Wast Water
Central Lakes

Details for Wast Water

Wastwater Sunrise - image courtesy of Dee's Photography
Rannerdale

Wast Water a remote and tranquil lake is located in Wasdale Valley in the Lake District, and is England's deepest lake and in some places it extends below sea level. Wast Water is surrounded by a breathtaking backdrop of rugged mountains..

Wasdale Valley is isolated and rugged; scree reaches right down to the shoreline on the furthest side of the lake creating a dramatic crumbling 1500 feet high wall of rock. The rock is tinted with bands of red iron which adds contrasting colour to the black rock; this red colouring was once used for marking sheep.

Wast Water which was formed by glaciation, is half a mile wide, three miles in length and reaches down to 258 feet! Magnificent mountains are a back drop to the lake including England's highest mountain, Sca Fell. There is a low level path which runs along the perimeter of the lakeside and at Oilgill Head there is a high level ridge walk with spectacular views over the lake. It's all truly breathtaking.

The lake is not home to much underwater life, apart from the char and trout which inhabit the pure dark water. Wast Water is linked to the River Esk and is the source of the River Irt which goes onto flow into the Irish Sea at Ravenglass. The National Trust owns the lake and surrounding area and is responsible for ensuring the full natural beauty is maintained.

On the lake's north side a narrow road runs to the valley head where the small hamlet of Wasdale Head is located, here is it is many climbers starting point for fell walks around the lake. Wast Water remains untouched by tourism and human habitation as the mountains cut it off from the rest of the Lake District.