Ennerdale in The Lake District

Ennerdale Water

Ennerdale Water

Ennerdale Water, Cumbria

It is impossible to approach this lake by road except from the west, and it is the most westerly of all the lakes. Near the west end of the lake is a large car park, from where you must proceed on foot up the dale which stretches south-east for about 8 miles and near its head Black Sail Pass leads to the south-west into Wasdale for Wastwater. The pass is only a track, of course, 1,800ft up in the wild and is a very isolated region of Ennerdale that is a favourite with rock-climbers. The High Stile range lies along the north-east side of the dale with Buttermere beyond.

On the south-west side is the Pillar group of peaks with the formidable-looking Pillar Rock dominating the view of precipices; Pillar itself is higher (2,927ft) and further back. Then beyond Black Sail Pass and Kirk Fell the dale is closed by the majestic Great Gable. This is one of the most beautiful parts of the Lake District and loved by many.

The approach to Ennerdale by road has less in common with the peaceful solitude of the area encompassing or adjoining the mighty peaks; it is more akin to the Cumbrian coastal stretch and the decayed industrial atmosphere of Cleator Moor. There are various old iron-mines, and the iron ore was known in Roman times. 1 mile or so west of the lake is the small village of Ennerdale Bridge. Its churchyard was the setting for Wordworth's poem, 'The Brothers'.

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