Ennerdale Water

Ennerdale Water

Ennerdale Water

Length – 4.1km / Max Width – 1.3km

Another favourite of locals thanks to the low numbers of visiting tourists, Ennerdale Water is the most westerly lake of the Lake District and a Site of Special Scientific Interest thanks to the re-wilding project that is taking place at its surrounding forest.

The lake is perhaps best known for being the spot where former USA president Bill Clinton proposed to his wife, Hillary Clinton, in 1973 and for featuring in the closing sequence of the film 28 Days Later. Access to the lake is via the A5086 road between Cockermouth and Egremont and the turn off for the lake is signposted.


Bowness Knott (Grid Ref NY 110 154) is the most popular car parking place thanks to its close proximity to the lake. Alternatively, parking is also available at Bleach Green Cottages (Grid Ref NY 085 154) with a short walk to the lake shore on a well maintained path.


There are no facilities at the lake itself, other than a small Youth Hostel and a field centre offering self-catering accommodation, both of which are located in the Ennerdale Valley east of the lake. At the nearby Ennerdale Bridge village (Grid Ref NY 070 158) you will find two pubs, The Fox and Hounds, and The Shepherd’s Arms, both of which serve food and offer accommodation.

Walking Trails

It is possible to walk around the entire lake by starting at either of the two car parks and following the path that generally sticks to the shore. This walk is around 6.5 miles in length and most of it is along a fairly flat path, although on the southwest side of the lake around Anglers Crag you may need to do a small amount of scrambling.

At the eastern side of the lake you will find the start of the Wild Ennerdale valley, a project that aims to restore a truly natural landscape to the area, devoid of any interference from humans. Walking through this wooded area is a great way of exploring nature and if you are lucky you may spot one or two deer.