Day 2: Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite in Borrowdale

The weather forecast wasn’t good. Heavy rain! It had been windy with heavy rain in the night and I had been dreaming about trail biking in it. I was relieved to find I only had to walk when I woke up.

We were underway at 08:00. It wasn’t raining. The first couple of miles were on flat tarmac so we soon reached Ennerdale Water and a delightful path along the lake. We exchanged pleasantries with our fellow C2Cers who were out early. More Aussies and a Rob and Mike from Colorado. They said the crags were like those at home but with added moss.

Weather forecast said heavy rain. It didn’t look very promising.

Weather forecast said heavy rain. It didn’t look very promising.

The walk along the lake was lovely, especially as it still wasn’t raining. The rough ground at Anglers Crag was once considered a barrier to walkers but Ian managed this simple bit of scrambling without difficulty – as did Archie.

Anglers Crag

Anglers Crag

At the head of the lake we crossed to the North side and picked up a forest road. This was a bit boring but the views of Pillar (in cloud) to our right and Great Gable ahead were good.

The rain started about 11:00 with an increase in wind and a drop in temperature. Although we were carrying all our stuff for this 2 week walk we had enough kit to keep ourselves warm and comfortable in the unseasonable conditions (12 degrees in July!). We decided to carry on up the valley rather than go up to the High Stile alternative which I had hoped to do.

We reached the Blacksail Hut ‘the loneliest and most romantic of Youth Hostels’. This was the end of the forest road and the start of some excellent evidence of the Ennerdale glacier – stranded boulders, ice scratched and polished rocks and a wide area of drumlins. A fine example of ‘basket of eggs’ topography.

Drumlins near Blacksail Hut

Drumlins near Blacksail Hut

From the hut we contoured round to Loft Beck and began the climb out of Ennerdale to the Brandreth Fence.

The steep ascent of Loft Beck

The steep ascent of Loft Beck

We had fab view back to Ennerdale but now a newly emerging view to the Buttermere Valley made the more dramatic in the stormy weather.

Stormy weather - that approaching cloud produced a violent hailstorm. We got soaked!

Stormy weather – that approaching cloud produced a violent hailstorm. We got soaked!

We descended to the Honister Pass and its slate quarries.

The descent continued on the old toll road to Borrowdale and the River Derwent.

Birch and Alder standing alongside rocky outcrops made this a picturesque finale to our walk. We arrived at Rosthwaite with its clusters of centuries old white cottages set amongst emerald pastures (complete with fluffy white lambs) and enjoyed seeing Mark Cavendish win the first stage of the TDF.

Afternoon tea, Wifi and LeTour at The Royal Oak Rosthwaite.

Afternoon tea, WiFi and LeTour at The Royal Oak Rosthwaite.

27.1 km with 718m of elevation.

The GPX file for the route that we followed is here.

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