Steam, ride and ramble walk

Walking trail

This classic river walk along the River Esk, with its intimate scenery of crags, woods, fields and the river itself, provides the perfect excuse to leave the car behind and travel along one of Cumbria's favourite and most memorable steam railways.

A river walk and train ride with spectacular scenery of the Eskdale valley


Map route for steam, ride and ramble walk


Dalegarth Station (nr Boot) Pay & Display car park, grid ref: NY173007


Leave the station and turn left along the road towards Boot. At the crossroads adjacent to the pub turn right and head south down the track.


After passing through Esk View Farm and associated building you can see linear stone walls which are remains of the railway line for the quarries.


The track passes St Catherine's Church and the stepping stones across the river Esk. From the church follow the river up stream along a pitched surface.

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Continue along the path until you reach a gate. At this point there are two paths that are close together and run parallel. A well defined lower path which crosses the Esk and an upper path which is not well defined and can be easily mistaken for a grass strip. Take the lower path to the old railway bridge.

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At the bridge you can see gill force water fall in the Esk. From here go back along the path until you reach the point where the path splits. Take the path leading to the right heading up a slight gradient following the river up-stream. Follow along this path through various gates and thin woody areas until you reach a small hump-back bridge locally known as Doctor's Bridge.


Cross the Esk at Doctor's Bridge and follow the river downstream heading away from Penny Hill Farm. At Low Birker farm follow the bridleway through the property and continue along a well defined walled track. This track eventually leads to a small footbridge over a ford and through a gate.

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Continue through the gate and towards Gill force along a path through open ground lined by gorse and bracken. Follow the earthen path through a wood until you get to a gate exiting the woodland. Continue out of the wood till you corner in a dry stone wall where the path bends to the left across a ford. Continue along the track until you reach a gate and enter a plantation.


Through the gate you drop into a plantation and cross the beck with a ford and foot bridge. At this point you have the opportunity to visit Stanley Force water fall or continue on the route.


Head toward the gate and exit the plantation and follow the bridleway cross the field. Upon exiting the field turn right on to the track and follow toward the B road. On you way you pass an alternative car park and bridge.


At the road junction turn right by the old school and war memorial, and head towards the station and the car park.


Dalegarth Station (nr Boot) Pay & Display car park, grid ref: NY173007

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Steam, ride and ramble walk


The walk is generally on good surfaces and paths are clear and unobscured. There is some uneven ground but this is resticted to a small area. Paths can pond water and be muddy after showers.

Dogs: please follow local and seasonal guidance.

Steam, ride and ramble walk

Contact us

Steam, ride and ramble walk

How to get here

The Bothy, Milkingstead Farm, Forge Bridge, Eskdale, Holmrook, Cumbria, CA19 1TT
By train

Ravenglass (RAV) mainline station is 8 miles (12.8km) away and is located adjacent to the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. This heritage narrow gauge railway travels up the scenic Eskdale to Dalegarth Station.

By road

From the North at M6 junction 40 take the A66 to Keswick and Whitehaven. Continue past Whitehaven and turn off to Gosforth. Folow the signs to Eskdale and Boot.

From the South at junction 36 follow the A590 to Newbybridge and take the A5902 to Whitehaven and Workington. Continue up the coast and turn off at Gosforth. In Gosforth, take the road to Santon bridge and Eskdale until you come to a T-junction. Proceed left towards Boot.

Steam, ride and ramble walk

Facilities and access

  • Parking in lay-bys, along roundside and at some small village car parks (not National Trust)
  • Dogs: please follow local and seasonal guidance