bridge gives views down on to the lake and across to Skiddaw. “Surprise View” certainly lives up to its name with extensive views down on to the lake, down to Bassenthwaite and across to Cat Bells.

Ashness Bridge

"Surprise View"

Start in Grange or Rosthwaite and climb to the top of Castle Crag, which might have been an old hill fort. This peak provided walling slate for the valley and evidence of this can be found all over it. It was also the home of Millican Dalton, who called himself the “professor of adventure” and lived in one of the caves in the hill side.

Millican Dalton

Borrowdale has lots of rock outcrops and one of its most famous is Shepherds Crag. For those looking to rock climb this is a great place to head. If you can find space there is free parking at the farm below the crag. This is also a great place to sit and drink tea and eat home made cake at their cafe, with beautiful views across Derwentwater and the Borrowdale fells. The climbing here is suitable for all abilities and so is justifiably the most popular crag in the valley.

Climbing at Shepherds Crag

Further down the valley is the peculiar Bowder Stone – a large boulder estimated to weigh 2000 tons and sat on a point. It was a Victorian tourist attraction and it is still worth a visit. See if you can shake hands with a friend through the small gap under the rock or climb the steps to stand on the top.

Bowder Stone

For those looking to get wet you could tackle one of the areas ghyll scrambles. For families with young children it is possible to ascend up the stream, wade through pools and climb short waterfalls. For those looking for a little more adventure, head down a ghyll, taking advantage of rock slides and pools to jump in  off waterfalls.

Ghyll Scrambling

Whatever your reason for coming to the Borrowdale Valley there is something for everyone. Discover why it was an inspiration for Beatrix Potter and be inspired yourself!

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Explore Eskdale and Wasdale

If you make the journey round to the west coast of Cumbria you will come to the magical valleys of Eskdale and Wasdale. It takes time to get to this corner of the Lake District, but it is worth the effort!

Views over Eskdale

Starting in the seaside village of Ravenglass you can take the small gauge railway known as “La’l Ratty“. This is a great way to explore the Eskdale Valley with many small stations to stop at and get off and walk. You can combine this train ride with the Eskdale Trail which can be walked or biked.

La'l Ratty Railway

Close to Ravenglass is Muncaster Castle home to the Pennington family since the 13th century. This is considered to be one of the most haunted homes in Britain. Also here is the World Owl Centre with over two hundred birds and 70 acres of gardens and grounds.

Muncaster Castle

The Eskdale valley offers the walker a number of options with low level walks as well as giving access on to the higher fells.  Explore hidden gems such as the waterfall at Stanley Gill, or the old Roman Fort at the foot of Hardknott Pass.

Stanley Gill

Hardknott Roman Fort

For those looking for some adventure then Eskdale has lots to offer. Eden Outdoor Adventures offers two days of adventures. Have a go at orienteering or rock climbing at Fell End or bridge jump or undertake the challenging ghyll scramble up the River Esk.


Rock Climbing Eskdale

Bridge Jump into River Esk

Eskdale has a range of accommodation to suit all budgets. Camp at Fisherground, stay at the Youth Hostel or enjoy one of the Inns or B&B’s.

Wasdale is home to the Lake District’s deepest lake, Wast Water. Framed in this lake’s reflection are the famous Wasdale Screes. At the head of the valley are the peaks of Yewbarrow, Great Gable and Lingmell which make up the symbol of the Lake District National Park.


For the walker this valley has so much to offer from a walk across the screes to the ascent of England’s highest peak Scafell Pike standing at 978m.

Wasdale Screes

For those looking for more adventure then why not head out on to Wast Water in a canoe, or scramble over rocks to the summits of Buckbarrow or Middle Fell. An easier ghyll scramble can be found in Nether Beck.

Canoeing on Wast Water

Ghyll Scrambling Nether Beck

Scrambling on Middle Fell

Climbing up Great Gable allows the adventure seeker to scramble along the climber’s path and scramble behind|Napes Needle “threading the needle”. Climbers can indulge their passion on Kern Knotts, or ascending Napes Needle itself.

Napes Needle

At the end of the valley is Wasdale Head. Here you will find the famous Wasdale Head Inn – a great place to have a drink after a good day out exploring. There is also the small church of St Olaf’s which dates prior to the Reformation. The roof beam is thought to come from a Viking long boat. The south window is a memorial to those members of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club who died in the First World War.

