The small town of Ravenglass in the Lake District National Park has become one of only a handful of locations around the world to receive double World Heritage Site status, thanks to its location in the National Park and the fact that it is located at the start of Hadrian’s Wall. If you are planning a trip to the picturesque village, here are 10 of the best things to do in the area.
Indulge in some tomfoolery
Muncaster Castle is one of the most interesting historical buildings in the area, located just a mile away from Ravenglass. Visitors can take an audio tour around the castle narrated by Tom Fool, the infamous court jester from whose name the phrase ‘tomfoolery’ derives. Ensure that you take the time to explore the grounds as the gardens are among the best in the north of England with winding trails and colourful flowers.
Muncaster Castle, Muncaster, Ravenglass, +44 1229 717614
Admire the Roman Bath House
Ravenglass is known for its Roman roots. The Romans settled here due to its position as a natural harbour, building a fort named Glannoventa to defend themselves from invaders. The remains of its bath house are now one of the best preserved examples of Roman remains in the country, standing at almost four metres tall. Visitors can walk around the ruins and see where the baths once stood.
Roman Bath House, Walls Dr, Ravenglass, +44 370 333 1181
Take a scenic train ride
The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway journey takes you across the estuary and up through the hills at a steep gradient, providing breathtaking views over the Lake District including vistas of Scafell Pike. There are several stations along the route that the driver will stop at upon request, allowing you to disembark and see more of the area. There is a choice of open or closed-top carriages, making this a perfect activity whatever the weather.
Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, Ravenglass, +44 1229 717171
Grab your binoculars
Keen ornithologists should take their binoculars and visit Drigg Dunes, located on the coast between Ravenglass and Seascale. These beautiful rolling sand dunes are a Site of Special Scientific Interest, mainly due to the huge number of birds that call them home. The nature reserve is one of the best places in Europe to watch black headed gulls, as well as many other species of seabirds.
Climb England’s tallest mountain
Ravenglass is located conveniently close to Scafell Pike, the biggest mountain in England at 978 metres. There are three routes to the top from nearby Wasdale, but weather conditions can change quickly and the mountain should only be tackled by those experienced on the lower fells of the Lake District. The views from the top are breathtaking, so remember to take your camera to capture the experience when you reach the peak.
Walk to a waterfall
If you have taken the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, consider disembarking at Dalegarth Station and take the short 1.5 mile walk through the woods to one of the most photographed waterfalls in the Lake District National Park, Stanley Ghyll Force. This impressive waterfall cascades down a 60 foot gorge and care should be taken when climbing the steep steps to admire the views.
Enjoy a scenic drive
Good weather cannot be guaranteed in the Lake District, but if you visit on a dismal day you can still enjoy the scenery by going for a drive in the countryside. The green valley of Eskdale is easily explored via car from Ravenglass, although its roads are not for the faint of heart. Take the hairpin road down Hardknott Pass to admire the dramatic views from this notoriously challenging drive.
Discover a Roman fort
Anyone who is visiting the area due to an interest in its history should head to the nearby Hardknott Roman fort. Located between Ravenglass and Ambleside on the site of an old Roman road, the ruins of this fort are remarkable well preserved. Visitors can easily spot the gateways and corner towers in the remains, before turning and admiring the dramatic views over Eskdale.
Hardknott Roman fort, Hardknott Pass, Holmrook, +44 370 333 1181
Go for a relaxing walk
Even if you’re not keen on climbing mountains, there are still many pleasant walks to enjoy in and around Eskdale. The valley itself is full of routes and paths through luscious fields and enchanting woodland. Pack up your bag with all of the essentials and head out into the countryside to soak up the fresh air and stretch your legs.
Enjoy a pint of local ale while watching the sunset
As the daylight fades, there is no better place to be than sat in the window of The Inn at Ravenglass, watching the sunset over the sea. This 17th-century inn is located right by the village green, overlooking the sea. On a warm day, take your pint of local ale outside to watch the colours change over the horizon, or during the winter months opt to stay nice and cosy indoors, next to the wood burning stove.
The Inn at Ravenglass, Main St, Ravenglass, +44 1229 717230