Route: Circuit of Buttermere

Area: Western Lake District

Date of walk: 23rd November 2017

Walkers: Andrew, Gilly, James and Nicola

Distance: 5.1 miles

Weather: Cloudy with rainshowers

For the last 24 hours there had been torrential and incessant rain in the Lake District, to the extent that streams and rivers burst their banks in some places, leading to localised flooding. At last there were some signs of the rain abating and a walk was on the cards. Frequent showers and high winds dictated a low level route and a circuit of Buttermere would fit the bill perfectly

After driving gingerly along the inundated lanes we parked as usual in the National Trust car park at Long How which for once was deserted. We walked through Buttermere village and set off around the lake in an anti-clockwise direction out of force of habit. Sourmilk Gill waterfall at the foot of the lake was a raging torrent and part of the path nearby was underwater, so we took a slightly higher path to avoid this

We continued to the head of the lake, much of which was flooded, and then walked across to Gatesgarth Farm to start the return journey. On reaching Hassness a section of the path was under deep water. We debated whether to circumvent this via a rocky and potentially slippery climb or whether to head up to the road and in the end opted for the latter, and from here we followed the road back to the edge of Buttermere, rejoining our usual path just before the village. For the benefit of anyone following this route, the maps page shows the standard route rather than the one we took, as the circumstances of our detour were exceptional and unlikely to be repeated

Despite the poor weather we all enjoyed this classic walk. To see it in a better light click here

Click on the icon below for the route map (subscribers to OS Maps can view detailed maps of the route, visualise it in aerial 3D, and download the GPX file. Non-subscribers will see a base map)

Scroll down – or click on any photo to enlarge it and you can then view as a slideshow

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