Eskdale Green – Stanley Ghyll Waterfall – Boot

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Eskdale Green – Stanley Ghyll Waterfall – Boot - Train Back

Lovely Eskdale stretches over thirteen miles from the Scafell range to the sea and has everything but a lake. The river rises high in the fells at Esk Hause and gathers water from many streams before taking on a more gentle character, with small rapids as it passes through some of the most beautiful oak woodland in Cumbria. One of the tributaries, Birker Beck, has been left hanging above the valley floor and the water leaps down a sixty-foot waterfall into the deep ravine it has carved in the granite. Stanley Ghyll is not the highest waterfall in the Lake District, nor does it carry the greatest volume of water, but it is usually reckoned among the finest because of the romantic drama of its setting in the steep-sided gorge. The force with which the water can surge through is demonstrated by the tree-trunks in the beck. This charming walk follows the river upstream and a sidepath leads into and up the ravine to see the cascade. At one time you could go even further for a close-up view, but this has been closed in these health- and safety-conscious times. The route then crosses the river to reach the village of Boot. There are some stepping-stones leading to the old church and there is an alternative route over a bridge if the state of the river means these are unsafe.

The return trip through the vale uses the narrow-gauge Eskdale and Ravenglass Railway, which advertises itself, perhaps without exaggeration, as 'the most beautiful train journey in England'. One of the little steam engines, the River Irt, was built in 1894. The railway is commonly called the Ratty but no one seems to know quite why. One theory is that it short for Ratcliffe, the name of a man who was closely associated with the original line. The route passes two pubs, one at Eskdale Green near the start and one at Boot near the end. There is a good cafe at Dalegarth Station.

England - North England - Cumbria - Lake District - South West


Cafe, Church, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, Pub, Public Transport, River, Waterfall, Wildlife, Woodland

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