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School Visits to Eskdale Valley

Tailor-made school trips to Eskdale and Wasdale

eskdale waterfallThe Eskdale Valley, in West Cumbria, is the perfect destination for your school residential visit. A wealth of activities and attractions await you in this secluded and picturesque corner of the Lake District. Choose to stay at YHA Eskdale or YHA Wasdale Hall.

Eskdale Valley stretches from Gosforth, near the west coast of Cumbria, through to the foot of Hard Knott pass, and contains the small villages of Santon Bridge, Boot and Eskdale Green.

The valley is notable as being one of few major valleys in the Lake District not to have its own lake, although several tarns are perched above the valley sides.

As a contrast, the nearby Wasdale Valley contains some of the most spectacular scenery in England. England's highest mountain, deepest lake and smallest church can all be found in the Wasdale Valley.

A quiet part of the Lake District, this area is the ideal destination for a school trip. Eskdale and Wasdale lend themselves perfectly to a range of outdoor activities and are home to some fabulous attractions.

The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway passes through Eskdale on its route from Ravenglass on the coast, to Dalegarth near the village of Boot.

Hard Knott Roman Fort, one of the loneliest outposts of the Roman Empire, built between AD120 and AD138 is on a spectacular site overlooking the pass which forms part of the Roman road from Ravenglass to Ambleside. Muncaster Castle and The World Owl Centre, at the end of the valley, is a superb venue for a school visit.


Working in partnership with 'West Lakes Adventure', we can provide a range of activities during your stay.

west lakes adventure logoActivities on offer include:

  • Hill-walking
  • Orienteering
  • Rock climbing
  • Abseiling
  • Canoeing
  • Paddle boarding
  • Archery
  • Ghyll scrambling
  • Tyrolean Traverse
  • Problem solving activities

Travel by Rail

eskdale railway

As an alternative to travelling by coach, we can offer rail travel right into the heart of the Eskdale Valley. We can arrange rail travel from your nearest station to Ravenglass where you will transfer to the Ravenglass and Eskdale railway for the 7 mile journey to the heart of the Eskdale Valley. Upon arrival at Eskdale, you will be met at the station and will be transferred by minibus to your accommodation at YHA Eskdale or YHA Wasdale Hall. For further information on rail travel please contact us.  

Sample itinerary

 Day 1Day 2 Day 3
Morning Journey to Muncaster. Visit to Castle and Owl Centre Activity day – any 2 activities from our list              Self-guided countryside walk - maps and directions provided (can include a visit to Hardknott Roman Fort)
Afternoon Single journey on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. Arrive and set up camp/transfer to YHA Eskdale

Our Accommodation

YHA Eskdale

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This tranquil hostel is set in 15 acres of private grounds nestling in the peaceful western fells, amongst a landscape of woods, rivers, rugged hills and sheep. YHA Eskdale is on the doorstep of the highest and most challenging Lakeland peaks such as Scafell but is also ideal for delightful riverside and woodland walks.

YHA Eskdale has the best of both worlds - situated on the edge of arguably the Lake District's most awe-inspiring wilderness area but within easy reach of the West Cumbrian Coast. It's the perfect place for nature watching and the 15 acres of grounds and gardens are a haven for wildlife with red squirrels and lots of bird species.
YHA Eskdale provides a range of catering options ranging from bed and breakfast to fully catered. Exclusive use of the hostel can be arranged for groups of 30+ (supplements may apply).


YHA Wasdale Hall

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Formerly known as YHA Wastwater, this 200 year old country pile was originally used as a lakeside holidayhome before becoming a National Trust property and still contains many of its original features including panelled windows, gabled roof and cornicing. Its beautiful black and white half-timbered façade, built in the 1820s, makes for an awe-inspiring view as you approach the Youth Hostel. It stands out from the surrounding landscape and trees. This 19th century country manor is every bit as grand as its name, Wasdale Hall, would suggest. This delightful accommodation in the Wasdale Valley is often cited as a favourite hostel due to the impressive nature of the building, not to mention its breath-taking view, which has even been named “Britain’s Favourite View”.

Set right on the shore of Wastwater, the deepest lake in England, from the hostel you can see the expanse of the lake plus the awe-inspiring mountains beyond. YHA Wasdale Hall really is a stunning rural retreat.

A perfect base for a school trip set in the heart of England’s most dramatic valley!

Please note that the majority of groups will have exclusive use of the hostel during their stay at no extra charge.



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