Monday 14 November 2011

Lakeland longings 1 - Wastwater

Just lately, I've been browsing Facebook photos of Mark up in the Lakes and having to work hard to suppress feelings of insane jealousy, so I thought I'd look back at my last Lake District holiday and make you feel jealous too. After all, a jealousy shared is a jealousy halved. Yes?

This is one of my favourite lakes; Wastwater.

Really. It is! It's there. Keep looking...


The footpath follows the river in, turns a corner and gives wonderful views up the lake.

Wastwater, sitting in the Wasdale valley, is 3 miles long, half a mile wide and 260 feet deep; the deepest of all the Lake District lakes. It's made very easy to identify by the scree slopes all along the eastern shore. At the northern end is Wasdale head, over which towers the pyramid of Great Gable (visible in the photo) and the rugged bulk of Scafell Pike (tucked round the corner); the latter being the highest mountain in England at 978m (3,210 feet). Above the western shore, looking a little like a sleeping lizard, is Yewbarrow, to the left of which is Red Pike. The other mountain in the photo is Kirk Fell

I've climbed four of the five. Scafell Pike was a bit of a disappointment. In fairness, we did climb in on a May Bank Holiday Monday, but the top was packed with people and also rather litter strewn. You would think that, having made the effort to sweat all of the way to the top, people would have taken their rubbish home!

Great Gable was completely different! It was a beautiful late spring day, the view down Wastwater was spectacular and it was like being on top of the world!

Yewbarrow and Red Pike form part of the Mosedale Horseshoe, but we just did the pair, beginning with Yewbarrow and then dropping down into the col before up Red Pike. Yewbarrow was a lovely walk, with a lot of scrambling and great views down both side of the edge as we approached the top. Anyone with a dislike of heights or edges would not be happy, but I loved it.

The highlight of the walk was the very sudden, and extremely loud, passing of an RAF fighter jet, which followed the line of the lake.

What was so special about that?

It was flying below us!  :)


  1. Goodness! Seeing that jet flying below you must have been quite an experience! OK, so now we all know that Mark and Ben got their love of outdoors, but most particularly their passion for rock climbing from their Mother! You've climbed four of the five? How fit you must be and yet, you're always so modest about your achievements. The scenes you've shared here are truly spectacular. England is beautiful in such a gentle way. Absolutely mesmerizingly so! I'm doubly, your theory about sharing leading to halving...all wrong! I'm off to sulk now :(

  2. Hi Desiree,

    I think I should be a little clearer about the word 'climbed'. I mean it in the sense of walking up to the top, rather than rock climbing up them. I will never be able to rock climb at anything approaching the standard of my lads :)

  3. Wonderful! You are so much closer to the lakes and fells that we are - but you bring back so many memories. Thanks!

  4. I didn't imagine you'd rock climbed to the top! I'm impressed that you walked up them!

  5. Beautiful country. I like the first picture - the blue is the lake not the sky...

  6. Not sure if it's just me...but it seems the lake is so clear I can see the rocks at the bottom? And the only time I've seen a jet below me was in another jet above it! You have so much fun, thanks for another beautiful post.

  7. Flying below you!? That must have been something!

  8. Lovely pictures : that first one almost has a 3-D quality about it.

  9. I don't know what impresses me more: your walks up or you looking down at the jet. :-)

  10. RAF Jets use these valleys in the Lakes,every day near enough. It was non stop with the RAF in the 1980's over these valleys, sadly nowadays just the odd movement.