Hiking United Kingdom

Eskdale Walk to Ravenglass hike (and steam train back!) – The Lake District

After hiking to the top of Scafell Pike the day before I was looking for an easier walk to do in the Lake District. At Eskdale Campsite in Boot where I had been staying in a cool camping pod, I chatted with the owner Martyn about the best Eskdale walks in the area.

As soon as he told me about the Eskdale to Ravenglass walk I couldn’t resist it. A 7-mile hike, fairly easy terrain and a bonus ride back on a steam train. Perfect, a nice distance, not too far considering my ankle was a little sore from the descent of Scafell Pike. But I was most excited about riding the steam train haha.

Here’s my walk from Eskdale campsite all the way to Ravenglass train station.  Also included is information about Ravenglass to Eskdale steam railway, which I caught back.

Eskdale Walk to Ravenglass

Start point: Eskdale Campsite, Boot
End point: Ravenglass Train Station
Trek Distance: 11.5 km/ 7 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Difficulty: Easy – Medium
Map: OS Explorer OL6 – The English Lakes (South-western area)

Eskdale Campsite to Low Wood – Stage 1

Eskdale walk to Ravenglass - girder Bridge

Distance: 2.5 km/ 1.5 miles
Time: 35-45 mins

Starting out from Eskdale Campsite my home in a camping pod for the last two nights. You turn right out of the campsite on to the road. After about 100 m turn left onto a footpath at Brook House Inn. This is signposted to St Catherine’s church.

Read about my camping pod experience at Eskdale Campsite here.

Keep walking past the church house on your right. Then go through a gate on your left signposted Gill Force and Girder Bridge 400 yds. Turn left and follow the path with the river on your right.

You’ll arrive at Girder Bridge, go across and turn immediate right. ( I wasn’t paying attention as usual and went straight on here – it is very pretty but ultimately the wrong way haha). Follow the path and turn right at next sign. Now continue along the footpath for 50 m and turn left at next sign to Dalegarth Falls, about 1/2 mile

Cross a tiny narrow wooden bridge. Keeping straight and following the sign for Dalegarth Station 1/2 mile (this is where you catch the train back to).

There’s a small pond on your right, go through the gate and keep straight, signposted ‘Forge Bridge 1 mile’. Follow the path around as curves to left. You’ll now see the official signs for the Esk trail (also known as the Eskdale Trail).

Low Wood to Forge Bridge – Stage 2

Forge Bridge on the Eskdale to Ravenglass hike - Eskdale walk
Forge Bridge on the Eskdale to Ravenglass hike

Distance: 2 km/ 1.25 miles
Time: 30-40 mins

After about 10 minutes the path forks off to left but keep to trail straight on through Low Woods. There’s a cute mossy stone wall as you follow the path through the woods. Once you are out of the woods the river comes into view on your right.

Keep straight at the farm. Following the river as it twists and turns on your right. After another 5 minutes walking there’s a beautiful stone bridge called Forge Bridge. Make sure you stop for a quick photo of course! Now turn left on to the road.

Forge Bridge to Fell Lane – Stage 3

Eskdale walk to Ravenglass - gravel track
Distance: 5.5 km/ 3.5 miles
Time: 11.45 turn off road-13.00.

This is the longest section of the walk, but also the most straightforward! After 200 m turn off the road onto a footpath. Keep walking for about 1 km, past a bridleway path on right.

At High Eskholme, first, keep straight then turn right up the gravel path, (pictured above) and follow the path uphill for about 15-20 minutes. (This is the only uphill section on the whole walk). Walk until you go through a gate signposted Eskdale trail. After 5 minutes you turn left on to a wider track (which thankfully is now downhill).

On a clear day, you can see right out to the Irish Sea, which is a welcome view. Listen out for grouse scurrying around in the bushes too!

You might like to read Scafell Pike versus Helvellyn walk in the Lake District

Fell Lane to Ravenglass Steam Railway – Stage 4

Eskdale walk to Ravenglass train station
Crossing the railway bridge at Ravenglass Station

Distance 1.5 km
Time: 20 mins

Now the final part of the walk and the easier bit. Turn left on to the road (not literally there is a path!) Continue for about 10 minutes until you see a sign posted for the Ravenglass station 1/2 mile onto a minor road.

Then on the corner by Camping and Caravan club. Take the narrow footpath on the bend in the road. Then turn left after 50 m by play park and you’ll see the beautiful Ravenglass train station appear.

It really is a very quaint train station so be sure to plan enough time before your train. Or you can even spend longer exploring the town as Ravenglass is the only town in Lake District on the coast!

I arrived at the train station at 13.20, half an hour before my train. So plenty of time to buy my ticket, take some photos and watch the train arrive and turn, using the turning circle, which is pretty cool. If you have no idea what I’m talking about then go I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Top tips for Eskdale walk (And Ravenglass Steam Train)

Eskdale walk to Ravenglass train station
Watching my steam train on the turning circle

In order to get the best experience make sure you check the train timetable before your walk. Why? Because some of the trains are pulled by diesel engines instead of the steam ones so to get the full experience you really should opt for the steam train.

Click here for the Ravenglass train timetable

Allow extra time. Firstly, I allowed just under 4 hours for my hike, which for a straightforward route is plenty of time. However, I did not factor in (going the wrong way – which I did at the beginning) and also stopping for snacks and water on route.

You might like to read more camping trips in the Lake District

The walk was beautiful but I did spend the entire time looking at my watch to check progress. It was like a race the train competition. Although the stupid thing is there was another train an hour later (and one an hour after that). I think my competitive streak took over haha.

Take some light snacks and drinks on your walk. There were no shops on the route.

Look out for birds and wildlife, you might even see buzzards in the sky, I spotted two on my walk.

Interested in more beautiful places to go in the UK? Check out the 26 best places to visit in England (which includes the Lake District of course!)

Are you planning a trip to the Lake District or staying at Eskdale Campsite in Boot? Ask me any questions about Eskdale Walk in the comments below or send me a message.

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Eskdale walks - Eskdale to Ravenglass walk Lake District
Eskdale walks - Eskdale to Ravenglass walk Lake District
Eskdale walks - Steam train at Ravenglass railway station

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