Eden Valley and Ullswater Information
from Temple Sowerby House Hotel
EDEN VALLEY CASTLE TRAIL
The River Eamont in the Eden Valley
The beauty of the English Lake District, especially Ullswater, the wild and rugged terrain of the Pennines and the sublime rural landscapes of the Eden Valley are just some of the outstanding natural attractions to be experienced from Temple Sowerby House Hotel, but there is more, much more.
Whatever the Reason and Whenever the Season - whether in the height of summer or the clean, crisp air of a winters day; whether enjoying a gentle walk or more exhilarating activities - Temple Sowerby House is your ideal base for weekend breaks in one of Britain's true hidden gems - The Eden Valley.
Walking in the Eden Valley
The Eden Valley truly rewards exploring, whether on foot bicycle, by car or on the train. The quiet roads are ideal for touring or cycling whilst the countryside and fells provide excellent walking opportunities for all ages and abilities.
The Eden Valley is the perfect place for walkers. It is home to a large section of the Lake District National Park as well as part of the North Pennines - Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The Eden is broad and surrounded by beautiful hillsides but has a sense of openness. The countryside is made up of farmland and open fields bordered by hedgerows and dry-stone walls. This makes it excellent walking country with many paths to explore.
The River Eden and Ullswater
The very picturesque River Eden rises at Mallerstang, overlooking the highest point of the Settle-Carlisle Railway, It then winds its way passed limestone escarpments, open countryside and sandstone gorges to emerge into the Solway Firth just north of Carlisle.
Ullswater, possibly the most attractive lake in the Lake District, and the inspiration for Wordsworth's 'Daffodils', branches off the Eden Valley and empties, via the River Eamont, into the River Eden.
Bordered by the Pennines to the east and the Lake District hills to the west, the course of the river is marked by beautiful countryside and attractive villages. It has some of the best riverside walking in the country.
There are many miles of footpaths that take you along the edge of the River Eden. There, you are able to find ten different contemporary sculptures, which also act as seats, each one an echo of the place it is located. You will also find Lacey’s caves situated right on bank near Little Salkeld. These are hand-carved out of Sandstone.
The river is also one of the best rivers in the North of England for Salmon and Trout fishing. Other species also found there are brown trout, grayling, chub, dace, eel, minnow, loach, river lamprey, sea lamprey, and brook lamprey, stickleback and bullhead. The river is also home to Otters and native crayfish. In 1997 the "River Eden and Tributaries Site of Special Scientific Interest" (SSSI) was declared under the British Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Carlisle to Settle Railway and Local Towns
Another way of seeing the River Eden as well as the surrounding countryside is travelling on the local railway - The Carlisle to Settle line. This stretches 72 miles and allows you access to the local towns and villages and shows you the beauty of the Eden Valley along the way. The Line took seven years to build and was completed in 1876. It has 20 major viaducts and 24 tunnels. It has managed to survive two attempts to close it - First in the 60’s and again in the 80’s, which caused both local and national outrage.
Everywhere you stop on the Eden Valley section of the line, there is something for you to see within a short distance from the station. Kirkby Stephen, for example, was the first town in Cumbria to achieve the ‘Walkers are welcome accreditation’. It is also a very good area for cycling too. Six long distance walks & cycle-ways pass through the town, including Wainwright's 'Coast to Coast' walk.
Appleby was once the county town of Westmorland and is situated in the shadow of the Pennines. It has a variety of historical buildings and the river Eden winds its way through the town, which adds to its charm. It has been inhabited for over a thousand years, developed after the Norman Conquest for its strategic position within the Eden Valley.
Appleby is also found along the Carlisle-Settle line; the next stop away from Kirkby Stephen. Along from Appleby, is the Village of Langwathby. Near this, is Little Salkeld, which is worth visiting because it is home to the Long Meg And Her Daughters, the second largest stone circle in the country. This is also where you find Lacey’s Caves. These consist of five chambers carved into the sandstone cliffs beside the river Eden and were owned by Colonel Lacey, of Salkeld Hall who decided to have the caves built. He sometimes used them to entertain his guests but it could have also been used as a wine store or just as a romantic piece of architecture.
Little Salkeld is not on the Carlisle-Settle line but the Eden Lacey Viaduct crosses there. Next along the line is Lazonby and Kirkoswald, then Armathwaite, which is the last stop before Carlisle. Here you can take a walk in Coombs Wood across the river. Slightly south of Armathwaite by the river Eden are five faces carved into a sandstone cliff.The Village itself has a castle and a four-storey Pele Tower in a stunning location beside the river. Water from the river is actually bottled by several producers of Eden Valley Natural water within Armathwaite.
Alston another local market town is also well worth visiting. It is the highest market settlement in England, at about 1000 feet above sea level. It has steep cobbled streets, a market cross, ancient yards and many stone buildings from the 17th century. The church is dated back to 1618. Alston is 20 miles away from the nearest town in its position within the remote Northern Pennines. Alston Moors was once the site for prosperous lead mining in the past. This is portrayed at Nenthead Lead Mining Centre.
Hadrian's Wall and Cross Fell
Another well-known place to see is Hadrians Wall. Construction began in AD 122, ordered by the Emperor Hadrian as a barrier to separate his people from the Barbarians. It took six or seven years to complete and today, it is the largest historic monument in Northern Europe. It measures 74 miles (119km) in length, up to 15ft (5m) high and 10ft (3m) deep. It was built using local materials sourced by the Roman army who dug out quarries along the length it. Hadrians Wall runs from East to West between Wallsend on the river Tyne, near Newcastle, to the Solway Firth at Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria.
The best way to see the wall is by walking along the course of it and you can also appreciate the beautiful surrounding area.
Cross Fell is the Highest Part of the Pennines and is the most prominent feature of the Eden skyline. This wonderful part of Cumbria is appropriately named "England's Last Wilderness"
The visual appeal of the region is enormous, from red sandstone villages surrounded by rich red soil, woodlands and pastures fringed by the upland sweep of the of the Pennines on one side and the Lake District on the other and dotted with strange and intriguing place names such as Knock, Whale, Sweetholme, Maulds Meaburn, Unthank and Melkinthorpe.
As well as offering all the outdoor activities, the area has an unhurried feel to it too. Historic houses, gardens, galleries, quality antique and specialist shops, and serene lake cruises on Ullswater provide more relaxing recreation.
Wherever you choose to go and whatever you choose to do, whether you are looking for a quiet time, to rest and relax, or an exhilarating day packed with lots of exciting things to do, you will be surrounded by some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in England.
Eden Valley & Ullswater information from TSH Hotel Eden Valley
Home About TSH Business Links