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Discover the tranquil holiday spot of the Eden Valley and make it your own with a self-catering holiday cottage. This idyllic rural break is on the fringe of the Lake District, with the Lakes, the Yorkshire Dales, and the Pennines all within striking distance. The Eden Valley is a real foodies destination and popular for those looking for somewhere off the beaten track. It’s a most lovely place, mostly untouched by tourism thanks to the pull of the neighboring Lake District and an ideal alternative to the busier hotspots of Keswick, Ambleside, and Windermere in the lakes.
This does not mean that there isn’t plenty going on. Part of the magic of the Eden Valley is in discovery. Find some of the best bits about this idyllic and tranquil holiday spot below in Eden Vally Experiences. We’d like to recommend the Eden Valley during busy holiday times. You can easily access the highlights of the Lake District or avoid them completely if you so choose!
A self-catering cottage in the Eden Valley will appeal to holidaymakers looking for somewhere close to a good local pub. As well as peaceful walks from your doorstep and a good town for stocking up the pantry.
There’s the upmarket Booths grocery shop in Penrith where you can pick up some delicious fresh produce to take back to your home-from-home cottage. Another secret that is certainly worth self-catering holidaymakers knowing about, is the award-winning farm shop at Tebay Services on Junction 38 of the M6.
You can see why the Eden Valley is a paradise when enjoyed on foot. Greystock Forest and the woods at Armathwaite put on wonderful displays of Autumn colour. In Winter the bleakness of Dufton Pike, Wild Boar Fell and Hartley Fell have a mystical feel. In fact, myths and legends run throughout the Eden Valley fells. Such as the 68 (or so) stone circle called Long Meg and her Daughters and the nearby Lacy’s Caves, near Little Salkeld. Don’t miss a trip to the superb Highland Drove Inn when passing Great Salkeld, which is a great place to eat and enjoy a lovely local pint.
Away from these major towns, head down country roads to find villages like Appleby, Kirkby Stephen, and Orton. These are at the head of the Eden Valley and are great destinations for foodies in particular. Orton Farmer’s Market (second Saturday of every month) is well known as the best of its kind and is a super place to stock up for a week in your stylish Eden Valley
self-catering cottage. Despite, its remote location you’ll find Orton welcoming. It is surprisingly home to a petite chocolatier, which is well worth a visit. In June, Appleby Horse Fair is a spectacle like no other. The trading of horses and ponies takes place following some highly charged and often bare-back racing across the river, as local traveler families enjoy the limelight. It is the largest gathering of travellers in the UK and crowds flock to take in the brightly painted wagons and exuberant styles. Rutter Force waterfall is a recommended walk from Appleby. Appleby Castle is one of the finest English castles and today and is a great place for Afternoon Tea – perfect for a celebratory occasion. The Malace Scourge restaurant within can be hired for a wonderful private dining experience too. There’s Appleby Golf course and superb Trout, Grayling, Eel and occasional Salmon fishing from Appleby too.
Lakelovers are proud to be offering cottage holidays in Cumbria’s beautiful and lesser-known Eden Valley.
Eden Valley Experiences
The Eden Valley is full of little gems and finding them really is part of the fun. The grand halls of Askham and Armathwaite are two such luxurious gems. Book a spa day at Armathwaite Hall and treat your party to lunch at the Michelin-star restaurant at Askham Hall. Both have manicured gardens and walks through their estates. The George and Dragon at Clifton, just outside Penrith, is Askham Hall’s foodie pub where you can enjoy produce that has come straight from the Askham Estate.
Lowther Castle Estate & Gardens
Lowther Castle Estate has been an important player in Eden Valley’s history. Today, newly rennovated gardens, exhibition space, shop, huge outdoor play castle and café invite visitors to return time and again. The gardens are designed and managed by TV gardener Dan Pearson and include pockets of excitement to explore – a maze, a Roman bath, rope swings, a spectacular wild summer meadow and a recently built wooden ‘lost castle’, a replica of Lowther Castle that is so big that adults and kids can play together.
Dalemain Mansion & Gardens
Whilst on the outskirts of Ullswater, plan a trip to one of the most beautiful stately homes in North West England – Dalemain Mansion and Gardens. In March, take in The World’s Original Marmalade Awards which is quite an event! During the summer months, motor fanatics flock to this picturesque setting to the biggest classic car show in the region. The team rooms and gardens are a delight themselves and can be enjoyed all year round.
At the foot of Cross Fell, you’ll find the National Trust owned Acorn Bank. We’d recommend the woodland and watermill walk followed by tea and cake. Kids can look out for the fairy doors whilst the grown-ups relax in the quiet and tranquil surroundings.
Cumbria is known for its Arts and Crafts heritage and this centre is an all-weather place where this comes together. In March, the Rheged Centre, on the way to Ullswater from Penrith, plays host to the Cumbria Life Home and Garden Show. It is a great chance to see masterclasses and regional design inspiration. There’s a busy events and cinema screening calendar all-year-round, with family-friendly events like Lego as well as art exhibitions. The artisan shops and first-class restaurants at Rheged are a go-to for many as well, especially on a rainy day.
Eden Valley Cycling
During spring, the county lanes of the Eden Valley are home to passionate cyclists, who take advantage of the distinct lack of cars that this part of Cumbria enjoys. Eden Valley Epic Cycle Sportive is an epic 60-mile route through the undulating valley roads that is worth supporting, even if it is from a beer garden! Both Kirby Stephen and Penrith are the places to go in the Eden Valley if you fancy exploring on two wheels. If adrenaline and adventure is your thing, then you can still enjoy that here in the Eden Valley. Hartside is a mountain pass that rises 1904ft above sea level. It is a challenge that many attracts many hardened cyclists. It also draws a sizable motorbike crowd and a visit to the café at the top can be a spectacle itself. Drop down into Alston, the highest village in England, where there are some great riverside walks.
Walking The River Eden
A visit to the Eden Valley would not be complete without experiencing her river – the Eden. Like the valley, the River Eden is unique. It is one of the few in England travelling north and is known as one of England’s cleanest rivers also. From great wide stretches filled with salmon, kingfishers, and heron to great powerful waterfalls and meandering ribbons with swathes of pebbly beaches. The variety of water flow leads to diverse and exciting wildlife, not to mention some great walks, picnic, and paddling spots. Following alongside the River Eden is the most scenic railway in England. This is the Settle to Carlisle line. This can be walked too, hopping on and off the train as you go.