Ravenglass 

 
 Ravenglass's two stations, side by side.
 
 The bath house ruins of Roman GLANNAVENTA near Ravenglass. (Visit Cumbria)
 
 Muncaster Castle and gardens.

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Ravenglass from the air - picture from Simon Ledingham (Visit Cumbria).
 

Ravenglass is the only coastal town that lies within the borders of the Lake District National Park and is situated on the estuaries of the rivers Esk, Mite and Irt. The station sits alongside that of the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. This miniature railway winds its way up the beautiful Eskdale and is a mecca for walkers and lovers of scenery and history. The stations lie either side of the estuaries and just to the south of the station the ruins of the Roman bath house can be glimpsed through the trees that now cover the site of the Roman fort (in winter).

Settlement here dates back to at least AD 79 when the 20th Legion built the first fort of GLANNOVENTA and this was rebuilt and enlarged in AD 130. The eventual fate of the fort is unknown but probably did not survive beyond the 5th Century and many legends surround the fort and baths during this period. It was in 1850 that workers constructing the railway line cut through the site of the fort but by that time much of the visible stone had already been robbed from the site.

The main station building, on the north bound platform, is home to "The Ratty Arms" pub while at the station of the miniature railway, there is a cafe, small museum and well stocked gift shop. There is a car park nearby.

From being an important Roman port and fishing town where ships once docked at the end of its main street, Ravenglass is now better known as a terminus for the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway or La'al Ratty. At the coastal end of the R&ER, the line runs along the banks of the river from Ravenglass as far as Muncaster Mill and then it climbs up the beautiful Esk Valley, a route once followed by a Roman road over the mountains to Ambleside in the heart of the Lake District.

Ravenglass is the starting point of Hadrian's Cycleway and users of that route can follow Roman remains up the coast and across the Pennines to South Shields. For more details, Click here.

The green fields and woodlands of Eskdale, embroidered with the sparkling thread of the river Esk, penetrate deep into the central Lakeland fells. Where the fields peter out below Hardknott Roman Fort, the River Esk continues upwards embraced by mountains to its source at Esk Hause. The only exit is via the Hardknott Pass - a tortuous zigzag of switchback bends and steep inclines that is not for the faint-hearted. In the heart of this lovely valley is the small village of Boot, home to a working corn mill, three real-ale pubs and a micro-brewery.

A little inland stands Muncaster Castle, ancient family seat of the Pennington family with colourful spring gardens, a renowned owl centre, a celebrated ‘fool' and ghosts aplenty to keep visitors amused for hours. Nearby is Waberthwaite, famous for Richard Woodall's hams, bacons and Cumberland Sausage. Both Muncaster and Waberthwaite have Viking treasures. At St. Michael's church in Muncaster are remains of Viking crosses, probably dating back to about 960 AD. At Waberthwaite, there is St. John's church, almost hidden away on a sand spit at the mouth of the River Esk. Here there are 2 ancient crosses, one with a mixed Anglian and Norse style, probably dating from about 950 AD.

This is the land of Bronze Age settlements, Roman forts, Anglian crosses, Viking remains, Norman churches, medieval mills and many other hidden delights awaiting discovery in this rich and welcoming corner of Cumbria.

The dunes off Ravenglass provide shelter to the pleasure boats anchored in the estuaries and form an important nature reserve. These dunes line the coast north and south of Ravenglass.

For more information about Ravenglass Click Here

 
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