The Eden Valley, Cumbria


This entry is a report on my most recent trip from the 10th 'til the 13th Aug 2022. It takes the tally of nights living in my van this year to 50.

The Eden Valley seems to be a stretch of land along the River Eden in Cumbria, roughly from Carlisle through to Penrith, generally parallel to the M6 motorway in the far NW of England. I had booked 3 nights in the superb C&MC Site at Englethwaite Hall near the village of Armathwaite. It's a lovely site in the grounds of a former mansion house of a Gypsum magnate which has long been demolished and cleared. The grounds, however, have been maintained by the C&MC and are just spectacular. Another feature of this site is that there is no shower or toilet block, so hardcore tourers only!

One thing I will not forget about this trip is the weather. As well as being wall to wall sunshine, it was also scorching, reaching 30C on a couple of days.

One of the old stairways to the now demolished mansion house of Englethwaite Hall.

The adjacent forest was fantastic for dog walking. It also has a number of 'lakes' which seem to be popular for fishing.

Fantastic sunset on my first night.

The west of the site and the adjacent forest.

I was in pitch No.68.

It was another fantastic start to day 2, starting with an excellent walk around the forest.

The objective of this trip was to visit Annan back across the Border to visit the Annandale Distillery and collect a sample of spirit from my cask, now 2 yrs old. Customs and Excise allow a drawing of 100ml once a year and I intend to make use of this to see the progress of the spirit as it becomes whisky through the years.

It is a picturesque place indeed. Fully restored and in full operation.

Again, I took the opportunity to visit my cask in the Bond.

And here it is. Year 2 spirit. It again has drawn a little more colour from the oak.

After visiting, we went for a nice walk along the River Annan.

Later in the day, we took a lovely riverside walk along the Eden near Drybeck Farm.

The weather remained spectacular.

Looking east along the Eden at the bridge in Armathwaite.

A fine way to end the day, a chilled IPA!

My setup. I was thankful I had selected a pitch with a bit of shade from the trees.

Next day, we drove the short couple of miles into Wetheral and walked in a fantastic riverside woodland.

It reached St Constantine's Cell which apparently was a stash fro the monks in the nearby Priory to protect the valuables from cross border raid by marauding Scots!

The stairs up the very steep cliffside from the Cell.

On returning to the van, the dogs just rested in the warmth.

This is the excellent 'dog field' on the site. A large fenced area where you can let dogs run free, off lead.

The wardens had even created a small Fairy Glen!

Sunset on my last night.

This was a very memorable trip which I loved. I made a short drone video...


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