Ennerdale

Ennerdale Water above the forest By Ann BowkerEnnerdale, the Lake District's most western valley, is remote and somewhat inaccessible. A narrow road leads up to the foot of the mostly steep-sided valley and stops at Bowness Knot by Ennerdale Water. The rest of the dale reserves itself for walkers where trails lead over the fells and around Ennerdale Lake. Thus, the area is undeveloped compared to other parts of the Lake District.

Ennerdale Forest By Ann BowkerDeer once roamed the forests in the dale. The Forestry Commission planted additional trees in the 20th century. At the head of the dale are dramatic volcanic crags. Haycock reaches a height of 2618 feet while Steeple stretches 2760 feet into the air. Black Sail Pass plays host to a lonely Youth Hostel.

Pillar from the ridge of Steeple By Ann BowkerWalks on these fells provide dramatic views. Pillar, at the dale's head is 2927 feet tall. Its name comes from a distinctive 590ft. pillar of rock standing on its own on the northern side. It's popular with rock climbers and was first climbed in the late 1800's.

Steeple from Scoat Fell By Ann BowkerThe River Liza (Lysa in Norse means bright water) makes its way from the head of the dale and empties into Ennerdale Water. The River Ehen flows from the western end of Ennerdale Lake at the dale's end where the valley becomes gentler and the small village of Ennerdale Bridge is located.

Steeple and Scoat Fell from Haycock By Ann BowkerA stone circle composed of 11 stones about 2 feet high is located in the dale. At one time the stones lay on the ground but have been reconstructed standing in concrete. In the past the valley supported haematite mining (Smithy Beck Nature Trail) and cottage industries such as weaving. In the early 1800's the valley became famous because of a dog, “The Ennerdale Vampire” that killed hundreds of sheep before being shot.

Steeple Ridge By Ann BowkerEnnerdale's name comes from Eaner or Ar-ean translated by the Saxons into Enerdale, then evolving into today's Ennerdale.
Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk runs the length of the valley and is the way to experience the full beauty of Ennerdale's scenic delights.

Ennerdale is 8 miles east of Whitehaven.
For details of an Ennerdale walk, visit John Dawson's Lakeland Walks on this page: www.lakedistrictwalks.com/ennhor.html
“For futher Ennerdale information visit Ennerdale Valley.”

Photos courtesy of Ann Bowker

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