Why We Love Ravenglass and Muncaster (And You Should Too!)
Cumbria might not sound the ideal place for easy walks and accessible venues, with its challenging peaks, extensive lakes and frequent rivers leaving very few level spaces. But the coastal strip is a different matter with several little gems well worth a visit of which Ravenglass is my favourite.
It’s a tiny fishing port with a huge enclosed natural harbour which originally attracted the Romans with its shelter for their galleys en route to the Scottish wars.
The village is tiny – one wide street with quaint cottages either side, many signed – Post Office, Reading Room, Station House and so on, with relics of the past like the ancient petrol pump.
There’s a large central car park, well disguised, with plenty of blue badge parking, from which there are smooth paths to all parts of the village which you can explore to your hearts content.
Driving to the car park you will have already seen the boats at anchor in the bay and now you can actually access the beach at the end of the village down the concrete slope provided for the boats. The beach here is rough but hard with sand and stones giving a decent level surface for a little exploration to admire the scenery check the tides and spot the abundant wildlife.
After your exertions there are plenty of accessible cafes, pubs and restaurants to suit all tastes.
Another path from the car park will take you to the miniature railway only minutes away. Admittedly this path is a bit of a push as it goes over the “proper” railway so you could drive round to the Station car park where you will find more blue badge parking.
Now you can easily explore the Station, the trains, the shop, the cafe, the museum – all accessible with toilets as well. This used to be a proper working line taking miners a few miles inland to their work. It’s now a tourist route all the way with accessible carriages on the trains.
Get a ticket then enjoy the beautiful scenic route which has several stops you can explore, particularly at the end of the line where you have to get off while they swap the locomotive from one end to the other before the return trip. You can explore for as long as you want and catch a later train. If you’re lucky you will see foxes, badgers and rabbits together with a wealth of bird life along the route.
As if that’s not enough, back at base another smooth, flat path will take you to the remains of the old Roman Bath House once standing alongside the huge Roman fort (since demolished). This is a lovely undemanding walk with plenty of shade from the trees with views through to fields and to the sea. The remains are just alongside the path and can be reached on hard grass. Apparently these are the tallest Roman wall ruins in England.
If you want to make a weekend of it then visit Muncaster Castle only a minutes drive away.
They are very accessibly minded here so you can have fancy afternoon tea in the sumptuous castle, walk through the woods, around the gardens, see a falconry display, join in with the heron feeding maybe catch a medieval fayre – there’s something here for everyone. You can even rent an accessible cottage onsite.
I can thoroughly recommend Ravenglass and Muncaster for any disabled person wanting a cracking day out (family optional).
If this has whetted your appetite, you’ll need an accessible vehicle to get you there in the first place and to move around once there so why not contact Mobility Nationwide to find the perfect second-hand mobility vehicle for your needs.
You can also view their infographic below: