Evidence of Cumbria’s violent history can be found in the numerous forts and castles across the county. Hadrian’s Wall is perhaps the biggest and most popular reminder of these battle days and is eternally popular. The Eden Valley hides many treasures when it comes to these grand old ruins and our Lake District cottages in the Eden Valley are perfectly located for embarking on a historical voyage of adventure!
Using the river Eden as a guide you can start at Pendragon Castle on the edge of the Howgills and work your way north to the impressive fortress of Carlisle Castle.
Pendragon Castle is in the shadow of Mallerstang Edge, a brooding ridge of cliffs and buttresses. A public footpath runs through the ruined castle, making it an atmospheric stopping off point on a walk. Pendragon offers some fabulous photograph opportunities with the backdrop of Wild Boar Fell, Mallerstang Edge and the railway aqueduct nearby.
Brough Castle must have been a formidable barrier against marauding Scots in its day. The great keep has survived despite being damaged by fire and being invaded once or twice! Now owned by English Heritage, you can explore the complex passages and spiral staircases and enjoy a picnic in the pleasant grounds on the banks of the river Eamont.
Brougham Castle is to the south of Penrith and is owned by English Heritage. The ruins are perfect for enquiring minds with room layouts still visible and little nooks and crannies to explore. Linked to Brough Castle by the river Eamont, this is one of several castles in the Eden Vally occupied by Lady Anne Clifford during the 1600’s. Nearby Brougham Hall is also worth a visit and has a lovely café attached.
Dacre Castle is part of the Dalemain Estate, near Ullswater. It is not open to the public, but there is a public right of way right next to it. Dacre is a very impressive castle in beautiful surroundings. I recommend combining it with a walk to the impressive main House (open to the public) and then a trip to the lovely pub in the village, The Horse and Farrier.
Penrith Castle has been in ruins since the late 16th century and much stone has been recycled into other buildings in the town. Despite this, the ruins stand tall above the town casting sinister shadows across the park. They are free to look round and there is plenty of grassland for kids to burn off energy. It must have been an impressive castle in its day.
Carlisle Castle must be the jewel in the crown for Cumbria, as it has been wonderfully well preserved and dominates the centre of Carlisle. The castle has stood here for over 900 years and besieged many times in this prime location near the border. It now houses the museum for the Border Regiment who were stationed there until the 1960’s. Make sure you include time to explore the spooky dungeons, fascinating stairways and ramparts.
Our selection of Eden Valley cottages is growing and we have a variety to satisfy all demands. With views as good as our cottages in the Lake District but with a quieter pace of life, you will wonder why you haven't tried the Eden Valley sooner!