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" Buttermere Round the Lake (at high tide) "

Date & start time: Monday  24th February 2014, midday start.

Location of Start : In the village, Buttermere, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited : A clockwise walk around Buttermere via Gatesgarth of course.

Walk details :   4.7 mls, negligible feet of ascent,3 hours 30 mins.

Highest point : The dry weather and the carrot cake at the end.

Walked with : Sherran and Bill, Ann and our dog, Harry.

Weather : Overcast and threatening rain but hopefully clearing.


Buttermere Round the Lake at EveryTrail

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


Sherran and Bill stayed over for a third night which allowed us another walk on Monday. 

The weather seemed to be clearing, so we chanced a stroll around the lake at Buttermere,

clockwise, but without watching the clock.

But before we made our midday start we were entertained by the wildlife in the garden

who had arrived in response to me filling the bird table.

Over hear fellas

"Over here everyone, he's put some on here today for a change."

Hold your cursor over the picture to call his mates!

A male and female fly over to join the first Chaffinch.

Hold your cursor over the picture again to see the action.

They are joined by a Yellow Hammer.

A Blue Tit prefers the normal feeder.

Time to be off.

Time to be flying . . . it was also time for us to leave for our walk too.

Hold your cursor over the picture to see them go.

We had decided on a "round the lake" trip . . . up there in the cloud at the head of the Buttermere valley.

On the way we noted the river level of the Cocker was considerably higher than normal

as it flooded the fields adjacent to Scale Hill Bridge.

The cloud on the high fells looks brighter than earlier . . . perhaps we'll get a dry walk.

Start point close to the Syke Farm Cafe . . . hopefully a visit there deferred till a little later .

Across the valley from the farm
. . .   Sour Milk Gill waterfall  . . .
with cloud and remnants of snow on the high fells.

The clockwise path  leads from Wilkinsyke farm out towards the head of the valley.

Bill waits for me as the girls go ahead.

The wind is strong enough to form small waves on the lake . . . but the tops are clearing reasonably well.

Someone's been busy . . . we counted over a dozen new bird boxes in the trees on this stretch of the path.

Through the trees, a view of the waterfalls at the head of Warnscale Bottom.

Small streams are in spate . . .
A cut through the rocky path carries the water away.

The other three seem to have stopped to look at something . . .

" A water baby "  . . . a ten year old, big water baby.

The walk is becoming very notable for the amount of water !

After months of heavy rain, the ground is fully saturated and all the water is now just running off the surface.

. . . and it is filling the lake at a fast rate.

Our first lakeside gate is fraught with difficulties . . . if you intend to keep your feet dry.

Mellbreak further down the valley seem to be enjoying some brighter weather.

Another stream, another water covered path

as we cross the field below Hassness and head for the tunnel.

Bill stands at the entrance to the short tunnel.

Warning notice . . .
. . . more relevant to those of a taller disposition.
The tunnel was built as a 19th C. work creation scheme . . .
. . . and is now an important feature of the walk.

The path to the beach seems to be under water too !

Ann surveys the lower option.

The girls had noticed the chair in the last but one photo . . . time for a lunchtime coffee I think.

. . . and enjoy the view across the lake.

How about a game of  "throw the stick" ?

Time to be off once again.

Pines on the foreshore as we walk around Hassness.
Haystacks comes into view again.

Ahead is the bold front of Fleetwith Pike, a great climb on a nice day

(though we prefer to walk down the front and get the view down Buttermere for the duration of the descent)

Click here or on the photo above for a larger version of this Loweswatercam panorama

Across the way is Burtness Comb and the trees of Horse Close below the waterfalls.

We'll be walking around there on the way back.

. . . once we manage to cross the flooded fields and lakeside paths.

The classic view of the Buttermere Pines as we approach the road.

The Pines with Scarth Gap behind.

After clearing a few blocked minor drains and culverts on the way round,

Bill has a go with one by the roadside . . . success . . . one less puddle on the road.

Over the slight rise to Gatesgarth Farm.

This is the only short road section of the whole walk.

Gatesgarth Farm . . . lovely weather for ducks.

Sherran takes a shine to the farm cat.

From here we walked through the farmyard and headed across the head of the lake.

High on the crags, Fanny Mercer's memorial cross.
Heading for Peggy's Bridge.

The water is higher here than we've seen before and the additional flood culverts are working well.

Bill looks around with his camera . . .

Behind him . . . there's a new wood store on the bothy . . . and a small boat, sheltering from the breeze.

His photo will be of the head of the valley.

From the centre of the bridge . . . a wider panorama.

On the fell side at the foot of Scarth Gap are a group of mountain cattle.

Here were black Galloways, a belted Galloway and brown Highland cattle . . . all good at thriving on poorer soils and vegetation.

The new path on the southern side is very good . . . but very large !

The view forward  with Hassness on the opposite shore now.

The weather has got a little darker but it is still dry.

Close up of Hassness across the lake.
Bill alongside Comb Beck.
The beck is full and fast flowing.
Into Burtness Wood and along a damp path again.

We chose the lower path, closer to the lake shore, so as to appreciate the open views.

Surface water . . .
. . . Sherran's turn to try a little drainage work.

One of the small indentations that make a delightful bay.

Across the way there was a bright patch of sunshine crossing the length of Rannerdale Knotts.

We've walked this path many times but never noticed this old building before.

It is not shown on the map.

One more obstacle to an easy life . . . the path at the foot of the lake is also flooded.

Bill takes to the higher ground.

The high water level has floated the gate off its hinges.

I don't know how the fence will fare with floating logs that size bashing into it.

Harry takes his place in the water once again . . . as the girls cross the bridge over Sourmilk Gill.

They had walked the extra few yards to take in the view up the waterfall.

Sherran enjoying the view . . .
. . . looking directly up the falls.

We could have walked back to the lakeside path

but there's a gate on this side too, so we cross over to the other side.

Not used by us today . . . the second bridge at the foot of the lake.

All paths meet and head towards the village.

The lake water is flooding under the third bridge, flowing fast and flooding the fields.

Flooded Buttermere Dubs . . . the stretch of the river between here and Crummock Water.

We say goodbye to Buttermere and head off to the village.

The Fish Hotel looks a lot larger when viewed from this side.

In the summer it provides accommodation and refreshments for the many visitors that flood into the valley

as does The Bridge hotel behind.

We return to Syke Farm for that promised cup of tea . . .
. . . and a piece of nice carrot cake too !

We ate upstairs in this modern cafe . . . smile Sherran ?

As we were so close, we walked the short distance up the hill to visit the Church of St James, Buttermere.

This is a small church but with many famous features.

The Shepherd's gate at the entrance.
Wainwright's memorial window.
Delightful stained glass in the others.

In the window facing up the valley towards Haystacks

is the slate plaque, a memorial to the famous author and illustrator, Alfred Wainwright.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, or my Nikon P520 digital camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . dry waterproofs.

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Previous walk - 23rd February 2014 - Whinlatter Walks ~ Sherran & Bill

A previous time up here - 27th March 2013 - Buttermere ~ Round the Snowy Lake

Next walk - 28th February 2014 - Knott Rigg and Ard Crags