Wasdale is already paying the price of fame after it was voted Britain’s Best View by TV viewers following its championing by a Coronation Street actress.
The isolated Cumbrian valley which is host to hundreds of minibuses carrying Three Peaks Challengers slamming doors before they clamber up the fells to get lost in their quest for Scafell Pike’s summit, can now expect busloads of trippers carried by one of Lakeland’s best-known companies.
Mountain Goat, which has run minibuses round the Lake District for decades, including its ‘high mountain passes spectacular’ which takes in Wasdale, via the Hardknott and Wrynose Passes, is looking for a surge in interest. Tourism bosses expect Wasdale’s popularity to soar after the publicity on television.
For £32.50, trippers on the Goat can have the white-knuckle experience of sitting at the head of a stream of slow-moving traffic over England’s steepest mountain pass, a ride on a miniature steam railway in Eskdale and a halt to take pictures of Britain’s Best View – expect to see thousands of them on Flickr within weeks. The price also includes a cup of coffee and some biscuits.
Corrie’s Sally Whittaker, who imaginatively plays someone called Sally in the programme, nominated Wasdale, saying: “This landscape has fired up the imaginations of painters, poets and climbers.
“And it has not lost any of its power to surprise, charm and thrill us today. I have been coming here for near on twenty years now with my family, and it holds dear memories for me.”
Mountain Goat trippers may be face disappointment if they’re looking for a view of Scafell Pike, but they will almost certainly see the discarded Lucozade bottles, Mars bar wrappers and other detritus left over from the charity walkers’ jaunts. They will almost certainly be dissatisfied if they hope to catch any rhinos on the pass.