Brackenclose is situated in its own grounds at the head of Wastwater with a wonderful view down the lake. It is surrounded by mature oak woods and is some distance from the road, making it a tranquil base for mountaineering.

Grid Ref: NY 185073
Address: Brackenclose, Wasdale Head, Seascale, Cumbria CA20 1EX

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Wasdale is reached from the A595.

  • From the South, turn right at Holmrook for Santon Bridge and follow the signs for Wasdale Head.
  • From the North turn left into Gosforth and follow the signs for Wasdale Head.
  • From the East, in good weather, take the Wrynose and Hardknott passes into Eskdale. Turn right at Santon Bridge.
  • At the far end of the lake, turn onto the National Trust campsite road. After crossing the 2nd bridge the ‘road’ turns sharp right, and 100m further along, a track on the left (through a gate signed Brackenclose) leads uphill (through another gate) to the hut. (Please ensure both gates are securely closed).

Nearest Telephone/Mobile Connection

Payphones are available at the nearby NT campsite. Mobile phones seem to work intermittently near the gate at the top of the access track and also a little way up the track to Burnmoor.

Facilities in the area

Fairly good shop on the NT campsite for basics. Spar type grocer, bakery (weekdays only!), cafes and pubs at Gosforth 8 miles away. Bank and cash machine here also. Outdoor shop at Wasdale Head, next to the pub, 1 mile away.

There is no bus service between Gosforth and Wasdale Head.

Climbing and Walking

Where to start!

The high crags and tops of the Scafells, Great Gable and Pillar are all within striking distance for both climbing and walking. When these are out of condition, Buckbarrow and Wallabarrow in Dunnerdale provide good sport for climbers and walkers can explore the lower tops and side valleys.


Brackenclose was our first hut and the only one which is architect designed and purpose built.

When after extensive search, nothing suitable for conversion had been found, it was decided that land should be bought and a new building erected. Brackenclose Wood at the head of Wastwater became available, the land was purchased, an architect engaged and the hut built, the costs of purchase and building being financed by loans and donations from members.

The hut was officially opened in October 1936. By today’s standard the amenities were very basic. There was no electricity, showers were cold only, cooking was by primus stoves, lighting by oil lamps or Tilley lamps and heating came from the open fire in the Common room. In due course, Calor gas and some form of water heaters were installed but electricity did not arrive until 1977 when it became possible to upgrade all facilities to today’s high standards.