Muncaster Castle - Ravenglass.
This walk starts with a trip on the Ravenglass and Eskdale narrow
gauge steam railway as far as the first station, Muncaster Mill,
although if you have time it is worth enjoying the full return
journey into the Lake District valley of Eskdale before or after
the walk. For train times on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
phone 01229 717171. From Muncaster Mill station walk between the
buildings of Muncaster Mill, a working, water-powered corn mill,
open to the public. Follow the public bridleway sign along the
track then follow the wooden signs to the Castle, onto a path
that leads uphill through woodlands. Carry straight on through
a dry valley, formed by meltwater at the end of the last ice age.
Go out through the gate then left along the farm track at the
edge of the field out to the main road. Go left to follow the
pavement beside the road for about 100 yards then turn right at
the footpath, church and garden centre sign. Follow this track
as in winds past the historic church and between the buildings.
You should set aside a couple of hours to visit Muncaster Castle,
dating from the 13th century, with its beautiful gardens and owl
centre, headquarters of the World Owl Trust. Please note that
if you wish to leave the public footpath you should buy a ticket!
Where you come to a T junction turn right for about 10 yards then
left along the edge of the fence by the pond following the yellow
arrows and signs. Go straight ahead aiming for the wooden public
footpath post that directs you along a gravel path leading steadily
upwards through woods until you reach a gate through the high
stone wall. Go straight on across the field ahead following the
yellow posts, with superb views over the Ravenglass Estuary. The
path will eventually drop down to a gate into the wood where you
follow the path down through the trees to another gate out onto
a track. Turn right along the track, straight on at the next junction
and then bear right at the junction by the house called Walls.
You will soon reach Walls Castle, the well preserved remains of
a Roman bath house. Ravenglass was the site of an important Roman
Fort, part of the defence system that stretched down the coast
from Hadrian?s Wall. Continue along the track then take the footpath
to your left under the railway to the beach. Turn right and follow
the shore with superb views over the estuary to the sand dunes.
Go up the road into the pretty village of Ravenglass then take
the public footpath signed to the right, and keep straight on
past the car park to reach Ravenglass station.