Cycling the Ennerdale Valley

Name of walk Cycling the Ennerdale Valley
Date of walk 2020-06-25

Wednesday was going to be too hot to head up a mountain, so we decided to cycle the Ennerdale Valley from Bowness Knot to Black Sail Hut. Riding up on the left side of the valley and coming back the other. A ride of 12.8 miles on forest roads. Ged and I met in the Bowness Knot car park. I have walked this route twice before and it is always glorious in good weather.

01

I had been looking for a new bike since before lockdown, having given my old bike to the Salvation Army in January. I wanted a folding bike that could fit in the miniscule boot of my Skoda Citigo. Then I decided that I might as well go the whole hog and get an electric one, in preparation for my old age! After much research I went for the Tern Vektron Q9, much more robust than the Brompton, so should fair better on these stony forest roads.

02

Ennerdale Water with a view to Anglers Crag.

03

Pillar and Steeple on the right.

04

View back. Whereas Ged struggled with some of the hills, I was thinking hills? What hills? Although I had to get off and push when the terrain occasionally became larger, looser stones, but thankfully those patches were few and far between.

06

View down to the River Liza.

07

Memorial bridge to those from the Fell and Rock Climbing Club who were killed in World War Two.

08

Bridge view.

09

10

View up to Pillar Rock.

11

Me with Pillar Rock above.

12

We continue on.

13

View down to the river again.

15

16

Looking back to Ged behind me.

17

Black Sail Hut just ahead below Haystacks, Green Gable and Great Gable. Too stony to ride from here on so I have to push.

18

A lamb caught mid baa.

20

There are a couple of walkers here, but they don't stay long. Kirk Fell on the right.

21

We have lunch on the grass with Haystacks behind us.

22

Black Sail Hut, a Youth Hostel, has been closed because of Lockdown.

23

A wonderful place to stay. Still on my Bucket List.

24

It must have been so annoying to finish and then realise that 'Australian' had been misspelt! D'oh!

25

We had lunch with a Chaffinch.

26

Away from the crowds.

27

We head back to the start of the pitched path to Haystacks (only 1.25 miles from here) and make for the ford across the River Liza.

28

Ged goes first.

29

View back to Haystacks.

30

View back to Black Sail Hut.

31

We are now on the forest road on the opposite side of the valley. I collect some pine cones for my Bug Hotel.

32

We stop for the views.

33

View back.

34

View ahead, slopes of Red Pike and High Stile on the right.

35

An erratic? A memorial to Tom Wren is on it, now defaced. Who would do that?

36

View up to Pillar Rock/

37

View from the bridge over the Liza to a good swimming place we have used before. There are two people already here.

38

View back from the bridge.

39

Ged having a dip in one of the streams coming off Pillar.

40

We continue on through the forest. On this side it is downhill all the way, I barely needed to pedal at all for nearly six miles!

41

View through to the small tarn called Moss Dub.

42

River Liza and Red Pike.

44

The wooden bridge across Woundell Beck.

45

Going towards the head of Ennerdale Water.

46

Ennerdale Water comes into view.

47

We stop at the concrete bridge over the River Liza for a paddle and a drink.

48

Then continue back on the lakeside forest road we rode on this morning.

50

Good view to Pillar and Steeple.

51

View back as we head back to the car park.

52

We put the bikes back in the cars and walk to the lake via the footpath. Bowness Knot on the left. We are both out of water, so we can't have a quick walk up Anglers Crag, especially as there are no open pubs to stop in on our route home.

53

Crag Fell and Anglers Crag opposite.

54

The cottage by the footpath.

55

I stopped on the way home to take a photo of the free roaming ponies from a local riding stable that were holding up traffic on the road next to the Kinniside Stone Circle. I had to beep them and drive very slowly to get them to move for me.

56

They didn't care! While I was here their owners from the local stables came to herd them off the road. The ponies are young and yet to be broken in.

Always an excellent walk, and now an easy cycle too! My bike had a good test, the terrain being at the limits of its capabilities. I wonder if I could get mountain bike type tyres for it? It would make riding over stones safer in descent. My road tyres were very slippy compared to Ged’s, which limited my speed.

Jo.

 

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