In 2007, an ITV television program named Wastwater as Britain’s favorite view after the public chose from four landscapes. Wordsworth described Wastwater as “long, stern and desolate.” I can’t say that I agree with either opinion.
Before our trip, I’d read in multiple sources that Wastewater was “Britain’s Favorite View.” Repeated on commercial sources, e.g., tour companies, I didn’t get the part about the selection coming from only four landscapes (Wastwater, Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland, Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower Peninsula in Wales, and The Mountains of Mourne in Co Down, Northern Ireland). How can any one television program crown Britain’s favorite view based on such a small sample anyway?
Had I known the criteria upon which this claim had been based, I don’t know if I would have been expecting THE most beautiful view as I was while driving through Wasdale Valley towards the lake. I’d had very high hopes. After all, if the view is Britain’s favorite, wouldn’t it have to be so for its beauty?
The treed area opened up quickly to reveal the lake situated in a valley with one shoreline extending out from the lake in a semi-flat manner then moving upwards towards a mountain ridge and the other shoreline consisting of mountain meeting water.
And as for THE view…I can definitely agree with pretty or even dramatic, but the landscape was dominated by the far bank’s imposing, scree-covered mountain, which tapered towards its ends. As a result, I found the views to be somewhat disproportional. Even so, I did enjoy the textural variety and the colors.
Opposite the hamlet of Wasdale Head near the north end of the lake, one can see Scafell Pike, England’s highest peak at 978 meters (3,209 ft). From my research, I’m pretty sure Scafell Pike is the highest peak on the right. Not only notable for resting in the shadow of England’s highest peak, Wastwater is also the deepest of the lakes in England at 79 meters (258 ft.).
National Trust owns Wastwater and Scafell Pike, so one could say that National Trust owns from the highest to the lowest in all of England. Well done, National Trust! Better yet, that means access to the lake is free and campsites are available for a fee.
We did not travel all the way to Wasdale Head, because the day was fading and we had a long return trip to our lodgings beside Lake Windermere, so we turned our car around and headed back out the way we came.