May 30, 2020

Towns and Villages of Cumbria


(See also Watendlath Tarn)

Watendlath courtesy Andy WallaceThe isolated hamlet of Watendlath, granted to Fountains Abbey in 1195, is now the property of the National Trust. At the end of a narrow, dead-end road, set in the fold of the mountains, it is surrounded by the Lake Districts stunning countryside.

Sitting beside Watendlath tarn, Watendlath consists of only a few whitewashed houses and stone barns. Anglers come here to fish for trout in the tarn, featured in Edmund Cassons poem The Wise Kings of Borrowdale:

Watendlath house courtesy Andy WallaceWatendlath's quiet nook.
A farm is there, and a slated barn,
And a waterfall, and a pebbly tarn;
And all the way to High Lodore
The banks of the beck are painted o'er
With red herb-willow and red loose-strife.

Watendlath river courtesy Andy WallaceWatendlath and its tarn have another connection with literature having served as the setting in Judith Paris, one of Hugh Walpoles Herries Chronicles.

This is walking country. The hamlet is a popular starting and ending point for hiking the adjoining fells and Borrowdale. A path from the west side of Thirlmere near the south end of the reservoir passes through plantations of birch and pine before descending to Watendlath. Another path goes from the west Watendlath road courtesy Andy Wallace side of Thirlmere near the north end of reservoir, crosses High Tove, and then joins the other path before descending to Watendlath. A footpath from Rosthwaite leads over the fell via Ashness bridge to Watendlath.

Photos courtesy of Andy Wallace Andy Fellwalker

Watendlath is four miles south of Keswick at the end of a minor road off the B5289 that skirts Derwent Water.

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