St Olaf's Church

Wasdale offers camping opposite the Inn as well as at the National Trust campsite. There is also a Youth Hostel and close by in the village of Nether Wasdale you will also finding camping and B&B/Hotel accommodation.

Wast Water

So if you are looking for somewhere different to explore in the Lake District, away from the tourist hot spots, then head to these two valleys. Eden Outdoor Adventures can help you make the most of your time here and have some memorable adventures of your own.

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A Day Winter Walking in Haweswater

The Lake District in winter on a cold sunny day is hard to beat. Although conditions can be more fickle in the Lakes, when they are good it is hard to beat!

Haweswater Fells

The Haweswater valley offers the winter walker and climber a great day out. Park at the road end and start one of many walks. Head up and over Harter Fell after following the ancient pack horse route of Gatesgarth. The summit of Harter fell offers views down the Haweswater and Kentmere valleys. From the top you descend the North West ridge to the shelter on the Nan Bield Pass, another pack horse route. Descend back down to the start past Small Water.

Harter Fell

Alternatively head up over Riggindale ridge, home of the Lake District’s only golden eagle. The ridge then steepens and narrows as it climbs Long Stile crag on to High Street Fell. From here you can either head round to Nan Bield Pass or head over Kidsty Pike and down its East ridge back down to Haweswater.

Blea Water

For those looking for some excitement Blea Water offers a range of winter climbing from grade II to IV. The classic of this crag is Blea Water Gill a Grade III, 2 star route.

Climbing on Blea Water Gill

Why not just explore this fascinating area by walking and picking your way up through broken crags up on to one of the summits as well as visiting Blea Water and Small Water?

Exploring off the beaten track

Small Water

No matter where you wander this part of the Lake District will not fail to impress you with great peaks to climb, stunning views and something to offer the walker and winter climber. So why not enjoy the winter wonderland that Haweswater can be?

Explore with Eden Outdoor Adventures

Eden Outdoor Adventures can offer winter walking, snow shoeing and organise days out winter climbing.

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Discover Cumbria and the Dales

With the Lake District National Park to the west and the Yorkshire  Dales National Park to the East Kendal is a great place to base yourself. Close to the M6 this market town has a great deal to offer people.

Kendal shops and market

Historically, Kendal was a “wool town” and many packhorse trails lead to Kendal, whose motto is “wool is our bread”.  Kendal manufactured the famous “Kendal Green” cloth and also was (and still is) part of the snuff industry. The famous Kendal mintcake is made here too. Kendal castle was the birth place of Katherine Parr, wife of Henry VIII. More recently Kendal was known for “K’s Shoes”  and there is a new “K’s Factory Shop” to visit. There are museums and art gallleries and many interesting specialist shops, as well as one of the widest parish churches in England, with 5 aisles! Today Kendal is still a bustling market town, well placed for visiting the surrounding National Parks and the rest of Cumbria .

Kendal Castle

The Lake District National Park is on your doorstep. A short drive and you can be in the Kentmere Valley. This wonderful valley offers the keen walker a fantastic classic horseshoe walk. A drive to Windermere opens up the possibility of countless days out walking through the valleys and fells of this famous national park.


For those wishing to spend time on the water then you cannot ask to be in a better place. Windermere, the largest lake in the national park at 12 miles long offers a range of half, full day and multi day canoe trips. For those with some canoeing skills it is possible to paddle on a river. Close by is the River Kent which passes through the heart of Kendal. There are other rivers for all abilities to be found around the National Park.


River Kent

Close to Kendal there is some great rock climbing on the limestone outcrops. For those wishing to climb on one of the famous Lakeland crags there are many to choose from especially in the Langdale Valley.

Raven Crag, Langdale

Rock Climbing

Many people head to the Lake District National Park just to enjoy the scenery, pretty villages, historic houses and other tourist attractions. Learn more about the fascinating history, culture and way of life in Cumbria through a Blue Badge Tourist Guide.

Once you have explored the Lake District there is also the Yorkshire Dales National Park to explore. With the Howgill fells and the Yorkshire Three Peaks there is walking to challenge all abilities and aspirations.


If you fancy exploring the treasures hidden underground there are the show caves at White Scar or hire a guide to take you underground to one of the many cave systems in this area. The most popular trip underground is to Longchurns and its famous optional squeeze through the cheese press.

Long Churn Cave, “The Cheese Press”

For the climber there are a number of limestone outcrops to enjoy for a half or full day. If the weather is wet then Kendal has a fantastic climbing centre.

