Switch off, settle down, and relax in the most secluded valley in Lakeland
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty LevelsMultiple walk options available See itinerary below
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Join us on a guided walking weekend in the wild west of the Lake District. Staying deep in the valley of Ennerdale, we’ll walk the mountains and forests, see nature at its best, and relax with a sociable group in a great hostel with freshly prepared meals.
At the western edge of the Lake District lies Ennerdale, a valley of peaceful forests and tumbling streams, where the hillsides are cloaked in natural woodland. At one end is Ennerdale Water, and at the other, some of Lakeland’s highest mountains stand over the valley head. There are few buildings in this valley, and we’ll be spending the weekend in one of them, the secluded YHA Ennerdale. With dozens of walks from the doorstep and a guaranteed chance of seeing wildlife, this is a walking weekend on the wild side.
The weekend is fully guided and hosted, with meals provided and Large Outdoors guides on hand to show you the best of the valley through a range of walks. Whether your goals are the peaks or the riverside, there’ll be something for you.
In a nutshell:
- Explore Wild Ennerdale, a valley in the western Lakes that has been returned to nature.
- Enjoy the tranquil setting of our hostel, set in the woods and with views to the river and the mountains.
- Head out on two guided walks where you’ll get to see the best of the valley.
- Relax with our freshly prepared food, endless hot drinks, and log burning stove, on this social weekend away from daily life.
- Meet a great bunch of people all keen to explore the hills.
About the area
On the western edge of the Lake District lies Ennerdale, owned mostly by the National Trust and the Forestry Commission, and home to a different way of treating the mountains. Over a decade ago, the Wild Ennerdale partnership decided to restore natural processes in the valley, allowing nature to take its course and encouraging a sense of wildness for visitors. The valley now is home to unfenced forest, streams that are allowed to take their natural courses, and a plethora of wildlife. Some of the Lake District’s iconic peaks, such as Pillar, Great Gable and Red Pike stand over the valley, and alongside the miles of valley paths, provide excellent hillwalking days.
After arriving at the hostel from 5pm onwards, you’ll quickly meet your walking companions for the weekend and relax in the beautiful surroundings as your Large Outdoors host prepares dinner. We’ll eat at 8pm and then have a briefing about the coming weekend over the cheese board.
There will be two walk options for the next day, a longer and a shorter walk, both of which will aim for nearby peaks. You have until the next morning to decide, so there’s no rush.
We’ll have a sit down breakfast at 8am, give you some time to make packed lunches with our great fresh ingredients, and then separate into groups for the day’s walks. Each group will have a guide, and we’ll be walking straight from the hostel. Possible walk options include:
Our walks completed we’ll assemble in the hostel and the Large Outdoors team will begin the process of making dinner, while you relax in the lounge with a drink and admire the fading light in the fields beyond the hostel garden.
Dinner will be at 8pm and we’ll have a brief chat afterwards about the options for the next day, where there will yet again be a choice of two walks. After this point people usually relax with a glass of beer or wine and re-live the day’s adventures.
We’ll have another sit-down breakfast at 8am and then it’s time to pack up the hostel and head out. Walk options for today include:
We aim for both Sunday walks to finish at around 1pm, when we’ll head to a local pub for Sunday lunch. We are normally done by 3pm when we have no doubt you’ll be sad to leave this magical place.
Ennerdale YHA is a secluded hostel at the end of a forest track, deep in the valley. There is a small garden, ample parking, and comfy sofas, alongside a wood-burning stove. The views extend from the River Liza all the way up to the peak of Pillar.
Kit lists – You can view our kit lists here…
For important information on what’s included with our standard trips, such as what food we supply, arrival times and answer to our most commonly asked questions please visit out our FAQ’s page
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What our members have to say...
Well, for a non-walker it was certainly challenging but my word was it exhilarating! The feeling of achievement after every day, was just fabulous. The group we went with were all strangers on day one, but firm friends by the end of the week. The comradery on some of the tougher walks, helped me to the top…..and wow what views. Anyone thinking of doing it - don’t worry….just go for it!ClaireMember Since 2016
My first Large Outdoors and (Ulster & the Giant's Causeway Walking Weekend) Irish experience was absolutely fantastic. Everything was organised perfectly and Gareth is a joy to be around. I loved every minute and will definitely book myself onto another trip. #toldallmyfriendstheyhavetocomeVanessaMember Since 2018
“I didn’t really know what to expect on my first ever walking holiday and wasn’t very prepared if truth be known – lesson to all read the essential kit list especially waterproofs! It was great fun and what a lovely group of supportive and encouraging people, especially Gareth who did a great job looking after us all. I must admit at times I found it a bit challenging but what a great sense of achievement when we reached the top of the mountains (hills) I will definitely do this again.ElizabethMember Since 2016