Route: Circuit of Buttermere

Area: Western Lake District

Date of walk: 17th January 2024

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance: 5.1 miles

Ascent: 400 feet

Weather: Sunny and cloudless, very cold

It was a glorious morning as I made the short journey to Buttermere, though care was needed on the icy roads as the temperature was -7C

The classic walk around Buttermere appears over 30 times on this site and is one of the finest 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. I made an early start and as a result only passed by a handful of other walkers along the way

I parked as usual in the National Trust car park at Long How, where the ticket machine was frozen solid. I walked through Buttermere village, passing by the Buttermere Court Hotel (formerly The Fish). I followed the path to the foot of the lake. As with the roads, there were numerous icy patches and I had to watch my step – which isn’t easy when the surroundings are so beautiful. I always walk around Buttermere in an anti-clockwise direction in order to keep the best views ahead. After crossing the footbridge over Buttermere Dubs I set off along the lakeshore path which leads to the head of Buttermere. The section near the head of the lake is perhaps the best of all, with views towards Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks

After crossing Peggy’s Bridge and passing by Gatesgarth Farm I started the return leg along the other shore, passing through the rock tunnel near Hassness along the way. I continued along the shoreline path and, where it forks off to the foot of the lake, carried on ahead. This brought me back into Buttermere village, to end another wonderful circuit of the lake

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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