Day Two of Wainwright’s Coast to Coast: Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite; 23 km, weather: warm and sunny.
Past a lonely lake to the remote youth hostel of Black Sail, one of the most beautiful places to stay in Britain, then over a high pass with ravishing mountain views to Hanister Slate Mine and down into the lovely valley of Borrowdale.. Martin Waignwright, “The Coast to Coast Walk”, p. 44
Having rested well, we awoke to glorious weather which augured well for today’s walk. Having heard stories (tall tales and true from the legendary past) of the vagaries of the Lakes District weather, I was hoping that we might be in luck, in that department. When climbing up into the hills, we were not to be disappointed, as the fair skies stayed and we were presented with wonderful views.
On leaving Ennerdale Bridge we were soon skirting around the banks of Ennerdale Water. One of the attractions of this section of the day’s walk was Robin Hood’s chair, a natural rock outcrop which provided a natural chair to sit and take in some morning tea.
1. View of our starting point that morning, from the banks of Ennerdale Water. 2. Ann sitting upon Robin Hood’s “chair”. 3. View looking up the lake with White Pike in the distance.
At the end of the lake we found the path (and soon lost it) to take us onto the high route and first major hill, White Pike. Here we ate our lunch and took in the spectacular views, looking down Ennerdale Water where we had walked that morning.
4. The path leading up to White Pike in the distance. 5. On top of White Pike with a glimpse of Ennerdale Water.
From White Pike we soon crossed over to Red Pike and were treated to more stunning views in a 360 degree radius!
6-9. Spectacular views atop Red Pike- the small tarn in picture 7 is Bleaberry Tarn.
After flattening our camera batteries we were back on the trail following a ridge line (Chapel Crags) over High Stile and thence to High Crag and the aptly named Hay Stacks. One couldn’t help but wonder what this place would be like if the weather went “belly-up”! We weren’t going to complain as we had a “mint day” as the Kiwis would say! An interesting aspect of the Hay Stacks is that this was Alfred Wainwright’s favourite place on the entire Coast to Coast Walk and is near the site where his ashes were scattered, at Innominate Tarn.
10. Views looking down at the Haystacks 11-12. Looking back at the track and the hills we have come over! 12. High Stile.
13 & 14. Coming down the last of the Hay Stacks with Innominate Tarn in mid-picture.
Because we had taken the high route we missed what is supposedly Britain’s most beautiful place to stay, the Youth Hostel, Black Sails. On checking out Julia Bradbury’s video, we can certainly say that Martin Wainwright is not wrong however with the weather being mint and magnificent views on offer the high route was a “no brainer”.
Leaving Innominate Tarn, the alternative route soon had us joining up with the main route and following a dismantled tramway to Honistor slate mine. In winter months the house here is a welcome oasis to wary travellers. To us though, as the weather was fine, we gulped down some water had a good look around and continued our journey, downhill to beautiful village of Rosthwaite
15-18. Views of the Honister Slate mine and surrounds. The last picture is looking down on the village of Rosthwaite.
Had dinner that night at The George Pub. Decided to try the local lamb. A very wise choice as the meal was both delicious and satisfying. Once again washed down with one of the local ales. All this walking is certainly enhancing one’s appetite.