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" Buttermere ~ round the Snowy Lake"

Date & start time: Wednesday 27th March 2013, 3 pm start.

Location of Start : Roadside in Buttermere Village, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 175 170 )

Places visited : Burtness Woods, Peggy's Bridge, Gatesgarth, Hassness and back.

Walk details :   4.75 mls, approx 300 ft of ascent, 2 hour 45 mins.

Highest point : Must be the weather and the views !

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

Weather : Cold and dry with blue skies, the clouds sometimes obscuring the bright sun.

" Buttermere ~ round the Snowy Lake" at EveryTrail

[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]


I occasionally add an extra photo unrelated to today's walk . . . and today is no exception.

Just after filling the bird table this morning our red squirrel came along for a late breakfast.

Contrary to what some folk think, the squirrels do not hibernate but are awake all winter

and, like the birds, need a regular supply of food to survive.

Hopefully filling our bird table with suitable food makes things a little easier for all our visitors, be they fur or feather.

- - - o o o - - -

Today the snow has stopped and the sunshine makes a welcome appearance as Ann and I take a longer local walk,

this time around Buttermere Lake.  The snow on the fells should make the head of the Buttermere Valley even more picturesque.

Snow banked up on the side of the road as we approach Lanthwaite Green.

Grasmoor is looking stunning in the sunshine.

Driving down to Rannerdale Bridge Cottage.

The road has been cleared and the tarmac has dried nicely in the sunshine.

We found a parking space in Buttermere close to the Bridge Hotel which was very handy.

[ There was always the National Trust or the National Park car parks had we not been so lucky.]

Here High Snockrigg towers above the village and obscures Robinson, its larger neighbouring fell behind.

Both the cafés and the Bridge Inn were open for the holiday season ahead.

We planned an anti-clockwise walk around the lake, hoping for the late sun on us for our return leg from Gatesgarth.

. . . so it is time to be off . . . down the lane by the side of the Fish Hotel.

The track to the lake . . . a little covered in snow . . . and notices !

There's some tree felling going on and we are asked to be observant and follow any alternative paths on offer.

Safely through the gate ( hotelthe tree felling is miles away) we enjoy the view up to sunny Knott Rigg.

Leaving The Fish hotel behind.

Behind it Rannerdale has lost most of its snow and Whiteless is just that . . . but Grasmoor still has a full winter covering.

Slightly tricky as the snow is starting to melt . . .
. . . and this made the path quite slippery at times.

[ No sign of any National-Trust-Membership Land Rover tyre tracks yet . . . give it a few days ]

Through the gate and onto the foreshore

where a large rock has found favour with quite a number of folk as a excellent viewpoint and seat

by the look of the eroded grass around it.

The classic view up the lake . . . do you prefer the seat view, the old tree here . . .

. . . the river exit ?

. . . or perhaps even the fence . . . answers on a postcard please.

This last one usually wins the day but someone has arbitrarily tacked some wire on top of the fence . . . which totally spoils the photographic effect !

Ahh . . . the peace of the countryside . . . time to stop and look and enjoy the view.

Zooming in on the head of the lake.

The main lakeside track hopefully heading on towards exciting views.

Ahead is Fleetwith Pike . . . . and the trees of Burtness Woods . . . and more notices !


Watch out . . . health and safety is about !

As we progressed alongside the path the amount of notices increased to the point that I was moved to photograph some of them.

In the end, it was like a local council operation, all notices and no great problem.  There was no-one working and hadn't been for some time and the lower path alongside the lake did not even enter into the working/felling area.

One single notice and a tape across the track at the start of the actual working zone would have sufficed. 

Do we have to have so much graffiti littering the countryside ?

Can someone in authority have a re-think ?

Please !

Turn your back on the signs and enjoy the views . . .
. . . here zooming in on Lower Gatesgarth House.

Across the water . . . Hassness House under snow capped Robinson.

The fence and the larch of Horse Close Woods as fore and middle ground.

Ann takes time out on the Memorial Seat alongside Combe Beck.

Excuse me ... I'm in the middle of my lunch !

You sometimes never know what's around the next bend . . . and today was no exception.

