Oak Cottage - Loweswater

Retreat to the quiet of the Western Lakes

The Cottage, and  the view up the Buttermere Valley
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A Tale of three Bothys

Time and place : 13 / 07 / 03 Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike, Cumbria.

Occasion : A walk with Ann, Anne and Andrew (Leaney) and our dogs.

Weather : Hot and sunny - summer has arrived.

Distance : 5.25 miles 2,250ft ascent. A leisurely 5 hours 45 minutes.

Our walk started at Gatescarth Farm, where we invested in the car park, and set off across the valley. Our route was laid out to the side of us, right to left, and was a shorter 'head of the valley' walk around the top of Buttermere Valley.

The forecasted temperature was for the high twenties, and with that prospect, a shorter walk was a more sensible option..

Clear visibility made the views of Buttermere even more wonderful.


The first Bothy - not really. This building nestling at the head of Buttermere lake has always looked a sad and forgotten asset. Recently it has been painted, and presumably is now used more often. I understand that it is privately owned however, so don't try to stay. For a time there was a red sofa outside which has now gone thankfully. It was so 1960's !!

To the right, the High Crag / Gamlin Edge path is left behind as we near the top of Scarth Gap.


Welcome relief. The first summit tarn is too small for Layla, but the top one provides Holly with depth enough to swim and really cool off. In the foreground, Anne and a brief appearance on camera of Andrew.

Pillar Rock can be seen, hiding inconspicuously on the side of the fell in the first photo.

Rounding the summit Tarn.

After Innominate Tarn, we crossed what seemed like 'innominate bog' beyond it, aiming for the perched boulder above Blackbeck Tarn.

This place always brings back memories of Black Sail, and in particular Brian,who was Warden there in the eighties.

His ashes are scattered here about, in the place he loved.

On towards Dubs Bottom, but before we get there,

we detoured down to the left to the hidden bothy on the old Warnscale path.


An old mining hut now serves as an open house for anyone wanting a night away from it all. Bothy rules say leave it as you would wish to find it. Can't ask for more. Bring your own candles.

Back up again, and at the end of the Dram Road from Honister, the more famous Dubs Quarry Bothy, the third of our day.

From there it was uphill to the top of Fleetwith Pike. Here Anne, Holly and Ann reach the summit.


As we walked down the end of Fleetwith we came across more examples of Guy's Plastic Sheep.

These white dots on the hillside turned out on closer inspection to be bags of stones dropped by helicopter, in order to repair the path up the fellside. Without this work the path would soon become an eyesore rather than an asset.


With all these degrees of heat and the lack of a cooling breeze for the last hour, the river provided welcome relief for hot dogs and hot feet.

. . . . but real relief came a short while later, courtesy of the farm shop in Buttermere village.

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P.s. For any vintage car enthusiasts, an old Riley tourer seen at Syke Farm.

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Cannon IXUS 400 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

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