Things to do nearby Damson Cottage (Waberthwaite)
The tiny village of Waberthwaite is ideally placed to make the most of all the stunning scenery and rich history of this lesser explored area of the Lake District.
The village has royal connections in the form of Woodalls Butchers; suppliers of Cumberland Sausage to the Queen no less. Definitely worth having a potter round to but some delicious bacon and sausages for your holiday breakfasts. For eating out The Brown Cow Inn at Waberthwaite is a proper traditional country pub with home-cooked food and real ales.
The Eskmeals Dunes lie on a spit of land formed thousands of years ago at the mouth of the River Esk and the dune grassland and saltmarsh attract a fantastic array of birdlife. It's a magical place for a picnic or watching the sunset. The beaches at Eskmeals are delightful for beachcombing, do take care to look out for the red flags as there is a military firing range nearby. On clear days it's exciting hear the booms and to watch as the ordnance splashes into the water out to sea.
For the adventurous among you can even cross the ford over the River Esk estuary at low tide (wellies or sandals and a towel are a must!). You can walk to Ravenglass or Muncaster Castle then follow the five-mile Cumbria Coastal Way route to return.
Muncaster Castle makes a great day out for visitors of all ages. The Castle sits high above the estuary where the river Esk meets the Irish Sea at Ravenglass and has a well-deserved reputation as one of Cumbria’s most popular attractions. The Castle makes a great rainy day visit where you can learn more about its colourful history. As you can imagine with a castle in such an incredible position on the very edges of the country, it is steeped in history, with tales of kings and queens of murder and intrigue and ghostly presences everywhere! Throughout the year there are events taking place including outdoor cinema and theatre as well as the world-renowned Festival of Fools. The grounds at Muncaster are just as much of a delight as you can watch stunning bird of prey displays, explore a meadow vole maze, enjoy the play park, café and shop as well as seeing the most stunning displays of bluebells, rhododendrons and azaleas when in season.
Ravenglass is the only coastal village within the Lake District National Park. It makes a delightful place for a visit with its feeling of a gentle old-fashioned way of life. Three rivers meet at Ravenglass (Esk, Irt, and Mite) to form an estuary and natural harbour. 2000 years ago, it was the location for an important Roman port and military fort and later became a bustling fishing town. Today, Ravenglass is better known as the starting point for the Ravenglass & Eskdale steam railway (La’al Ratty). There are several eateries in the village where you can get locally sourced and home cooked food and real ales. There's also a cafe and play park at the station to while away a sunny afternoon.
For railway children of all ages taking a trip on the famous Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, more popularly known as the La'al Ratty, is an absolute must. This magical narrow-gauge steam railway makes a leisurely seven-mile journey from Ravenglass to Boot taking in some staggering scenery along the way. The main Cumbrian West Coast line also runs near Waberthwaite and during the summer months there are even occasional heritage specials running by. Be sure to have your camera at the ready for one of the steam giants heading past.
Famously, with England’s highest mountain and deepest lake, smallest church and biggest liar, the Wasdale valley (15 miles) remains an unspoilt gem of a place. It is the most mountainous of the Lake District Valleys and was voted “Britain’s Favourite View” in a recent TV poll.
Within 45 minutes of Waberthwaite you can be geared up and at the foot of Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England. Walks do not come much more challenging than this! Scafell Pike is one of the Lake District's most iconic and legendary mountains. At 3,209 feet, it is England's highest mountain and one of the most thrilling climbs in the Lakes. The views from the top have inspired writers such as Wainwright, Wordsworth and Coleridge and on a clear day the views stretch to Scotland, Wales, Ireland and even the Isle of Man. Of course, not everybody is so hardy, and closer to the village there are family walks and gentler strolls that take a few hours yet will lead you to secluded spots all your own. Why not head up to the distinctive “Pepper Pot” on nearby Stainton Fell?
At Waberthwaite you are also at the gateway to another magical western Lake District valley; Eskdale. As with Wasdale you have access to big hikes to the highest fells as well as some lovely walks on the valley floor and along the beautiful river Esk. Why not take a walk up from Eskdale Green to the wonderfully named Giggle Alley, from here you can head to the Japanese Garden a beautifully tranquil spot?
The cycling opportunities here are fantastic. For mountain biking the area offers trails to suit all abilities with low-level forest trails and more technical bridleways. For roadies, you have one of England’s steepest roads at the head of the Eskdale valley to challenge you as well as wonderfully rewarding quiet roads up Corney fell and Birker Moor. If hills aren’t to your taste there are some lovely rides out on the coast with beautiful views.
Golfers are well catered for with Muncaster's own 9-hole course nearby as well as popular links courses at Silecroft and Seascale within 15 miles. If you would like to get adventurous in the great outdoors then Westlakes Adventure is a company based in Boot providing activities for individuals, couples, families and groups. Their activities include rock climbing, ghyll scrambling, paddle boarding and kayaking. Alternatively, for something different why not head to "Horse and Husky" nearby where you could find yourself splashing along the coast on horseback or sledding behind a team of huskies!
Instead of heading inland to the fells why not explore more of the culture of this coastline? Whitehaven is a Georgian Harbour town to the north with a colourful history involving rum, sugar and piracy! The Rum Story makes a great place to start your visit and from there you can follow their ‘Quest’ around the town’s historical landmarks. The harbour marks the start of the 140-mile-long C2C cycle route and is also home to the excellent Beacon Museum. You could drive the 21 miles from Waberthwaite or just hop on the train at Bootle or Ravenglass to take in the coastal views along the way.