Things to do nearby 1 Orange Hill
Boot is a hamlet at the head of the Eskdale valley with its own special character. At nearby Dalegarth you can hop on the Ravenglass and Eskdale steam railway, affectionately known as La’al Ratty.
Boot has two pubs, the Boot Inn and the Brook House Inn. The Woolpack Inn is not far up the lane at the foot of the Hardknott Pass.
At the top of the village lane is Eskdale Mill, the last remaining working mill in the Lake District. It is one of the oldest water powered corn mills in England. The mill makes for a very interesting morning or afternoon where you can take a tour and see the original working machinery.
The walk possibilities are virtually endless. At the end of the lane the road peters out and turns into a footpath onto the fell. From here you can walk to Burnmoor Tarn, the mysterious stone circles on Brat’s Moss, or even right the way to the top of Scafell.
Although most famous for its walking opportunities, the Eskdale offers a wide variety of leisure activities. Close to Orange Hill (5 minute walk) is the small gauge railway The La'al Ratty which runs regular steam engine services to the old Roman port of Ravenglass. Even closer is the Eskdale Corn Mill with its twin water wheels the tour of this 18th century mill is well worth an afternoon or morning.
The road into Boot eventually peters out and goes onto the fellside. Paths veer off in all directions including ones to Burnmoor Tarn and Scafell.
There are five pubs in the valley, all of which serve food. The Boot Inn is virtually opposite the cottage boasting a lovely sunny beer garden and the Brook House Inn is at the end of the road. Read more about the pubs in Eskdale by clicking here.
In Eskdale there are several poplar fishing rivers, streams, and tarns. Day passes can be purchased from local ambling associations where needed - click here for further details. There is free fishing at Burnmoor Tarn. Day tickets can be purchased for the River Irt or the River Esk (01229 467211), or Devoke Water on Birker Moor (01229 717237).
The Ratty connects Eskdale to the coast at Ravenglass. The sleep village is lined with old fisherman’s cottages and has a timeless air to it. The beach is a mixture of sand and pebbles and enjoys spectacular sunsets.
St.Bees is a delightful beach with breath-taking views toward the Isle of Man from St Bees Head. St. Bees is the start of the coast-to-coast walk and the only heritage coastline between Wales and Scotland with an RSBP bird reserve. You can see all manner of birds including puffins and razorbills.
There are several great Golf Courses within reach of Eskdale including Eskdale Golf Club and Seascale Golf Course – both within a 15 minute drive. Further afield you can enjoy St.Bees Golf Course , 30 minutes and Cockermouth and Workington, both within a 45-50 minute drive.
There are plenty of fun events in the valley throughout the year. Here are some of our favourites.
Eskdale Art Exhibition- held on the Whit Bank Holiday weekend in May at the Primary School in Eskdale Green
Boot Beer Festival - held in early June
Eskdale Fete - Held annually at the Outward Bound Centre, Eskdale Green, August Bank Holiday
Eskdale Show - the last Saturday in September in the field by the George IV pub - see our review of the Lake District shows
We have a guide to Eskdale where you can read more on all there is to do in the area.
Although Eskdale is more hidden away then other Lake District valleys, there is still plenty you can see and do in the immediate area. Wasdale is a 15 minute drive to the west. The valley is pure mountain walking country with great fells including Pillar, Scafell, Lingmell and Great Gable easily accessible from the valley. There is a tiny hamlet at the head of the valley and absolutely no mobile phone signal. The Wasdale Head Inn is an atmospheric pub decorated with climbing memorabilia and some fantastic old photos of the early local climbing pioneers.
To the east are the fearsome passes of Hardknott and Wrynose with inclines of 30% and awesome hairpin bends. These passes link Eskdale to Langdale and Ambleside beyond that. They are the ultimate test for road cyclists and quite a feat for drivers too. It is possible to reach the central Lake District without negotiating these passes if you are of a nervous disposition!