Five reasons to head for...
Visit Lakeland’s most westerly lake and discover a place to escape it all...
Ennerdale Bridge: Lakes’ wild west
For Lakeland’s wild west
Tucked away on the western fringes of 1 the Lake District, Ennerdale Bridge is a small village at the head of Lakeland’s most westerly lake. Unless you live on the Cumbrian coast, it will take you a little extra effort to get here, but from here you can explore some of the wildest and most inaccessible fells. Pillar, Steeple and High Stile are all within a day’s exploit. For epic walks
Wainwright’s classic Coast to Coast walk makes its first pit-stop at Ennerdale Bridge. As you walk through the industrial towns and villages from the start of the walk at St Bees, Ennerdale Bridge is a gateway for good things to come, marking a stark contrast in changing landscape as the hills welcome you into the comfort of quaint Lakeland. For home comforts
A selection of B&Bs and inns provide comfy accommodation for walkers. The Shepherd’s Arms Hotel, Fox and Hounds, and The Gather Café all provide decent post-walk pick-me-ups. Venture into deepest, darkest Ennerdale though and you’ll find a basic but adventurous bed for the night at YHA Black Sail Hut. Only accessible by foot, bike or hoof, and based at the foot of Haystacks, the hostel opens up more of the best hiking in the Lakes.
To witness rewilding 4
As one of our most remote valleys, Ennerdale is home to one of the UK’s longest-running wild land restoration projects. Overgrazing is being tackled by reducing sheep numbers. Galloway cows have been introduced, as they stay lower down the mountain leaving more habitat ungrazed, but also scrub up the terrain with their hooves which benefits other plant and animal species. Plantation is gradually being replaced by native broadleaf and the marsh fritillary butterfly (left) has been successfully reintroduced.
To get away from tarmac! 5
Ennerdale is the Lakes’ only lake not to have a proper road along it! A reason to head there if ever there was one, we say.
Looking down across Ennerdale Water, with Bowness Knott centre left and Pillar the highpoint beyond.
Black Sail youth hostel.