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Wastwater, Wasdale, Lake District

macuser's picture

Wastwater is the Lake District at its best. It's England’s deepest lake at 258 feet and lies in the Wasdale valley to the west of the National Park. It is easy to see why the view from the souther-western end of the lake was announced as the winner of  "Britain's Favourite View" in 2007. Wastwater is perhaps the most awe-inspiring of all the lakes. Surrounded by the mountains of Red Pike, Kirk Fell, Great Gable and Scafell Pike - England's highest mountain.

Extending the length of the south-east side of the lake are the steep slopes of Whin Rigg and Illgill Head, on which are the "Wastwater Screes". These screes formed as a result of ice and weathering erosion on the rocks of the Borrowdale Volcanic Group, that form the fells to the east of the lake, towards Eskdale. Rising almost 200ft from the inky black water of Wastwater, the screes give the lake an ominous appearance.

From a photographers perspective the views are magnificent. There is an almost infinite number of view points, so exploration is key. The slopes of the epic peaks such as Scafell Pike, Yewbarrow and Great Cable change with the seasons; boasting snow in the winter and lush greenery in the summer. The light changes all the time, whilst on a still day the water is like a mirror reflecting the beauty of the mountains all around. 

Wastwater has a genuine wildness about it. It is a beautiful spot, and benefits from its remoteness (although at times busy due to its popularity with walkers). The Wasdale Inn about half a mile past Wastwater is a nice place for a good drink and some food. There is a path along the southern shore, which hugs the steep cliffs below the Screes. I haven't ventured along it but it might be worth it. 

The usual precautions apply - weather can change extremely quickly, so always come prepared!

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Wastwater, Wasdale, Lake District National Park

United Kingdom

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