Kendal Climbing Centre

The Yorkshire Dales of course has many places to explore: Sedbergh with its historic school and many book shops; Dent with its old cottages and cobbled streets, home of the famous geologist Adam Sedgwick; Wharfedale and Wensleydale further to the east, and the many fells in the area such as Whernside, Penyghent and Ingleborough.  Take a ride on the Settle to Carlisle line and travel through the wilds of the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines – it is a really scenic journey and it is possible to stop off and walk between some of the stations too!

Dent Village

Eden Outdoor Adventures can help you explore and enjoy a range of activities in both National Parks. If you are looking for somewhere to stay we recommend West Barn.

West Barn

West Barn is a great B&B based just outside Oxenholme, Kendal. Suzanne offers a warm friendly welcome to her quality Bed and Breakfast. It has two double rooms, one en suite with shower and one with a private bathroom with roll top bath and shower.


Each room offers a comfortable stay with all the facilities you might need to make your stay perfect. For those wishing to have dinner then this can be provided if booked in advance. Food is sourced locally or grown in the garden to ensure it is fresh and full of flavour.

Local and home grown food

West Barn a real treat

If you still have energy left at the end of your day take a stroll from the door to the top of the Helm, a small hill above West Barn, which offers a fantastic 360 degree view of the Lake District National Park fells, Howgill fells, Yorkshire Dales and out to the sea and Morecambe Bay.

View from the Helm

So why not come and explore Cumbria and the Dales for a weekend or longer? Enjoy all the sights and activities these two National Parks have to offer!

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Snow Shoeing in the Northern Pennines

At last winter has arrived in the Lake District and Northern Pennines! After a very mild start to the winter it is good to see the fells with a covering of snow.

Views across to the Lake District Fells

When winter conditions can be found a great way to explore the fells is on a pair of snow shoes. No longer are they the large wooden tennis racket shaped affairs worn by the Native North American people. They are now made from plastic or aircraft grade aluminium and rubber making them easier to use and suitable for use on more technical terrain.

Modern Snow Shoes

Slip your feet in to the easy bindings and away you go. With some basic instruction you can soon enjoy the freedom they bring over deep soft snow.

Ian: International Mountain Leader

The Northern Pennine fells are a wonderful place to snow shoe. These fells are rounded and covered in soft grass and heather making walking in snow shoes perfect. With great views of the Pennines and across to the Lake District National Park this area is a forgotten part of Cumbria. You will certainly see few people as you wander from top to top and along limestone edges.

Winter wonderland

Much of the area is grouse moorland or nature reserve so it will not be long before you hear and see the grouse, you will find tracks in the snow for these, plus rabbits, mice and other creatures. As well as wildlife there are remains of old mine workings and tramways  giving you a glimpse of a bygone age.

Old mine tramway

Start a trip from the Hartside Cafe on the A686. At just under 2000 ft this roadside car park gives you panoramic views and easy access to the higher fells, not to mention the chance of a cuppa after a good walk. Starting here allows you to enjoy spectacular scenery in a short time so half a day’s walking can be very rewarding.

Hartside Cafe

These fells can be difficult to navigate in poor weather so make sure you have good navigation skills or go on a guided trip. With a guide it is also possible to do a linear walk from Hartside down to Melmerby or Ousby and get a lift back to collect your car making a great full days walk possible.

Poor weather

When conditions allow and the lower slopes of the Pennines are covered then half day walks can be enjoyed through the fields and lower fellside hills.

Snow shoeing near Ousby

Snow shoeing is a great activity for all ages and snow shoes can fit feet from children’s size 13 upwards. So why not enjoy a family day out? Eden Outdoor Adventures offers snow shoeing in the North Pennines, Lake District and Scotland, as well as in the French Alps.

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Ullswater Horseshoe Walk

Are you looking for a two day walk to challenge you whilst giving spectacular views in an area steeped in history? This walk starts at High Row on what is known as the “old coach road” although it is said it was never used by coaches. From here you head to Groove Beck and then strike off the well made track to make your first major climb of the day to the rounded summit of Great Dodd. This bare fell has a cairn to mark its summit and is the most northerly of the Dodds, the name given to the ridge of rounded fell tops you are about to traverse. From Great Dodd you follow the broad grass covered ridge over Watson’s and Stybarrow Dodd. To your left you are looking down ito the Ullswater Valley and over to the Pennines. To your right is the Thirlmere Valley and the peaks of the Central Lake District.

