No two names in the Lake District lexicon conjure up an image of drama and stark beauty quite so sharply as do Wastwater and Wasdale, England’s deepest lake cradled in a valley that is neighbour to its highest mountain, Scafell Pike. 

One is famous for the foreboding looking screes that plunge towards its south eastern shoreline, the other is defined by the fells which gather at its head, the birthplace of British rock climbing. 

A view of the lake and three of those fells - Yewbarrow, Great Gable and Lingmell - form the logo of the Lake District National Park Authority.

South of Wasdale and Wastwater and separated by Miterdale Forest and the fells of Whin Rigg and Illgill Head is Eskdale, a valley that is the essence of uncrowded, beautiful Lakeland. 

Further north is Ennerdale Water whose head is crowned by some classic Lakeland peaks: Pillar, Steeple, Scoat Fall. For those who wants to escape the car completely - there’s no public road alongside the lake - this is as good as it gets.



Eskdale website:

Train. Both Ravenglass and Bootle have stations on the Cumbrian Coast Line (

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