Buttermere

Buttermere

Route: Circuit of Buttermere

Area: Western Lake District

Date of walk: 2nd February 2019

Walkers: Andrew, Gilly, Phil and Denise 

Distance: 6.4 miles

Ascent: 500 feet

Weather: Overcast at first but soon cleared to sun and blue skies

We parked as usual in the National Trust car park at Long How, and walked through Buttermere village, passing the Fish Inn and following the path to the foot of the lake. On the last occasion I was here, exactly four months ago, there was a temporary footbridge in place over Buttermere Dubs, as the old stone bridge is currently being rebuilt. To our surprise, the temporary bridge has been removed, and a sign advised us to follow a diversion to Scale Bridge. This meant retracing our steps back to the edge of the village. It would have been helpful if a diversion had been erected earlier, at the start of the path to Scale Bridge

It’s hard to grumble when walking in such beautiful surroundings and this minor inconvenience was soon forgotten as we reached the far shore of Buttermere and began the walk to its head. As if to compensate us for our troubles, the clouds quickly lifted and we enjoyed some glorious weather for the remainder of the walk

After crossing Peggy’s Bridge at the head of the lake and passing by Gatesgarth Farm we started the return leg along the other shore. We followed the sometimes rocky path back into Buttermere village, passing through the short tunnel in the rocks near Hassness along the way. Before returning to the car park we made a brief detour to the small church of St James to revisit the memorial tablet in honour of Alfred Wainwright, looking towards his favourite fell, Haystacks

This is one of the very best low level walks in the Lake District, one which appears over 20 times on these pages, and we were lucky to have enjoyed it in such good conditions. For anyone following this walk, note that the Maps Page shows the route which we took, but omitting the ‘there and back’ section to the missing bridge. When the bridge is finally restored, hopefully later this year, the route will be as shown here and will be 1 mile shorter than today’s walk

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