Eskdale Stepping Stones, Steam Train & Camping Pod

We had a very adventurous family weekend in Eskdale, in the western Lake District.  We started with a trip on the Ravenglass to Eskdale Steam Railway.  We all enjoyed the trip on this cute narrow gauge railway.  The kids thought it was truly fantastic to go on a tiny train, and the scenery was fantastic!

When we arrived at Dalegarth train station in Eskdale, we went for a short walk (1.75 mile loop starting and ending at the station) to the fun stepping stones near the church. Grid reference 176002 on OS map OL6.

Turn right out of the train station and walk along the road for a couple of hundred metres.  Take the first road on the left, and then take the bridleway to the left.  This path takes you to the church, and the stepping stones are on the river behind it.

When we were there the water level was very low and so the stepping stones were dry and safe.  Be careful when the water level is higher and the stones are slippery… many people have taken an accidental dip into the river here!

We continued our walk up the river and crossed on a bridge at Gill Force, which in times of spate can look pretty special.  We returned along the other side of the river, stopping to play on the stepping stones again when we passed it on our way back!

When you get to the footpath crossroads at GR 173002, you can retun to the station by turning right, or, if you fancy extending the walk, head up to the spectacular Stanley Ghyll Force at GR 174996.  You’ll see a sign post for the falls.  It’s about 0.5 mile through the forest.  The last bridge that takes you to the viewing point of the falls can be very slippery and steep, so do take care.

After our walk we started the next part of our adventure… a night in a camping pod in one of the coolest campsites in the Lake District, Eskdale Campsite.  I would say that the kids loved this, which they did, but I think we loved it even more!  It was such a brilliant, quirky and fun place to stay.  Thanks to Martyn for making us feel so welcome.

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The wooden pods, insulated with sheep’s wool, are the perfect place for some comfortable glamping!  The pods have a foam mat flooring, although we brought a blow up bed to make it even more comfy.  Just bring your sleeping bags and you’re good to go!  Even a non camper could be converted!

Facilities are excellent at the campsite.  Clean, modern and warm toilet and wash blocks, with very good and hot showers.  Breakfast is available from the shop and includes hot drinks, toast and cereal.  So you don’t even need to worry about bringing a camping stove!

We headed over to the Boot Inn for our evening meal (2 minute walk from the campsite), and it didn’t disappoint.  Campers receive a 10% discount off their meal (with proof), and the food and service was excellent.  Plus the kids enjoyed running around in the relaxed beer garden.

After toasting some marshmallows on our mini BBQ, we bedded down in our snug camping pod and listened to the birds and the sheep as we nodded off.  We were excited about our adventure to Muncaster Castle the next day!

For more walks like this, stay up to date and “like” our facebook page Family Walks and Pubs in the Lake District and follow us on Twitter @familywalklakes

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