My Favourite Place: Ennerdale

If I was to recommend to you, one place to visit in Cumbria, it would be Ennerdale Water, and its associated valley. I have a number of favourite locations throughout the County, but Ennerdale is way ahead of the pack, on my list of places.

Ennerdale Water is the most westerly lake in the Lake District National Park in Cumbria, England. It is a glacial lake, with a maximum depth of 150 feet (45 metres), and is ½ mile to a mile (700 to 1,500 metres) wide and 2½ miles (3.9 kilometres) long.

The lake lies in the eponymous valley of Ennerdale, surrounded by some of the highest and best-known fells in Cumbria including: Great Gable (899 m), Green Gable, Brandreth, High Crag, Steeple and Pillar. To the west of the lake lies the hamlet of Ennerdale Bridge, consisting of two pubs and a few houses. It is close to the port of Whitehaven.

A full circuit of the lake is approximately 7 miles. It’s a fantastic walk, but not suitable for those with mobility problems – or those that are scared of heights.

Check out my walk around the lake, from July 2017:

The lake has been referred to in guidebooks and maps variously as “Brodewater” (1576), “Brodwater” (1695), “Broad Water” (1760), “Ennerdale Water” (1784) and “Ennerdale Lake” in Otley’s Guide (1823). It is now the Ordnance Survey convention to name it “Ennerdale Water”.

Though the Lake District is a popular UK location for film shoots, Ennerdale has been left relatively in the shadow, with only a few brief exceptions. The closing sequences of the film 28 Days Later (2002), directed by Danny Boyle, were filmed around the Ennerdale area, and include a sweeping, panoramic view of the lake.

In 1810 a large carnivore killed hundreds of sheep in and around Ennerdale before it was hunted down and killed. The locals dubbed it the Girt (dialect: “great”) Dog of Ennerdale, though it was said to have had the traits of both a dog and a large cat.

Former US President Bill Clinton first proposed to his wife Hillary on the banks of Ennerdale Water in 1973.

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Ennerdale Water
Ennerdale Water