The Eden Valley, Cumbria is full of natural beauty. Away from the busy Lake district itself and set wonderfully beneath the North Pennine hills.
Whenever I am visiting the Eden Valley I try to take a detour to Rutter Force waterfall, near Appleby. It is one place I go to time and time again to clear my mind and take in some natural positivity.
This peaceful and serene place also had a part to play in history and the production of power to the local area.
Rutter Force is a 30 foot waterfall and a place that looks gorgeous in all weathers. Of course the sun combined with the deep greens of summer make it a gorgeous setting but in all weathers you can be pleasantly surprised.
A winter snow here surrounding the falls looks spectacular or autumn browns and yellows give a whole new feel.
Nature and wildlife is in an absolute abundance, it is here as well that I find a whole load of red squirrels that pose happily for the camera, as they go about their nut seeking business.
If you stand still long enough you will have a really high chance of seeing a red squirrel at Rutter Force.
Hoff Beck is the waterway, it feeds into the Eden River but not before falling down these graceful falls. The wooden bridge across the beck is the best place to stand and gives a great view directly at the waterfall.
Don’t just come in dry summer days, it is great to see the transformation after a quite a bit of rain, the falls become the force indeed!
Rutter Force Watermill
That brings me to the other half of the main Rutter Force view, the quaint old sandstone watermill.
It is believed the watermill has been written about since at least as far back as the 16th century in 1579 so it could easily be older than that.
The original use was as a corn mill, then as corn became unprofatible over the centuries it became a bobbin mill and more recently a saw mill.
It was disused by 1940 and the original waterwheel was taken down.
By the 1990s the mill was given a new lease of life. It was lovingly restored and a replica wheel was put in place at the mill.
Today the mill is used as beautifully set self catering holiday accommodation and for those that seek time away in a little paradise.
Paradise accommodation at the foot of a waterfall, away from the hustle and bustle of life, I wouldn’t think you could go far wrong here.
It is hard to believe now when you feel the quietness and tranquility of the place. But, Rutter Force was once the big provider of electric to villages in the area, especially Great Asby.
In 1928 a water turbine was installed at Rutter Force to generate electric power. Then 2 miles of power cables carried the power to Great Asby to then create power for the church, farms, some houses and the one main street.
It was a very crude but effective local system. A bit like how telephone cables now work with broadband, those 2 miles of cabling often saw some reductions in power. So much so that if one person used anything electrically powerful the lights everywhere else went dimmer.
On the other end of the spectrum, after very heavy rain the waterfall comes down with so much power that there were chances of power surges blowing it all.
It wasn’t until 1952 that Great Asby was connected to the grid and thus the waterfall system could stop.
Leaving Appleby on the B6260 road south towards Orton you will soon see a signpost for the falls taking you left.
Keep an eye out then after half a mile or so for a signpost giving you a right turning. The lane then goes down and narrows until you reach the waterside at the falls.
The nearest postcode is CA16 6ES.