Eskdale TRail

Eskdale Trail

Exploring the Eskdale TRail

Eskdale TRail is a fun day out for the whole family to explore this western valley. You can catch the La'al Ratty train from Ravenglass to Dalegarth and follow the new metal fingerposts that are unique to the Eskdale TRail.

Eskdale TRail has a capital R to highlight 'Rail' as part of the trail! There is a specific trail pack available from stations that can be purchased (or information downloaded free) and they include paper and crayons that can be used to collect brass rubbings that are on each of the 22 fingerposts.

If cycling is your thing, head up with your bike on a converted carriage on the Ravenglass and Eskdale railway. Then ride from the foot of the Scafell range via riverside pastures, meadows and historic oak woods of the Eskdale Valley down to Ravenglass on the Irish Sea.

Update 30 April 2024 - Please note that the railway footbridge at Ravenglass is currently closed, contractors working on behalf of Network Rail are replacing and repairing some of the metal structure and decking. These works are expected to be complete in July 2024. Alternatives are possible via the surrounding road and rights of way network. More information here: Temporary Closures of Rights of Way : Lake District National Park.

Eskdale Trail sign

How far is it?

14km or 8.5 miles.

How long will it take?

The train ride from Ravenglass to Dalegarth takes 40 minutes. For cyclists, the 'pedal down' is not likely to take more than about 2 hours, depending on how many stop-offs you take. For walkers it is approximately 4-5 hours station to station.

What's it like?

Eskdale TRail is a mixture of country lanes, stony and earthy tracks and grass fields. After rain, it can be wet and muddy in places. There are a number of gates to go through. The gradient is gradually downwards apart from the challenging climb up Chapel Hill - rapid descent if you're on a bicycle after you reach the summit and fairly easy pedalling most of the way.

The new fingerposts and gate latches are designed and fabricated by local artist Chris Brammal and his team. They help give Eskdale its special tone of voice that fits in with the recent viewing platform at Stanley Ghyll.

What can I see along the way?

  • Look out for red squirrels, roe deer and buzzards
  • Fascinating exhibition and information centre at St Bega's Church in Eskdale Green
  • Historic Ravenglass village has a Roman Bath House, tearoom, gift shop, craft centre, pub, hotel and post office
  • Stanley Ghyll falls and the viewing platform that looks directly over the gorge.

Are there places to eat and drink?

Loads! Take your pick from:

  • In Boot village: Burnmoor Inn, Brook House Inn and the Eskdale Mill
  • Close to Forge Bridge: King George IV pub serving hot and cold traditional meals
  • Eskdale Green: Village Store
  • Muncaster: Creeping Kate's Kitchen (for Castle visitors)

More information