If you are looking for organised outdoor activities in the western lake district, the Wasdale and Eskdale Valley’s have so much to offer.
Wasdale Valley is one of the wildest of areas in the Lake district, situated in the wasdale valley is Wastwater which is 3 miles long, half a mile wide and 206ft deep making it the deepest lake in england. On the south-eastern side of lake Wastwater are very steep screes below the summits of whinn rigg and illgill head which are more accessible on the far side. The head of the valley is dominated by the Great Gable and Scarfell Pike, the highest peak in England, which, along with Scafell, Kirk Fell and Yewbarrow, surround the small community of Wasdale Head. Wasdale is famous amongst rock climbers as the home of British rock climbing with the classic route to Nape’s Needle on Great Gable.
If you are looking for organised activities in the western lake district there are lots of companies offering adventures including, Ghyll scrambling, climbing, mountain biking, you can try Kayaking or canoeing on the lake,or you can go off and create your own adventure.
Wasdale has the smallest church in England, St Olaf’s Church, which is set in a small wood at wasdale head. St Olaf’s only seats 39 people which makes it very atmospheric.
In the Wasdale area there is four fantasctic pubs, The Wasdale Inn, The Strands, The Screes and The Santon Bridge Inn which hosts the annual world’s biggest liar contest, this contest dates back to the early 19th century.
At the edge of Wasdale is the quaint village of Gosforth.
Gosforth contains a unique collection of Norse artefacts in and around St Mary’s Church. This includes the Gosforth Cross, which is the tallest and oldest Viking cross in England. Gosforth has some great pubs and restaurants which has a lovely friendly feel.
The river Esk starts its journey to the sea from high in the fells at Esk Hause, passing through Great Moss at the base of Scarfell Pike then rolls down through a narrow gorge with a series of water falls.
Eskdale is in the Valley stretching from Gosforth through to the foot of Hard Knott Pass and contains the small villages of Santon Bridge, Boot and Eskdale Green.
The Valley is notable as being one of the few major valleys in the lake district not to have its own lake, although several trans are perched above the valley sides.
The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway goes from Eskdale to Ravenglass on the coast and is very popular with tourists and locals. There is a ancient Mill, art galleries, several pubs and lots of places to stay. This area is one of the most popular in Copeland for walking and climbing due to the dramatic views from mountain tops out to the Irish Sea.