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" Ennerdale Round the Lake "

Date & start time: Monday 9th July 2012, 1.15 pm start.

Location of Start : Bleach Green car park, Ennerdale, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 085 153 )

Places visited : Bowness Knott foreshore, Smithy Beck, Irish Bridge, back via Anglers Crag.

Walk details :  7.5 mls, approx 400 ft of ascent, 4 hours 15 mins.

Highest point : Below Anglers Crag 400 ft - 123 m above sea level.

Walked with : Dave and Josie, Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Overcast and dry but with the prospect of a shower later.

" Ennerdale Round the Lake " at EveryTrail

[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]


With friends staying in the western Lake District our choice of venue for a walk today fell naturally towards Ennerdale.

Nothing too high but a full circuit of the lake with a reasonable weather forecast is in prospect.  Hope it stays dry !

Ann, Dave and Josie at the weir and footbridge at the foot of Ennerdale Water.

The weather is mild and the rain that has dogged the country is staying clear of the western fells at present.

Waterproof coats are packed away (but still available) at the start of the walk today.

The short fish ladder to allow the fish to avoid crossing the weir . . .
. . . the recent rains have passed and the lake is at its normal level.

Foxgloves are a feature of the summer this year

Maybe the damp weather has provided the right growing conditions for them to prosper.

Clear air means we are getting great views up the lake towards Pillar and Steeple.

The decision to walk the lake in a clockwise direction meant our first section was level and followed the lakeside quite closely.

On the way round we met another group of folk who always walk it the other way round, preferring the rocky section first.

Either way, the distance is the same but it is funny how different people chose to do the walk different ways.

Below How Hall Farm there's a car parking area by the lake

and good views of Great Borne and Bowness Knott.

A visitor was just about to launch his canoe for an afternoon's fishing trip.

We would see him later at the head of the lake.

Passing under Bowness Knott and past the field with Beckfoot (or Mireside) Farm cattle.

More colourful foxgloves line the path.
Wildlife spotting . . . two goosanders on the water.

Domestic life spotting . . . a Harry and a Bethan, one male and one female of the species.

Walking around the bluff under Bowness Knott

the scenery was almost Scottish with the heather and the granite sand on the beach.

A welcome break in the cloud and the girls stop on the headland

and enjoy a little extra warmth from the sun.

A small shallow inlet, relatively dark compared to the open aspect of the lakeside paths and track

The dappled nature of the water in here was due as much to the small fish and the midges as to the very slight breeze.

A bank of the aquatic plant known as Bog Bean.

The almost sculptured lines on the water surface were from long strands of a waterweed plant.

An open glade a little further on where the cut grass exposes the site of the Smithy Beck foundry.

In very early industrial revolution times charcoal from the forest here and iron ore from Iron Crag across the lake,

were smelted on this site to create the metal that would encourage the Cumbrian west coast industrial development.

Lunch !

It wasn't that we didn't have anything to eat, it was just that we cleared away quickly so as to get away from the midges !

Irish Bridge as we cross the River Liza at the head of the lake.

Recent floods have brought down several trees which are causing a slight blockage of the structure.

This far up the valley the last sight you would expect to see

would be two British Telecom vans.


Apparently the phone line to Gillerthwaite has a fault

and the engineers are trying to fix it.

A difficult job as part of the cable is routed under the lake

but as the engineer said . . .

" a difficult job . . . but what a lovely place to have to work"

A group of walkers are on a group outing from Gillerthwaite Hostel.

The steep clearing in the background is the start of the path which eventually leads up to Steeple.

The view from the cross-valley track from Irish Bridge to the woodland opposite.

Just before the woodland we take the path to the right, through the gate and back towards the lake.

I had forgotten how far from the lake we were and how long the field path was to get back to the lakeside.

Wild Ennerdale's (almost) famous black Galloway cattle.

They roam free in the valley but despite all the trampling they do they haven't been able to reduce the bracken cover significantly.

Harry and Bethan back in the water once again as we cross a small unnamed stream that enters the lake.

Gone is the lakeside road to Gillerthwaite and the forest track across the valley.

From now on we're back to small footpaths and rocky surfaces.

The Path Fairies have been here at some point and have produced a very practical, flat stone-pitched path

which takes the difficulty out of crossing some of the more damp sections.

Could it be the same group ?

Greylag geese on the lake.

This group of large goslings and protective adults and the side and tail remind me of the ones we saw earlier in the year.

They are territorial and could well be the same group we saw at that time (subject of much discussion between the four of us)

[ Hold your cursor over the picture to see how they have grown over time.]

Dark skies emphasised by the brighter skies down towards the coast.

The geese head off down the lake ahead of us.

Dave stops to catch a photo of the rain over Starling Dodd and the lower, wooded Latterbarrow fell,

thankful that it seems to be raining over there . . . and not on our side.

Unfortunately as we turn to continue our walk

we see another rain shower above Crag Fell and it's heading in our direction !

Time for protective measures . . .

It's not cold but rain is rain . . . and dry clothes are preferable to wet ones.

A greyness spreads across the camera lens as the full force of the rain hits us.

It is so heavy you can see it splashing on the surface of the lake.

" Water off a duck's back " . . . or should that be geese's backs !

Our little flock seems to be making a similar speed down the lake as ourselves.

No let up from the downpour . . . and certain parts of us are starting to get wetter than they should do !

Up and over the lower slopes of Angler's Crag.

Note the red colour in the stones which indicates a high iron content in the rocks locally.

Looking down on our fellow travellers.

Note the white streaks on the photo . . . you guessed it . . . it is still raining hard.

Wet dogs and people regain lake level.

Harry's gortex bootee is looking a little worse for wear, but it has served him well, stopping the gravel from entering his paw.

The cut he suffered on holiday is healing well and the pad is growing over nicely.

Heads still down, we leave Anglers Crag behind.

Dave's bird-spotting skills identified this as a juvenile female wheatear.

This is where we came in . . . and we follow down the River Ehen a short distance back to the car park at Bleach Green.

Squirrel notice . . . greys not welcome.
Post walk "relaxation and recuperation" indoors.

A change of clothes were put into the car today in order to spruce ourselves up for a meal out in the evening.

As it turned out they allowed us to exchange wet or damp clothing for dry which was a bonus.

Following good reports about the pub we chose the Fox and Hounds at Ennerdale Bridge

If you're passing do call in as we found the staff delightful, the food good and the pub wet-dog friendly !

The pub is community owned and this fresh initiative offered community hospitality at its very best.

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Finally, click here to see Dave's report from today on his Airedale Wildlife blogspot site.

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Technical note: Pictures taken with Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220 or my Canon G10 digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a large, wide brimmed hat to substitute for an umbrella !

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