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Wastwater is the deepest lake in England – with the valley floor sitting a giant 260 feet below the unassuming surface. Wastwater sits afoot Scafell Pike – England’s highest mountain – and is surrounded by the likes of Great Gable, Red Pike and Kirk Fell. With such dramatically vast mountains overshadowing the natural valley of Wastwater, you’d be correct in assuming that you’ll find a magical view here. In fact, Scafell Pike was voted ‘Britain’s Favourite View’ – and beautiful Wastwater provides quite the foreground for the viewpoint.
The spectacular lake is 3 miles long and half a mile wide. A popular view among visitors is on the south-east side of the lake, were you’ll find the Screes – 2000 feet-high fragments of rock that run the length of that side. The massive scale of the natural landscape gives the lake a beautiful but somewhat menacing appearance from certain points.
We had to start our recommendations by including Britain’s highest and most iconic mountain. You’ll begin your climb of Scafell Pike from the National Trust car park at Wastwater. The ascent is a staggering 910 metres – so the route is recommended for experienced hikers with very good fitness. The route is estimated to take 3 hours. The climb up Scafell Pike is challenging, however with breathtaking views at its peak, you’re sure to reap the rewards of your efforts. Upon completing your descent, you’ll be happy to know there is a pub known as ‘The home of British climbing’. You’ll also find toilets at Wasdale Head, and fantastic places to stay near Scafell Pike, such as Park Cliffe Holiday Park.
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We highly recommend the Wastwater Circular Walk for seasoned walkers visisting The Lakes. You might assume that the ground-level walk is easy compared to the iconic, steep incline of the mountains looking down from above, however the circular is known the be quite challenging. The difficulty comes from the section that includes The Screes. With rough and loose sections of rocks and boulders, you must take care with your footing and are likely to have to climb over Scree that has given way in landslides – for this reason, the route isn’t recommended for children, the elderly and those unsteady on their feet. At 12.7km long, this Lake District walk will certainly make for a tiring but rewarding day out.
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This is among the best Cumbrian walking routes to get a fantastic panorama view of Wastwater. At just over 9km, the hikes takes around 2 hours 30 minutes. There is a gentle elevation of 350ft, however sure-footedness is required due to the varying terrain of the route. For this reason, it is recommended for intermediate hikers with good fitness.
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The loop from Nether Wasdale give you a fantastic view of Yewbarrow – a famous fell north of Wastwater. The terrain and elevation here is similar to that of the above hike, however at 12.5km, you can expect the spend a bit more of your day making your way around Wastwater. It is also regarded as an intermediate walk.
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Wastwater is situated within Wasdale, on the west of the National Park. Various villages and towns can be accessed by different side of the lake. If you are looking to spend the whole day exploring the stunning area, you’ll find some fantastic things to do near Wastwater in the Lake District.
Wasdale Head is a small village to the northeast of Wastwater. Here, you’ll find Britain’s smallest church – St Olaf – which is quite the contrast to Britain’s highest mountain just a stone’s throw away.
Nether Wasdale is the smallest village nearby. Situated to the west of the lake, you’ll find a couple of pubs and the Sawmill Café and Farm Shop here. If you love a great view and good quality local produce, you’ll enjoy a visit here.
Eskdale is a valley that includes the villages of Santon Bridge and Boot. Here, you’ll find a variety of pubs and local, independent shops.
Ravenglass is the only coastal town in the National Park. If you have travelled to Boot and Eskdale from Wastwater, why not continue on to Ravenglass for view of the the single beach, corsages and over the estuary. The premier attraction here is the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. Many say that the narrow gauge railway boasts the most beautiful train journey in England.
Wastwater is an hour and 15 minutes’ drive from Park Cliffe Holiday Park, however we think the famed desintation is totally worth the 37-mile drive. Climbing Scafell Pike really is bucket list stuff, and we would feel privileged to provide a cosy and convenient base for your walking holiday in the Lake District.
Wastwater is just one of many breathtaking lakes that you can visit whilst staying at the award-winning Park Cliffe Holiday Park in the Lake District.
With a range of accommodation options including camping pods and caravans, plentiful facilities and location in the heart of the Lake District, Park Cliffe is the perfect place to base yourself for a dog friendly walking holiday in Cumbria.
Photo credits: Andrew Hall, Flickr | Richard Walker, Flickr | Joe Hayhurst, Flickr
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