Things to do nearby Holly Cottage
Ennerdale is one of the Lake District's wildest valleys. Its remote location makes it the perfect place to escape to even in high season. Despite its remote location you can still drive to towns including Cockermouth and Whitehaven within 20 minutes.
Ennerdale is a deep glacial lake at 148 feet deep and nearly 3 miles long. It has the distinction of being the only lake in the Lake District without a Tarmac road running alongside and long may that continue. The water is exceptionally clear and contains a variety of fish including the rare Arctic Char.
Walking is the big draw here but there is plenty to do if a mountain hike is not top of your list. The Wild Ennerdale project is working to reduce human intervention and allow the landscape to evolve naturally. A simple stroll or bike ride along the valley floor is incredibly rewarding. You can see red squirrels, deer, rare butterflies and maybe even an elusive badger at dusk. At the head of the valley a herd of Galloway cattle roam freely through the forest. Pine Martin have been spotted in the very heart of the valley but they are incredibly rare. If you see one then count yourself lucky and give the rangers a call to notify them.
Mountain biking has become a popular pastime in the valley. There are nice easy trails and tracks by the lake or for something a bit more testing try the passes to Buttermere or Wasdale (for experts only!).
Around Ennerdale there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied. Try pony trekking on nearby Kinniside with Bradley’s Riding Centre or fishing on the lake (permit required).
In the village of Ennerdale Bridge, you will find the church of St Mary. It was built on the site of a medieval chapel and is mentioned in the Wordsworth poem ‘The Brothers’. The village is built around the river Ehen which flows from Ennerdale Water. The focal point of the village are the two pubs, the Fox and Hounds and the Shepherd’s Arms both of which serve good hearty food and local ales from the Ennerdale Brewery
Click here for our Ennerdale Area Guide.
The harbour town of Whitehaven is within a 15 minute drive of Ennerdale. It was one of the first properly planned towns in England. The Georgian town was based on the grid design of Sir Christopher Wren and built by the Lowther family (with around 250 listed buildings). In the mid 18th Century, Whitehaven was a larger port than Liverpool, being the third largest in Britain and exporting coal and tobacco to America, and importing rum and sugar from the West Indies. Whitehaven offers several tourist attractions. The Harbour is extensive and makes for a pleasant stroll. You can take in the view from the Crow's Nest which is 40m high! Whitehaven and west Cumbria have a strong mining history. The Haig Pit Museum is a very interesting day out and a good wet weather attraction. The Rum Story Museum does precisely that and tells the tale of how rum imports into the country began. The Beacon is an award winning attraction where the history of John Paul Jones and the last attempt to invade the English mainland during the American War of Independence is brought to life. There is even a nightclub if you fancied dancing the night away until 2am! You will find several major supermarkets at Whitehaven – Tesco, Asda and Morrisons. Tesco also delivers to the cottage.
Keswick is a 30 minute drive from Ennerdale. The town is famed for its stunning mountain scenery, beautiful Derwentwater, and the friendly pedestrianised town centre. If you are looking to upgrade your walking boots then Keswick is the place to go. There are 14 outdoor equipment shops! You can read more in our Keswick Area Guide.
Cockermouth is around a 20 minute drive from Ennerdale. Cockermouth has some of the best shopping in Cumbria, with a wealth of independent shops along the main street. It is one of the closes locations for a main supermarket; there is a Sainsbury’s in Cockermouth, an excellent butcher, deli, fishmonger and two bakeries. Read more in our Cockermouth Area Guide.
Wasdale and Eskdale are within a 30 minute drive. Wasdale is similarly remote as Ennerdale and is prime walking country with the big fells of Great Gable, Scafell and Scafell Pike. You can read more in our Wasdale Area Guide. Eskdale is the valley where Sally grew up so we like to think we know all there is to know about the best walks, pubs and streams to splash in.