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The Lake District’s Hidden Gem

Three of England’s most famous National Parks, the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines, lie protectively around the little-known Eden Valley. The Eden Valley is a hidden gem tucked away at the northern gateway into the Lake District. As its name suggests, it is a mix of green countryside, pretty sandstone villages and small market towns, with a history dating back to Viking times.

Lying in the shadow of the mighty Lake District northern mountains, the Eden Valley has as much to offer as its more famous counterparts, but without the crowds. Take a look . . .

Events and Attractions 

Potfest in the Park, held annually in the grounds of a stately home at Hutton-in-the-Forest on the edge of the Lake District. This is an Internationally acclaimed ceramics festival featuring neigh-on 300-hundred artists. Potters from across the globe meet in the Eden Valley, for this outstanding event in a glorious setting.





Andy Goldsworthy. The Internationally acclaimed sculpture artist Andy Goldsworthy OBE, is also well known in the Eden Valley, where the majority of his famous ‘Sheepfolds’ work can be found dotted around the Eden’s farming landscape.






Settle to Carlisle Railway. For some, the first glimpse of the Eden Valley is viewed at high-speed. The Settle to Carlisle railway that runs the length of the valley is cited as the most scenic railway journey in England and includes the famous Ribblehead Viaduct that has no less than 24 splendid arches! Read our guide to exploring the Lake District on rail. 




Appleby Horse Fair is world-famous and is where more than 10,000 travelers camp out in traditional horse drawn carts to watch and take part in a famous horse race across the river. Eden’s normally quiet market town of Appleby becomes a buzz of traveler life, attracting over 30, 000 visitors.





Rheged Centre, Penrith, named after the Ancient Kingdom of the Dark Ages, is one of the top visitor attractions in the Lake District, second to Windermere Lake Cruises. This is a great place to have on your list for if the weather isn’t too great. Inside this grass-covered, architect-design space, you’ll find shopping, art galleries, exhibitions, kid soft play, arts and crafts, a cinema and several cafes and restaurants.




Ullswater Steamers are another top visitor attraction when staying in the Eden Valley – try their famous fish supper cruise! Here’s our guide of 5 things to do to discover lake Ullswater.






Lowther Castle & Gardens, Penrith. Salmon and trout fishing in the Eden Valley is the best in north England. Unusually, the wide River Eden travels from high in the Yorkshire Dales, through a pastoral valley bottom, and then northbound to join the Irish Sea as the Solway Estuary. In fact, it is one of the few rivers in England that runs north. If you’re not a fisherman, we’d highly recommend a walk along the River Eden. Lowther Castle & Gardens, of which Lakelovers’ guests receive discounted entry with Lakelovers Recommends,  has some of the best viewpoints in the area and is a must when on holiday in the Eden Valley.




Westmorland County Show, Crooklands, is one of the largest one-day agricultural shows in the country, located on the fringe of the Lake District and is enjoyed by over 30,000 visitors every year.






Winter Droving, Penrith, is a fire and lantern festival that always brings out the crowds in October.






Upfront Arts Venue, Penrith, is a vegetarian cafe, art gallery space and puppet theatre and was the winner in the 2018 Cumbria Tourism Award for Sustainable Tourism.






Eden Valley Pubs

A great village pub with a warm welcome and excellent local food and beer is a mainstay of the Eden Valley.

Dockray Hall  – Pub & Dining 

Dockray Hall, Great Dockray,
Cumbria Tourism winner of Tourism Pub of the Year 2018, offering seasonal and local food and craft beers in a stylish pub setting.





The New Inn – Pub & Dining 

Cross Fell Dr, Appleby-in-Westmorland.

A dog-friendly traditional country pub and brewery tap serving local food produce and a range of local beers. The 1730 New Inn has recently undergone a considerate refurbishment by owners Tirril Brewery and




The Highland Drove Inn – Pub & Dining
Great Salkeld, Penrith

The Highland Drove has a deserved reputation as an exceptional local pub, with great beers, excellent wines and some of the most innovative food in the area.





Stay in the Eden Valley

Located on the fringe of the Lake District, the Eden Valley is a place of idyllic tranquillity, excellent food and intriguing history. Choose from a busy events calendar from one of the local attractions or simply take in a relaxed walk along the River Eden. The Eden Valley sits on the gateway into the northern lakes allowing visitors to easily take in the northern lakes (Ullswater, Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite and Haweswater) and towns, including Keswick.

For more properties around the Eden Valley and Lake Ullswater view our Eden Valley cottages collection.