Where to next? Borrowdale Valley

Borrowdale Valley, Cumbria

Many are the folk who�ll tell you there is no wilderness left in the Lake District. Fair enough, the poor place can get pretty cluttered. But is it completely bereft of wild and lonely spots? Oh no.

Lonesome splendour
Take Seatoller, for example. Civilisation comes to a halt here, in the depths of the Borrowdale Valley, as England�s highest peaks rise up around you.
It�s a perfect place for a weekend base camp and a stepping-stone for those secret pockets of lonesome splendour.

On Saturday, take the handy bus over Honister Pass to Buttermere, a long and beautiful U-Shaped valley boasting two lakes and more fish than humans. Hop off at Gatesgarth and tremble with delight as the sheer wall of the High Stile range towers over you.

Perfect mountain range
It�s one of the most perfect mountain ranges in Britain, rising as a solid wall out of Ennerdale and the Buttermere Valley, and topped off by three distinct summits, High Crag, High Stile (the highest) and Red Pike.

Climb from the valley floor into the magnificent arena of Burtness Comb and locate Sheepbone Rake, a dramatic ascent of High Crag�s north face championed by the king of the non-climbers, Alfred Wainwright, but still relatively unknown.
From the summit of High Crag, an outstanding ridge-route leads to the other summits, offering splendid isolation and awesome views across Ennerdale to the Pillar range.

Serene Buttermere
The steep descent down the flanks of Red Pike � with a fine study of bottle-nosed Grasmoor over the way � is one of the unsung joys of the Lake District, as is the return to Gatesgarth along the serene and wooded shore of Buttermere.

An alternative route, starting from Red Pike before working backwards and descending High Crag�s farthest flank, is just as rewarding.

Hidden gems
On Sunday, head straight out from Seatoller to the flanks of Glaramara. This shapely peak is a real hidden gem, thanks to the fact it�s surrounded on all sides by attention-grabbing biggies and thus gets chronically overlooked.

So, if you�re questing for a way to avoid the crowds and see the Langdales, Scafells and Bowfell as never before, this is your hill. The descent and return via tucked-away Langstrath is one of the finest ways to end any day in Lakeland.

So there you are � cloaked in the heart of the most popular walking ground in England, two magnificent wilderness zones that�ll help you leave all thoughts of your email inbox far behind. Sounds good to us.

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