Seclusion is the key word here! The remote emptiness of Ennerdale has a silence broken only by the harsh cries of ravens and the calls of buzzards circling overhead. With no roads entering the valley and access only on foot, by bicycle or on horseback, Ennerdale is the perfect destination for those seeking quiet contemplation.
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Secluded Ennerdale is a haven for wildlife. The coniferous forests harbour red squirrels, deer, badgers and pine martens, whilst the lake contains rare Arctic char. Other nature sites can be explored locally at Clints Quarry near Egremont and at High Leys hay meadow near Rowrah.
Meet the ‘Galloways’ of Ennerdale
The coniferous forests of Ennerdale are slowly reverting back to nature through a long-term programme of natural regeneration. As part of this process, you may come across grazing Galloway cattle. Their hooves trample the soil creating niches for young seedlings to take root. They are generally placid animals, but take care when approaching cows with young calves.
This prominent detached crag was where the first pioneers of Lakeland climbing practised their skills back in the 1820s. A local shepherd, John Atkinson, made the first ascent on 9 July 1826; a feat now regarded as a landmark in British rock climbing. The Pillar offers a variety of climbs to suit all abilities.
Discover ancient remains
This valley was occupied more or less continuously from the Bronze Age (2000–800 BC) to the medieval era (410–1600 AD), and many of Ennerdale’s archaeological sites are regarded as of national importance. The Smithy Beck trail takes in ancient homesteads, charcoal hearths, a medieval bloomery site and some fantastic views over the lake. Parking at Bowness Knott car park.
Take to the Saddle
What better way to enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of the Western Lake District than by taking a gentle trek on horseback over the open fells and bridleways of Kinniside Common. Bradley’s Riding Centre offers pony trekking for all abilities and ages. Rides vary from 1 hour upwards and can be tailor-made to suit your requirements, with all experience levels catered for.
Ennerdale has over 10 miles of forest tracks and lakeshore paths, offering plenty of opportunity for gentle cycling, mountain biking or practising hill climbs on generally traffic-free routes.
A Potter with the Family
Longlands Lake is a popular spot with young families. Feed the ducks, have a picnic or simply enjoy an easy circular walk around the lake. Suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
There are so many possibilities to fish around Ennerdale. For fly fishing, head for Meadley Reservoir, Longlands Lake (both near Cleator Moor), Ennerdale or Cogra Moss Reservoir (at Lamplugh). Salmon and sea trout can be caught on a catch-and-release basis on the River Ehen. For permits, contact Wath Brow Post Office or contact Wath Brow & Ennerdale Angling Club on 01946 84703.
Do you fancy testing your karting prowess on an award-winning race circuit? Cumbria Kart Racing Club is hidden away in a former granite quarry on the outskirts of Rowrah, but it’s worth making the effort to find it.
Useful Links for Ennerdale
Try our energetic hike up Pillar
Have a look at things to do Down on the Farm in Ennerdale and beyond.
Have a look at our review of Outdoor Activities in the Lake District.
For Muncaster Castle, Gardens and Owl Centre, please visit Muncaster Castle
For the Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Railway, visit the 'La'al Ratty'.
Visit our review of the Lake District shows.
Read our introduction to Sally's Lake District Cottages