Castles of Mallerstang, Cumbria: The spectacular ruins in a wild and almost-unseen valley

Pendragon Castle and Lammerside Castle, ruins tucked away in a little-known valley, are worth the trip says Annunciata Elwes.

In the Vale of Mallerstang, there is a saying: ‘Let Uther Pendragon do what he can,/Eden will run where Eden ran.’

Reputedly, when King Arthur’s father built a fort here, he attempted — and failed — to divert the River Eden to fill the moat. Later, 12th-century Pendragon Castle was owned by Sir Hugh de Morville, one of the four knights who murdered St Thomas Becket in 1170.

Pendragon Castle — all that is left are the ruins of the 12th century Norman fortifications.

This wild valley, hidden between Mallerstang Edge and Wild Boar Fell, is barely visited, save by the odd trainspotter with eyes glued to the Settle-Carlisle railway, but the picturesque ruins of Pendragon Castle and Lammerside Castle — both built to keep the Scots in check — are worth the trek.

Lammerside Castle.

Lady Anne’s Way, a footpath inspired by Lady Anne Clifford’s travels between her Westmorland estates, runs between Penrith and Skipton and is a good place to start.

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