Western Walks feature – Nether Wasdale

Distance: 6.6 miles

Ascent: 500 feet

Hundith Hill

While it’s great to hit the top of a fell and cast your eye over everything below there’s also something to be said for a casual stroll along tree-lined streams, lakeside paths, green woodlands and lush farmlands that fill our valleys. 

The fells aren’t always for everyone and our resident walking expert Andrew Locking has suggested this peach of a walk that offers all of the above… and Britain’s best view as well.

Park in a small car park by Cinderdale Bridge, at a triangle of roads just beyond the village of Nether Wasdale. After turning right out of the car park cross the River Irt and join the delightful track leading to Easthwaite which is located in a dramatic position below The Screes.

The beauty of this walk is there are so many diversions and opportunities for alternate routes.  We’ll stick with Andrew’s route but this is only a guide.

Pass around the farm and head towards the foot of Wastwater.  Before entering Low Wood make a short, there and back, diversion to the right and the foot of the lake to admire the wonderful view.  It has been voted Britain’s best and it’s easy to see why.

Retrace your steps and cross Lund Bridge which brings you into Low Wood. Now is not the time of year but the wood is renowned for its wonderful display of bluebells in the spring.

Followed the path along the River Irt and then the shore of Wast Water.  Each step will bring an ever-improving view to Wasdale Head and famous names like Scafell Pike, Great Gable, Buckbarrow and the upturned-boat shape of Yewbarrow.

This is what brings people to the lakes from near and far and readers of the Guide are extremely lucky to have this as a Sunday afternoon stroll.  Along the way, you will pass by Wasdale Hall which is now a Youth Hostel but still looks like a grand 19th-century country manor.

Across the water, the impressive Screes burst skywards and if this is a far as your happy walk then feel free to backtrack through the woods, there are plenty of alternative paths to choose from.

Or follow in Andrew’s footsteps and continue along the shore of England’s deepest lake.  Pass through a gate and our path will follow the single track road for a bit.

Continue along the shore as far as the Landing Stage and join the quiet road to the left that leads to Greendale and Gosforth.  Just beyond Greendale Andrew turned off the road and joined a path through Roan Wood, which brings you out onto open countryside.

Beyond Ashness How there are 3 possible routes back to the start and our recommendation is to continue via Scale Bridge and Mill Place, which avoids the road entirely.

Andrew chose a pleasant diversion via Woodhow Tarn although it’s on private land and there was no access to the tarn.  Coupled with a walk back via the road he was not convinced it was worth the detour.

Either way, you should soon find your way back to the quiet lane which brings you to the start of a wonderful walk.  Time it right and you will have the walk to yourself. Couple that with the impressive scenery and you will feel like you’ve stumbled into a fairytale.

This walk is suggested by Andrew Locking who is a keen local fell walker.  For more information on his walks visit www.andrewswalks.co.uk

Photos by Andrew Locking

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Hundith Hill

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