Todays walk was a 25km hike from one end of Ennerdale Valley to the other, and then back again. I have looked down in to the valley from the loftier fells around it many times, admiring the glistening Ennerdale Water, marvelling at the Liza river shimmering in the sun, fascinated by the sheer number of trees that dress the valley slopes. It is only recently however that I had begun to think about walking its full length, along the valley floor.
I like height! I like to climb mountains! I like to stand on a summit and look down on the route I have taken. It gives me a sense of satisfaction and well being like nothing else does. I cannot properly explain it, it is unique to everyone that stands atop a mountain, we all feel it differently. We have all climbed our own mountain that day, not a collective one!
But what am I missing when I am stood on these sometimes desolate rocky scree scarred summits? There is an abundance of life down below, just waiting to be discovered. Flowers in bloom. Trees changing colour. Waterfalls crashing off the rocks. Birdsong filling the air. It is a totally different environment than a summit, and one that I find myself more and more interested in as the pain in my knees intensifies with each climb!haha.
Today we would find out.
I was joined by Annette ( one of my instagram friends), and her Labradoodle Tasha. We met in the car park at 10am, and after a quick meet and greet, we were off on our hike…
After a short walk of a couple of hundred metres from the car park we were met with this view..
The weather was playing ball today, offering some beautiful light across the valley. A great day for Annette and I as keen photographers, but we didn’t realise just how often we would stop and take pictures haha. We joked at the end about who had taken most.. The official result was 333 for me, and 250 for Annette. I felt quite bad that I had taken so many more, so I deleted 83 selfies to even things out 🙂 Btw, Annette is an amazing photographer, go check out her IG page for some outdoor inspiration >Annette IG…
We took a few more snaps from the lakeside before continuing on with the walk..
The path on the right hand side of the lake is quite rocky in places with one part that you have to climb/scramble slightly up Anglers Crag (I guess they fish from there?), this continues on until you reach the plantation at the end of the lake. You can avoid this path by walking on the left hand side, but we were returning this way.
We had been walking/snapping for about 45 mins by this point, and it was great to chat to Annette about our shared interests. The pooches were getting on swimmingly too 🙂
As we entered the forest and left the lake behind, the views were everything I had hoped they would be. The sun shining through the trees amplified the vibrant colours.
As we walked and talked, we covered everything from careers to childhood, and all in between. This is what I love about being outdoors…. I am me!
In everyday life I am not confident, I am quite shy in fact! I find conversation awkward at times. I have often crossed the road to avoid striking up conversation with old friends 😦
The truth is I am not that young confident (sometimes brash) young man anymore!
I couldn’t sit in a room with a stranger or someone I had only interacted with on social media and tell them about me…and to be brutally honest I`d probably find listening to them painfully awkward!!
But not out here. Out here I come alive. Out here is the real me. The me that thrives on the interaction with you. The me that wants to look you in the eye when we take in an amazing view together. The me that quite frankly does not let you get a word in! I wish I could bottle it and take it back to the real world, but until then I will keep crossing the street….Please don’t take it personally 🙂
Anyway that was a bit deep! back to the walk….Although my therapist does say it is good to talk about these things 🙂
We continued walking deep into the forest under the shadows of the canopies (Garden not marrowfat) haha
Can of peas……..No? See this why I cross the street 🙂
Pillar rock came in to view when we came to a clearing in the woods (lots more pics taken). Its size cant help but take your breath away, even from the footpath below. And people climb this thing!!
With the mighty fell Pillar in full view now I knew we were not far from the end of the valley, and the half way point of our walk. The plan was to visit the Ennerdale Youth hostel for a brew before heading back.
Before long Green and Great Gabe came in to view which signifies the end of Ennerdale Valley. We had a moment looking up at them in all their majestic glory. I think privately Annette wanted to climb them, but we had been walking almost 5 hours by this point and I was cautious of getting home in time for my post walk curry!
We arrived at the hostel and sat outside in the warm sunshine to enjoy a brew. Annette took this opportunity to practise her drone flying skills, Tasha took it to pose (she has her own instagram account), and Rocky took it to……Chew sticks!!!
Tea drank, drone away, posing done…and sticks chewed, and it was time for the return leg of the hike.
The path on this side of the valley is much easier underfoot which was pleasing to all I think? The views back this way are equally as good as the ones in..
Ennerdale valley has a non English feel to it. By that I mean it feels like you are not in England but somewhere like the Canadian Rockies, or somewhere in the Americas. to me it does anyway, and I liked that a lot about this walk.
Here is what I mean…
Before long we were back at the lakeside and on to the final leg of the walk. It was now around 5 or 6pm and we were getting the best weather of the day. You have to stretch these days out as they don’t come very often. We sat by the lakeside taking in the views and letting the dogs cool off and clean themselves, and I had one last brew..
A few more pics of some majestic swans and we were back to the start…
So 9 hours after we had first met, and 25km later it was time to say our goodbyes. Two tired drivers jumped in to their respective boots, and two tired dogs in to their drivers seats……NO that’s wrong……Haha we were all the tired!!!
My next outing will be up a huge mountain…..I know this as it is already planned, as I am sure Annette’s will be too. I am so pleased to have done this walk though.
If you are interested in this walk just drop me a line. The route is linked at the very top too if you have >OSmaps
Until the next time..
Scotty out 🙂