Things to do nearby The Old Post Office
Eskdale is a wonderfully unspoilt valley which offers fabulous food, real ales and a host of opportunities for walking and cycling for all abilities. Visitors will find that The Old Post Office is perfectly placed to make the most of all Eskdale's charms. Find out more in our guide to Eskdale
One of the most popular things to do in Eskdale is to take a trip on the wonderful Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, locally known as the La’al Ratty. This narrow-gauge steam line makes the gentle seven-mile journey from Ravenglass to Boot taking in some staggering scenery along the way. Whether you make the journey down to the coast to the delightful village of Ravenglass or further up the valley to Dalegarth at Boot you can enjoy great walks and a café at either end. With prior arrangement, you can put your bikes on the train at either end of the line and cycle back via the Eskdale Trail. You are ideally placed at The Old Post Office as it's just a short walk to The Green station. From here you can hop on board and make the most of the railway as there are a multitude of walks from the various stations, why not walk up to one of the lovely pubs in Boot and then get the train back?
The walking in Eskdale is second-to-none. Why not take a walk up from The Old Post Office to the wonderfully named Giggle Alley? From here you can head to the Japanese Garden; a beautifully tranquil spot. If you would like to tackle the Lake District's giants then you will find a variety of routes to the top of Scafell and Scafell Pike to suit all abilities. Great Moss is one of the Lake District’s best kept secrets. This stunning open valley is surrounded by some of the highest ground in England, Scafell Pike, Esk Hause and Bowfell but hidden from view from the Eskdale valley floor. As well as big hikes to the highest fells, there are some lovely walks on the valley floor and along the beautiful River Esk. If you’d like your 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.
As for the Cycling opportunities in Eskdale, well where to begin? For mountain biking the valley offers trails to suit all abilities with low level forest trails and more technical bridleways leading over to the Wasdale and Duddon Valleys and back again. For road cyclists you have one of England’s steepest roads at the head of the valley to challenge you. If hills aren’t to your taste there are some lovely rides out towards the coast with rather less challenging gradients.
The stunning valley of Wasdale is a 15-minute drive from The Old Post Office. You can hike the classic mountains here and marvel at the spectacular Screes that plunge into Wastwater. Wasdale is one of the most remote valleys in the Lake District and is surrounded by awe inspiring mountains including Scafell, Great Gable, Pillar and Kirk Fell. This iconic view was voted Britain's Favourite View in a recent TV poll. Read more in our Wasdale guide
Muncaster Castle makes an enjoyable day out for all ages. Sitting high above the estuary where the river Esk meets the Irish Sea at Ravenglass it 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 past. It is steeped in history, with tales of kings and queens of murder and intrigue and ghostly presences everywhere! 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 and rhododendrons when in season.
For a taste of more ancient history then head further up the Eskdale Valley. Make your way up the steep switchback road that is Hardknott Pass (not for the faint-hearted driver or passenger!) and 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
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. Ravenglass is where three rivers meet (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). This is the land of Bronze Age settlements, Roman forts, ancient churches, medieval castles and many other hidden delights. Why not take a bike and explore either the 11 mile Eskdale trail or follow some of the Hadrian's Cycleway?
As summer draws to its close The Eskdale Show takes place on the last weekend of September. This is a famous Lakeland agricultural show of Herdwick Sheep which are bred and reared on the surrounding fells by local farmers. The show also has competition classes for hound dogs, terriers, sheep dogs, poultry and shepherd’s crooks. There are also stalls full of Cumbrian goods, sporting events, fell racing, Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling events and hound trailing. It’s an excellent window into local farming life and a great day out. Read more in our guide to Cumbrian agricultural shows