Day 1.... April 27.... Ravenglass to Wastwater .... 14 1/2 miles

Neil, the B&B owner, is former military, trained soldiers in mountaineering and has been all over the hills. He and his wife settled in Ravenglass just so he would be on the doorstep of some of the best mountain climbing in the UK. He told me about a ridge route to Wastwater, Muncaster Fell, a much more interesting way to go compared to the standard Cumberland Way route on the lowlands. He suggested I take the Ramblers route toward Scafell and loop back to Wasdale on Whin Rigg but I decided that would be a ridge too far for me on my first day out. Neil printed up the Muncaster Fell route, since my printed maps were limited and didn’t show that area clearly.

Roman Bath House

I left the village along the beach, passed by the famous Roman ruins, reputedly a bathhouse, then inland past Muncaster Castle and up on the ridge to the trig point on Muncaster Fell summit. There are clear views of the sea westward and mountains to the southeast, just a few clouds in the sky. After a beautiful walk along the ridge, I descended to Eskdale Green and crossed over the narrow gauge Eksdale Railway.

Muncaster Fell Summit

Muncaster Fell Trig Point

Descent To Eskdale Green

After stopping at the PO shop at Eskdale Green, I climbed up over Irton Fell and through Mitterdale Forest. Thoreau’s cabin (replica) appeared as a mirage, an art project as the girl resident explained, a primal ecological experience for students willing to stay long enough. I think I’m having my own primal experience.

I burst out of the dark forest into bright sunlight on a high ridge overlooking Strands (Nether Wasdale) and Wastwater. I followed the Whin Rigg ridge a little way for the views and not a little curiosity, then turned back to the path down to Wasdale. It's early yet for the hostel opening so I diverted over to the Strands Inn for a pint of Marlston's Oyster Stout and sat outside with three walkers.

Overlooking Wasdale From Whin Rigg

Strands Inn At Nether Wasdale

After good conversation and a few laughs, I was ready to go but, being in a holiday mood, the three forced another pint on me. Oh well, I thought, what’s the hurry. It's a beautiful day, good company and a nice view of the Screes Inn across the road. The ale was exceptionally good too.

Screes Inn At Nether Wasdale

Not used to drinking two pints in the afternoon without food, I stumbled over to the hostel, reaching it about 17:30, a fabulous 1829 mansion overlooking the screes across the lake. Mediocre food but an easygoing atmosphere, a nice lounge and a to-die-for view of the lake through the dorm window next to my bed. A congenial group of walkers here, mostly day trippers with their cars. This was one of the nicest, most interesting hostels I have stayed.

View Of The Wastwater Screes From Nether Wasdale

Wastwater YHA

View of Wastwater Screes From The Hostel

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