Date : Thursday 25th August 2005. Start time 10 am.
Location : Buttermere in the Lake District of Cumbria, Uk.
Occasion : A Guided walk led by volunteers of the Lake District National Park
Walk details : 5 miles, approx 1200 ft of ascent.
The walk took four and a half hours, but did include lots of stops to chat, take photos and even a light lunch break.
Weather : Two sharp showers to start but then it cleared to sunshine and excellent visibility.
The Fish, home of the "Maid of Buttermere"
The starting point was at the LDNPA car park behind the Fish Hotel in Buttermere.
The walk was led by Pete Davies, with John Tratt (another volunteer) and myself assisting, and the group today included six visitors who were currently on holiday in the area.
The stream, Mill Beck, was full today after recent rain and our route took us up the wooded valley from the Bridge, out onto the open fell above the village itself. It is thought that the beck once powered a watermill for grinding corn grown in the valley in centuries past.
Onto Low Bank, the eastern end of Rannerdale Knotts.
Two sharp showers seen rapidly approaching over Red Pike had now passed, and the sunshine was starting to illuminate the fells once more. The two lakes are Crummock and Loweswater in the far distance.
This local was not flustered in the least as we passed by.
He'd seen the like of us before !
Buttermere from the summit of Rannerdale Knotts. The rain had gone and the high fells were once again clear.
They included (l to r) Fleetwith Pike, Gable and Kirk fell (with Haystacks in front), High Crag and High Stile.
Melbreak, Low Fell and Grasmoor with Crummock Water in front.
Loweswater and Lorton Valley enjoying the sunshine too.
Doubling back along the ridge, we dropped down into Rannerdale Valley, and followed the path alongside Squat Beck.
In Nicholas Size's book "The Hidden Valley" he talks of the Battle of Rannerdale, when the Normans, post 1066, tried to invade and subdue Earl Beothar and his followers. The battle supposedly took place here after the Normans had been tricked into the side valley and then attacked from above and behind. Certainly the valley and lands of Buttermere never appeared in the Doomsday Book, lending support to the idea that Buttermere was one of the few places in England not invaded by the Normans at that time.
Rannerdale in April and May is famous for its bluebells but now in August the blue of the valley has given way to the greens of the bracken and the purple of the heather on Grasmoor.
The Bloomery was an ancient fireplace or kiln where they used to burn bracken and mix it with lanolin oils to produce a crude form of soap for cleaning wool fleeces.
It is now an officially listed and protected site.
Canoeist on Crummock
Looking across to Gale Fell, with Scale Force partially hidden by the tree.
Climbing the short but steep rise on the old path over Hawes Point.
The road follows a newer route cut into the headland below.
The Lakes serves as training ground for the RAF in order that they may practice low flying techniques.
The sudden roar announcing the arrival, or should we say departure, of a Euro fighter was this time replaced by the gentle drone of this Hercules as it made its way up the valley, an altogether more acceptable sound.
Peace and quiet returns as we make out way back towards Wood House
and the shores at the top of Crummock Water.
A walk along the permitted path below of Wood House brought us back to Mill Beck just as it entered the lake.
It was then a short walk alongside the stream, past Syke Farm campsite, back to Buttermere itself . . .
which as they say, " is where we came in ".
Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed . . . with that little extra bit of local knowledge.
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