Highlands and Galloways are generally very docile (it's the dairy ones that need more care) . . . these just stopped eating long enough to watch us pass.

Hold your cursor over the picture to see what I mean.

First thought that the cattle down by the lake were Black Galloway but I'm not sure that the horns are right.

Maybe they are black Highland cattle ?

They were very laid back . . . but I did take this on a slight zoom setting.

The machine made footpath still resembles a farm track to me.

Here is a Y junction where the path leaves the lake, starting the climb to Scarth Gap.

Looking down on the head of the lake and the bothy on the shore.

The building looks a lot more cared for than it did in the old days.

At Peggy's Bridge the path turns to head across to Gatesgarth.

Bethan nearly made it over the top of the gate on the strength of the snowdrift !

The valley of Warnscale Beck . . . Fleetwith  on one side, Haystacks on the other.

Click here or on the photo above for a larger Loweswatercam annotated panorama

The old Miner's track to Dubbs Quarry highlighted by the snow . . .
. . . here looking along the length of the stream in Warnscale Bottom.

Haystacks seen across the green field and white, snow-drifted walls.

Likewise, Fleetwith Pike looking resplendent in the fine weather.

Gatesgarth Farm is the turning point for home

and there's a short road section back down the valley until we get back to the Buttermere lakeside path once again.

Nearly back at the lake . . . these are the Buttermere Pines from behind . . . normally they are photographed from the the other side.

The Pines from the usual side . . . with Haystacks and High Crag behind . . . taken from the beach at the head of the lake.

Those of you that follow the site will know how much I strive to take the perfect shot of these trees.

The best I've seen so far was of first light, early morning, with summer sunshine streaming down the valley

and perfect reflections on a flat calm lake . . . but that means getting out of bed early !

Today we have beautiful clarity in the air, snow on the fells and for the briefest of moments,

a direct splash of sunlight brightening up the Pines and the snow on the beach in front.

The tallest of the trees . . .
. . . and an adjacent group of five.

Suddenly the sun was gone and the colour instantly drained, leaving dark trees and an almost monochrome background.

Away from the road now as we walk the permitted path around the shoreline below Hassness and Dalegarth houses.

The sun has been shrouded by that cloud high above High Stile, so the warm jacket is appreciated today.

More pines on the beach below Hassness.
Into the sun again as the cloud clears from behind Red Pike.

Whilst relaxing on the bench before the next gate . . . as you do . . . there was a very friendly Robin,

searching along the edge of the snow for his next meal.  He stayed long enough for me to change to the bigger lens.

The last part of the walk takes on a different character,

with a narrower woodland path and ever increasing cliffs pushing us closer and closer to the water.

When the cliffs get too steep a tunnel has been dug out to allow you to continue on without climbing.

Mind your head . . .
mind your feet . . .
mind your eyes in the bright light !

All too soon you are out the other end.

I wonder how many young children have been allowed to go back on their own in order to walk through it twice ?

Nothing so spontaneous for us . . . anyway we've walked it many more times than twice . . . so on with the lakeside path.

A suitable gap in the trees allows us a look back at Haystacks.

Choices . . . choices . . . do we take the gate and complete the full circumnavigation of the lake, but return the same snowy path to The Fish,

or do we "take the high road" and get back to the village sooner ?

The upper path won out but not before we had one last look at the head of the valley.

There's still good sunshine on Fleetwith and on the snow covered Brandreth fells behind.

Down here the wind, the sunshine and the slightly higher temperatures have melted much of the snow from the fields.

Anyone for a Buttermere Ice Cream . . . but we are a little late in the day and they shut at five.

Back to the Bridge, close to where we've parked . . . so concluding another mid-winter, I mean late March walk.

One to close . . . the last rays of sun on Haystacks, Great Gable and Green Gable, as seen from home.

Time to refill the bird feeders so that the birds and the squirresl have plenty for breakfast tomorrow.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, my Canon G10 or 1100D SLR digital cameras.

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

This site best viewed with . . . more of this fine weather for visitors over the Easter Weekend please.

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Previous walk - 25th March 2013 - Keswick and Castle Head

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

Next walk - 28th March 2013 - Dale Head in the Snow