Boot is a small village in Eskdale with a population of only around 10 – 15 ( this can rise in the summer months when the local hostileries are full!).
Predominantly frequented by fell walkers and passengers of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway and of course, guests staying at the nearby campsite and holiday cottages. It also has two pubs within the village and just a short walking distance away visitors will find the Hardknott Brewery which is adjoined to a local pub, The Woolpack Inn.
There are two roads which one can access the village, one of these being The Hardknott Pass and The Wrynose Pass, known as Britain’s steepest road, often closed during icy weather. This is certainly one of the most challenging roads in Britain with a series of hairpin bends making visibility difficult at times. The challenging 1:3 gradient makes it a popular route for cyclists and is part of the annual Fred Whitton Challenge, a 112 mile ride around the Lake District.
On the moorland, around one mile North of the village, are five different stone circles known collectively as the Burnmoor Stone Circles, thought to be approximately 4000 years old. On a site covering about one square mile is the largest circle known as Brat’s Hill Stone Circle. Nearby are two pairs – White Moss Stone Circle and Low Longrigg Stone Circle.
Brat’s Hill Stone Circle is the largest measuring 30 meters in diameter and having 42 stones forming an irregular circle. Within the circle are a further 2 stones and 5 funerary cairns.
Of the two White Moss Stone Circles one measures 16 meters in diameter and has 11 stones forming the circle. Whilst the second measures 16.5 meters in diameter and has 14 stones forming the circle. Both have internal cairns.
The two Low Longrigg Stone Circles lie about 500 meters to the North West of Brat’s Hill. One being 21 meters in diameter and having 15 stones and the second being 15 meters diameter and has 9 stones forming it’s circle.
Boot also has a church that has been on the site since the 6th Century, St Catherine’s Church. The present church dates back to the 14th Century.
For those wanting a short walk:- If you cross the bridge over Whillan Beck in Boot Village you will come to Eskdale Mill, dating back to 1578. Here you can visit one of the few remaining water corn mills and learn more about how life was, the industry of the area and all about it’s people.
Continue past the mill for another walk which will bring you to Eel Tarn. Or try another walk, passing the church, which will lead you to Doctor Bridge. If you return on the opposite side of the river bank you will emerge at the King George 1V pub at Eskdale Green.
Another short walk would take you to Stanley Ghyll Force, a 60 foot waterfall in a dramatically deep and narrow gorge. Along this walk you will pass the ancient manor house, Dalegarth Hall which was built in 1599. Check out the painted glass windows depicting the arms of various branches of the residential families here.
At the Eskdale end of the Hard Knott Pass is one of the loneliest posts of the Roman Empire, the Hardknott Roman Fort. On a most spectacular site and overlooking the pass, it is part of the old Roman road from Ambleside to Ravenglass, and thought to have been built about AD120 to AD180. The fort was known to the Romans as ‘Mediobogdum’.
By the River Esk and only about a half a mile from the village is the church of St Catherine. With a magnificent setting and a backdrop of Scafell Pike this church dates back to the 12th century.