Oops seems like I have been off the grid for a while… Well lets get back into a routine with the series of Wast Water posts! Who knew England could be so pretty?
Why Wast Water? Rosie and I visited Lake Windermere earlier in the year, my first time visiting the Lake District actually, and even though it was scenic I just wanted something more outdoorsy… basically I just wanted some fresh air and a stretch, having spent so much time studying – I’m sure if you ask Rosie she would question the use of the word ‘studying’ and replace it with procrastinating by watching Dragonball Super (Yes I’m 22) and Youtube. Going off track here, but I used to enjoy making videos when I was younger (from what I recall they were terrible and are all long gone with the old computer…), and was thinking of getting back into it and capturing my travels, especially hiking trips (original, I know right?). Ah yes, so why Wast Water? Here are my reasons:
- Apparently UK’s best view;
- It would involve camping and hiking;
- It’s convenient-ish to get to by public transport;
- It’s also not too convenient to get to.
Okay, the first three reasons are fairly self explanatory, however you might have raised an eyebrow for the fourth reason. Hear me out. I’m not trying to say I’m the perfect tourist, I’m clearly not, but tourists are the worst. When an attraction gets overpopulated, it just becomes terrible and I’m sure everyone knows this feeling, so instead of me ranting, check out Thomas Heaton’s video, he pretty much sums it up. Therefore, a place that is a bit difficult/takes more effort to get to, you tend to avoid crowds and most importantly bumbling idiots and obnoxious tourists. This trip has definitely made me want to do more hiking/outdoorsy travels!
Righty-ho, now time to talk about Eskdale – a four-and-a-half-hour journey from Leeds. Our route took us to Ravenglass, where we hopped on board a little steam train to take us across the 7 miles stretch of beautiful countryside into the glacial valley, Eskdale. When Rosie was telling me about the Ravenglass and Eskdale steam railway, I expected a full on giant steam engine… However, when we arrived I was pleasantly surprised when she had to tell me that what I was looking at was not one of those children’s trains you get in parks, but in fact the train we were going to get… It’s a good way to save my back of 7 miles of hiking with a massive and heavy rucksack (filled with food) – I prefer setting up camp in one location and making that my base for the trip… For me it’s not enjoyable having to hike 8+ hours with a fully loaded 70l bag. I have done it before, and unless I had to (e.g an expedition), I would not do it again… Note: it does it get quite cold sitting in the semi-sheltered carriages and you do occasionally get your lungs filled with smoke, but it’s definitely worth it if you unobstructed views of the tranquil surround landscape.
40 minutes later and we arrived in Eskdale, and it was only a short walk to our campsite for the night, Eskdale Campsite; the nicest campsite I have ever stayed at – it was posh – and for a reasonable price of £7.95pppn! Tent set up and bags dumped, time to explore the area! Armed with an OS map, we planned on visiting some nearby waterfalls – Gill Force and Stanley Ghyll (Stanley Force), with the former actually turning out to be nothing more than a fast flowing stream with a slight gradient… Nevertheless, still an enjoyable detour! Stanley Ghyll on the other hand was great little find! Not the biggest waterfall by any means, but it was just nestled away in such a peaceful corner of the lake district.
Waterfalls done, it was time to head back to camp and lighten our packs for our hike towards the Wast Water the morning after (also known as consuming some of the ridiculous amount of food we had – check out Rosie’s post for a photo!), then a final wander around the valley chasing the fading light!