Family Canoe on Ullswater

The Ullswater valley in the Lake District is considered by many to hold the most beautiful of all the Lakes. It certainly has a great deal to offer visitors with fantastic walking as well as a number of ways to explore the lake.


Why not spend some time with your family or friends canoeing on the lake? It is a great way to see the mountains as well as explore the lake shore and islands. There are a number of places to start your trip from, depending on whether you need to rent canoes or you have a guide or your own boat. To get the most out of your canoe trip we suggest starting your journey at Glencoyne Bay.

Canoeing on Ullswater

This bay is just over a mile north of Glenridding. It has a car park owned by the National Trust next to the road. Park here and carefully cross the road to launch your boat from one of the shingle beaches here. The bay is often sheltered and so can give beginners a chance to practice some skills before heading off.

Glencoyne Bay

Head up the lake in the direction of Glenridding. Look up into the valley of Glencoyne. This valley hides cottages at Seldom Seen,the homes of some of the mine workers who mined high on the mountainside above the valley. See the 17C farmhouse at Glencoyne with its cylindrical chimneys and crowstepped gables.


Follow the shoreline where there are small bays and beaches to land, stretch your legs and play games. You will spot an island called Wall Holm with some conifer trees on it. You can head to this and land or follow the shore if you wish.

Wall Holm

Soon Glenridding will come into view. The large hotel on the lakeshore is the Inn on the Lake. If you book ahead you could stop for afternoon tea.

Canoeing is Great for all the Family

Better still keep paddling along the shore round the spit of land until you come to the Glenridding steamer pier and land on the wide shingle beach. The pier house sells tea, coffee, cake and ice cream. There are also toilets here. This was the site of the launch of Donald Campbell’s Bluebird K7 and there is a plaque commemorating this.

Glenridding Steamer Pier

From the pier, head out to the islands in front of you. This island is called Cherry Holm and you are allowed to land on it. Be careful as you paddle out to ensure there are no steamers coming in to the pier.

Cherry Holm

Head across to the other side of the lake and aim for the rocky outcrop on the far shore (East). This set of rocks provides a number of ledges which the brave can jump off. However, make sure you are jumping into deep water and know where to climb out afterwards. The lake is very cold even in the summer so make sure you have warm dry clothes to put on if you do decide to swim.

Jumping in to Ullswater

Now start heading north down the lake. You will come to a small bay with a rocky headland on your left and a treelined shingle bay. This is Purse Bay, a wonderful place to stop and enjoy some peace and quiet as this bay has no public footpaths to it.

Purse Bay

As you continue onwards keep your eyes out for a large rocky crag on your right. Look for a smooth slab which guides you into a small overhang. This is called the “Devil’s Chimney”.

The Devil's Chimney

The next bay contains the two islands of Lingy Holm. At first it looks like one island but as you get close you will find a shallow narrow gap between the islands. Why not see if you can squeeze through the gap?

Canoe Rafting and Sailing

Head round the headland into the wide curving bay. This headland is called Silver Point. One story as to why it is called this is that monks were ambushed here by robbers. Rather than hand over their silver they threw it into the lake.

Bay at Silver Point

You are almost back to your starting point. Paddle back across the lake, stopping off at Norfolk Island. This is a great place to stop and admire the views of the surrounding mountains as well as picnic.

Paddling to Norfolk Island

From the island it is a short paddle back to Glencoyne Bay. This canoe trip is ideal for families and less experienced canoeists. For the majority of the time you can follow the lake shore. The main crossing is broken up by the stop on Norfolk Island.

Enjoy a Day Canoeing

The head of Ullswater has many small bays, shingle beaches and islands to stop and land on. This allows many places stretch your legs, play games and relax. Enjoy a BBQ or picnic with a view. Stopping in the village of Glenridding allows you to enjoy cafes, hotels, shops and toilets.


You can hire canoes on Ullswater, but better still, hire a guide to make the trip easier and safer. A guide can provide canoes and all safety equipment, is very knowledgeable about the area, and can organise extra things like BBQs. Trips can last for half or a full day or even an evening.

So enjoy some time exploring Ullswater with your family and friends. Enjoy the Lake District’s most beautiful lake!


