|A drive around the remote western Lake District which includes the only coastal village in the National Park and some good beaches before heading inland to explore the dramatic and beautiful valleys of Wasdale and Eskdale.|
|Summary of main attractions on route (click on name for detail)|
|Distance||Attraction||Car Park Coordinates|
|0 miles||Ravenglass village||N 54.35529, W 3.40949|
|5.2 miles||Drigg beach||N 54.37305, W 3.46548|
|8.9 miles||Seascale village||N 54.39497, W 3.48473|
|17.7 miles||Wastwater, Countess Beck||N 54.43443, W 3.31227|
|19.4 miles||Wastwater, Overbeck Bridge||N 54.44993, W 3.28455|
|21.1 miles||Wasdale Head||N 54.46511, W 3.25634|
|31.1 miles||Miterdale access area||N 54.39877, W 3.31619|
|32.6 miles||Eskdale Green||N 54.39000, W 3.32312|
|35.0 miles||Trough House Bridge||N 54.39141, W 3.27796|
|35.4 miles||Dalegarth station||N 54.39505, W 3.27460|
|37.3 miles||Forge Bridge access area||N 54.38395, W 3.31215|
|45.0 miles||Muncaster Castle||N 54.35740, W 3.38987|
|46.1 miles||Ravenglass village||N 54.35529, W 3.40949|
Distance: 0 miles Location: Ravenglass village car park Coordinates: N 54.35529, W 3.40949
Ravenglass was also the site of an important Roman Fort and naval base from about AD130. A short walk to the south of the village are the remains of the old fort bath house, one of the tallest surviving Roman buildings in the country.
The village also has a selection of pubs and cafes for refreshments and some public toilets. The main car park is in the centre of the village and is pay and display.
Travelling:Travel out of Ravenglass to the T Junction with the main A595 and turn left. The road descends towards a bridge over the Ravenglass & Eskdale railway where you can see the small and attractive Muncaster Mill station on the right. There is some free parking on the track to the station if you want to stop. Continue on the A595, over the River Esk and on for approx 1.6 miles to a bridge over the River Irt where you enter the village of Holmrook, overlooking the river. Very shortly take a left turn on the B5344 towards Drigg. Continue for approx 1 mile, through Drigg village, to take a left turn towards ‘Station and shore’. Shortly, pass Drigg railway station on the right where there is a small tea room with craft shop and the Victoria Hotel also provides refreshments. Continue over the level crossing and past the low-level radioactive waste site on the right which is thankfully well hidden. Head towards the sand dunes in the distance and soon meet the end of the road where there is a parking area.
Distance: 5.2 miles Location: Drigg beach Coordinates: N 54.37305, W 3.46548
Travelling:Retrace your steps, admiring the distant views of Wasdale and Eskdale, to the T junction with the B5344 and turn left towards Seascale. Continue for approx 1.7 miles to a bridge over the Cumbrian coast railway line and enter the village of Seascale. The road soon meets the coastline with excellent views. Descend to a sharp right bend in the road and the car park is straight ahead.
Distance: 8.9 miles Location: Seascale village car park Coordinates: N 54.39497, W 3.48473
Travelling:Leaving the car park, turn left on the B5344 and pass under the narrow railway bridge. Immediately on the right is an attractive old Victorian water tower. Continue through the village and soon enter open country with good views ahead towards the Lakeland fells. Approx 1.7 miles beyond the village, approach a cross-roads with the main A595. Head straight across the junction to enter the village of Gosforth. Shortly, take the second exit at a mini-roundabout and just beyond is the free village car park on the left. Nearby are toilet facilities, the village shop, a bank with cash machine, a couple of pubs and the ever popular Gosforth bakery. Continue through the village and soon pass St Mary’s Church on the left which has an interesting collection of Viking carved stones, including the tall stone cross in the graveyard.
A short distance beyond the church, the road bears right and climbs away from the village, then descends into Wasdale valley with glorious views. Approx 2.2 miles beyond the village, take a right turn signposted to Nether Wasdale. The narrow road continues approx 0.9 miles to descend through the small attractive village of Nether Wasdale where you will find The Screes Inn and The Strands Inn for refreshments. Beyond the village, continue for approx 1.5 miles with increasingly impressive mountain views, to cross a cattle grid and join an unfenced road which soon meets the shoreline of Wastwater. The following section of road, alongside Wastwater and on to Wasdale Head, is arguably the most scenic in the whole Lake District and is well worth driving. Before that, Countess Beck viewpoint is just ahead where there is a small rough parking area on the right. If that is full, there are a number of other rough roadside parking areas if you continue.
Distance: 17.7 miles Location: Wastwater, Countess Beck Coordinates: N 54.43443, W 3.31227
|Wastwater, near Countess Beck|
The shoreline tends to be quite rocky with small shingle beaches every so often and areas of grass and bracken behind. This pattern begins around the Countess Beck shelter and continues towards Wasdale Head for approx 1 mile. The remoteness of the area means it never gets very busy and you can normally find a quiet place to appreciate the surroundings. Parking is free but there are no facilities nearby.
