Longer more serious walks
These walks are much more serious and you will need a map and the ability to read it. The information is deliberately vague as which route you take depends on your abilities.
Over The Screes to Wasdale Head – about 9 miles, 1700 feet climbing
From Goosepen Cottage or the layby described in the Irton Pike walk. Walk in a north east direction (hopefully with the wind behind you) over Whin Rigg and Illgill Head hills. Stunning views of the mountains infront of you and the chance to peer over the edge down to Wast Water below you (be careful!).
Several options available for return…
1. My favourite – walk into Wasdale Head and have dinner in the famous Wasdale Head Inn. Persuade someone else to drive you back to the cottage (Gosforth Taxis – 019467 25308, check price) or organise a car shuttle if you have two cars.
2. Return via Burnmoor Tarn and Miterdale, with or without going to Wasdale Head.
3. Or just turn around when you want.
Irton Pike – 2 miles, 360 feet climbing
Walkable from Goosepen (in red circle) or start from a layby / car park on the road to Eskdale Green (marked Pit (dis) on the map). Mainly in woods with a stunning view towards the mountains and back to the coast.
Climb up through the woods, after 500m take the left fork. When you reach the ridge, turn sharp left towards the summit. Retrace your steps.
South end of Wast Water – 3 miles or more (depending where you park), flat walk, easy navigation (if your feet get wet, you have wandered off the path).
A lovely lakeside walk. Drive to Wast Water, as you get alongside the lake, park in one of the many laybys. Enjoy the view up the lake to the mountains.
Walk back along the road and where the road bends to the right away from the lake, take a footpath to the left. Simply follow the path along the lakeside past the black and white Wasdale Hall (which is a Youth Hostel). Continue into Low Wood past the boathouse and flow the river downstream. Cross over Lund Bridge and walk upstream back to the lake. When you reach the pump house stop and return.
It is tempting to continue beyond the pump house underneath the fabulous Wast Water screes. Unless you are a masochist and enjoy scrambling over large boulders on your hands and knees, don’t! Wasdale mountain rescue team regularly rescue people from these boulders.
Scafell Pike – about 9 mile over 3000 feet climbing
The highest mountain in England. There are numerous routes to the top and back down. You will need to be suitably equipped for all weather conditions.
The shortest route up is from Wasdale Head via Lingmell Gill. If you have time, why not take a longer route down via the Corridor Route to Styhead Tarn.
Santon Bridge river walk
Walk down to the Santon Bridge Inn and walk north, upstream, alongside the River Irt. At some point, turn around and walk back to the pub and enjoy a pint.
This walk can get muddy.
The more intrepid could extend the walk by walking to the pubs in Nether Wasdale.
Muncaster Fell – about 10 miles, 600 feet climbing
Combine a walk with a train ride on the Ravenglass and Eskdale narrow gauge railway (very limited winter service!).
By driving to Eskdale and catching the train to Ravenglass, you would then walk, hopefully with the wind behind you, over Muncaster Fell back to Eskdale. This direction would also give you the best view of the mountains.
Parking at Irton Road / Eskdale Green stations shortens the walk.
Introduction to Walks near to Goosepen Cottage
The area around Goosepen has some of the best walks in England (and the highest!) but thankfully, also has several pleasant lower level walks. Most people staying at Goosepen will want to walk / ramble, whatever you want to call it. This brief document will give you a few suggestions for you to consider, based on walks Roz and Dave have enjoyed.
Obviously, this is not a guide and you will need a map (and the knowledge on how to read one!). The best map for the area is the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 OL6 (costs £8 for the paper version or £14 laminated).
At Goosepen, we have left a full set of Wainwright’s Pictorial Guides to the Lake District, including the Outlying Fells. Please feel free to use these as reference whilst in the cottage.
Enjoy the hills and mountains but please be careful, Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team is one of the busiest in the country. Remember they are all unpaid volunteers and rely on donations.
There are too many routes to mention, but some more of our favourites are:
The High Level Traverse on Pillar
The North and South Traverses on Great Gable
The Mosedale Horseshoe
Yewbarrow – 4 miles, 1700 feet climbing
A short walk with options to make it longer but challenging steep walking with a grade 1 scramble.
Park alongside Wast Water at Over Beck car park and walk steeply up to Drooping Crag. Go either clock-wise or anti-clock-wise. The scramble is at the north end of Yewbarrow. The south end of Yewbarrow also has a scramble but not graded.