Self-catering holiday cottages in the Eden Valley
The Eden Valley is one of Cumbria's best-kept secrets and lies with the Pennines to the east and the Lake District fells to the west. Eden is a mixture of lush countryside, picturesque hamlets, sandstone farms, traditional towns and clusters of woodland. Flowing through The Eden Valley is the River Eden, Cumbria's longest waterway. You can also hop on the Settle to Carlisle railway, one of the most scenic railway trips in Britain.
Walk along Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall is one of the most impressive monuments to have survived the Roman Empire. Stretching through a wild landscape, you can walk 84 miles from coast to coast following the World Heritage site of Hadrian's Wall, passing Roman settlements and forts.
The River Eden
The River Eden is the longest river in Cumbria and weaves its way northwards through some of the most beautiful scenery in the county. It rises above the Mallerstang Valley, near the historical North Yorkshire border, and makes its way across Eastern Cumbria to Carlisle, 90 miles from its source. View our Carlisle cottages for some more options.
The river is excellent for fishing and it is one of the finest salmon and sea trout rivers in North East Cumbria. It is also well known for its otters, white-clawed crayfish, bullhead and lamprey. For more fishing check out our guide to the top fishing spots in Cumbria and the Lake District.
All aboard the Carlisle to Settle railway line
Every year thousands of visitors enjoy a ride on Britain’s most scenic railway trip, The Settle to Carlisle Railway line. The journey takes around two hours and travels across some of the wildest and most beautiful landscapes in England. The route crosses the famous 24-arch Ribblehead Viaduct, passing through Ribblehead station and Dent Station, the highest mainland station in England, before heading through the Mallerstang Valley, the Eden Valley and finally Carlisle.
Eden Valley walking
Cumbria’s Eden Valley has a variety of walking routes for all abilities. The gritstone edges of Mallerstang, Wild Boar Fell, Cross Fell and the river banks along the Eden are just some of our favourite walks in Eden. To the south, the Howgills offer quiet walking routes up grassy fells. The Howgills were a favourite haunt of Wainwright due to their peaceful and remote nature and remain a firm favourite for those seeking to escape busy Lakeland summits. Eden shares its border with the Yorkshire Dales and Wensleydale, two hugely popular locations for walkers and ramblers.
A valley of myths and legends
The Eden Valley has a rich history and you’ll discover ruined castles, stone circles and deep caves. Long Meg and her daughters is one of the area’s most famous stone circles and even inspired Wordsworth to write the poem 'The Monument Commonly Called Long Meg'. According to legend, Meg was a witch and along with her daughters was turned to stone as a punishment for dancing wildly on the Sabbath! The circle is made up of 27 standing stones and is located near Little Salkeld.
Above the River Eden and to the north of Little Salkeld you’ll find Lacy’s Caves. In the 18th century, Colonel Lacy of Salkeld Hall carved these five caves out of the sandstone cliffs by the River Eden. It is thought that the Colonel, who once attempted to blow up Long Meg stone circle, used the caves for entertaining guests.
Appleby-in-Westmorland is perhaps best known for its horse fair which attracts thousands of visitors every June. This attractive market town has lots of historical interest and charm. The River Eden flows by the town's main street, Boroughgate. At the high end of Boroughgate stands 12th-century Appleby Castle and at the lower end of the street is St Lawrence Church.
Lady Anne Clifford once owned Appleby Castle and devoted much of her time to restoring the castle and churches in the area. Both Lady Anne and her mother, Margaret, were buried in St Lawrence's Church and both were commemorated by impressive monuments.
Eden Valley events
The Eden Valley hosts several annual Cumbrian festivals and events every year, from the world-famous Marmalade Festival in February to Kendal Calling in late August. Some of our favourites are The Orton Scarecrow Festival in May, the Brough Agricultural show in August and the Beer 'n' Bangers festival in September. There is also a vintage tractor rally every July at Dalemain between Penrith and Ullswater.
Where to eat and drink in the Eden Valley
Like many parts of Cumbria, Eden has its own specialities when it comes to food. Speciality pies, toffee and artisan bread all feature highly on the region’s menus.
The George and Dragon in Clifton has long been popular with locals. It is a beautifully preserved country inn that serves a menu using produce grown on their estate.
The Village Bakery in Melmerby sells artisan bread and their café serves contemporary healthy meals from a seasonal menu.
The Angel Lane Chippie in Penrith is a firm favourite with locals and is located on one of the oldest streets in the town.
Little Salkeld Watermill (above) is close to the Long Meg stone circle. The tea room serves wholesome organic vegetarian meals, snacks and cakes all prepared on site and using their own traditionally milled flour.
Cranstons Food Hall in Penrith has a café upstairs looking out over the Eden landscape. The menu is distinctly Cumbrian and the food hall is a foodie’s delight with local meat, cheese, drinks. The pork pies come highly recommended!
Browse our selection of self-catering cottages in the Eden Valley and plan an amazing break to the Lake District today.
Read our introduction to Sally's Cottages and see our dog-friendly cottages if you are bringing your pet on holiday too.