9th July 2014

A summers evening in Eskdale


Walk Overview
Time 5 to 6:55pm
Duration 1 hr 55 min
Distance 3.8 mile
Ascent 900 ft
Walking with Kayleigh Turnbull
Near Dalegarth Hall - Eskdale road - Beckfoot - Blea Tarn - Blea Tarn Hill - Peat Huts - Boot - Eskdale Church - River Esk - Near Dalegarth Hall
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, near Dalegarth Hall, Eskdale

Forget the fells for a moment and consider a lower level route through one of Lakeland's most beautiful valleys. And if Eskdale happens to meet with your approval then this car park could not be a better starting point. Stanley Force is within easy walking distance, on the opposite side of the valley is the La'al Ratty and the little village of Boot. For those with rather more energy, following one of the paths through the valley will offer hours of enjoyable walking.


Route Map


Here we are standing in Eskdale. Up on the skyline are Scafell and Slight Side which are sadly out of reach when setting off at this time of day. Never mind, we're lucky enough to have a couple of hours of walking to enjoy and as I'm sure anyone who has been here will agree, this little route takes some beating, even though it doesn't take you to the dizzy heights of places like those you see in this picture.

Just as we were about to cross the line (so to speak) we looked round and saw this, , , ,

I'm not sure if the driver is asleep at the wheel or just looking for the lever that makes it slow down, or quicken up, or perhaps trying to find the piece of string they pull to make it whistle.

I remember being teken on't La'al Ratty for our infants school trips. On one occasion I bought a plastic figure in the gift shop of whatever the latest kids craze was at the time; superman, spiderman or something along those lines. Anyway, whatever it was I was an excited 6 year old and I couldn't wait to show Mam & Dad what I'd bought when I got back home. Then disaster struck. On the return train ride I dropped it out of the train window. O no, what do I do. Errrr, if no one saw it perhaps it didn't really happen, , , , but what about the teacher, maybe she'll say something. I was thinking really hard now and just when I imagined things couldn't get any worse, I realised I'd have to explain what I'd done with the money when I got home. Own up to it, don't even say I'd bought the thing in the first place or perhaps I could make up some elaborate story and say spiderman jumped out of his own accord. Surely they'd believe that! My God what a dilemma. I know, I'll just start crying, that seems to solve most things when you're 6.

So, I arrived back at Ravenglass with reddened eyes and a runny nose. I'd spent all my money on a plastic figure which I then lost and I still hadn't made my mind up what to say when I got home. Happy days!!

Today's walk would take us out of the valley and onto the higher ground on the western side of Eskdale. We hadn't been walking for very long before we were presented with this big view. A high reward for little effort; as the saying goes.

Looking across the valley instead of down it, we see Green Crag (the higher rocky bit on the left) and Hesk Fell (the smoother looking fell on the right).

There was quite a breeze at Blea Tarn but still a very warm evening. We followed the narrow path around the edge of the tarn up to the higher ground you see over there.

We head up to the high ground above Blea Tarn which for some strange reason has been called Bleatarn Hill.

For a short section of the walk we skirted around the wonderful area of higher ground between Eskdale and Wasdale. It was lovely up here this evening. The conditions were perfect and we saw the place at it's absolute best.
The fells in view are Kirk Fell, Great Gable, Scafell, Slight Side, Bow Fell and Crinkle Crags.

Turning to the right and now we see Bow Fell, Crinkle Crags, Cold Pike, Hardknott, Great Carrs, Gray Frier and Harter Fell.

On route down to Boot we pass the old peat huts, some in a state of ruin and others that seem to have been renovated to a standard that would make them usable for 'something'.



This one seems to have a decent slate roof. Perhaps it's used for storage or just shelter.

A close up of Harter Fell.

and a close up of Green Crag.

A not so close up photo of Harter Fell.

After descending along a short section of the Burnmoor Corpse Road we arrive in Boot and walk past the Mill. Despite it being open to the public, I've yet to take a look inside. A shame really because I find this type of thing interesting.



Apart from the church, the mill was probably the most important building in the valley.

"You wouldn't catch me going for walks on a nice evening like this. I'd rather relax and have a sleep on the road."


We look back along the lane to Brook House Inn. Kayleigh was my walking companion for the evening and she tells me this used to be her Grandparents Guest House. What a fantastic place to live and work.

A little further on and we pass this recently renovated farm house. Sadly (depending on your point of view), it's a holiday let instead of a full time home.

Now we pass by St Catherine's church.


After what has been quite a dry summer the stepping stones are used this evening. No need to bother about slipping and even if we did, the water wasn't very deep anyway.

Looking back across to the Church.

The narrow bridge, not really needed tonight but essential after periods of heavy rain.


Most of the remainder of the walk was done through woodland like this, which, on this perfect summer evening were an absolute pleasure to stroll through. Such is the nature of evening walks and all too soon our excursion was drawing to a close. Time was indeed marching on and as you'd expect, the evening was now alive with the darting buzz of insects. Apart from their buzzing and the chatter we made, the place was silent, still and altogether peaceful. Needless to say all thoughts that we'd just spent the whole day engaged in paid employment were long forgotten.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks