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Ennerdale Loop

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Ennerdale Loop
Author: Andrew's Walks, Published: 09 Aug 2018 Walk Rating:star0 Ennerdale Loop - Lake District Walkstar0 Ennerdale Loop - Lake District Walkstar0 Ennerdale Loop - Lake District Walkstar0 Ennerdale Loop - Lake District Walkstar0 Ennerdale Loop - Lake District Walk
Cumbria, Lake District
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Ennerdale Loop
Length: 8 miles,  Difficulty: boot Ennerdale Loop - Lake District Walk boot Ennerdale Loop - Lake District Walk
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0017_cloudy_with_light_rain Ennerdale Loop - Lake District WalkToday's weather
17 °C, Light drizzle, Wind: 4 mph NW
Next few days: Hover over icon for more info.
0009_light_rain_showers Ennerdale Loop - Lake District Walk 0004_black_low_cloud Ennerdale Loop - Lake District Walk 0002_sunny_intervals Ennerdale Loop - Lake District Walk 0009_light_rain_showers Ennerdale Loop - Lake District Walk 0002_sunny_intervals Ennerdale Loop - Lake District Walk

An 8 mile circular walk around Ennerdale within the Lake District in Cumbria. Ennerdale Water is the most westerly of the lakes and the most remote. The walk follows paths around the edge of Ennerdale Water and along the banks of the River Liza. There is plenty of water for both humans and dogs to enjoy and there are usually very few tourists even in the height of the season. You will enjoy lovely views of Pillar, the eighth-highest mountain within the Lake District which takes its name from Pillar Rock, a prominent feature on the mountain side. The Ennerdale landscape is gradually being re-wilded by the Wild Ennerdale Partnership – consisting of the National Trust, the Forestry Commission, Natural England and United Utilities – with the aim of shaping the landscape in a sympathetic manner in keeping with its remote location.

The walk has several steady slopes throughout, but there are no steep sections as the route does not climb high into the surrounding hills. It follows a mixture of stone tracks and riverside or lakeside paths through woodland. The woodland paths can be very narrow in part. You will need to negotiate several footbridges and gates and you will be sharing some of the paths with sheep. Allow 4 hours.

The walk starts and finishes at the free Forestry Commission car park, below Bowness Knott. The car park is located about 3 miles east of the village of Ennerdale Bridge and close to the north bank of Ennerdale Water. The nearest post code of CA23 3AU, will take you to a farm about a mile west of the car park. Continue east on the access lane to reach the car park.

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Walk Sections

Start to Ennerdale Water
Start to Ennerdale Water

Start point: 54.5254 lat, -3.3772 long
End point: 54.5214 lat, -3.3665 long

From the car park, continue along the wide vehicle track which leads you downhill towards Ennerdale Water. A little way along, the track continues with Ennerdale Water on your right. Ennerdale Water is a glacial lake. It is 2.5 miles long, 0.75 miles wide and 148 feet deep, and it serves as a reservoir for the coastal towns of West Cumbria.

Ennerdale Water to Char Dub
Ennerdale Water to Char Dub

Start point: 54.5214 lat, -3.3665 long
End point: 54.5176 lat, -3.3528 long

After around 20 minutes of walking, you will arrive at the head of Ennerdale Water. You will see a concrete bridge to your right. Ignore this path (which will be our return route), instead go ahead on the main stone track, now with the stream known as Char Dub on your right. Char Dub is one of the many bathing and drinking opportunities for your doggie companions.

Char Dub to High Gillerthwaite
Char Dub to High Gillerthwaite

Start point: 54.5176 lat, -3.3528 long
End point: 54.5153 lat, -3.3258 long

Continue ahead on the main stone track, ignoring any side paths. Ahead and to your right you will have your first views of Pillar, the eighth-highest mountain in the Lake District. The mountain takes its name from Pillar Rock, a rocky outcrop which protrudes from its left flank. The track leads you past Low Gillerthwaite (a field centre) and High Gillerthwaite (a youth hostel) both on your right.

High Gillerthwaite to Track Fork
High Gillerthwaite to Track Fork

Start point: 54.5153 lat, -3.3258 long
End point: 54.5108 lat, -3.2918 long

Stay ahead on the main stone track, ignoring any paths and tracks to your left. Ahead you will still have lovely views of Pillar and down to your right the River Liza flows along the valley bottom. After about 1.4 miles you will come to a fork in the track.

Track Fork to Middle Bridge
Track Fork to Middle Bridge

Start point: 54.5108 lat, -3.2918 long
End point: 54.5101 lat, -3.291 long

Ignore the left-hand branch (which continues to Black Sail Hut and to some of lakeland's finest mountain scenery). Instead take the right-hand branch which leads you downhill to reach Middle Bridge on the River Liza.

Middle Bridge to Riverside Path
Middle Bridge to Riverside Path

Start point: 54.5101 lat, -3.291 long
End point: 54.5099 lat, -3.2911 long

Cross Middle Bridge, taking a moment to enjoy looking along the pretty and rocky River Liza. This bridge signals the start of our return leg. At the far side of the bridge you have two choices. You can take either a wide track above the River Liza or a narrow path directly beside it. (The route description follows the narrow path, but you could follow the track instead if you would prefer easier walking). The narrow path is easy to miss, so look out for it carefully – it is a right turn immediately after the bridge but is not waymarked (see image).

Riverside Path to Moss Dub
Riverside Path to Moss Dub

Start point: 54.5099 lat, -3.2911 long
End point: 54.5121 lat, -3.3196 long

Join the narrow path which weaves its way in and out of woodland, with the River Liza on the right being a constant companion. The path becomes quite vague at times but keep the river to your right and you can’t go astray. It is a delightful path with ever changing scenery as you head west.

Moss Dub to Woundell Beck
Moss Dub to Woundell Beck

Start point: 54.5121 lat, -3.3196 long
End point: 54.5118 lat, -3.3416 long

After about 1.5 miles on the riverside path, you will pass Moss Dub on your left. This small man-made tarn sits in a naturally wet hollow. Once surrounded by mature conifers and rhododendrons, efforts are being made by the Wild Ennerdale Partnership to remove the invasive species and encourage native plants. Despite its small size, the tarn has one or two islands, depending on water levels.

Continue ahead on the riverside path, still heading west. After about a mile, you will reach a footbridge over Woundell Beck near the head of Ennerdale Water. (Your path has merged with the alternative track and a bridleway at this point).

Woundell Beck to Concrete Bridge
Woundell Beck to Concrete Bridge

Start point: 54.5118 lat, -3.3416 long
End point: 54.5158 lat, -3.3441 long

Cross the bridge and stay with the main bridleway path which leads you through the trees and then swings right to reach the edge of fields at the valley bottom. Follow the bridleway directly ahead across the fields, taking time to enjoy the views back along Ennerdale. At the other side of the valley you will reach a concrete bridge ahead.

Concrete Bridge to End
Concrete Bridge to End

Start point: 54.5158 lat, -3.3441 long
End point: 54.526 lat, -3.3772 long

Cross the concrete bridge and you will reach a T-junction with a stone track, which you should recognise from the outward leg. From this point we will be retracing our steps back to the car park. Turn left to join the track and follow this alongside the lakeshore. After about 1.4 miles you will come to the car park where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2018 by the author AndrewLocking and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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1 gallery images for "Ennerdale Loop"

11331_0AndrewLocking1533824752 Ennerdale Loop - Lake District Walk Image by: Andrew's Walks
Uploaded: 09 Aug 2018
Looking along the River Liza

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