If you want your Lakes trip to focus on the remote and majestic, Wasdale is the valley for you. With Scafell Pike, England’s highest peak at over 3,200 feet, and Great Gable along with Kirk Fell and others forming a dramatic horse-shoe background to the head of the valley, this is climbing country, one of the spiritual homes of British mountaineering – Napes Needle on Great Gable is one of the best-known British rock-climbing challenges. Wasdale runs from the little village of Wasdale Head, down to Nether Wasdale and then broadening out to house the settlements of Santon Bridge and Gosforth, before the River Irt that follows the valley heads to the sea at Ravenglass. As well as England’s highest mountain Wasdale contains its deepest lake, Wast Water at 258 feet, one of the waters where the depth-loving Arctic Char survives and thrives. Wasdale Head claims two other superlatives: the smallest church in the country in St Olaf’s (though others dispute the title), and the greatest liar, 19th century publican Will Ritson, who told some whoppers and in whose memory the village holds a yearly “greatest liar” competition. St Olaf’s dates from Tudor times, but its beams are claimed to come from Viking longships. Further down the valley is Nether Wasdale, a pretty village of white stone cottages where in front of the church of St Michael there is a rather different sort of preserved structure, a Maypole erected to celebrate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee. Gosforth, a couple of miles further along the Irt, is another settlement with Viking links, its churchyard containing the tallest Viking cross in the country, a magnificent monument 14 feet tall, carved beautifully and still intact more than a thousand years after it was erected. Even the name Wasdale has Viking roots, being a corruption of the Old Norse for valley of the water. Nearby there are plenty of other attractions: Ratty, the narrow-gauge railway starting from Ravenglass; Muncaster Castle; and on the coast Sellafield visitor centre. But the abiding memories of Wasdale will be of natural beauty rather than the man-made.
Places to Stay near Wasdale
Low Wood Hall Hotel (0.06 miles)
Bridge Inn (1.79 miles)
Bower House Inn (2.35 miles)
Hodgson House (2.62 miles)
Gatehouse (2.67 miles)
We are able to offer B&B accommodation in single, twin and triple en-suite rooms from £38.00 per person per night - ... More