Businesses in Boot Towns and Villages of Cumbria


Boot village by Alan CleaverThe charming stone hamlet of Boot, ½ mile from the Eskdale railway station at Dalgarth, is a quiet and rewarding stop among Eskdale's scenic delights. Cross over a 17th century packhorse bridge to the Eskdale Mill. It dates back to 1578, but milling started in the valley as early as the 12th century. It's an unusual two-wheeled water mill, much of which is in working order. An exhibition Corn mill at Boot Eskdale By Barbara Ballard explains the milling process and the workings of the wooden machinery. At one time the mill provided electricity for the entire valley.

The 300-year-old Woolpack Inn serves five real ales, traditional meals and other cuisine, using fresh ingredients. A beer garden with picnic tables enhances the culinary experience when weather permits.

Boot St Catherines Church by Alan RolfeNear Boot is the 12th century St Catherine's Church in a magnificent setting by the River Esk at the upper end of Eskdale. It is typical of the barn-like chapels of its time. Note the marigold designs on the font and the stained glass windows-St Catherine is shown on the east window. It is thought that the site was, in the 14th century, the scene of a chapel owned by Furness Abbey.

Boot Stanley Ghyll Force by Jonathan MayhewTowering over the area is Scafell Pike, England's highest mountain. North of the village lies the unpopulated Burn Moor, a true wilderness, where 3000-year-old Bronze Age stone circles are found. In a remote area six miles from Boot at Esk Hause-the 2490-ft high crossroads of the fells-lie the beginnings of the River Esk. It eventually winds its way down Eskdale to flow by Boot. At nearby Dalegarth Stanley Ghyll Force, a 60-foot high waterfall plunges downward in a dramatic, deep and narrow gorge. It's considered Lakeland's loveliest waterfall.

Boot Brotherilkeld farm by Robin StokesAt Brotherilkeld Farm, in September, the Eskdale Show presents fell racing, wrestling and hound trailing (hounds race to complete a fell trail marked with aniseed). Other country activities and displays include prize sheep judging and a hound and terrier show.

Close by Boot is an Outward Bound Mountain School. Its country house, built in 1896, and gardens offer accommodation for walkers and climbers as well as challenging courses.

Boot is truly an enchanting little place to stop for a visit or to stay and ramble in the beautiful Lakeland country.

Photos by Barbara Ballard and courtesy of Alan Cleaver , Alan Rolfe , Jonathan Mayhew , Robin Stokes.

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