Buttermere circuit

Route: Buttermere circuit

Area: Western Lake District

Date of walk: 5th June 2019

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 6.4 miles

Ascent: 500 feet

Weather: Bright patches at first but clouding over with light rain

Today’s walk was an unplanned one. I’d set off for Crummock Water at dawn in the hope of catching some good light for photography. As I drove along the valley I could see that the Buttermere fells were looking promising, and so decided to walk the classic Buttermere circuit. This can be too busy at peak times, but at just after 6am I wasn’t expecting to see anyone else around, and this proved to be the case

I 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 towards the foot of the lake. The bridge over Buttemere Dubs at the foot of Buttermere has still not been replaced, and I had to make a short detour to Scale Bridge, half way between Crummock Water and Buttermere. The diversion is well signed and is easily followed. The signage indicates that the bridge will be replaced this month

At the foot of Buttermere I joined the lakeshore path and followed it through Burtness Wood to the head of the lake. The views towards Fleetwith Pike, Haystacks and Warnscale Bottom were as wonderful as ever, despite the weather having closed in by now

After crossing Peggy’s Bridge at the head of the lake and passing by Gatesgarth Farm I started the return leg along the other shore. The weather continued to deteriorate as the rain became heavier and the views of the fells became shrouded in mist. I followed the sometimes rocky path back into Buttermere village, passing through the short tunnel in the rocks near Hassness along the way. 

This is one of the very best low level walks in the Lake District, one which appears over 20 times on these pages. Although the weather wasn’t as good as last time here in February, it’s a walk which is full of beauty in all conditions. For anyone following this walk, note that the Maps Page shows the route which I took, necessitated by the missing bridge. When it’s finally restored, hopefully later this month, the route will be as shown here and will be 1 mile shorter than it was today

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)

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

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