Distance: 14.5 miles.
We awoke to a bright and sunny morning, 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 injured her ankle at the beginning of this day’s walk and decided it would be best to rest for a few days (ultimately a four day rest). 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, clear, crisp morning was delightful.
As we looked up, we knew we would be climbing at some point.
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.
After taking a few minutes to enjoy the view, we began the descent to Honister Pass, one of the highest road passes in the Lake District. Since 1728 the nearby village of 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.
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.
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!