Things to do nearby Falcon Place
Falcon Place is not only a perfect place for railway children of all ages but it is also ideally placed to make the most of all the stunning scenery and rich history of this lesser explored area of the Lake District. The West Coast Railway line from Barrow in Furness to Carlisle runs behind the cottage. During the summer months there are even occasional heritage rail specials using the line. Be sure to have your camera at the ready for one of the steam giants heading past. Just across the road from the cottage are the lovely Eskmeals Dunes. This spit of land formed thousands of years ago at the mouth of the River Esk and the dune grassland and saltmarsh attracts a fantastic array of birdlife, it's a magical place for a picnic or watching the sunset. The beaches at Eskmeals are delightful for beachcoming, 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.
The tiny village of Waberthwaite nearby has royal connections in the form of Woodalls Butchers; suppliers of Cumberland Sausage to the Queen no less. At low tide why not take the 1.5 mile walk around to the shop to buy some of their fantastic bacon or sausage for breakfast? The Brown Cow Inn at Waberthwaite is a proper traditional country pub with homecooked food and real ales and heading in the opposite direction Bootle has an excellent café called The Byre, a village shop and a good local butchers shop.
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 homecooked food and real ales. There's also a cafe and playpark at the station to while away a sunny afternoon. Why not take a bike and explore either the 11 mile Eskdale trail or follow some of the Hadrian's Cycleway along the coastline?
Taking a trip on the famous Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, more popularly known as the L’aal 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. With prior arrangement, you can put your bikes on the train at either end of the line and cycle back via the Eskdale Trail.
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. The original foundations of the building itself date back as far as 79AD - construction of the castle that you see today was started in 1258. 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 playpark, café and shop as well as seeing the most stunning displays of bluebells, rhododendrons and azaleas when in season. There's also a delightful small church on the castle's grounds which is worth a visit for a moment's quiet reflection.
Famously, with England’s highest mountain and deepest lake, smallest church and biggest liar, Wasdale (15 miles) still has an unspoilt tranquillity that belies its majestic grandeur. It is the most mountainous of the Lake District Valleys. From Wastwater in the valley bottom, the Screes climb, seemingly vertically, out of the lake. The valley has hardly changed in hundreds of years, and the natural splendour of the fells and lakes has been preserved in all of its glory. Read more in our Wasdale area guide.
Within 45 minutes of Falcon Place 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 cottage there are family walks and gentler strolls that take a few hours yet will lead you to secluded spots all your own. Such as the “Pepper Pot” on nearby Stainton Fell visible from the back of Falcon Place.
At Eskmeals 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? Further up the valley as you head up the steep switchback road that is Hardknott Pass (not for the faint-hearted driver or passenger!) you’ll come to the staggering setting of Hardknott Roman Fort. The fort was built under Hadrian’s rule in the 2nd century. It guarded the pass on the road from Ravenglass to Ambleside and was policed by troops from the eastern Adriatic. Today visitors can explore remains including the barracks, commandant’s house, parade ground and bath house. Or you can sit and take in the view imagining what life was like here nearly 2000 years ago. Read more in our Eskdale area guide
As for the Cycling opportunities in the area, well, where to begin? 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. Indeed, many of the Lake Districts most challenging cycling sportives (including the Fred Whitton, the Lakeland Loop and the Tour of the High Passes) pass nearby. 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 just over four miles away as well as poplular links courses at Silecroft (10 miles). and Seascale (11 miles) If you would like your outdoor adventures taken care of by experts then Westlakes Adventure is a company based in Boot providing outdoor 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 huslkies!
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. It is also the start to the 140-mile-long C2C cycle route. Closer by is Egremont where you can find the remains of a Norman Castle and just south of the town is Florence Mine, the last working iron ore mine in Europe, and part of the rich mining history of West Cumbria. At the Mine Heritage Centre, you can learn about miners and how they lived and worked, and extracted the ore from the ground.