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An Ullswater Journey

The Ullswater Valley has many opportunities for walkers and water lovers to explore and discover this valley. Why not combine walking and canoeing to make a memorable day out?


For this journey you need to consider the weather as it can make your canoeing leg more pleasant if you take advantage of the wind heading in the direction you want to go. As winds often come from the south, the description is written with this in mind. Start your trip in the village of Glenridding. This village at the head of Ullswater was once a busy mining village. Greenside minehigh above the village was once the largest lead mine in Europe.


Greenside Mine

Greenside Miners

Park down at the lakeshore by the pier house owned by Ullswater Steamers. This is a pay and display car park. Here is also the public launch for boats and access on to the lake is easy.

Glenridding Pier House

This was the launching point for Donald Campbell and his early speed record attempts. He broke the record on Ullswater in July 1955 by travelling at 202mph. Ullswater was used by Campbell as well as water skiers and sailors for many years. However, there is now a speed limit on the lake and so you can enjoy a more relaxed and quieter time on the water.

Campbell Memorial

Bluebird K7 on Ullswater

Launch your canoes here and head out to the island of Cherry Holm in front of you. As you head out keep an eye on the steamers coming and going to the pier. Lady of the Lake is probably the oldest working passenger ferry in the world and was built in Glasgow in 1877 and then transported in three sections by rail and horse and cart before being put together to sail on the lake. From the islands head across to the rocky headland to your left on the eastern shore.

Launching at Glenridding

These rocks can provide the adventure seeker the chance to jump off them in to the lake. However, save this for a warm day or when you are wearing a wet suit. Follow the shoreline along heading north. The next bay you come to is worth a stop and stretch of the legs. This is Purse Bay and is not accessible on foot.

Cherry Holm Islands

Continue down the lake keeping your eyes open for the next large crag on the lake shore. There is a steep smooth wall guiding you in to a slot with a small overhang at its base. This is refered to as the Devil’s Chimney. It is suggested it got its name because when the air is cold steam rises off the water and works its way up a fault line through the rocks. The steam comes out of the ground and so people thought it was coming from Hell itself.

The Devil’s Chimney

The next bay has two islands called Lingy Holm. For a challenge see if you can paddle the narrow passage between them. This is only possible when the water level is high enough.

Norfolk Island

In the middle of the lake to your left is  Norfolk Island, named after the Duke of Norfolk who was a great landowner here.  It is a grand island with views up and down the lake as well as the fells. You could paddle to the island but better still keep following the shore line round the headland of Silver Point in to the large sweeping shingle bay. The tale as to why it is called Silver Point is not clear. One story is that monks were held up here and so threw their silver off the point rather than give it up.

Bay at Silver Point

The next section is a long paddle down the lake. Enjoy views across the lake to the hanging valley of Glencoyne with its old farm house. The valley also hides a set of miners cottages called Seldom Seen. These were used by the Greenside miners who worked in the mine high on the hillside in front of you.


To the right of Glencoyne is the shoreline which was where William Wordsworth came across his shining host of daffodils. The hillside above the shore line was part of the deer park that belonged to William Rufus, successor to William the Conqueror. As you paddle along the wooded eastern shore the peak of Place Fell rises above you.

Place Fell

Through the woods the lake shore path makes it way towards Sandwick, the next logical place to stop for a break and stretch the legs. Enjoy views of the steamers as they make their way up and down the lake as well as saying hello to other lake users. If the wind is in your favour then it is great to put up a sail and let the wind take you down this section of lake.

At Sandwick, pronounced “sanick” there is a small village at the end of a dead end road. This was originally a Norse settlement, the name meaning creek in the sand. The present houses were built in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Paddle along past the woodland of Hallin Hagg. In olden times, people who were outcast often went to live in such woods. Living in such a place you soon looked old, dirty and unkempt. Thus people were given the nickname of a “hagg”, or looking “haggered”.

Sandwick Bay

You will paddle under a cliff at Kailpot with a plaque on it. This plaque is dedicated to Lord Birkett (known as the “Lakes Great Advocate”) and commemorates his contribution towards ensuring Ullswater did not become a reservoir with a dam. Today however, water is taken from the lake and pumped underground to Haweswater reservoir to help maintain its levels when needed. People also believed fairies used to play at night at Kailpot Crag, they would throw money into the lake from the crag which mysteriously disappeared! The last appearance of fairies in Cumbria was in 1850. Jack Wilson saw them pack up and leave for good one moonlit night, at Martindale, above the shores of Ullswater! Today it is often used as a challenge to climb along the crag just above the water line and to swim under the memorial plaque.

