Lake District
Circular Walk
Wastwater - Nether Wasdale

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It was Wordsworth's view the size of a lake or the height of the fells behind it were not important; its beauty and majesty were portrayed by a scale and rightness.

This is shown to be true here at Wastwater, though only three miles long and half a mile wide, it is perhaps the most beautiful and spectacular of all the lakes

Starting from Nether Wasdale, the name of this 15th century village was changed to Strands during the late 19th century due to a mapmakers error and did not regain its original name until the 1970’s.

Take the road towards Santon Bridge and after crossing the river Urt take a footpath to Easthwaite, bear away from Kilnhowe Crag to Lowwood at the end of the lake and at the fork in the path go right for a short way to the scree path.

This unusual view over Wastwater towards its head with Middle Fell and Yewbarrow as a backdrop give a different perspective to that normally seen. Walk along the lake shore as far as you like then return by the same path but keep to the river bank until you cross Lund Bridge, turn right and follow the path along the shore, passing in front of Wasdale Hall, now a youth hostel.

As you round the lake different peaks come into and out of view – Yewbarrow, Kirk Fell, Great Gable, Scafell and the screes topped by Iillgill Head at 2000 feet.

The screes were created by glacial action leaving an unstable wall of crumbling rock which has been tumbling into the lake for thousands of years and continues to do so.

The lake is 260 feet deep and unique among the lakes the bottom is 60 feet below sea level.

From the viewpoint where you leave the shore the scene looks Scandinavian, Viking settlers must have felt at home here and probably still would as little has changed.

In fact, the church at Wasdale Head further up the valley, takes the name of Norway’s patron saint, St Olaf.

The fortunate lack of a through road has kept Wasdale much quieter than the rest of the lakes.

Leave the lake and follow the road under Greenhaws Crag towards Greendale, continue to Buckbarrow Crag turning left away from it, when the path goes left keep straight on crossing several other paths before entering Shop Wood and emerging at Nether Wasdales church.

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Alan Howarth: Corporate Photographer, Corporate Video Producer and Corporate Writer based near Blackpool, Preston & Lancaster, Lancashire in the North West of the UK, I frequently work in Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham and I spend 50% of my time working in London. within the M25, I travel throughout the UK and often work in mainland Europe, with work published throughout the world. As a corporate photographer my portrait images will enhance your marketing and your business, my video production skills can enhance your video email marketing campaigns. Email me now. I'll go anywhere - except war zones.

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