Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Wild camping and hiking for 2 days and 2 nights in Ennerdale (Lake District, UK)

Day One

This was our second trip to Ennerdale water in the lake district.  The first time was a huge success so I hoped this trip would live up to expectations.  Along with me was my bro in law Sam, and my ever faithful dog Bruno armed with his new backpack.

Looking over Ennerdale water in the direction of Pillar
We arrived at Ennerdale water at 3 in the afternoon with the aim of walking as far into the Ennerdale valley as we could get as it would shave some mileage off our hike the next day.  This would enable us to spend as much time in the mountains hitting as many peaks as we could.

Bruno has spotted something

After about an hour of walking disaster struck!  Bruno managed to shake off his backpack somewhere in the forest or water.  This doesnt sound too big a deal, but we were miles away from any resupply and were planning on being so for 2 days.  Remember that old saying about eggs in one basket?...I ignored that old wisdom to my detriment.  The bag had all of Brunos food a and comfort items for the trip.  He hadnt eaten anything all day so without the pack he was going to have an uncomfortable night.  WE HAD TO FIND IT.  We searched high and low along the path, in the forest, the water runaways, and the bushes and after 3 hours or so I was starting to get pretty stressed.

We made the decision to set up camp roughly where I thought it was lost to have some dinner and relax for a bit.  I remembered that the bag had reflective piping on it which I was hoping would stand out well under torch light.

My Hammock- best way to sleep in the woods.

Hammocks and tarps setup

After we got some food down us and sat down for a bit it quickly got to 10 o clock and it was still not dark enough, but we went on the search anyway.  I had a small bag of beef jerky that I ended up feeding the completly unaware Bruno, this turned out to just be a bonus for him- as we were walking along, Sam caught the reflection of the pack from his head torch and saved the day.

The trip had finally begun.

Triumphant as we found the dog backpack.
Although we didnt set up camp in a place of our choice, we got lucky with the location as it turned out we had a stunning view between the trees of the mountain we were going to climb the next day- Pillar.

View of Pillar Rock through the trees.

A homemade bed for Bru made out of bracken.

Lighting the midgie smoker!
We had no plans of making a fire, but due to the ridiculous amounts of midgies swarming us it was the only thing we could do to smoke them away.  We let the fire burn out and retired for the night knowing we had added about 3 miles to our intended walk.  Cheers Bruno.

Day Two

After a late start and a hearty breakfast we broke camp, tidied up and headed off on the long walk up the up the valley to begin our ascent on Pillar.

Looking down at Ennerdale Valley and the Black sail lodge is barely visible.

All of the stresses from the night before disapeared as we saw the veiws ahead.  On the other side of the river was one man and his Collie that we later met as we were going up the hill.  It turned out his wife had left her phone up the mountain somewhere the day before, and he had the unfortunate job of trying to locate it.  He was lucky enough to find the phone and we were glad to have him come along with us for a chunk of the walk which worked out well for us as he had some great local knowledge to share including a better and quicker route towards pillar off the beaten track.  With two days of equipment and supplies in out packs we were starting to slow the man and his dog down, so he headed on ahead of us.  If you are reading this Stuart, thanks for the help, the route worked out great! 

A nice little tarn, no name at this time.

A quick view to the valley of Ennerdale



Bru showed a lot of heart throughout the climb.

A very, very, tired dog.

After the long walk and being treated to some of the best views the lake district has to offer, we reached the top which was covered in hill fog.  Touching the trig point still gives me an amazing sense of satisfaction. 

Summit reached, Bru shakes in celebration.

 I think Bruno was just happy it was nearly over, little did he realise just how much further we had to go to get back to camp.

A very, very, tired dog.

After a quick stop to navigate ourselves down the hill, we picked our path and stuck to it.

A quick stop to navigate

Sam descending the mountain

Some thick hill fog, but no rain.

Bruno was starting to get very tired, so we were having regular pit stops on the way down and took his pack off him periodically.

A brief pause while Bruno takes in the veiw.

Work of the Wild Ennerdale project clearly visible in the foreground

Down through an enchanted forest

On the descent down the hill we remembered an old portacabin that was in the middle of Ennerdale Forest.  It was a long walk away but we weighed it up against seting up camp and getting attacked by mosquitos all night and thought it was well worth the trek.

Home sweet home for the night.
Go Noodles gets a thumbs up from Sam

Not our normal camp, but good nonetheless.

Day Three

 On the walk back to the car in the morning we passed a waterfall we saw on our first trip.

 A great end to a great couple of days.  I love this place.


  1. ...what an awesome post!... spirit ~ i was beside yoU all the way!... ...i could stay here forever me thinks!... ...this will be a personal memory stopper for yoU guys for a very long time! ~ and with the momentary kettledrum pause ~ the loss of bruno's luggage ~ now in hindsight ~ sets for dramatic entrance ~ into this charming tale!... ...bravo lads! ~ i do sooooooOoooh loOk forward to another adventure with yoU again! ~ may thee many times! ~ blessed be!... ...xXx... ...Samantha...

  2. A good read mate. Thanks for taking time to get it all down.

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  4. we camped ennerdale 3 times an never came across cabin where is it situated?

    1. Its a bit hard to describe without a map, but its on the zig zag road that goes up on forest side of ennerdale.

  5. Hi secret camper,

    I'm very tempted to go for one of the Ezydog palliers as well. I've been searching your blog for more information but couldn't find the size of the pack to give me an idea for which one I should rather go as my bitch is right inbetween small and medium. By the pictures of your adorable spaniel I should be able to estimate in a better way. Can you kindly answer me on justforfacebook123(at) Many thanks. Flo