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Spanning the north eastern corner of the Lake District, the northern tip of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the western side of the Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a visit to Eden is easy by road or rail – and well-worth it. With the town of Penrith serving as Eden’s gateway to access all of these beautiful areas of the district, the area is also served by the West Coast Main Line railway, in addition to key roads including the M6, A6 and the A66. Here are just a few of our inspirational top tips of how to make the most of your time while you’re here:

The Rheged Centre, Penrith

Penrith’s crown jewel, Rheged, provides visitors with the perfect introduction to the Lake District and wider Cumbria. Home to a diverse range of shops selling everything from artisan food and outdoor clothing to children’s toys, body products and crafts, Rheged also boasts the biggest 3D cinema in the region.

With an ever-changing range of exhibitions in its very own gallery, work includes that by some of Cumbria’s world class artists and craftspeople. As if that’s not enough. Be sure to stop-by the Food Hall, for the finest selection of local produce you can buy – from meat and cheese, to wine and beer.Nearby, the 14th century Penrith Castle as once a critical line of defence against any Scots who dared to attempt an England invasion!

For a perfect place to eat nearby, check out the new FYR restaurant at the North Lakes Hotel, The Upfront Gallery Restaurant, or Allium and the Kitchen Garden Cafe at Askham Hall.

Alston & the South Tynedale Railway

From the Pooley Bridge pier at the northern tip of Ullswater, it’s just a 40 minute drive to England’s highest town of Alston. With the stunning views of the surrounding countryside making the journey to Alston just as pleasurable as your experience upon arrival, this is the home of the South Tynedale Railway. This five mile narrow gauge line trundles through the South Tyne Valley to Slaggyford in Northumberland three times per day, operating from late March until mid-November. If that’s not enough railway action for you, part of the world-famous Settle-Carlisle route also runs through the Eden district.

Hutton in the Forest

Nestled between the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks just north of Penrith, a visit to the historic house of Hutton in the Forest is a must. With a design inspired by a medieval pele tower with 17th, 18th and 19th century additions, the house also offers an unforgettable walled garden dating back to the 1730s, which, as the name would suggest, is surrounded by a medieval forest. With its gorgeous flowerbeds and borders, Hutton in the Forest has everything you need to create classic English memories last a lifetime.

Appleby & the Orton Fells

For those who desire a deep-dive into truly peaceful Cumbrian village life, why not stop-by in the village of Orton? An ideal place to stop for a break and refreshments while either en-route or leaving the Eden Valley, this ancient village provides a picturesque introduction to the Orton Fells, so be sure to pack your walking boots. You can also visit the Great Asby Scar National Nature Reserve, the village of Great Asby and the town of Appleby – home of the famous annual Appleby Horse Fair. A good starting point for a rugged countryside walk here is from the Appleby Tourist Information Centre, where staff will be happy to point you in the right direction.

Lowther Castle and Lost Castle

Whether you’re young or old, no visit to Eden is complete without a visit to Lowther Castle. While officially in ruin, the tale behind this building’s gradual (and halted) deconstruction is a fascinating story, best left for you to uncover at its exhibition… Set in 130 acres of ancient gardens, the formerly derelict building’s formerly forgotten and neglected surroundings are the focus of a 20 year master-plan to restore them to their former glory.

While the castle will captivate the adults, the giant ‘Lost Castle’ adventure playground hidden in the woodland towards the rear of the gardens must be seen to be believed – and that’s not a cliché we’re using lightly! It’s no understatement to say that there are hours of fun to be had here. Trust us – your children – or your inner child – will not be disappointed!

Askham Hall & Gardens

Another stunning stately home on our list of top picks, Askham Hall is nestled among 12 acres of beautiful gardens made-up of colourful terraces, well-kept lawns, vegetable gardens, woodland, meadows and ponds. Soak up the views of the River Lowther and enjoy the genuine taste of local produce in its on-site café, pub and restaurant. With a brilliant outdoor play area for children, Askham Hall also provides you with a great starting point to enjoy other nearby walks across fields, through woodland, along rivers and up fells.

Dalemain Mansion

Proving that stunning architecture isn’t uncommon across the Eden district, Dalemain Mansion’s blend of medieval, Tudor and early Georgian architecture is another essential sight to behold during your Eden adventure. A garden-lover’s paradise, five acres of stunning outdoor space features richly planted herbaceous borders, a rose walk with nearly 200 old-fashioned roses and a Tudor Knot Garden. An extra early summer bonus is the sight of a stunning array of blue Himalayan poppies.

For even more inspiration, just search “Eden” here at – and we’ll leave you with this final thought: How about taking a look across Eden and beyond from the skies?

You can take a flight in a gyroplane – and even take control of it yourself! Prepare for takeoff at the Berrier Airfield near Penrith and find yourself high above the Eden Valley just a few minutes later.

Can there be anything better than an open-cockpit view of the most beautiful part of England? We don’t think so!




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