A guide to holidays in Ravenglass
Known as the only village found on the coastline of the Lake District National Park, Ravenglass is built on a natural harbour, sitting on the estuary where the rivers Irt, Esk and Mite flow out to sea.
A village has been located on this site since the Roman times, when a thousand men were stationed here to help defend against the Scots and the Brigantes. Then known as Glannaventa, today little remains of their fort besides part of a road as well as the remarkable bath house, now named Wall Castle. This structure would have contained both hot saunas and cold baths, and is one of the largest surviving Roman structures in England.
For even more Roman history, head to the Hardknott Roman Fort near Eskdale, which has been partly reconstructed. A circular walk can be enjoyed around the fort, taking in the hills and beauty spots of Harter Fell, Border Ends Crag, Bow Fell, Jubilee Bridge and the Hardknott Pass. Eskdale is one of the most beautiful valleys in the Lake District, and you can easily explore it thanks to the historic Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. The narrow-gauge steam engine gently chugs through the countryside, passing Eskdale Mill and Stanley Ghyll Force, before reaching its end destination at Dalegarth, just on the edge of Eskdale. The railway also has its own museum, with models, archive images and artefacts from across its history.
Another of Ravenglass’ top attractions is the impressive Muncaster Castle. Overlooking the River Esk, this Grade-I listed building can be enjoyed by all ages and offers a range of things to see and do, including Himalayan Gardens, a maze and an excellent owl sanctuary. The nearby Water Mill is a fully-working water-powered corn mill which still uses Victorian-era technology.
One of the main appeals of Ravenglass is its remote location, close to the sea, although fortunately several larger towns in the Lake District can still be reached within a reasonable drive. Among these are Coniston, found near the edge of Coniston Water, Grasmere, the home of William Wordsworth, and Ambleside, a popular town close to the shores of Lake Windermere. Scafell Pike, the tallest mountain in the Lake District and all of England, is also only a half-hour drive from Ravenglass.
If you’ve been inspired to base your Lake District holiday in the quiet surroundings of Ravenglass, take a look at our full collection of Ravenglass holiday cottages and accommodation on this page.