The valley of Eskdale and its surroundings provide some of the best and most scenic walking routes within the National Park. If you are an experienced walker or just enjoy a stroll and combined with a trip on the railway make for a unique day out. Lord Wakefield commissioned the legendary fell-walker Wainwright to prepare a unique piece of print for the railway - Walks from Ratty. This booklet is available to purchase in our railway gift shops and online.
Also, make sure you download our App which gives you various guided short walking routes in the areas around the Railway, perfect for all ages! Click here to download for free now.
Take a look below for some suggested walks from both of our main stations. Please take an OS map (available to purchase in our shops) with you and ensure that you are suitably equipped for a walk including walking boots and plenty of water!
Leave Dalegarth station and turn right along the valley road, then take the first lane on the left. Go through the gate signposted for 'Dalegarth Falls' and 'Anne's Walk' just after the bridge. Soon after the next gate the gravel path ends, keep straight on at the fingerpost, climbing the slope to the right. Keep walking until you see the waterfalls. Be careful here near the cliff edge as it is slippy. Retrace your steps back down to the fingerpost at the crossing of the paths. Then turn right at this fingerpost signed for 'Gill Force' and 'Doctor Bridge'. After the gate ignore the path to the right; keep straight on through the bracken. Don't cross the stepping stones to the left and instead continue along the riverbank towards Gill Force. After the next gate watch for a waymarker indicating a sharp turn to the right, this is quickly followed by another sharp turn to the left. Cross the River Esk via a bridge and walk downstream. At a pair of gates go through the one on the right, follow the path to a T-junction and then turn left. Take the next path turning on the right, turn right at the surfaced lane and right again at the T-junction to retrace your steps back to Dalegarth station.
Leave Dalegarth station and turn left along the valley road. At the crossroads go along the walled lane to the right. Follow this lane and it will lead you to St Catherine's Church. Don't forget to stop and explore the church here. Note the beautiful memorial to Tommy Dobson in the graveyard, his passion for fox-hunting is depicted on his gravestone. From the church, you can either cross the river via the stepping stones or head to the bridge to ensure your feet don't get wet! Then follow Anne's Walk through the woodland and head back to Dalegarth station as per instructions above.
Get off the train at Beckfoot station. After the train has departed, cross the line and go through a gate onto open fellside. Follow the grassy track uphill and it will curve to the left through the bracken. As the path steepens, follow it, climbing the fell in a series of hairpin bends. You will pass the ruins of an old peat hut - take a minute here to enjoy the views of Harter Fell and the surrounding woodland. As you get close to the tarn the path begins to break up in a series of junctions - take the left-hand path at the first branch, and the right-hand path and the second. You will then reach Blea Tarn. At the tarn head right along the shore (with the water to your left). After passing the tarn the path begins to climb again, this time following a valley that almost looks man-made. This brings you past Blea Tarn Fell and then emerges onto flatter land. This path soon splits, with a path heading to the left, and a larger track heading right. Take this track to the right, and follow it past an old mine working. After heading across the hillside for some way the track then runs through some old mine buildings, before joining another track. Turn right onto this track and follow it as it runs diagonally and to the right down the hillside, eventually reaching Boot. From here you can then head back to Dalegarth station, just a short walk from the village.
There is a rich biodiversity of wildlife in the valley, from various species of migratory and resident birds at the Ravenglass estuary to the native Red Squirrels which hide in Miterdale Forest. When out walking, why not take your camera to see if you can capture some of our spectacular wildlife.