The Lake District and the Pennines
Ravenbridge Mill is right at the bottom of Hartside pass. Hartside is a magnet for cyclists – it’s the big climb up onto the Pennines on the Coast2coast route. From Ravenbridge, at 600ft, you’re straight into the climb, up to the summit at 1900ft. Bring your bikes, and be careful coming down!
You can also walk up to Hartside – it’s four miles by road, and a bit less by the path – and if the weather’s good you can see Scotland, and the full panorama of the Lakes across the Eden Valley. And if you’ve had enough exercise, you can always drive the winding road – which regularly features on lists of “the top ten drives in the UK”.
When you reach the top of Hartside, you can just admire the view, or you can carry on, to the lovely little town of Alston, and over the Northumberland moors, to Middleton in Teesdale, High Force, Cow Green Reservoir, and all the other places in the wild and beautiful North Pennines AONB.
That’s the beauty of Ravenbridge – the Pennines on one side, the Lake District on the other, and all the red sandstone villages of the Eden Valley in between. You can get to the foot of Blencathra in 35 minutes, and you don’t have to compete with the traffic of Windermere or Keswick.
There’s a good sized Co-op at Lazonby, 10 minutes away, and several supermarkets at Penrith, 25 minutes. Carlisle (40 mins) and Keswick (45 mins) are also easy to get to.
Things to do
- Fetherston Arms Kirkoswald, pub with a great menu, 4 miles
- The Crown Inn, the other good pub in Kirkoswald
- Lazonby outdoor swimming pool, 5 miles
- The Settle to Carlisle Railway, for a really great day out, has a station at Lazonby, 5 miles
- Little Salkeld Watermill, working flour mill, and tea room, 5 miles
- Long Meg Stone Circle, Little Salkeld, 4 miles
- Bank House Equestrian, riding lessons, hacks, 4 miles
- Lacy's Caves, spectacular riverside walk and caves, 4 miles
- The Old Village Bakery, Melmerby, lovely café-restaurant and art gallery, once patronised by Prince Charles, 4 miles
- Upfront Gallery, art gallery, café and renowned puppet theatre, Unthank, 12 miles
- Hutton in the Forest historic house and gardens, and home of “Potfest”, 12 miles
- Lowther Castle, spectacular, 16 miles
- Alhambra Cinema, Penrith, 12 miles
- Rheged Centre, 16 miles
- Dalemain House, fabulous historic house and gardens, home of the world-famous Marmalade Festival, 16 miles
- Ullswater Steamers, Glenridding, 28 miles
- Aira Force, near Ullswater, 26 miles
- Askham Hall, 16 miles
- Larch Cottage Nurseries, 16 miles
- Acorn Bank, Culgaith, historic house, gardens, and orchards, 14 miles
- High Force and Low Force Waterfalls, Middleton, 27 miles
- Alston, pretty town, home of the South Tynedale Railway, Syl Macro Ceramics, and lots more, 10 miles