05/08/2022

Wild camping & wild swimming in the remote Lake District

Wild camping Lake District Great Moss
What a magnificent place for a wild camp! Absolutely no one else about at all - total peace and quiet

 

A wild camp in one of the most remote places in England

With a rare 2 days free and plenty of time on my hands, it presented the perfect opportunity to explore one of the most remote parts of the Lake District and do a wild camp. The plan was pretty loose, with no fixed agenda and no summit to conquer, other than head up the River Esk from Hardknott Pass towards Great Moss and find a spot to camp. From a visit to the River Esk many years ago, I knew there would be good opportunity for a bit of a wild swim too. 


The loose plan of this adventure was to head for Great Moss - said to be one of England's most remote places, and almost like the wilderness of Scotland. There where no buildings for many miles around.



The River Esk has many beautiful waterfalls and crystal clear plunge pools, some of which are pretty deep and ideal for a dip. I passed many on my walk up the valley and was spoilt for choice on where to do my morning swim.


Wild camping Lake District Great Moss
After a slow wonder up the valley I came to Great Moss, a perfect, isolated place to pitch my tent for a wild camp.


Wild camping Lake District Great Moss
Great Moss is a vast, flat area flanked on all sides by Englands grandest mountains. The tallest peak in the pic is Scafell Pike from the more unfamiliar southern end. 


Wild camping Lake District Great Moss
The only sound you could hear was the distant gentle babbling of the River Esk, which starts up here. After enjoying a slow breakfast and soaking up the views in this glorious place - it was time to pack up and as ever leave no trace.



Tongue Pot wild swimming Eskdale Lake district
I then simply retraced my footsteps and followed the River Esk back down the valley where it's waters became more powerful and pools deeper.



Tongue Pot wild swimming Eskdale Lake district
Tongue Pot was where I decided to have my morning swim to get the blood pumping and day going. It's often a busy spot on weekends with day trippers, but at 6am there was nobody else at all about so I had the place to myself. It's a stunning place, deep enough to jump in off the cliffs too.


I hope you enjoyed that little trip report. Not that many photos to share from the trip as it was more about switching off and just enjoy being in the Great Outdoors - I hope it inspire you to try your own little adventure.


Happy Exploring!



Post by Stuart Hodgson 
'The Hiking Photographer'


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