It was recommended to take a trip to Whitehaven and take some pictures of the harbour, but I wasn't in the mood for towns, so I looked at the map to see what was in and around Calderbridge. To be honest, I'd enjoyed Ravenglass and Castle Muncaster so much the day before, I was tempted to do the same thing again. However, after studying the map, I noticed a lake just up the road and decided to go there. This lake was Wast Water, which I'd not previously heard of. It’s not one of the better-known or most-visited lakes in the region.
I travelled for a couple of miles south on the A595 from Calderbridge then took a left on to a winding little road at the village of Gosforth. As it happens, there are about three little roads leading east from Gosforth, but it seems they all reach Wast Water eventually.
After a 10-minute winding drive through rugged sheep-grazing territory, you reach Wast Water. There's plenty of space to park and take some photos or start your walk up into the hills. Wasdale Head, at the eastern end of the lake, is the start for most walkers/hikers/climbers or whatever people call themselves when they are about to ascend Scafell Pike, the highest summit in England. This is not a high mountain by any other country's standards, but it’s our biggest.
Oddly, after parking, someone shouted over to me. That someone turned out to be one of my neighbours who was there on holiday. He informed me that Wast Water is the deepest lake in England, which surprised me, because it’s relatively small and narrow. If you're planning to visit with a view to bumping into my neighbour Steve and his family, I should warn you that he moved on shortly after our conversation.
The attraction of Wast Water is its stark bleakness. Its valley is secluded and quiet, the hills that hem it along its southern edge are steep, and the skree plunges right down to the edge of its black waters. On the north side, it’s greener and "sheepier," but as its not one of the "famous" lakes, it’s less busy, so it’s easy to enjoy the remote feeling it gives, even though it’s not really remote.
I found this website that gives a bit more than I was able to glean on my short visit, including some practical help for hiker types.Here it is.
Oh, it’s pronounced Wost Water by the way.