Great Dodd

You now descend to Sticks Pass where you cross the bridleway which was used by pack horses carrying lead ore from the Greenside mine in Glenridding to Keswick where it was smelted. The next peak to climb is Raise this is the site of the only purpose made ski area in the Lake District National Park. Look out for the ski tows and the small hut below you on your left. On a winter’s day when snow conditions are good this small slope will be busy with enthusiastic skiers who have made the walk up from Glenridding.

Raise Ski Area

Ahead is probably one of the most famous Lake District peaks, Helvellyn.  This is the last major uphill of the day as you climb the narrowing ridge to Lower Man and on to Helvellyn,whose summit is flat and featureless with just a trig point marking its top. To your left the mountain drops away down to Red Tarn which is hemmed in by the famous ridges of Striding and Swirral Edge. The traverse of these two ridges makes this a popular day out for those with a head for heights and looking for some adventure!

Striding Edge from Helvellyn

From here though your route continues on along the mountain chain over Nethermost and Dollywaggon Pikes before making the steep descent down to Grisedale Tarn. This slope has seen much repair work with the large rocks used  being flown in by helicopter as the area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the plant life found within the loose rocks nearby.

On reaching Grisedale Tarn, stop and enjoy the view. This tarn is said to contain the crown of King Dunmail, thrown there by his warriors when he was defeated in a battle in 945 on the pass of Dunmail (A591),  below you to the west. They are said to come back on certain days in the year, so do not linger too long!

Grisedale Valley

As you start to head down Grisedale Valley you may be able to find the Brothers’ Parting Stone, with a poem carved into one of the rocks on the right of the path. This was put here to commemorate the place where William Wordsworth said goodbye to his brother, John, who was returning to his ship the Master of Abergavenny.  The ship sank off Portland Bill soon after it set sail and John died.

The path now descends the valley past Ruthwaite Lodge, now a bothy for students at Outward Bound, but formerly a mine building. This valley looked very different in the 1800s when it was filled with woodland and a number of small mines. The day ends in the old mining village of Glenridding on the shores of Ullswater.


The village has a camp site and bunkhouse at Gillside as well as a number of B&Bs and hotels to cater for all your needs. There is also a village shop and a number of cafes and pubs for food and drink.

For a friendly welcome and comfortable stay we recommend Moss Crag Guest House. It offers a range of accommodation as well as doing breakfast, evening meals (by arrangement) and packed lunches. It is close to the shop and pubs and so is ideal as a base for the night.

Moss Crag Guest House

The second day starts with a flat walk across the valley to Side Farm. As you leave the village you will pass St Patrick’s Well. It is here that St Patrick is said to have baptised the local people of the valley. Side Farm offers camping as well as a cafe but resist spending too long here as the day ahead is another full day of walking.

You now climb the path to Boredale Hause where once stood a chapel. You are going to follow the route of the Coast to Coast walk past Angle Tarn and on to the Knott. To your left is the Nab and home to the ancient herd of Martindale red deer. You may be fortunate to spot them if you are really lucky. After you pass the Knott you follow the track  over Rampsgill Head. Keep your eyes open for the soaring Golden Eagle above you as his home is below you in Riggindale.

Looking down into Riggindale

The path ahead now follows the route of the old Roman Road of High Street (which went from Brougham (Brocavum) near Penrith to Ambleside (Galava) and then on to Ravenglass on the coast via Hardknott Pass!). You will walk along a broad moorland ridge over High Raise to Loadpot Hill. To your left are views of the Ullswater Valley and yesterday’s walk. To your right is the Lake District’s other reservoir of Haweswater, created by drowning the old village of Mardale in 1941.

From Loadpot Hill you descend down to Roehead and the amazing Bronze Age landscape of Moor Divock including the stone circle known as the Cockpit, which might have been used at a later date for cock fighting. This area has many shake holes and Bronze Age remains to explore if you still have some energy left.

The Cockpit

Why not enjoy this challenging walk with Eden Outdoor Adventures. We will drop you off back at the start of your walk and can even arrange to have your overnight luggage taken to your accommodation and then picked up. That way you can enjoy the walk with a small day pack and never get lost no matter what the weather.

