Camping: Eskdale Day 2 – Whitsun weekend 2016

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Walking to Dalegarth Station (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Day 2 of our Whitsun holiday loomed bright, dry and warm. We walked the few minutes to the station in Dalegarth and joined the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway for a ride down to Ravenglass. We bought an all-day ticket plus one for the dog, so naturally he was also permitted to sit on the seats.

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Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

The train was quite crowded on the way down. We obviously picked one of the most popular times to travel. Check the website for the latest timetable – there are more trains than you think, although occasionally they’re pulled by a diesel engine instead of a steam engine.

The train was so busy that at some stops no one was able to get on. At other stops, they had to get on where someone else got off. There was no standing allowed or possible.

We travelled through some breathtaking and beautiful scenery and were greeted along the way by cows, sheep, birds, walkers. And it took about 40 – 45 minutes to get from Dalegarth (for Boot) to Ravenglass.

At Ravenglass we were delighted to be able to take the dog onto the beach. At peak periods this is often not possible due to local mores and customs.

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Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

We’d been told ahead of our visit by a friend that the village was “very quiet”, but we weren’t prepared for exactly how quiet it actually was. It was a very pretty, sleepy village, with hardly anything happening, no traffic, no noise, and not many visitors, surprisingly.

We had a wander around, along the beach for a start. The dog was let off his lead, and he enjoyed a good blast along the sand. Then it was back on his lead for a walk back through the village.

We found a pub that was open that also sold ice cream, so we had an ice cream – and the dog had some too. It was nice, warm weather that wasn’t over-bearing, so the ice cream didn’t melt yet it was a cool treat.

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Ravenglass (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

There were no shops open that we could find, but we did stumble upon an “antiques fair”. I paid my 25p to get in while the poet stayed outside with the dog, and it took me all of 5 minutes to see the whole thing.

There were some nice things there, but they were over-priced (in my opinion), and when I overheard one of the organisers complain to one of the visitors that business had been “very slow”, I wasn’t at all surprised.

So we headed back towards the station but continued on along the Eskdale Trail to the Roman Bath House. The trail is tree-lined and was lovely and cool beneath the leafy canopy.

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“Antiques Fair” in Ravenglass – admission 25p (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

We didn’t see any squirrels or rare birds, but we did see a very large bumble bee and the poet commented that we don’t seem to see as many of those as we did when we were kids.

The poet had some fun with his camera and when a fellow photographer and his wife arrived with a bigger one that the poet’s (lens!), they got into a proper technical discussion.

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At the Roman Bath House, Ravenglass (Picture: unsuspecting passer-by)

They told us about their hairy journey over the Hardknott Pass the previous day, vowing to never do that again – but it made us want to go and try it. We’d avoided it on our own drive in, but decided to go home that way when we left.

Before they continued on their way and we backtracked to Ravenglass, the photographer offered to take a picture of the three of us, and we always take full advantage when people do that, even though there is a timer on the poet’s camera.

We had a sandwich and some cake at Ravenglass Station, and then caught the next ride back to Dalegarth.

We didn’t activate MapMy Walk, so I don’t know how far we walked. But we had another lovely day in another beautiful part of the country.

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Fungi bokeh (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
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2 thoughts on “Camping: Eskdale Day 2 – Whitsun weekend 2016

  1. All the times I’ve been to Lake District I’ve never been on the Eskdale Railway or been to Ravenglass. I need to rectify that! I have driven over Hardknott Pass twice. Once I was driving and the second time John was, fortunately, as it was in torrential rain. We were both scared, in fact I was a gibbering idiot at the end. I don’t think I’ll make that journey,by choice, again. I certainly would be nervous of driving it these days.

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