The Beginners Guide to The Lake District – Episode 4 | The Western Lakes

Published: Thursday 17th Oct 2019

Written by: Alex Barton

If you haven’t yet seen the first three episodes of this series, we recommend you check out episodes One, Two and Three before reading this.

Episode 4 is going to cover the wild west. An area sandwiched between the beautiful west coast of Cumbria and the popular visitor hot spots of the central Lake District.

Wastwater in the Western Lake District

Not too many visitors choose to visit this part of the Lake District, this is because it is quite isolated. In some parts, extremely isolated! Large mountains, huge glacial valleys and deep lakes dominate this region of the Lake District. You could also argue that it easily has the best views and most diverse landscapes. From the garden-like Buttermere to the totally desolate Ennerdale Valley. The Western Lake District is nature at its most breath-taking.

  • Wasdale – Perhaps the most famous view in the Lake District alongside Friars Crag at Derwentwater. Standing along the western shores of Wastwater, you gaze up the valley with Great Gable, Scafell and Scafell Pike at the head. 3 of England’s tallest mountains calling you further into the valley. If you are a climber, hiker, runner or just love exploring the outdoors, Wasdale is for you. Fun fact: Wastwater is the deepest lake in the national park at 79m.

Wastwater looking to Great Gable, Scafell Pike

  • Ennerdale – For total isolation from the world, the Ennerdale Valley ticks all the boxes. Lots of people choose to wild camp here and for good reason. On the right day at the right time of year, you can have an entire Lake District valley to yourself. A long glacial valley with the mighty Pillar Rock at the head draws you in. There are no towns, no villages, no shops or pubs here. Just raw, untouched countryside. A world away from the bustling shores of Bowness.

The Ennerdale Valley

  • The West Coast – A criminally underrated region of the Lake District. The west coast is home to some beautiful towns and beaches including St.Bees, Whitehaven, Cockermouth and Silloth. If you’re looking to escape the crowds of the central lakes, heading to the coast should be on your bucket list. You’ll get a true taste of the local Cumbrian lifestyle and enjoy miles of Great British coastline to yourself. Check out our west-coast cottages.

The west coast of Cumbria

  • The Hardknott Pass & Wrynose Pass – One of the steepest and quite frankly two of the most dangerous roads in Britain. This mountain pass snakes between the rocks, crags and cliffs of the Great Langdale valley to cross over into the beautiful Duddon Valley. Not for the faint of heart, if you are not a supremely confident and able driver, do not attempt this drive! There are various tours you can take over this mountain pass should you wish to reach the top and take in the breath-taking views. Otherwise, enjoy from the Langdale Valley.

The Wrynose Pass in the Lake District

  • Buttermere & Crummock Water – Whilst these two sister lakes could be considered North Lakes, they are on the western reaches of the Lake District so we’re going to include them here. For any Lord of the Rings fans reading this, Buttermere has certain ‘Rivendell’ vibes to it. Tall Pine trees, steep mountain sides and stunning glistening water make these two conjoined lakes a firm favourite of many Lake District holidaymakers. This area is also home to the famous Alfred Wainwright’s favourite mountain, Haystacks, where his ashes are scattered.

Buttermere in the Lake District

There is still plenty more to discover around the Lake District so don’t for forget to keep tuned for future episodes of our Beginner’s Guide to the Lake District. Why not find yourself a cute autumn cottage to escape to? Good Life Lake District Cottages have a wide range of cottages across the Lake District. Visit our website to find out more.


Alex Barton

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