NEW EDITION JANUARY 2017
Walks The Western Lakes – Author: Richard Hallewell
Re walked by Richard & Maggie Legate
The walking in the Lake District is uniformly superb, but each corner of the area has its own character. Walks The Western Lakes covers what is – for most visitors – the most remote part of the district: the string of dales leading westwards from the heart of the hills to the wide bays and mudflats by the Irish Sea. It can be a long drive in, but it is worth the effort – not least because this very remoteness makes these the quietest of the dales. At the head of Dunnerdale you feel a long way from the crowds of Keswick, Ambleside and Windermere.
The main dales are (from north to south) Ennerdale, Wasdale, Eskdale and Dunnerdale. Ennerdale (centre left) is heavily forested, but is flanked by craggy peaks (Hay Stacks, Pillar). Wasdale is the most dramatic of them all, with Wast Water (England’s deepest lake, with a stunning scree slope on its eastern shore) at its heart and a fist of great peaks at its head (Scafell Pike, Great Gable). Eskdale is gentler, with more farmland and a greater population, and with Muncaster Fell, at its western end, sloping gently to the sea at the little village of Ravenglass. Dunnerdale (bottom left) is, perhaps, the prettiest: a narrow, winding strip of fields between low, empty fells, and with the peaks of the Old Man of Coniston visible to the east.
The usual updates have been made to routes in the guide (new signs, bridges, etc), but otherwise there have been relatively few changes this time round. The main alterations have been to two walks. On the Blea Tarn walk (on the hills between Eskdale and Miterdale), the route around Blea Tarn and Siney Tarn has been altered to avoid marshy areas and to make the navigation simpler; and on the walk at the head of Dunnerdale, the path by the River Duddon on the easter side of Dunnerdale Forest has been removed, as tree-felling has made it impassable for the moment (it is an interesting path, so we will look at it again at the next rewalk).
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