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Explore the Upper Eden Valley in Comfort

Eden Outdoor Adventures would love to show you the fantastic places to explore in the Upper Eden Valley. Walk the Nine Standards or Wild Boar Fell or stop for a drink at the remote Tan Hill Inn, all found in this beautiful valley. With some fantastic walking over moorland and limestone pavements this is a quieter part of Cumbria. Not far away is the Yorkshire Dales and so both can be explored from the old coaching town of Brough. This historic village now offers a great place to base yourself as well as being a stop off point on the Coast to Coast Walk and the Lady Anne Clifford Way – two long distance walking routes. Close by you will find Roman Forts, Castles and remains of mining, mills and other industry.

Tan Hill Inn

Whatever your reason for stopping here we would recommend staying at Swanson House. This B&B offers good quality accommodation and food and is run by Phil and Pat Jones. With just two rooms they offer a friendly and welcoming stay for walkers and sightseers alike. There is a double room with seating area to relax in after a good day out.

Double room

This room also has a good sized en-suite bathroom with a bath to relax aching muscles or a shower to invigorate you in the morning!

En-Suite Bathroom

There is also a good sized twin room with en-suite for those people wishing to share their travels with a friend.

Twin Room

In an evening it is possible to eat at Swanson House. They use locally sourced food and offer a range of interesting dishes. Food has to be booked in advance of staying, but this means ingredients are fresh and food is not wasted.

Dining at Swanson House

Swanson House is part of the Nurture Eden sustainable tourism project and works hard to give the visitor a fantastic stay whilst minimising their impact on the environment.

So why not come and explore the Upper Eden Valley, walk, ride a bike or horse and discover what this beautiful part of Cumbria has to offer!

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Haweswater Past and Present

Today we had a great day walking in the Haweswater valley situated in the North East corner of the Lake District.



The village of  Mardale used to be in this valley. However the Manchester Corporation decided to flood the valley to make a reservoir and in 1941 the dam was completed and the valley flooded.

Haweswater dam being built 1937

The result was the loss of the village with its hotel the Dun Bull, its church, school and many farms in the valley.

Dun Bull Hotel, Mardale

This valley now offers the walker a great place to enjoy some peace and quiet away from the crowds. As you walk over the bracken covered slopes you may come across fell ponies or one of the herds of shy red deer.

Fell Ponies, Haweswater

There are also relics from long ago, such as standing stones.

Standing Stones

There are waterfalls, tarns and ridges to explore all with stunning views. High above the valley you may be fortunate enough to spot the golden eagle flying around the Highstreet Ridge. This famous Wainwright peak is the site of a Roman road as well as the historic meeting point for the farmers of Mardale for the shepherds meet and races, where stray sheep were exchanged and ponies raced.

View of the fells from the old village of Mardale

In the summer when water levels are low it is possible to see the remains of the old village above the water. So why not discover the history of this valley on a tour or explore the mountains, tarns and small valleys off Haweswater with a guide? This surely must be one of the quietest places to walk and enjoy some fascinating history.

Looking down on Haweswater dam

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Sustainable Tourism

Adventures in Britain’s first sustainable tourism destination

Friday, 16 December 2011 3:08 PM



Eden Valley, set in the UK’s Lake District region is set to become Britain’s first sustainable and low impact tourism destination and a popular place to visit.

The project, created by Nurture Eden, an organisation set up to protect Cumbria’s landscape and environment, aims to include the areas around the towns of Penrith, Bough, Orton, Shap, Appleby, Kirkby Stephen and Alston, as well as stretching across part of the North Pennines.

Nuture Eden intend to create the sustainable and low impact tourism destination by supporting tourism businesses in the Eden Valley in order to improve their environmental practices; facilitate the creation of low impact holidays based around Eden’s unique attributes of a local green infrastructure; creating conservation projects; and to encourage low impact activities such as walking, cycling and nature-based tourism.

There are already many low impact tourism adventures in Eden and with snow already falling this winter; Eden is a great spot for winter sports too.

Snowshoeing is one sport that’s set to be popular in the area, providing the perfect conditions to explore the wild snow covered landscapes. Snowshoeing is an easy sport to master and can be enjoyed by the whole family.

For those wishing to go a little higher up the adrenalin scale, there is the option of combining snowshoeing with winter mountaineering. This involves the use of crampons and ice axes and adds a different twist to the snowshoeing excursion, for those wanting a little more thrill in Eden’s outdoor playground.

One company that offers these excursions is Eden Outdoor Adventures, who also provide one-day ‘Skills for the Hills’ courses, covering navigation, route planning and the use of specialist mountaineering equipment. During the festive season, they are offering special rates for those wanting to venture into the hills for some exhilarating adventures in the magical beauty of the Eden area.

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