I love Ennerdale...

YHA Ennerdale Weekend 21st – 23rd August 2015

By
Hilary Jones

So I read the National Trust beer mat in the Fox and Hounds. Well, let’s see:

• It’s a remote, beautiful valley in the Lake District

• It boasts not one but two Youth Hostels

• Ennerdale Youth Hostel is a fun place for a sleepover – ask the bright young girl who accosted Nigel on arrival (You can’t park here, we’re still getting off our minibus. Where are you from? Where are you staying? For how long? We’re from Workington... we’re in the camping barn... butonlyforonenightit’smybirthdaytomorrow) 

• The sunsets from Red Pike are superb – ask the sub-warden

• These are Wainwright’s favourite fells – his ashes were scattered on Hay Stacks, 597m

• Chris Brasher thought them pretty special too – see plaque at Black Sail Youth Hostel

• In fact it’s a super base for exploring the surrounding ridges – ask Nigel (I think I’ve walked my knees into submission!) or Dave N and Chris

• Pillar Rock – that tantalisingly elusive last Nuttall, the only one that needs a rope – is within easy reach, DVWP2 (they weren’t!) – Grade 3 scramble/wet rock, ask John E

• You never know who you might meet – ask the Scots, Canadians, Australians on the Coast to Coast long distance footpath

• There are fantastic 360˚ panoramas for photos even in low cloud – ask Dave D

• It’s home to classic ice age drumlins – spot the ‘basket of eggs’ at the head of the valley

• The forest track is entertaining after dark, driving in torrential rain, skirting potholed puddles with leaping frogs and aquaplaning moths (not to mention a certain self-opening car window – waterproofs essential – ask Clare)

• The fells bear the late summer hue of purple heathers, and fascinating flora like starry mosses or carnivorous butterworts – ask Oliver (‘banana skins’ – ask Andy B)

• There’s no shortage of Marilyns/Nuttalls/Deweys3 and other assorted tops to bag – spot Andy B with his GPS, ask Darren, man with a List4

• It’s only an hour’s drive for more of the same and for the ascent of his last Marilyn, Black Combe 600m (walking poles guard of honour, hip flask and Eccles cake included) – congratulations John E 

• There are hardly any long, tussocky marsh grasses to wade through – but, further afield, don’t ask Paul about Sunday

• Finally, there’s no mobile signal! (It’s a remote, beautiful valley in the Lake District... )

And thanks, Andy, for organising another super weekend!



  1. Nuttall – over 610m in altitude, prominence of over 15m
  2. DVWP – deo volente, weather permitting – ask my grandmother
  3. Marilyn – any prominence of at least 150m, regardless of absolute height,  Dewey – over 500m in elevation but below 2000ft (610m) and relative height of 30m
  4. http://hill-bagging.co.uk/ – ask Andy B

This article was written by Hilary Jones and published on this website on the 1st October 2015