A long walk in Ennerdale

Name of walk A long walk in Ennerdale
Date of walk 2012-04-05
Distance walked (miles) 16
Duration of walk 8 hours 5 minutes
Weather Sunshine and blue skies
Peaks on walk None
Walked with Brendan
Parking Bleach Green car park

Yesterday Brendan and I drove to Ennerdale, parking at Bleach Green in order to walk around the lake and on to Black Sail Hut at the head of the Ennerdale Valley, taking a different path there and back. A walk of 16 miles. All good training for Brendan’s attempt at the Keswick to Barrow walk next month (40 miles).


From the weir we headed right up to Angler's crag for the good views from its summit.


Heading up to Angler's Crag.


Looking across the lake to Bowness Knott with Great Borne behind then right to Starling Dodd, Red Pike, High Stile, High Crag and Haystacks. Then at the top right is Pillar, Scoat Fell and Steeple.


Some excellent reflections this morning.


We head back down and follow the lakeside path.



Looking back to Angler's Crag.


We then head across the fields and into the forest with the grazing cows, then crossing the new bridge and taking the forest path on the right of the River Liza. A gap in the forest shows the route up to Red Pike


We investigate a hidden forest tarn.


The forest is more open than it used to be, a lot has been chopped down.


Looking back to Red Pike through the felled trees.


The main bridge across the River Liza. This used to be secluded in trees and I have swum here on a couple of occasions. Now the trees are gone it is more exposed!


Still very clear and tempting! We stop and have a sandwich and a drink. We then cross the bridge and walk along the other side of the river.


We soon meet a man and his young son. They have come down from Haystacks and are looking for Black Sail Hut. They had taken the right hand track down from Scarth Gap when they should have taken the left track down, then they had turned right when they joined the forest track when they should have gone left! They have gone two miles in the wrong direction! How such a mistake could be made in such excellent conditions beggers belief.....but such people should not be in charge of children on a mountain! Nevertheless we pointed them in the right direction. The head of the valley. Brandreth, Green Gable, Great Gable and Kirk Fell. Snow still visible.


Pillar and Pillar Rock above and below the narrow bridge we would cross on the way back.


Looking back to Crag Fell, Angler's Crag and a glimpse of Ennerdale water.


After four hours we finally see Black Sail Hut.


A family group of Mountain Bikers were there enjoying the sunshine.


The bikers soon set off and we were left to finish our sandwiches in the sunshine.


When I was here last January the Hut was shut, but this time it was open. The walls are full of pictures mostly of the Hut in times past.


You can make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, for a donation. There are three bedrooms each with three sets of bunkbeds. If you stay all meals can be provided. The menu looked very tempting! Unfortunately they were fully booked this evening.


They have missed off inventor of "Brasher Walking Boots"and founder of the London Marathon! Opps, and I have missed off the date of 2002!


Ness, my sister, had been trying to ring me but there is no mobile network in the valley, but there was one bar at Black Sail Hut. When we finally made contact she had to tell me that our mother had died. Never good news to receive but what better spot to receive it in could there be. She had been ill for a while after several heart attacks and had been taken in to hospital again the previous day. She had died quietly this morning, at Essex County Hospital, unfortunately just a few minutes before Ness and my father had arrived for visiting. We head back to the start of the Scarth Gap track gate, where opposite is a path to ford the river, and have one last look at the head of the valley.


Brendan crossing the ford. Thankfully the water levels are low.


Looking back to the gate that leads to the Scarth Gap track with High Crag and Seat on the left.



Our route back.


We cross the small wooden bridge I photographed earlier. There is a plaque to say the bridge was donated by the Rock Climbing and Mountaineering club in 1959, in memory of those members who lost their lives in the war.


Back at the main bridge (unseen in the dip) where we stopped for lunch earlier. It becomes apparent how open it now is. There is now an easy view up to Pillar and Pillar Rock.


Looking up to Pillar, Scoat Fell and Steeple from the Red Pike turn off.


A Dog Violet.


Back to the lake.


Angler's Crag behind the trees.


We reach Bowness Knott (centre) and follow the route around the head of the lake.


The gorse is looking good!

We reach the car park after eight hours and five minutes! This is not a short walk!
On the way back we stop off at the Stanley Arms at Calderbridge for a drink and something to eat before heading home.