It’s no surprise that the view that you see here (below, taken in Summer) was voted Britain’s Top View by popular vote in the UK. It may have been a while ago now but nothing has changed in the intervening ten years. The view you see here is timeless and I’m betting it will remain the same for the next one hundred years. That’s quite a thought when you think about it.
So stop awhile, enjoy the view and then, when you’re ready, become a part of it. That’s the beauty of Wasdale. You can immerse yourself in nature yet not affect it in the slightest, rather it affects you!
There are lots of little footpaths to explore and that’s exactly what I did last week. If you want a bit of guidance, then here’s what I would suggest. Drive along the pretty lakeside road with the lake on your right, going towards Wasdale Head. It’s a beautiful drive in itself and well worth coming even if you don’t get out of the car!
Where the road goes a bit away from the lake, you’ll see a layby on your left, with about enough room for four cars (www.google.co.uk/maps). This is Nether Beck if you’re looking on a map.
To the left of the layby, is a tiny footpath, a little a grassy path that takes you through the bracken and along the valley between High Fell and Nether Wasdale Common (Middle Fell and Seatallan). The path vaguely follows Nether Beck and becomes a stoney path. You can see for miles. You can see Wastwater behind you, you can see Kirk Fell, Great Gable and Scafell to your right, you can see Nether Wasdale Common to your left, and ahead of you, you can see Haycock, with Red Pike and Pillar rising up beyond. If you were to go over Haycock, you’d then drop down into the Ennerdale valley but I was just going for a little bimble, a little explore, and I didn’t go as far as that.
Instead, I got entranced by the most BEAUTIFUL waterfall, tumbling down into a deep pool. It really was something else. I can imagine a quiet hour spent here in Summer, not seeing another soul, just the sheep, the water, and the sunshine. The sheep you see on the fellside here are the very friendly Herdwick sheep. Honestly, they have such kind faces. I could write a whole blog on Herdwick sheep. In fact I think I will – watch this space! The Herdwick breed was saved by Beatrix Potter around 100 years ago.
All around you will see rocky outcrops of granite, with large boulders lying around all over the place. It’s hardly surprising that Wasdale is well known to be the birthplace of British climbing. To your left you will see Buckbarrow – a much loved climbing spot for those in the know.
After stopping at the waterfall, I made my way back onto the path and wandered towards the head of the little valley, surrounding by fell on all sides. The great vast calm all around me put in mind of one of my favourite quotations:
“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful."
I wandered until the path started to climb steeply, and then (being a lazy so and so, and with excuses of having to get back to do some work) I turned around and headed reluctantly back to the car, and the most amazing drive back over fell roads. But that’s another story…