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Holidays in Ravenglass

Pretty and remote coastal village with Roman heritage

UK | North of England | Lake District | Ravenglass
Muncaster Castle

Ravenglass is the only village along the coastline of the Lake District. It’s a remote yet pleasant village with several places of interest, built around a natural harbour, on the estuary where three rivers run out to sea. There’s been a village on the site since Roman times, when there was a garrison of about 1000 men stationed there to defend the coast and the land to the north from attack for the Scots and Brigantes. Way back then around the 2nd century, it was called Glannaventa and although evidence of their 300 year-long presence is all but gone, there are some of the best examples of ancient ruins in the UK.

Little remains now of their large Roman fort except for the remarkable bath house, now known as Walls Castle. This is one of the largest surviving Roman structures in England, about 40 feet by 90 feet with walls over 12 feet high, containing everything from hot saunas to cold baths. The walls are the tallest standing Roman structures in the UK. Traces of a road that the 1000 strong garrison used to transport supplies to Ambleside exists too.

Eskdale Valley

Besides its remarkable Roman heritage, the village is home to the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. The original line has been converted to a 15” width track to support a brilliant narrow gauge steam engine. The line has four stops before reaching its destination at Dalegarth, just outside Eskdale. The countryside through which the train travels is spectacular. Travel to Dalegarth on the train to see Eskdale Mill, Stanley Ghyll Force and St Catherine’s Church.

For meals, try the Ratty Arms, a family-run pub in Ravenglass, serving hearty pub grub and real ales. It also hosts a weekly quiz and a programme of live music! Elsewhere in Ravenglass is The Turntable Café. It’s not a café for DJs, although they are welcome too. It’s got its name for its proximity to the train turntable!

Some of the best walks in the area are the circular walks up by Hardknott Roman Fort near Eskdale. The Roman fort has been partly rebuilt from the fallen masonry. The trail takes in Harter Fell, Border Ends Crag, Bow Fell, Jubilee Bridge and the Hardknott Pass.

"Ravenglass is also famous for its 15” narrow gauge steam railway…"

Ravenglass is quite remote but it’s within reasonable driving distance to Cockermouth or the main towns in the central Lake District. There are some larger villages up the coast like Drigg and Seascale for basic provisions. The closest tourist information centre is in the railway station office. Be sure to pay them a visit to get the best in local knowledge.

We have some nice cottages in and around Ravenglass. Why not visit our collection to feel inspired?

While you’re there

Muncaster Castle

A Grade I listed castle overlooking the River Esk, featuring Himalayan Gardens, a maze and one of the world's best owl sanctuaries.

Muncaster Water Mill

A working water-powered corn mill dating from 1455, regularly producing a range of stone-ground organic flours and oatmeals.

The Ravenglass Railway Museum

The archive collections of the historic Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, with models, artefacts, archival and pictorial images of the still-working line.

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