Nether Wasdale

Nether Wasdale

Route: Nether Wasdale

Area: Southern Lake District

Date of walk: 12th May 2021

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance: 5.9 miles

Ascent: 400 feet

Weather: Mostly cloudy, a few patches of sun and some light rain

Wasdale is home to England’s highest mountain and its deepest lake. The head of the valley is a springboard to some of the finest fell walks in the Lake District. However the fells enclose the valley head to such an extent that low level walking opportunities there are very limited. Nether Wasdale, at the foot of Wastwater, is a better choice for a low level walk, and offers wonderful views towards some of the finest landscape in the country

I’ve followed this walk, or variations of it, on several occasions. This time I was hoping that I’d timed my visit to coincide with bluebells flowering in Low Wood, having been either too early or too late on previous visits in May. I parked as usual in the free National Trust car park at Cinderdale Bridge, at a triangle of roads just beyond Nether Wasdale. After turning right out of the car park I crossed the bridge over the River Irt, and then joined the track leading to Easthwaite. The path formerly passed directly through the farm, but has now been diverted around it. Beyond the farm, confusion may arise when a path to Lund Bridge, clearly marked on the OS maps as a public footpath, bears a sign ‘PRIVATE – no public right of way’. Either the OS map is wrong or the landowner has created a diversion in order to keep walkers away from his field. It’s not an issue, as the extra distance is not significant and the surrounding scenery is so good 

I joined the path beside the River Irt and crossed Lund Bridge to enter into Low Wood, and was pleased to see that my timing was right – the bluebells were on good form. I followed a path through Low Wood and arrived at the foot of Wastwater. The view from here is one of the finest mountain landscapes in the Lake District, and didn’t disappoint today

I continued along the lakeshore path and just beyond Wasdale Hall climbed up to the road. I followed this as far as the junction to Greendale, and then turned my back on Wasdale Head to start the return leg. The road section ended when I turned off at Buckbarrow, a farmhouse named after the fell which towers above it. From here I followed a series of paths and tracks back to the start, enjoying some lovely retrospective views as I went along 

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