Ennerdale is a secluded valley on the western side of the The Lake District. Access by car or public transport is very limited, making it one of the quietest parts of the Lakes. It cannot be visited by coach but is an ideal destination for club .

Location and Access

Ennerdale is situated on the western side of the Lakes, south of [[Buttermere]] and north of [[Wasdale]]. There is a road into the valley from the west but this ends halfway along Ennerdale Water. A forestry track runs a further 6km into the valley but vehicles are not allowed to use this without permission (as we discovered on our last visit).

Hills and Walks

There are excellent mountains on every side of the valley. The northern ridge is home to a series of fine summits including Hay Stacks (favourite hill and last resting place of grumpy Lakes expert Arthur Wainwright). The head of the valley is dominated by the twin peaks of Green Gable and Great Gable. To the south are Kirk Fell and [[Pillar]] amongst others. Pillar is a haven for climbers and also harbours a few challenging scrambles.

In theory the entire horseshoe with its 13 summits could be walked in a single day but this would be a long route with a ridiculous amount of ascent. Most people prefer to break it into two or three walks.


  • Low Gillerthwaite field centre. This is a bunkhouse that the club visited in 2006, 2013 and 2016. It sleeps 40 people in total and has nice cooking facilities. The centre is situated at the head of Ennerdale Water at the end of the road into the valley.

  • Ennerdale Youth Hostel. This is a YHA hostel also in Gillerthwaite.

  • Black Sail Youth Hostel. This hostel is further into the valley and only accessible by foot.