One sight that definitely won’t be on any usual tourist itinerary to the Lakes is Eskdale’s hideaway Japanese Garden, sited in the rather fantasically named Giggle Alley Wood. Once an ornamental garden for a country house (now the neighbouring Outward Bound centre), the pools, bamboo stands, bridges and shrubs have been restored by the Forestry Commission, and it’s a great place for a family stroll, which you can combine with a trip on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, whose Eskdale Green station is nearby. The garden entrance is across from St Bega’s church, Eskdale Green – from the parking area (signposted ‘Forest Enterprise, Giggle Alley’), walk up a driveway to the sign on your left for ‘Giggle Alley, Japanese Garden’.
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