TRAVEL: Finding peace and quiet in the Lake District
Reporter Gemma Sherlock talks about her recent trip to the quiet Cumbrian coast.
At the age of 22 some may have a misconception that all us ‘youngsters’ want to do is party, party, party.
The serenity of silence can only be a welcome thing in a world which can be dominated by music, clubbing and what bar shall we go to next?
Ravenglass, where the Lake District meets the sea, offered some form of hope that there is much more to breaks away than exactly that.
The only coastal village in the Lake District National Park gave me the peace I was so desperately craving.
Situated on the tranquil west coast of Cumbria, Ravenglass offers breath-taking scenery and a touch of Roman curiosity.
I was told upon arriving at the Pennington Hotel the Romans built a fort here to help protect Hadrian’s Wall, and a visit to the walls of the famous Bath House, a short walk away, should be top on my list.
The walls of the Bath House can be reached on foot by following the signs from the village car park.
The village is more than just a railway station – the sense of isolation shouldn’t be taken at face value.
Hidden gems pop up along the main street which narrows at both ends and is home to many picture postcard cottages.
Presently Ravenglass is better known for being so close to Muncaster Castle, home to the Pennington family since 1208.
The castle has been an important landmark since the Roman times and has been extended over the years.
The best time to tour the castle and the grand house of the Penningtons is probably in the spring and summer when the 77 acres of woodland and gardens come to life.
Complete with auditory commentary the tour gives a history of the family and tells how Henry VI gave the family a glass drinking bowl bringing luck and prosperity.
If Roman history isn’t your thing, you can go down the route for which Ravenglass is best known – the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway.
La’al Ratty passes a seven mile journey and follows a stunning route through the Eskdale Valley, taking in St Bees, Whitehaven and Maryport.
The last stop is Dalegarth Station, which is also the starting point of the Beatrix Potter Walks with the National Trust.
Taking place on May 28, June 25 and July 21, starting at noon, the walks take you to Penny Hill, the only farm Beatrix Potter owned in Eskdale.
If you do take the train you will also come across the foot of England’s highest mountains, the Scafell Range (3,209ft) at their peak.
The Scafell Pike walk, and view has inspired writers such as Wordsworth, Baines and Wainwright.
Ravenglass is definitely a walkers paradise, lying on the estuary of three rivers – the Esk, the Mite and the Irt.
I swapped my high heels for walking boots and was amazed by the spectacular scenery on foot.
But if you are craving shopping while here, Bootle is just a short drive away.
I stayed at the Pennington, the quaint bed and breakfast and bridal suite offered the best view and best space.
Staff were welcoming upon arrival and during the evening meal.
The menu was small, but the food that was available was inviting respite from the wind which battered furiously outside. We were well-looked after.
If you don’t fancy a hotel, Ravenglass also offers the camping and caravanning club.The club is complete with 75 pitches and sits in six acres of mature woodland, just 500 metres from the seafront.
If you are planning on visiting in the autumn or winter you need to try ‘Horse and Husky.’
If you are a dog lover, like myself, you will do a little dance at the thought it!
Horse and Husky takes you on a ride led by huskies and your dog is welcome too. They have 10 well-trained huskies willing to pull you along to see the wonderful county of Cumbria.
Isolation shouldn’t be taken at face value, there are plenty of things to do if you are willing to look.
Ravenglass is the picturesque village in which it can be visited whatever the weather, you just need to be thirsty for a change of scenery, and have an appetite for walking.
All those things I wanted which is why Ravenglass and my stay at the Pennington will stay with me as a pefect break from the hustle and bustle of life.
Fed up of parties? Check into the Pennington.