Things to do nearby King George Apartment
Eskdale is a wonderfully unspoilt valley which offers a host of opportunities for walking and cycling, rich historical interest and great food and real ale. Visitors will find that the King George Apartment is perfectly placed to explore all it has to offer.
The walking in Eskdale is second-to-none. 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. On warm days you can stop and take a dip in one of the lovely deep pools along the way. Or why not take a walk up from the apartment to the wonderfully named Giggle Alley, from here you can head to the Japanese Garden a beautifully tranquil spot. Find out more in our Eskdale Guide
If you’d 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.
One of the most popular things to do in Eskdale is to take a trip on the famous Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, more popularly known as the La'al Ratty. This narrow gauge steam railway makes a leisurely seven mile journey from Ravenglass to Boot taking in some staggering scenery along the way. At the King George Apartment you are handily placed for two of its stations; The Green and Fisherground Halt. Even if you're not getting on board you'll find that it's practically the law to wave at the Ratty as it goes past! 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 indeed a play park and café at both stations. With prior arrangement you can put your bikes on the train at either end of the line and cycle back via the Eskdale Trail.
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 roadies you have one of England’s steepest roads at the head of the valley to challenge you. Indeed many of the Lake Districts most challenging cycling sportives (including the Fred Whitton, the Lakeland Loop and the Tour of the High Passes) go through the valley. If hills aren’t to your taste there are some lovely rides out towards the coast with rather less challenging hills.
For history buffs it's worth heading further up the valley to 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
Muncaster Castle makes a great day out for all ages, it 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! 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.
The nearby valley of Wasdale must certainly be ranked as one of the most beautiful and tranquil places in the entire country. While its staggering scenery is a magnet for walkers, cyclists, divers, swimmers and general potterers it still retains its unspoiled quality and feeling of remoteness. It's a place with many superlatives attached to it, indeed it is the proud home of England's highest mountain, deepest lake, smallest church and also the competition for the World's biggest liar (which is held annually at The Bridge Inn at Santon Bridge). It's also home to some excellent pubs and even a microbrewery. Stretching 12 miles from Wasdale Head at the top of the valley down to the village of Gosforth, this is a place that has hardly changed for centuries. Colonised by Norse farmers in the 9th and 10th centuries, the valley bottom is a patchwork of fields from the time of the Vikings, leading up to the lake and magnificent mountains rearing up to the sky. St Olaf's England's smallest church set amongst a small wood of yew trees. The roof beams are even said to have come from Viking ships. Read more in our guide to Wasdale.
From Eskdale there is also the option of exploring the secluded Miterdale Valley. Incredibly peaceful, you might not encounter a soul on a walk up through its forests. Why not take the walk up to Burnmoor Tarn from here?
If you’d like to head out of the valley you have many great options. Why not consider exploring the coastline? 10 miles away on the coast is Seascale, a Victorian seaside village with a very good local ice cream shop. Seascale is also home to an excellent links golf course. Slightly further south will bring you to the sand dunes at Drigg. A great place for a family picnic and paddle on a sunny day or just for a wild and windswept winter walk. St Bees is another seaside village further up the coast offering lovely walks along to secluded coves to the north.
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) where you can also visit its newly refurbished museum to find out about life along the path of the railway through photographs and artefacts. Find out more in our guide to The 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?
Whitehaven is a Georgian Harbour town 20 miles up the coast 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.
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 shepherds crooks. There are also stalls full of Cumbrian goods, sporting events for children, fell racing, Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling events and hound trailing. It’s an excellent window into local farming life and a great day out. What's more you could hardly be better placed to enjoy it as it takes place in the fields near the King George Apartment.