If you want to escape the crowds, head west… over the twin passes of Wrynose and Hardknott, through the lakeless valley of Eskdale to Wast Water, one of the wildest of Lakeland’s scenes. We wanted a serious walk – there’s still light enough in the evening to spend long days on the fells. The route was a high-level tour of Wast Water, taking in the scree-strewn cliffs of Whin Rigg and Illgill Head, then down to Wasdale Head before ascending roughly onto Middle Fell, crossing over to Seatallen (pictured) and then dropping down to Buckbarrow. The gentle descent from Seatallen to Cat Bields was a joy – the last of the day’s light making of the wider shoulder a gold-hued band. When we reached the car a fox fled into the hedgerow.