Tuesday, 29 January 2013

A Few Natural Wonders of the Lake District

This is of course subjective because it depends on what is a “wonder” for you. I have also kept a few to myself as part of what makes some (but not all) these places wonderful to me is that they are off the beaten track and therefore quiet sanctuaries. Beauty should be shared though...

One of many cascades in Far Easedale
Far Easedale Valley - A recent find for me that divides the rugged Langdale Pikes from the softer fells of Helm Crag and Gibson Knott. I have walked above it often on the surrounding ridges but it was only recently I walked the whole valley from Calf Crag back to Grasmere. A beautiful place with crags and rocks all around and the lovely Far Easedale Gill running the length of it featuring dozens of cascades and mini waterfalls falling gently over dark black rocks and creating small ravines (one of which is reminiscent of Piers Gill in miniature) and rock pools.

Langstrath Valley
Langstrath Valley – If you want to get quickly amongst proper mountain scenery without the exertion of gaining height then this is the place. You can walk for miles along it beside the sweeping meanders of Langstrath Beck with the fells of Eagle Crag, Bessyboot and Glaramara towering above you. You can get to it from the tiny hamlet of Stonethwaite in Borrowdale (which has a lovely pub as well). The added advantage of Langstrath is the plunge pool of:

Blackmoss Pot
Blackmoss Pot – This finds itself in the Lonely Planet’s top ten places to go skinny dipping! I have been for an impromptu swim in it once on the way back from a Fix the Fells work day and a planned swim with friends another time (both fully clothed I hasten to add). It is a deep plunge pool in Langstrath Beck with a powerful waterfall gushing into it, another out of it and surrounded by high rocks. Nature’s version of a hot tub but ever so slightly colder (very cold in fact) but it is in a beautiful setting and definitely worth a visit. It is easy to miss though so keep your eyes peeled.

Carrock Beck
Carrock Beck – Where the road to Hesket Newmarket from the A66 crosses Carrock Beck at the foot of Carrock Fell (after going through Mungrisdale and Mosedale) there is a little ford, a wooden bridge and plenty of grassy banks and rocks to sit on and enjoy the sunshine and paddle. The view across the patchwork of fields towards the Pennines is lovely and hardly a car passes. Very pretty and I have many happy childhood memories of splashing in the beck.

View from Middle Fell
Middle Fell – I had to include a mountain in the list. Anyone visiting Wasdale Head or Wastwater will have passed this fell. It could possibly lay claim to the least inspiring name of any of the Lake District fells and people will pass it on their way to headier heights of the Scafells, Great Gable or Pillar but do give it a go one day. The views are superb to the higher fells and across Wastwater (and of course to the stunning Yewbarrow) and it is a great climb in its own right. An inspiring fell in spite of its name.

Devoke Water (on a rather gloomy day!)
Devoke Water – In the middle of nowhere but a lovely small lake/large tarn to visit near Eskdale. It has a pretty little stone hut on the water edge and if you combine it with a short climb up to Seat How beside it then you get to see the water at its best and for me, it is at its best with a summer sun setting behind it. Mesmerising.

Colwith Force – This one is easy to get to but it is not talked about in the same breath as Aira Force and Stock Ghyll Force and some of the more popular waterfalls so here it is and quite possibly my favourite waterfall in the Lake District. A wide gushing waterfall rather than a tall one and there is an enormous rock in the middle that divides it. The best view is from the bank above it (if you have a head for heights). 

Colwith Force

So they are just a few of the places I have discovered and I love stumbling across them. I am sure I will be finding more natural wonders up here the rest of my life so the list will change endlessly.
It would be great to hear about any you have found and wish to share or can recommend. Over to you...

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  1. Very good choices Tanya & yes I have a few of my own, but such places touch ones heart under different moods & weather conditions and anchor them to your soul, not neccessarily someone elses.

    1. I agree Ray. Some I haven't shared for just those reasons but have amazing memories that I can recall as though only a few days ago. Technicolour :-)

    2. That was very inspiring Tanya, had made me want to find those places for myself and others.. thanks :)

    3. Thanks Steve! Let me know what other ones you come across as there are too many to find so any suggestions welcome :-)

  2. Lovely pics Tanya. I too love Middle Fell, but have only ever contrived to get up there, only for the clag to set in! I'm sure your description of the views are accurate though ;-)

    1. Thanks Dave. It does have lovely views. I have plenty of fells I want to climb again that I only summitted in clag! :-)

  3. Lovely write up Tanya.. I am going to Ravenglass for a week in March and will pay a visit to Middle Fell and Devoke Water.. They are places I wouldn't have known about but for your blog.Ta V much...I hope you have a great year and continue to enlighten us with your knowledge and writing ability...

    1. Thanks Jimmy :-)
      You can do a nice loop from Middle Fell to include Seatallan and Buckbarrow (and even Haycock if you are feeling energetic).

    2. Haycock is on my list..We had to give it up last June when my mate got sore feet after coming of Yewbarrow..

    3. I climbed it from the shores of Ennerdale and it became an unexpected favourite...if you don't do it from Middle Fell then take the shoreline walk from Bowness Point and soak up the lake views :-)