Ravenglass circular walk
2½ miles (4km)
Station: Ravenglass for Eskdale
Terrain: paths and beach
Refreshments: Ratty Arms on the station, Ravenglass and Eskdale railway café and in the village
Toilets in village car park and steam railway
Ravenglass, Bootle and Silecroft are the three stations in the Lake District National Park. Going northbound exit at the back of the Ravenglass platform and take the path over the bridge (wheelchairs and pushchairs will need to go out of the other exit next to the Ratty Arms and through the car park). Southbound go into the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway (Ratty) and take the path next to the turntable with the playground on your left. Follow the path until it reaches a road. Turn right on the signposted Esk Trail and near the caravan site take the footpath to the left of the road. Continue to Walls Castle, the Roman bath house with its interpretation panels. There would have been more to see here if the Victorians hadn’t built the railway line across the site. Retrace your steps part of the way to the dip by the small footbridge and turn left under the railway bridge (mind your head!). This brings you out onto the beach by the River Esk. At the bottom of Main Street are panels explaining that Ravenglass was a second century Roman port, the southern extremity of the fortifications that form Hadrian’s Wall and that by the 17th century it was the busiest port in Cumberland. Walk up Main Street enjoying the old buildings including a vintage petrol pump. At the top turn left to walk over the viaduct beside the railway line and view the village from the other side of the River Esk before returning to the station.
Don’t forget to explore the Ratty and its museum. From here the line goes to Dalegarth, about three miles from Hardknott Roman Fort. There are booklets of Walks from the Ratty in the railway shop.
You can also walk up the path beside the main road for a mile to Muncaster Castle with its gardens and displays of birds of prey and back along a path from beside the payment booth.