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" Ennerdale's Smithy Beck Trail "

Date & start time:       Leap Day, Thursday 29th February 2024. 11.30 am start.

Location of Start :      Bowness Knott car park, Ennerdale, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 110 153)

Places visited :           Loweswater Church, Bowness Knott, Smithy Beck, the old hut enclosures.

Walk details :               3 miles, 350 ft of ascent, 1 hours 30 mins.

Highest point :           The hut enclosures next to Smithy Beck.

Walked with :              Loes and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                     Overcast but dry, a cool day.



© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


Spring has sprung in Loweswater and the world is a little more colourful than a few weeks ago.

These are a few of the photos taken of the local flowers in recent days.

For a walk, I've included photos from a trip over to Ennerdale where we walk the old Smithy Beck Trail, much changed in recent times.

Daffodils and Crocuses (Croci) in Loweswater Church Yard.
A wonderful spread to entertain visitors if not the residents.

The daffodils here are only now just coming into bloom.

Next door's smaller daffodils are very colourful.
In my garden the snowdrops are now past their best.
. . . but the rhododendrons are giving a bright display.
Rhubarb . . . I'm not forcing it up into these cold weather days.

- - - o o o - - -

 A few days earlier we had the shortest of walks at Ennerdale from the Bleach Green car park.

This was the weir at the foot of Ennerdale Water, looking across to Bowness Knott with Great Bourne and High Stile behind.

- - - o o o - - -

On Leap Year Day, the 29th Feb, we decided to return to Ennerdale for another walk.

We had heard that they now charge for car parking  at the forestry car park, £2 for an hour, £3.50 for 2 hours, etc.

- - - o o o - - -

Fortunately for us,

the machine was not working today,

so we set off down the Lakeside track

with a spring in our step.


It looks like Loes had a lot more spring than I thought !

Pardon me while I catch up.


My excuse . . .

I had been taking a picture of the rarely seen Bowness Knott

now that the trees have been cleared.


- - - o o o - - -


This was "the rarely seen Bowness Knott now that the trees have been cleared"

. . . and for good measure, one across the lake to Anglers Crag.

Down by the lake and the weather isn't quite as forecasted . . . the cloud is down on the high fells.

With all the recent rain , the water level of the lake is high, as can be seen in the pool next to the picnic benches.

The Smithy Beck Trail seems to have been re-branded . . .
. . . obviously it is already working wonders for Loes.

The trail heads off towards the steeper ground, where tree clearance a while back has really opened out the landscape.

Recent gales have also brought down some free standing timber, as can be seen from the cut logs ahead.

Are you thinking well-being ?

" Spot five things with your eyes, listen for four, smell three, feel two and taste one thing" along the way.

Look for faces in trees,
Pile stones into ethereal towers,
or just marvel at the strength of nature.

This is the bridge over the strangely named "Dry Beck".

Perhaps this smaller stream dries in hot weather ?
The next stream doesn't . . . this is Smithy Beck.

To cross it there's a larger bridge, again it is surrounded by a distinct 'lack' of trees.

These places used to be deep in the forest and quite dark places.

Beyond the bridge the path rises up to join the forest road.

As we walk up, Smithy Beck emerges from our left and runs parallel (albeit in the opposite direction) as we walk up the track.

At the top are several old stone enclosures, thought to be hut circles, the pile of stones on the right being the base of an old hut or house.

These were thought to be in use when the area was busy producing iron from Ennerdale iron ore.

A short way further up is another . . .

and there are several more as one walks on towards the forest gate below Starling Dodd.

Doubling back to the track junction we find what is probably the best preserved of the enclosures.

It is always possible these were the summer sheilings and living accommodation of the wood cutters of the forest.

- - - o o o - - -



There used to be an information sign here, but sadly it is long gone.

  (see the 2003 link at the end of the page)


We retrace our steps, back towards the lake.


- - - o o o - - -

Everywhere looks so different now the trees have been felled.

Below we can now see the Smithy Beck making its way to "The Smithy" area, thought to be a bloomery next to the lake.

This area was cleared a while back as it is believed to be the site where the iron ore from Red Beck on the opposite shore

met up with the timber from this side of the valley. 

The bloomery was an early furnace or forge which was able to manufacture basic wrought iron from the mixed ingredients.

Charcoal and waste products from the fires have been found in the raised mounds on the site.

Back now on the lake side track, past the pool by the picnic area.

Dylan has done well today as we've not been too fast or too steep.

The walk will end up at 3 miles which I think is far enough with his bad leg at the moment.

Whether you've just done a local walk or descended from a day long walk up Pillar and Steeple,

that last climb up the hill to the car park always tells on tired legs.

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with my iPhone 11pro mobile phone camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a lingering sense of well-being.

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 22nd February 2024 - Silloth Foreshore Walk

A previous time up here - 18th February 2013 - Ennerdale Ramble

A previous time at the forest hut enclosures - 3rd August 2003 A Voluntary Warden Walk, Smithy Beck, in Ennerdale

Next walk - 2nd March 2024 - Buttermere Round the Lake