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Explore Ennerdale
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 4.2/5)

Ennerdale Valley is a remote wild valley on the north western edge of the Lake District National Park. Ennerdale valley offers magnificent wild scenery with a wide range of walking and cycling opportunities. Have a look at our Visitor Guide for an over view of what Ennerdale has to offer you or enjoy our waymarked Smithy Beck trail. The valley also provides opportuntities for biking, climbing, riding,canoeing and visiting historic sites. Find out more at Wild Ennerdale.

From the car park at Bowness Knott the valley stretches 7 miles east with mountains on either side rise to nearly 3000ft asl.

Pillar and Ennerdale in the snow

Wild Ennerdale

Wild Ennerdale is a partnership between people and organisations led by The Forestry Commission, National Trust and United Utilities (UU) being the primary land owners in The Ennerdale Valley and Natural England, the Government's advisor on the environment.

Over the last five years the partnership has seen its work develop and broaden as individuals such as farm tenants, local businesses, the YHA, local people and volunteers have caught onto the excitement and vision that the original partners have developed.

Our Vision is "to allow the evolution of Ennerdale as a wild valley for the benefit of people, relying more on natural processes to shape its landscape and ecology".

Pease read our briefing note for more information about the Partnership or our latest Newsletter which is distributed quarterly to around 550 local households with thanks to the local Ecumenical Church Magazine team.

What do other visitors say?

1 Star 1 Star

We used to enjoy the Nine Becks path but someone deliberatly felled trees across it

Anonymous, 9/Apr/2014

Whilst the Nine Becks walk does appear on some ordinance survey maps the walk was closed in the late 1990's and we have not maintained or promoted it as a walking route since. The Ennerdale valley has over 30 miles of rights of way, trails and forest roads that people can enjoy walking. The Nine Becks walk was difficult to maintain and did not meet our standards for a waymarked trail. Given the low usage of this path it was not economic to maintain. There are many exciting and interesting walking opportunities in Ennerdale, for information please visit Gareth Browning. Area Forester.

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

We used to swim at char dubs but someone filled it in.

Anonymous, 9/Apr/2014

The pools at Char dubs below the concrete pipe bridge were produced by water under pressure through the concrete pipes jetting out a plunge pool below the bridge. This along with the bridge stopping natural gravel movement was having a detrimental impact on the valley's rare population of Arctic Charr, a fish that lives in Ennerdale Water.In addition to preventing access to extensive spawning grounds the bridge prevented essential natural gravel movement down onto Charr Dubs (medieval name for where Arctic Charr historically layed their eggs). With support of the Environment Agency we removed the bridge in 2000 and replaced it with a new design of bridge which allows natural gravel movement and fish passage. Because of this work and other similar work on Woundel Beck the Arctic Charr population has significantly recovered and is steadily increasing. I'm sorry that you can no longer enjoy swimming in char dubs, there are other pools further up the Liza, but I hope you can understand the value of restoring the habitat for a rare fish such as Arctic Charr. Gareth Browning, Area Forester.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

I have travelled the World and seen some amazing sights but the Fells around Ennerdale are by far the best view ever. Wild and rough in winter, imposing and elegant in the summer. But it's not only the view that is amazing in Ennerdale it the people who make the Valley so very special a true pleasure to live along side both

Dinah Masey, 15/Sep/2013

Hi Dinah, really please you had such a great visit, you are absolutely right, it is the people that make a place as well as the landscape.

Forestry Commission Response
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Chalara ash dieback

What's Here?

  • Canoeing
  • Caravan Site
  • Nearest caravan site is the Caravan Clubs site at Dockray Meadow just outside the valley.
  • Cycling
  • Bring your bikes to Bowness Knott and enjoy 14 miles of forest roads.
  • Dogs
  • Please keep your dog under control.
  • Easy Access
  • The walk from Bleach Green car aprk to the lake is easy and flat.
  • Educational
  • The walk from Bleach Green car aprk to the lake is easy and flat.
  • Horse riding
  • Bowness Knott provides the best access for horse riders wanting to enjoy the 14 forest roads and bridleway upt to Blacksail.
  • Information
  • Guide Leaflets can be purchased from local tourist information centres in Egremont, Whitehave and Cockermouth or download free from the Wild Ennerdale webesite
  • Ancient Monuments
  • Ennerdale is the best example of a settled medieval valley left in the lake District. Check out our Historic Features Guide Leaflet
  • Orienteering
  • Orienteering courses start from Bleach Green and Bowness Knott car parks. See for more information.
  • Parking
  • The car parks at Bleach Green and Bownes Knott are free and open all year round.
  • Picnic
  • Bowness Knott has a limited number of picnic tables.
  • Restaurant
  • Check out the community run pub The Fox and Hounds in Ennerdale Bridge
  • Trail (easy)
  • Check out the Smithy Beck Trail
  • Walking
  • From the short family Smithy beck Trail to a full day climbing onto Pillar there is something for everyone.
  • Trail (moderate)
  • Try the Round the lake Walk or Liza Path.
  • Viewpoint
  • The view from Bowness up the valley torwards Pillar with the shimmering Ennerdale Water in the foreground is one of the best views in the western lakes.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: NY109153

Get directions


Gareth Browning
Beat Forester
017687 76816

Opening & Parking

The car parks at Bleach Green and Bownes Knott are free and open all year round.

Useful sites

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified