The Eden Valley
From the mountains above Ullswater, Alston and North Pennines moorland to the lush rolling countryside in the Eden Valley, Eden encompasses much more than just the Eden Valley. Thriving market towns and sandstone villages, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Lakeland adventures are all easily accessible from our Eden Valley Holiday Cottages.
The area is rich in natural and cultural history. Try the mysterious stone circle of Long Meg and her Daughters, Shap Abbey and Lacy’s Caves for starters. Walkers will enjoy the magnificent limestone pavement on Orton Scar, which has fabulous views to Ullswater and across the Eden Valley. The River Eden which has its source in the Mallerstang Valley, is one of the finest salmon and trout rivers in the North and offers a rich variety of wildlife. Otters and voles are strong in numbers and white crayfish can be found in the river, enjoying the limestone riverbed.
What might be the most scenic railway in England is the Settle to Carlisle line, which runs through the Eden Valley with stations at Appleby and Kirkby Stephen. Penrith, a welcoming market town makes an ideal base to explore the area. For much of its route, the railway follows the snaking river Eden through the valley. The spectacular route was saved from extinction in the 1960s by the efforts of local enthusiasts. The railway is a perfect for hopping on and off throughout Eden to explore the towns, villages and countryside.
Walking in Eden
With easy access to remote Lakeland areas of Haweswater and Martindale, Eden is a great location for getting away from the crowded summits of the popular fells. However Eden itself offers plenty of walking especially lower level valley routes, through farmland and along riverbanks taking in magnificent waterfalls. The Howgills on the southern fringes of Eden and the Lake District were a favourite haunt of Wainwright due to the peaceful nature. They offer very quiet and unfrequented routes up impressive looking grassy fells. Click here for details of a walk to Lacy's Caves and Long Meg Stone Circle, starting in Little Salkeld.
Described by English Heritage as "the most important monument built by the Romans in Britain", Hadrian's Wall is within easy reach of the Eden Valley and has many lovely walks and cycle rides along it. Housestead's Fort was built in AD124 and is well worth a visit.
Like many parts of Cumbria, Eden has it’s own specialties when it comes to food. Cranstons Pies, Penrith Toffee and wonderful bread all feature highly. Here are some of our recommendations:
George and Dragon in Clifton
A beautifully preserved country inn, the George and Dragon is a winner of the Taste of Cumbria Award. Produce comes from the family estate and is transformed into mouthwateringly imaginative dishes on their popular menu. Relaxed seating can be found on their comfy sofas, cosy alcoves and beautiful bare wooden tables.
Village Bakery in Melmerby
I used to load up with delicious rye bread from The Village Bakery to fill my freezer at home in the Midlands. Now I live here I can buy it whenever I like but the bread is still as special. There is a café on site serving contemporary healthy meals from a seasonal menu.
Angel Lane Chippie in Penrith
As the name suggests, this award winning fish & chip shop can be found on Angel Lane. The restaurant is open 7 days a week alongside the usual takeaway fayre. Amongst its many awards, Angel Lane Chippie won Young Frier of the Year in 2010.
Brough Castle Ice Cream Parlour in Brough
Situated at Brough Castle, an ancient monument, the Ice Cream parlour serves luxury homemade ice cream, home made cakes and delicious hot and cold food. There is free entry to the castle. In Penrith on the second floor of the contemporary Cranstons Food Hall is Café Oswald. The menu is distinctly Cumbrian and the food hall is a foodie’s delight with local meat, cheese, drinks and much, much more. I can never pass here without popping in for my favourite mini pork pies, which are even yummier when eaten atop a Lakeland fell.
These activities should keep you busy during a stay at one of our Eden Valley Cottages and there is also loads more hidden gems to discover. You can also time your stay at one of the cottages in the Eden Valley with one of the many annual events detailed below.
There are many annual events in Eden lots of which are family friendly and dog friendly:
World’s Original Marmalade Festival - Takes place at Dalemain each year in February. Enter your own marmalade, sample hundreds of varieties. A great foodie day out celebrating all things marmalade.
Cumbria Fishing Festival - Events across Eden and Cumbria offering lessons and workshops to improve your skills, days out with experts and competitions.
Eden Valley Vintage Tractor Rally - Celebrating the machinery of a bygone era.
Teddy Day, South Tynedale Railway - On Teddy Day children bringing their favourite teddy bear pay just £1 return whilst the bear rides for free.
Alston Sheep Dog Trails - Featured on BBC Countryfile last year from Lowther Castle and looks set to be equally well supported this year.
Langwathby Scarecrow Festival - Includes a trail of the surrounding area spotting scarecrows. You can build and enter your own!
Kendal Calling - Music festival in scenic surroundings. This year's line up features Dizzee Rascall, James, Feeder and Inspiral Carpets.
Appleby and Brough Agricultural Shows - Lovely traditional shows encompassing all that the countryside has to offer.
Patterdale Dog Day - Highlights include the Men Only baking competition, an open section for children to enter and show their pets and various craft stands.