Wasdale, in the far western Lake District, is a valley of extremes. England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, looks down on England’s deepest lake, Wastwater. But it’s also a place of contrasts. The high, jagged fells that belong to the Borrowdale Volcanic Group abruptly give way, as the valley runs southwest, to a gentle, wooded, pastoral landscape including large country houses, gardens and parkland. The scene opens out further as the valley runs into the estuary where the rivers Irt and Mite meet the sea.