7 January 2020
The Lake District has been inspiring people for centuries; William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, JMW Turner and me, Beth Pipe, 50 something writer who was born in the West Midlands and still gets excited every time she sees the sea, a hill or anything green, to be honest.
I grew up on a council estate where the only greenery was a strip of rough land that formed a border between the back of the house and the main road leading to the M6, and a small park at the end of the street. Childhood holidays were spent in North Wales and I didn’t visit Cumbria for the first time until August 2010 - within five months we’d upped sticks and moved here; that’s how inspired I was.
Since then we (me and my husband, Steve), have explored and written about much of the county and although we’ve done many of the ‘big routes’ (Striding Edge, Sharp Edge etc.), we often find that it’s the lower level, away-from-it-all places which bring us the most pleasure. I love a lap of a lake for two main reasons; firstly because I find walking near water incredibly therapeutic and secondly because there’s very little navigation required, so we can relax and enjoy the walk without worrying about getting lost.
One of the finest lakes to lap is Ennerdale Water as it’s one of the few lakes without a road running alongside it, plus it’s out of the way so is generally a lot quieter than the more central lakes. A full lap is seven miles, but it’s mostly flat and very easy to follow, and there are two car parks to choose from, both clearly marked on the OS Map. Of course if you fancy a bit of a hill, then the views from Bowness Knott are some of the finest in the county.
I love this walk because, as you make your way around the shores, the immense fells wrap themselves around you and you really do feel a million miles away from the stresses and worries of modern life. There’s no mobile phone signal to disturb the peace; just you, the water, the trees and the fells. The valley is teeming with wildlife, so keep your eyes and ears open for red squirrels, roe deer, buzzards, barn owls and many more.
The Ennerdale landscape has inspired film makers (Danny Boyle filmed the final scenes of 28 Days Later there), US Presidents (Bill Clinton first proposed to Hillary on the shores), poets, artists, hikers, parents and children. This remote corner of Cumbria refreshes your soul in a way that no pill or potion ever can and although the walk will end, the memories will last a lifetime.
This blog is part of our New View New You theme. Head over to medal winning fellrunner, Steve Birkinshaw's blog to set your New Year Resolution goals!New View, New You and new challenges
For a chance to be well equipped with a few essentials, we are giving away a pair of Columbia Sportswear walking boots and a winter jacket! All you need to do is take a picture of yourself doing any of the challenges above and share on your Instagram story using #NewViewNewYou and tagging us @lakedistrictnpa. Terms and conditions apply.Be in it to win it