Travelling:Continue along the picturesque Wasdale road, alongside Wastwater. The views over the lake towards the surrounding mountains are exceptional but some care is needed on the narrow winding road. There are a number of small rough parking areas on the roadside where you can stop to admire the views and wonder down to the lake. Approx 1.5 miles beyond Countess Beck is Overbeck Bridge car park on the left.
Distance: 19.4 miles Location: Wastwater, Overbeck Bridge Coordinates: N 54.44993, W 3.28455
|Wastwater, Overbeck Bridge|
Travelling:Turn left out of the car park and continue along the Wasdale road. Again there are fantastic views as you get closer to the big mountains. Shortly, a cattle grid marks the end of the lake and you continue approx 0.9 miles, passing the entrance to Wasdale campsite, to a large open parking area on the right. This is the main car park for Wasdale Head and is effectively the end of the road.
Distance: 21.1 miles Location: Wasdale Head Coordinates: N 54.46511, W 3.25634
Travelling:From the car park, retrace your steps back down the valley. The views going the other way are not quite as impressive but still very good. Beyond the lake, just before Nether Wasdale, take the first left turn, signposted to Santon Bridge. Cross the River Irt and continue along the narrow scenic road for approx 2 miles to a T junction in Santon Bridge village. A short distance to the right is The Bridge Inn for refreshments. Turn left at the T junction towards Eskdale. Now on a slightly better road, continue approx 1.8 miles to pass the Bower House Inn on the right. After a further 0.3 miles, just beyond a house on the left, take the minor left turn towards Miterdale. Follow the very narrow road for almost 1 mile to a gate and just beyond is a large grassy area on the left next to the River Mite.
Distance: 31.1 miles Location: Miterdale access area Coordinates: N 54.39877, W 3.31619
|Miterdale access area|
Travelling:Retrace your steps back down the minor road to the T junction and turn left. Shortly, enter the village of Eskdale Green and continue past Eskdale Stores on the left and St Bega's church on the right. A short distance beyond is a small parking area on the left, adjacent to the public toilets.
Distance: 32.6 miles Location: Eskdale Green Coordinates: N 54.39000, W 3.32312
|St Bega's church, Eskdale Green|
Travelling:Continue along the Eskdale road and soon descend to cross the miniature Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. The Green station is on the right which includes a small free car park. Continue a short distance to the King George IV Inn on the right which offers refreshments. Take the left turn opposite the pub towards Boot. Follow the picturesque valley floor road which soon follows the River Esk on the right and the Eskdale railway on the left. If you are lucky you may see one of the small trains rattling along. Approx 1.5 miles beyond the pub, pass the small Beckfoot station on the left and approx 0.2 miles further on, opposite some buildings, take a minor right turn. Continue 0.2 miles over Trough House Bridge and the car park is on the left.
Distance: 35.0 miles Location: Trough House Bridge car park Coordinates: N 54.39141, W 3.27796
|Stanley Force waterfall|
Travelling:Travel back to the main valley road and turn right towards Boot. In 0.2 miles is Dalegarth Station on the left and the car park turn is immediately before the station.
Distance: 35.4 miles Location: Dalegarth Station car park Coordinates: N 54.39505, W 3.27460
|Dalegarth Station, Eskdale Railway|
Dalegarth Station car park is also the best place to park for a visit to Boot which is approx 0.3 miles walk along the road. It is a pretty little village in a picturesque setting with a shop and a small gallery. The village also has a couple of pubs providing refreshment in idyllic surroundings at the Boot Inn and the Brook House Inn. At the far end of the village, over the ancient packhorse bridge, is the fascinating Eskdale Mill which still maintains its historic working machinery and is one of the oldest water powered corn mills in the country.
Travelling:Turn right out of the car park and retrace your steps back down the valley road to the King George IV Inn. Turn left at the T junction and shortly pass over Forge Bridge. Immediately over the bridge on the right is the access area parking.
Distance: 37.3 miles Location: Forge Bridge access area Coordinates: N 54.38395, W 3.31215
|Forge Bridge access area|
Travelling:Continue away from Forge Bridge for approx 0.4 miles to take a right turn, signposted 'Birkby Road'. The narrow and winding road roughly follows the River Esk through some pleasant woodland for just over 3 miles to a T junction with the main A595. Turn right towards Ravenglass and continue for approx 1.5 miles, crossing the River Esk then up and over Muncaster hill, to the large Muncaster Castle car park on the right.
Distance: 45.0 miles Location: Muncaster Castle Coordinates: N 54.35740, W 3.38987
Outside, the Castle has some wonderful gardens, terraces and woodland overlooking the attractive Esk valley. There are plenty of walks around the grounds which are particularly good for Rhododendrons. Also in the grounds is the World Owl Centre which has a superb collection of different owls.
There are various other family attractions, cafes, gift shops and toilet facilities. Castle generally open daily, apart from Saturdays, between March and October. Gardens and Owl centre open daily all year except January. Admission fee applies, free car park.
Travelling:Turn right out of the car park on the A595 and after approx 0.4 miles take the left turn to Ravenglass. The road descends into the village and you pass under the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway line then the main Cumbrian coast line. The estuary appears on the right, then the road bears left and soon enters the main car park.
Distance: 46.1 miles Location: Ravenglass village car park Coordinates: N 54.35529, W 3.40949