The Eden Valley sits among some of Britain’s wildest and most glorious scenery. A close neighbour not only to The Lakes, but also to the Yorkshire Dales, Hadrian’s Wall and the Scottish Borders.
Bring your bike, because the Eden Valley is right on the saddle of the Coast to Coast cycle route. It’s great for walkers looking to conquer some of the Eastern Fells of the Lake District, such as Helvellyn and the Northern Pennines, too. Fishing and golf are plentiful and the area is peppered with historic houses and museums, including Dalemain and Hutton-in-the-Forest.
Further great treks include the Aira Force waterfall walk; keep on going for a more challenging hike up Gowbarrow Fell and be rewarded with stunning views over Ullswater. Your legs can also take you to Lacey’s Caves or to Long Meg and her Daughters, an ancient stone circle. This gently undulating walk is good for three generations of legs.
You can also see Ullswater by steamer, trek the treetops, tuck into real gingerbread at Grasmere, ride ponies or watch the wildlife roaming freely at Bassenthwaite. Refuel with good pub grub, tea rooms and restaurants.
For kids, the Eden Valley is a Santa’s sack of great ideas. Steam around Ullswater and get the children involved with the kids’ club, complete with activities and child-friendly maps.
They’ll go potty about the pottery at Crafty Monkeys in Penrith. Hours fly by when they’re mucking around with pottery wheels, pottery painting, glass painting, mosaic making and plant-pot painting.
Take them to Whinlatter and Go Ape! or try the pirate events, rafting, Swallows and Amazons, sailing and picnics at the Glenridding Activity Centre.
The Lakes are a perfect place to try pony trekking, boating or biking. You can take a lovely pony trek over Barton Fell above Ullswater. Hire some bikes and head for the hills. Build dams and wet your wellies in Lakeland becks, go on a ghost walk, or just potter and explore the Eden Valley.
Steam across Ullswater, breaking the journey with a jaunt or two over the hills. See the landscape from horseback on a pony trek, or get the best views of the lake from Barton Fell.
Climb to Aira Force waterfall. It’s a two-hour commitment but the 65’ water drop and surrounding woodland make it one you’ll never forget. Keep on going to High Force or Gowbarrow Fell with an eye open for rare red squirrels.
One of England’s largest Druidic stone circles, Long Meg and her Daughters, is nearby, while Melmerby is home to the Egon Ronay award-winning organic village bakery. The Fox Inn at Ousby is a two-mile walk away, but well worth it for the food, service and atmosphere.