Your canoeing trip is almost over now. You head round the corner in to Howtown Bay. Look out for the steamer pier and head for this. Land your boat behind the pier on one of the beaches. You will need to lock your boat and kit up here or have someone take them away for you.

Howtown Bay

Howtown is a good place to eat a picnic and watch the boats come and go. Alternatively you could head for the public bar at the hotel for sandwiches and drinks. This hotel also offers accommodation and food so could make an alternative starting point for the trip if you stay here.

Howtown Hotel

Your walk starts from here. Head back up the lake (south) from the steamer pier. Follow the signs for the lake shore path. You pass through a couple of gates before heading up a short hill and through the stone wall on to the path under Hallin Fell.

Hallin Fell

Turn right here and follow the path round back to Kailpot and Hallin Hagg. Opposite, through the trees, you will see the grand house of Hallsteads which was built by the Marshall Family. The family made its money from flax spinning in Leeds. The Wordsworths would often stop for tea here. Today it is the Ullswater Outward Bound Centre.


The path carries on to the village of Sandwick and then turns right off the road above the last house. It follows a good track above the wall with views down on to the lake where you were paddling earlier.

Lakeshore Path

You will come to a valley rising to your left with a small waterfall running over the rocks. Here you leave the main track for the start of the walk over Place Fell. You could carry on along the lake path, which rises and falls on its way to Silver Point and on to Side Farm where your walk will take you later.

The Lakeshore Path

Head up the faint track above the stream, this stream had its course re-directed by the Marshall family to create the waterfall so it could be seen from their drawing room on the other side of the lake – something the National Park would not allow today! The path turns grassy and broader as you are now following an old pack horse route which was used to transport the slate from the old quarry you will pass. All that remains of the quarry is the spoil heaps and a ruined building.

Slate Quarry

On the coll you will come to an old sheep fold, used by the local farmers to round up and check their sheep. Traditionally these sheep would have been the Herdwick Sheep – a breed suited to the Lakeland fells with its stocky legs, warm coat and ability to climb.

Herdwick Sheep

Turn right at the sheep fold and start the climb up to the plateau which will take you to the summit. Pass boggy pools and cotton grass on the way. Look ahead and you will see the triangulation pillar marking the highest point.

Place Fell Summit

From this summit you will be rewarded with fantastic 360 degree views. To the north are views down to Ullswater and out towards Penrith. To the east are the High Street fells and the North Pennines. To the South are the peaks of Red Screes and the famous Kirkstone Pass. To the west are the peaks of the Dodds and Helvellyn. The uphill climb is done and you now descend down to Boredale Hause. This was a packhorse route often used by the people of Glenridding to travel up the valley to Penrith. On the hause you will pass the ruins of old buildings. One of these was a chapel used by people from Martindale and Patterdale at one time. It’s hard to imagine people coming up here to attend prayers.

Descent to Boredale Hause

Now descend back down into the Ullswater valley. Take the track to the right which heads back towards Glenridding. There is a handy green metal bench near the bottom to rest your knees after all the down hill. Enjoy views across to St Sunday Crag and rest awhile.

Have a rest and enjoy the view

Head down and go through the gate. Turn right and follow the track to Side Farm. Side Farm offers lake shore camping and access to the lake and so may be another option for the start and finish of your trip. It also has a good cafe and so tea, cake or ice cream may be needed to give you strength for the final walk back to Glenridding.

Side Farm Campsite

If you want to do this trip but do not have an urge to canoe down the lake then you could use the steamer to get to Howtown.

Ullswater Steamer

If you want to canoe, but do not have one or the skills then Eden Outdoor Adventures can provide a guide. They can provide a guide for just the canoeing section of the trip or for the whole journey. This can take the hassle out of organising boats and what to do with boats and kit after canoeing.

Ullswater Sunset

This is a fantastic trip and well worth the effort. So head to this beautiful lake for your very own Ullswater Journey!

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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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