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Buttermere - Round the Lake

Date & start time: Wednesday 12th May 2010, 11 am start.

Location of Start : The Bridge Hotel, Buttermere, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 175 170 )

Places visited : Buttermere lakeside path, Gatesgarth and back via the Hassness tunnel.

Walk details : 5 mls, 350 ft, 2 hrs 20 mins.

Highest point : The ice cream shop at Buttermere, 411 ft - 126m.

Walked with : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Sunshine and fine weather clouds.


 Buttermere - Round the Lake

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Buttermere is regarded as the "Mere or lake of Earl Beothar",

so today we walk from the village, round the Mere and back to the village,

a path that we haven't walked in full for quite some time.

The weather is fine, the dogs and ourselves need a walk and the head of the valley looks inviting.

We haven't walked the lakeside path round Buttermere for a while so we drive up to check out Spring at the top of the valley.

We start our walk after parking near the Bridge Hotel.

This is Mill Beck and a grand place to view the heart of the village.

The Bridge Hotel by the bridge !
The Fish Hotel downstream.

The Honister Rambler has grown in popularity . . . and in length.

Two well painted fish on The Fish.
White Blackthorn or May against a blue sky.

A photographer waits for the shadows to clear from the head of the lake.

Fleetwith Pike at the head of Buttermere from the river outflow and the bridge.

Two Mallards drift across the rippled water.
Sour Milk Gill is short of water due to the lack of rain.

We take the lakeside path and walk anti-clockwise around the lake.

A fallen tree reminded me of a sailing boat, a tall ship perhaps, sailing across the water.

Hassness . . . a photo that has graced the local O.S.Map cover.
Fresh shoots with a backdrop of Haystacks.

Beyond Burtness Woods we join the new motorway.

October 2008 the "Fix the Fells" team sent in the diggers and blasted through a major path reconstruction, the width of a road excavator, to create a raised walkway with deep gutters and a gravel surface. I can understand why they did this . . . to cope with the potential numbers of walkers, pushchairs and wheel chairs. It's a pity they didn't apply for planning permission for a road . . .it would have been more honest.

Eighteen months on some of the grass has started to re-grow

but there is no way this oversized roadway will blend in with the landscape.

Just a short distance further up, the original path seems to cope despite it's more reasonable size.

Rant over, we're back on the more traditional path.

The bothy at the head of the lake.
The washed out footbridge and stream above Peggy's Bridge

The winter floods caused the small stream to flood down the fell side

and demolish the small footbridge at the start of the Scarth Gap path.


A temporary barrier provides a politically correct insurance cover

for the National Park Authority.


The residue of this localised flood has more or less wiped out the old sheepfold down by the gate.

Crossing the valley to Gatesgarth Farm we can look across to the famous Haystacks.

To the left is the spur leading up to Fleetwith Pike.

To our left we can look down the valley, past the bothy, to distant Mellbreak at the foot of Buttermere.

Ann crosses the road bridge over Gatesgarth Beck.

The river has flowed down the valley from alongside the Honister Crags.

The plain, but no less attractive, front of Gatesgarth farm house

with High Crag and High Stile behind.

The Buttermere Pines from the 'wrong' side.

From Gatesgarth we have to walk a short distance down the road before re-joining the lakeside path.

Fresh catkins by the lake side.
An old ash struggles into life in the spring weather.

The more normal view of the Buttermere Pines with Haystacks behind.

A close up showing the road we have travelled down.

Back on the lake side, we can look across the water to the high fells and Burtness Woods that we passed earlier.

"That motorway" can be seen leaving the woods to the left.

Dappled sunlight on Mellbreak . . . as the high clouds drift across the sky.

Underneath Hassness we enter a stretch of woodland.
New leaves shine bright green.
You mean we have to go through there ?

A short tunnel carries the path back towards the village.

This view featured in a Wainwright photo competition a few years back

However the boat seems to have suffered considerably in the intervening years.

More sunshine and more oak woodland that makes this such a picturesque walk.

Looking across to High Stile and the peak of Red Pike behind.


We had thought to complete the path all round the lake

but the last section is closed for three months of the year

to allow the Sandlings to nest and breed.


- - - - o o o - - -

The end in sight . . . only a short way to go before we are back at the village.

The fields are full of young Herdwick lambs . . . some are wide awake . . .

Some are decidedly asleep !

Wilkinsyke is very much a working upland sheep farm.

Syke Farm, next door, has gone for diversification adding a farm shop,

gifts and the famous Buttermere Ice cream brand.

Mick's family has rebuilt the old shop and have created a brand new tearoom, gift shop and ice cream parlour over the winter.

Inside, the last few days of the building work . . .
. . . and then a dream will become the reality.

Watch this space . . . the new Buttermere shop will be open in about ten days.

Do call in and celebrate the new venture.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . two ice ream cones to eat and a litre box to take home for the freezer.

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Previous walk - 8th May 2010 Low Fell with Jill

A previous time up here - 16th October 2008 Buttermere Round the Lake

Next walk - 15th May 2010 Rampsgill Head and Kidsty Pike