A relaxing weekend in western Lakeland...
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty LevelsMultiple options available
1 - 3
The perfect location to admire Britain’s mountains while making new friends and relaxing in the enchanting Lake District, Wasdale has it all. You’ll be able to gaze out from the gardens at England’s deepest lake and her highest peak, while being part of a sociable group where the emphasis is on enjoying the Lake District and sharing a drink together at the end of the day.
During the day we’ll be taking you out to explore the scenery, all under the care of our knowledgeable walk leaders.
Our home for the weekend is Wasdale Hall YHA, right next to the lake of Wast Water. Not only do we have ideal access to the fells surrounding Wasdale, but walks could also include the woodlands at the end of the valley and in neighbouring Eskdale. Wherever we head, we’ll be spoilt for choice, always in the knowledge that at the end of the day we’ll be retiring to a beautiful hall with great company and excellent food.
In a nutshell
- Explore the hills and lakeside of Wasdale and Wast Water knowing that wherever we walk, we’ll be surrounded by giants.
- Alongside the hills, we’ll also have the option of woodland walks, or even a trip to the coast.
- Stay in the National Trust owned 1820’s Wasdale Hall, which stands next to England’s deepest lake.
- Relax with walking friends over a drink or two, with all meals from Friday evening to Sunday morning included.
Wasdale Weekend Dates:
- Friday 6th – Sunday 8th November 2020
You are welcome to arrive at the Hall from 5pm onwards, where your Large Outdoors host will meet you. With dinner being prepared for you, feel free to relax by the open fire and begin getting to know your walking companions.
After dinner we’ll go through the options for walks the next day. Your host will be on hand to discuss equipment, food and water, and what we’re likely to see on the way.
The rest of the evening is best spent sampling the cheese-board and discussing the days ahead!
Breakfast begins at 8am and there is plenty on offer, allowing you to get ready for the day. We’ll confirm the walking plans and lay out the packed lunch ingredients, giving everyone ample time to get their bags packed.
Regardless of which walk we do, the emphasis is on having a great day out, rather than on reaching a summit ‘whatever the cost’. Our qualified mountain leaders will adapt the plans depending on the weather and the group sizes, but possible walks include:
Great Gable and Kirk Fell:
Standing at the head of Wasdale, these two fells fill the skyline as you head up the valley, and it would be a shame not to include them in our walk. Great Gable is one of the classic Lake District peaks and we will climb it from Sty Head, after an ascent from Wasdale Head. The final section of path to the summit is rocky, but the views down into the wild valley of Ennerdale and back to Wasdale more than compensate.
From the summit we continue along the skyline to the neighbouring peak of Kirk Fell, not far away, and from there we can either descend directly back to Wasdale or take the slightly longer route via the Black Sail Pass and Mosedale. This will be a steep but unforgettable walk.
Wast Water circuit:
Our shorter walk will take you on a complete circuit of the lake of Wast Water, walking from the Hall. We first head along the southern side, and the path that passes the Wasdale Screes, a set of spectacular rockfalls that descend from the hills above right down to the lake shore.
Once at the northern edge of the lake we’ll have plenty of time to admire the surrounding mountains, with views of the Scafells, Great Gable, and many others, before returning to the Hall via the northern side of the lake. Maybe you’ll fancy a paddle or even a swim via one of the tiny beaches that run along the side?
For a walk half way in difficulty between the first two, we could begin by traversing the Wasdale Screes path next to Wast Water, before heading up the fell of Illgill Head. At just over 600 metres this is still a significant climb, but looks small beneath the grandeur of the neighbouring Scafell.
We stay up on the ridge, gently descending for a few kilometres before returning back to the Hall via the path that runs next to Greathall Gill, or further along the ridge at Irton Fell. This route gives us a sample of the lakeside and the high fells in one day and is an excellent choice if the cloud is sitting high on the other hills.
There are plenty of paths that take you on a stroll through the woodlands and fields at the end of Wasdale, leading perhaps to a visit to the pub in the village of Nether Wasdale. Or there are paths into several of the surrounding valleys, which are still a great day out but can easily be cut short if needed. If you need a day doing something other than walking, the Ravenglass-Eskdale railway takes you on an excellent journey to the sea and back, and Muncaster Castle is not far away.
How many walk options are offered?
On each of our weekends we aim to offer two or more walk options each day, so you have a choice of a harder or easier day out. However, this is not always possible. On weekends where there is a small group, instead of cancelling the weekend, we will all head out on the same walk. This walk will be planned so that everyone can have a good day out, with the aim being a social group exploration of the local countryside.
Late afternoon onwards
Once the walks have returned and you’re busying yourself with showers and sorting out walking kit, the Large Outdoors team will begin the preparations for the dinner. Feel free to head off with the group to the nearby pub or collapse into a chair in the lounge with a cup of tea. After dinner we’ll all discuss plans for the next day and give you another update on the weather for Sunday.
After breakfast, it’s time to pack bags and leave the Hall for another day of walking. Our aim on this day is to return from the walk at around 1pm and assemble for a farewell lunch at a nearby pub. Walk options might include:
Standing on the opposite side of the valley from the Wasdale Screes, this hill is an excellent outpost of the higher fells further up the valley, and can easily be free from cloud when it’s raining on Scafell Pike. The walk is steep to start, but takes us into the heart of the less well known Copeland Forest. We’ll descend the far side of the fell and return to the valley via Greendale Tarn and a path along the stream-side.
Though sitting just over 200 metres above sea level, Muncaster Fell provides brilliant views down to the mouth of the River Esk and the sea, as it lies just to the south of Wasdale, jutting up from the coastal plains. This shorter walk will head up onto the wide ridge of the fell and cross it, before heading down into the woodlands surrounding Muncaster Castle.
We’ll make sure we find an excellent pub for the final lunch, before giving you time to change out of your walking clothes and begin the journey home, probably at around 3pm.
A bit about the area
Western and Southern Lake District
The remote western side of the Lake District is a wild and beautiful place, with many of England’s highest mountains and its deepest lake, Wast Water. The area includes the Buttermere valley with it’s three lakes, and the deep and secluded Wasdale, which has high mountains on three sides, and the sea on the other. In between these two valleys lies Ennerdale, which has no roads through it and has been allowed to re-wild, returning the forests and streams to natural processes. Though famous for its mountains, there are miles of peaceful valley walks and woodland trails where you can while away the hours lost in the beauty of the landscape.
Good to know:
- 2 nights hostel accommodation, please note bedding is supplied but you will need a towel
- 2 days of guided day walks – please note any excursions or other extra activities will incur an additional charge.
- Welcome meal on the Friday plus Saturday night evening meal. Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday and then a packed lunch for Saturday.
- 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.
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