Route: Circuit of Buttermere

Area: Western Lake District

Date of walk: 24th January 2020

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 5.1 miles

Ascent: 400 feet

Weather: Low cloud with some breaks

The weather forecast was very negative today – low cloud and drizzle, and based on this we didn’t plan an ‘Andrew’s walk’, but decided to take our retriever Bonnie on a dog walk round Buttermere instead. At the last minute I took the camera with me, just in case conditions improved, which seemed unlikely judging by the conditions on the way to Buttermere. Thick clag was enveloping the surrounding fells, and all was gloom

When we parked in our usual spot, the National Trust car park at Long How, there were signs of improvement and as it turned out we enjoyed the walk in good light at times

The circuit of Buttermere appears over 20 times on this site and is one of the classic low level walks in the Lake District. The beauty and accessibility of the walk is both a virtue and a problem, in that the path can be too busy at peak times and if you prefer to walk in relative solitude, then it’s best to choose a quiet day and time. Such was the case today, and we only passed by a small handful of people during the course of two hours

We walked through Buttermere village, passed by the Fish Inn, and followed the path to the foot of the lake. After crossing the new footbridge over Buttermere Dubs we set off along the lakeshore path which leads to the head of Buttermere. We were fortunate today, since our arrival at the head of the lake (possibly the most beautiful section of the walk) coincided with some good light as patches of sun broke through the clouds 

After crossing Peggy’s Bridge and passing by Gatesgarth Farm we started the return leg along the other shore, following a recently improved path. We passed through the short tunnel in the rocks near Hassness and continued beside the lakeshore along a path which is quite rocky at times. This brought us back into Buttermere village to end a walk which we could never tire of

For other walks here, visit my Find Walks page and enter the name in the ‘Search site’ box

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)

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