Things to do nearby Cooper's Cottage
During your stay at Coopers Cottage why not make use of the unspoiled natural beauty of the area? Get well prepared and head into the Howgills either on foot or on two wheels for stunning panoramic views. Have a gentler wander in the delightful Smardale Gill Nature Reserve taking in the lovely woodland and wildlife. Take a jaunt on the scenic Carlisle to Settle Railway from nearby Kirkby Stephen or visit Stonetrail Riding Centre just two miles away to enjoy a trail ride in this glorious countryside.
Ravenstonedale offers a wide variety of activities including walking, cycling, golf, horse riding and tennis. The fells and footpaths that surround Ravenstonedale are a paradise for walkers whether your idea of a good walk is a stiff mountain climb or a meander along a gentle valley. Walks include The Howgills, Orton Scar and Smardale Nature Reserve. The area around Ravenstonedale is popular with cyclists (both roadies and mountain bikers) with a miriad of uncrowded narrow country lanes undulating through superb Cumbrian scenery. There are plenty of circular routes on roads that meander through open fells and moorland taking in small villages and hamlets.
The scenic Settle to Carlisle Railway can be accessed from nearby Kirby Stephen, offering some of the best views of the Yorkshire Dales to the south, Cumbrian vistas to the north, picture postcard railway stations, and the city of Carlisle and its castle and museum at the top of the line. Coaches operate heritage trips in summer to Hawes and Barnard Castle.
The vast fell of Mallerstang Edge runs for the length of the valley. The name is applied to the entire fell, the highest point of which is called High Seat. On the opposite side of the valley is the equally enticing Wild Boar Fell with a distinctive table-top-like summit. There are ample walks to be enjoyed, from sedate strolls beside the River Eden to stunning hikes high on the valley cliffs and crags.
Worth a visit is the dramatic sandstone ruin of Pendragon Castle at Mallerstang. According to legend, the castle was built by Uther Pendragon, father of King Arthur, who is said to have unsuccessfully tried to divert the River Eden to create a moat. There is a lot of Arthurian interest in the area and the history of Pendragon has added fuel to the theory that King Arthur’s Round Table was less of an actual table and more of a meeting place. Similarly, there are several locations across Cumbria known as a seat or table that support this theory.
There are numerous fantastic sites to explore, especially for nature-lovers, including the species-rich limestone pavements of Orton Scar and Smardale Gill, the lowland bog of Cliburn Moss, and the extensive tracts of blanket peat and upland limestone grasslands of Moor House–Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve. The village of Orton is at the foot of Orton Scar and was once described by guidebook writer Alfred Wainwright as “the loveliest of all Westmorland’s villages”. There is a pub that serves food as well as a shop and post office and the famous Kennedys handmade chocolates are produced at the factory in the village. On the second Saturday of every month is the popular Orton farmers’ market, renowned as being one of the best in Britain, with live music and a hog roast as standard.
Kirkby Stephen is a small market town on Wainwright’s famous Coast to Coast footpath and offers plenty of opportunities to get out and explore the area, with its stunning surrounding landscape and breathtaking views. There is an open air swimming pool and several great on- and off-road cycle routes. It offers something a bit different with a collection of permanent sculptures along the River Eden. Eden Arts is also responsible for a sheepfold art project and a poetry path. And if you want to get out in the fresh air and explore at a leisurely pace but feel that you need a bit of help, electric bike hire is also available in the area!
Sedbergh is an interesting market town with good independent shops and is a growing destination for book lovers. To the south of Outhgill the valley opens to meet the Yorkshire Dales. From here you can explore Wensleydale, the Dales National Park and the quiet Howgill Fells, favoured by Wainwright.
The vibrant village of Shap has a market hall with curious windows and rounded arches, which dates from a few years after the village was granted its market charter in 1687. There are some great places for eating out including the award-winning Shap Chippy and the Shap Wells Hotel, which also has a lovely woodland walk with a chance to see red squirrels! Shap is also home to England’s highest open air heated swimming pool, open between May and September.
Appleby-in-Westmorland is a lively and picturesque market town in the heart of beautiful Cumbrian countryside. Located in the unspoilt Eden Valley, it is surrounded by outstanding scenery. Tours are regularly available at Appleby’s 17th century motte-and-bailey castle and the River Eden flows by the town’s wide, picturesque main street, which has been described as one of the finest in England. Appleby is well known for its horse fair, which attracts thousands of visitors every June. There are lots of independent shops as well as numerous cafés, restaurants and pubs offering tasty refreshments, plus a leisure centre with two swimming pools and a fitness gym. Walks alongside the River Eden can be enjoyed at Bolton, a pretty village about four miles north west of Appleby.
The historic town of Kendal has a great selection of independent and national shops and supermarkets plus an array of specialist retailers. Attractions include Kendal Castle, a 12th century ruin of the ancient home of the Parr family; Abbot Hall Art Gallery, housed in a Grade I listed Georgian villa on the banks of the River Kent; and the Museum of Lakeland Life in the former stable block at Abbot Hall. The Brewery Arts Centre offers theatre, cinema, music, lectures, exhibitions and workshops.
The start of the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks walk is within a 30-minute drive and the peripheral Lakeland valleys and lakes are within a 45-minute drive, including Ullswater, Longsleddale and Haweswater Reservoir.