14.5 miles.

We awoke to a bright and sunny morning, which was perfect weather to begin our journey into one of the loveliest areas of England. The Lake District is the first of the three national parks we would enjoy on this 200+ mile hike. Jo and Paul at Ennerdale View B&B served us a delicious breakfast and then dropped three of us off in the hamlet of Ennerdale Bridge to continue on our path. Unfortunately, Lynda had injured her ankle and decided it would be best to rest for a few days. She was able to ride along on a Packhorse van with my mother to our next B&B.

Walking alongside the lake known as Ennerdale Water on a cool, crisp morning was delightful.

Trail by Ennerdale Water

As we looked up, we knew we would be climbing at some point.

Ennerdale Water

The path was easy to follow as it skirted around Ennerdale Water, making for a delightful morning walk. Then, with the lake behind us, we hiked alongside the River Liza eventually arriving at a former shepherd’s bothy now known as Black Sail Youth Hostel. The hostel sells food and drink, but we had no need to stop. The beautiful day contributed to a lazy walk on this portion of the trail. Soon, however, the path took on a serious note as we began the steep scramble up the mountain, Loft Beck. The clear skies helped us on this section since the trail can be difficult to locate on a foggy or rainy day. After a successful climb, we celebrated at the top. Notice Buttermere Lake in the background.

Top of Loft Beck

After taking the time to enjoy the view, we began the descent to Honister Pass (or Hause – the local, Cumbrian use of the term) one of the highest road passes in the Lake District. Since 1728 Honister has been the location of an active slate mine, now the only working slate mine in England. As we descended we followed the old, defunct quarry tramway which ran straight down the hill. Once at the Honister Hause, we checked out their gift shop and food counter. Not eager to add much weight to our packs, we each purchased a small, slate drink coaster, which I have been thankful to have as a souvenir of this wonderful trek. Continuing, the trail more or less paralleled the B5289 road down the Little Gatesgarthdale valley, arriving at the hamlet of Seatoller. Seatoller’s claim to fame is that it holds the record for the wettest spot in England with an average rainfall of 137.5″ per year! The forest known as Johnny’s Wood was typically wet and slippery; chains along the trail had been provided to help walkers steady themselves which we used occasionally, before emerging into charming Borrowdale Valley, consisting of three tiny villages. This area is known for Norse influence prior to the Norman invasion in 1066 and later. The town names and several local relics reflect that impact.

Borrowdale

The trail follows the winding roads generally lined with low or high stone walls, taking us through the villages of Longthwaite, then Rosthwaite and finally down a rocky path, nestled between two stone walls, for another mile to the third village of Stonethwaite.

Our quaint 450-year-old B&B, Knotts View, in Stonethwaite was hosted by Ann Jackson, who made us feel very welcome. After we had settled in, she joined us by the fireplace to enjoy a cup of tea and cake.

Stonethwaite
Knotts View

A small hotel at the end of the road, The Langstrath, was highly recommended for dinner. We did agree that it was worthy of said recommendation!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.