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" Round Buttermere with Tom "

Date & start time:      16th October 2020.  3 pm start.

Location of Start :      Syke Farm Cafe, Buttermere, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited :           The Hassness Tunnels, Gatesgarth, Peggy's Bridge, back via Dubbs.

Walk details :              4.5 mls, negligible feet of ascent,1 hours 55 mins.

Highest point :           The scenery and the ice cream at the end.

Walked with :              Grandson Tom and our dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                    Overcast and grey but it improving during the walk.

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We needed to go to Buttermere to deliver a few calendars to friends in the village, so we took the opportunity to have a Buttermere walk today.

My daughter Paula and Grandson are here for a few days so while Paula stayed back with Ann, Tom and I set off for a delivery run and a dog walk.

What started as a damp day improved as we went along.  We watched the rain clear the up valley ahead of us as we walked the lake shore path.

Our initial perambulation gradually evolved into a complete circuit of this lovely lake.

Meet Tom, Dougal and Dylan . . . Tom's the taller one in the middle !

We'll call this our nominal starting point.

When we return here it will mark the end of the walk and hopefully the sun will be shining and the ice cream will be flowing !

Syke Farm yard . . . the pipe overhead connect the Ayreshire cows in the dairy to the ice cream making machine in the cafe.

There's a little more too it than that, but you get the idea . . . zero carbon miles.

Now that is the most sensible sign I've seen in ages . . . it recognises the existence of 'common sense'.

Mind you there's always a backup option if the first suggestion didn't work !

It has been a damp day, more so in the Buttermere Valley than in Loweswater.

Tom and I head out from the village on the farm track towards the lake, rather hoping that the weather ahead will improve.

Sour Milk Gill flowing and its cascade down from Bleaberry Tarn.
We walk through a mixed flock of Swaledales and grey Herdwicks.

The weather behind us is looking better already.

The delights of this walk include the ever changing views of the fells and the lake.

Too soon to turn for home . . .

so I offer to show Tom the tunnel through the rocky outcrop near Hassness House.

Dougal, as mad as ever about sticks and swimming.
Perfect reflections of a one-legged mallard duck on the stone.

The duck did have two legs . . . but why get both cold and wet when you can keep one warm and dry.

A woodland framing for the view of the distant white bothy at the top end of Buttermere.

Shortly after, the tree cover allowed me include Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks.

High Crag and the woods below Burtness Comb, as seen on the other side of the lake.

At the old boat landing below Dalegarth House now.

The wind has dropped and there are lovely reflections today.

Keep walking the lakeshore path you get to the tunnel through the rocky outcrop below Hassness House.

It was reputedly built as a job creation programme for local miners during the 1930's Depression'.

It seems particularly wet this time with numerous puddles on the floor.
Tom makes it through and Dougal rushes back to let me know.

I had thought to turn at this point and head back home but the weather has improved.

Perhaps Tom would like to see the reflection of the Buttermere Pines in the still waters at the head of the lake.

We head on up the path to the beach below Crag Woods.

The classic panorama of The Pines with the backdrop of Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks.

You know Tom . . . it would only add half an hour extra if we step it out and walked around the head of the lake as well ?

He agreed on the plan and we headed on.

The reflections became even better as we got closer to Gatesgarth.

We regained the road for the latter part of this section of the walk.

Tom has the two dogs on a lead so that I can take photos !

Reasonably busy at Gatesgarth considering how poor the weather has been.

Gatesgarth Farm . . . a classically simple shape but extended over time. 

Was the door originally in the middle of the four windows or did the owners extend both ends but not run to an eight window format ?

A case for the 'Time Team' archaeologists to explore in years to come.

We leave the road and turn through the farmyard.

On the other side, near the MRT Collecting Box someone's parked a cow alongside the upturned red buckets.

His mate was a lot more mobile, if rather shyly hiding behind the feed trough.

I think he saw us pass but it is difficult to tell where hay stops and hair starts.

Mellbreak from the track to Peggy's Bridge.

On the bridge now and looking down the length of the valley.

In the distance are Mellbreak, Darling Fell and (part of) Low Fell, with Rannerdale Knotts and Grasmoor in the sunshine on the right.

The panorama from Peggy's Bridge is of Fleetwith and Haystacks.

The valley has a classic glacial format, the rounded corrie head wall with the flat outrun of Warnscale Bottom leading from it.

- - - o o o - - -



Rather than head up the fellside

towards Scarth Gap and the Black Sail Youth Hostel

we've turned right and stayed on the lakeside path.


Back at the head of the lake

we are now opposite the white bothy once more.


The rock crag to the right of the fell wall

is shown on the map as Lambing Knott.


Some of the scree on

the fellside below it was from an old mine.

(details unknown to me)


- - - o o o - - -

Further on down the lake and the reflections return,

albeit slightly ruffled by a gentle breeze that has recently started.

The machine made path has stood the test of time,

but on quieter days it assumes over-the-top motorway proportions compared to most paths in the area.

The memorial seat below Burtness Crags.
Onward along the grey 'yellow brick road'.

Hassness House and reflections on this less colourful day . . .
. . . compared to the cover photo on my old local map.

If those are mooring posts, just think about the size of the ships !

In actual fact they are leaning posts . . . or seats for people with very long legs.

Onward through Burtness Woods.

Dougal is enjoying his Australian stick.

I know it's Australian because . . . every time I throw it away it keeps coming back to me.

- - - o o o - - -



Gradually Tom and I reach the foot of the lake.


At the point where the water exits from the lake

there's a rather fine Oak tree.


The change of seasons is starting to show

in the colours of the leaves

on its ancient branches.



- - - o o o - - -

The view from the lower Sour Milk Gill bridge across the lake to Gatesgarth.

At the head of the lake the clouds are gathering around Fleetwith Pike once more and the summit of Dale Head summit is missing.

- - - o o o - - -


We crossed the bridge and open area at the foot of the lake

then head up the track towards the village.



A new sign catches the eye . . .

The owners of The Fish have given their kitchen

a new name and presumably the pub a new image.



We'll have to try it out sometime.

I'm just pleased that they've been able to open for business

given that the hotel changed hands just before

the covid pandemic broke.



- - - o o o - - -

Surprisingly the Fish Hotel has also had a change its name to the Buttermere Court Hotel to reflect the change of ownership.

The new owners already own the Alledale Court Hotel in Cockermouth so are presumably going for a corporate image.

I wonder what happened to the old fish sign that has been a feature of the village for so long ?

Also new is the extension to the Croft Cafe.

Syke Farm Tearooms are fighting back against the competition !
They have the extra attraction of 'space age' ice cream.

They also have a counter full of lovely looking cakes and biscuits !

Tom and I opted for the ice cream and went outside to enjoy it on Phil's bench . . . as suggested.

Time to 'plough our own furrow' back to Loweswater and home.

The weather has been kind this afternoon and the rain has stayed away.

In fact as we passed Rannerdale the sun shone brightly through a break in the clouds.

A bright end to an unplanned walk around Buttermere.

- - - o o o - - -


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- - - o o o - - -

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- - - o o o - - -

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Technical note: Pictures taken with Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60 Camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . a Buttermere Ice Cream at the end of the walk

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 15th October 2020 - Paula and Tom's Mellbreak

A previous time up here - 24th July 2017 - Buttermere to the Tunnel

Next walk - 29th October 2020 - A  little Light Water Music