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 you a three course 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.
You are welcome to arrive any time from 5pm onwards and settle in before we serve an evening meal at about 8pm. Please let us know if you intend arriving after 10pm.
For this weekend we provide the following meals: evening meals on both Friday and Saturday, breakfasts, and a packed lunch for Saturday’s walk. On the Sunday, we usually head to a local pub or café for lunch which is not included in the price of the weekend.
As well as meals, we also provide a variety of complimentary soft drinks and beverages – tea & coffee which includes herbal, fruit and decaffeinated options and fruit squashes. We do not supply alcohol but you are welcome to bring your own.
This is offered on a single sex shared room basis. All bedding is provided but you will need to bring your own towel. Please note there is no mobile phone signal.
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What our members have to say...
I have been joining Large Outdoors on their outdoor adventures for many years now. I wasn’t always an active person and as a self-confessed city dweller I never thought I would appreciate so much of what is on offer when you leave the suburbs behind you. Large Outdoors has not only made me appreciate what natural beauty is on our door step, it has also given me the confidence to challenge myself and see things differently.Shad EverettMember since 2009
I love the concept of the Large Outdoors weekends and I like to have at least one or two booked for the future, to have something to look forward to. A weekend trip finds me visiting some fabulous parts of the country: Northumberland, Dorset, Brecon Beacons, Lake District, North York Moors... hills, mountains, moors and coast - all well covered by the amazing choice of locations to pick from, with decent (or lovely!) accommodation, great food and qualified walk leaders. They're also very good value.Sue LangfordMember since 2008