Matterdale History Trail

Matterdale church and looking towards Gowbarrow fell

Old School

In the afternoon of 23rd August we held the inaugural Matterdale Community Walk. The first in a new series of themed walks this was a 3.5 mile historical trail linking the three main communities that make up the beautiful Matterdale Valley - Dockray, Matterdale End, and Ulcat Row. 


Despite the somewhat typical August Lakeland weather of intermittent showers we had a very good turnout of around 30 people. Starting from The Royal in Dockray, participants were provided with a route map which described the trail and highlighted around 20 points of historical interest to spot along the way. These included the likes of Tom’s Spout, the water source for the people of Dockray, the ancient ash tree along the “Balcony” walk, New and OId Schools, and the ruins of the Old Shop in Matterdale End to name but a few. 


Everyone really enjoyed the walk with many people commenting that they had not walked parts of the route before. Particularly of interest was the strong historical links between the Matterdale Valley and the Howards of Greystoke. Afterwards a number of walkers enjoyed a drink and a slice of the famous Royal cake and a good old natter. It was certainly a great way to combine a little bit of education with a social gathering while also complying with the strange times that we are now living in.  We plan to organise lots more Sunday afternoon themed walks, the next one to be held in mid/late October. Check the website for details. Also any ideas/suggestions for future walks please email Helen Reed



Special thanks to Jane Newport, Paddy Palmer and Helen Reed for devising and researching the route and providing the map. Also to Brian Clark for writing the 'Short History' for the leaflet together with his tremendous support and inspiration.

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