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" Round Buttermere with the Grown Ups"
Date & start time: 19th May 2021. A midday start.
Location of Start : Syke Farm, Buttermere, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 175 170 )
Places visited : A clockwise walk round the lake via the tunnel, Gatesgarth and Burtness.
Walk details : 4.25 ml, 300 ft of ascent, 1 hour 50 minutes.
Highest point : That refreshing ice cream at the end.
Walked with : Peter and Mary, Stephen, Elaine and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.
Weather : Sunshine and blue skies.
© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.
The grown ups in question are my older and younger brothers and their wives.
They are up in The Lakes on holiday and are all staying at Lorton's Wheatsheaf pub campsite in their caravan and motor caravan.
They have specifically arranged to be here at the same time, in order that the three of us can catch up on life that we've missed over this last year:
Peter and Mary, Elaine and Stephen . . . the dogs you'll recognise !
A fine mid-week day and after a chatty barbeque last night in Lorton campsite, everyone gathered for a walk around Buttermere.
Say good morning to the cows that make the Buttermere Ice Cream !
Les the farmer, makes the speciality ice cream here at Syke Farm, a delicacy for which the village is famous.
Along with the ice cream there's a lovely menu available during the day at Syke Farm Tea Rooms
The farm adjacent is called Wilkinsyke
and it is by passing through their farmyard that we can start on our "round the lake" walk today.
Looking up the valley, across the fields that are surrounded by so many famous mountain names.
We'll be walking clockwise round the lake if it makes it easier to visualise.
The "Sandpiper" beach.
The birds are a summer migrant and the path across the shingle beach is shut for a short while to protect the nesting site.
The path towards Gatesgarth follows the lake shore through the oak woodland of Pike Rigg.
Stephen entertains Dougal by throwing sticks . . . but he'll tire before Dougal does !
Dylan at the old boat landing just before the tunnel at Dalegarth.
To avoid an awkward climb up the cliff a tunnel was cut through during the 1930's,
adding amenity to the Dalegarth Estate and employment to the local mine workers during the depression.
The notice says "Mind your Head".
With the large pools of water on the floor at present it should also read "Mind your Feet".
A photo on the beach on the other side . . . taken by Mary.
The grey cable I refer to as the "transatlantic telephone cable" . . . after all it connects the top of the valley to America for phone calls when required.
Most of the time it just takes local phone calls and internet traffic (and could do with tidying up and burying to be honest).
The commanding view at the head of the valley however is of Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks.
On reaching the slightly more elevated path next to the road,
we look across to the other two fells of the trio, High Stile and Red Pike.
The Pines at the head of Buttermere with the craggy outline of Haystacks behind.
The dip in the skyline ahead, between Haystacks and Seat, is called Scarth Gap.
The brighter green patch on the fell half way up will turn purple with bluebells by the end of the month.
The path finally joined the road at the head of the lake and we follow it up to Gatesgarth Farm.
A mobile 'coffee shack' here is doing a good trade in snacks and Lakeland ice cream today.
Through the farm, noting that they have an overflow car park should we need it another time.
On the lakeshore the bothy is looking in good condition and even has a canoe out the back so it must be in use.
To our left as we cross the fields are the Gatesgarthdale Valley leading up to Honister and Warnscale Bottom which is the flat end of this valley.
Making up the indented skyline are Fleetwith Pike, Green Crag, Haystacks and Seat.
Warnscale Beck cascades down the head wall having started its life in the elevated valley of Dubbs, close to the Honister Mines.
To the right of centre Black Beck flows out of Blackbeck Tarn and joins Warnscale once it reaches valley level.
We turn our back on the immediate high fells now and start down the western side of the lake.
The prominent building is Hassness House
but the tunnel we walked through earlier is hidden behind the lakeside trees.
The sunny day is giving us lovely walking conditions and super visibility.
It is doing the same for lots of other people too.
Now we have done two thirds of the walk we occasionally recognise fellow visitors from earlier, people who have walked the lake anti-clockwise.
Fine stands of trees in Burtness Woods.
Another change of direction as we reach the foot of Buttermere.
Crossing Sour Milk Gill we take in the classic view of Fleetwith across the lake.
One tree that won't be greening up this spring is the one on the other side of the outflow river.
The ones on this side are Ash and so are late coming into leaf.
Walking the lane back to the village and saying goodbye to the head of the valley for today.
"50 things to do" before getting back to the village . . . No 50 walk the plank.
( One day they'll get the idea and walk all the way from one end to the other without getting off.)
The Buttermere Court Hotel.
The Bridge Inn has likewise changed for the new season . . . only this time it is in colour not in name.
- - - o o o - - -
After a well earned ice cream at the cafe we headed home, but we did stop briefly on the way back . . .
We found a parking spot at the Hause car park and walked the short distance up the valley towards the bluebells.
The fellside to the right is now in bloom, the colour improved by the sunshine.
The display by the Crab Apple tree is good this year and the others hold back, enjoying the views.
Down low and personal with the bluebells . . . without crossing the ropes !
The light and shade crossing the valley highlights different area in turn.
The flower's colour actually looks a deeper purple when the blooms are in shade !
As we've parked the car at Hause Point and we've done a good walk already,
we'll go back to the car now and head home to Loweswater.
- - - o o o - - -
No two days of weather are the same here in the Lake District.
The following Day Peter and Stephen preferred a fell walk whereas the girls a lower level one.
No problems . . . we can accommodate both, but guess who were the ones that got wet ?
My family at the Negative Signpost.
I'm not really looking worried, I'm just a hologram . . . having taken one half of the photo and Mary the other half . . . fun thing photoshop !
The girls joined us on our walk up past the farm, but broke off once we reached the valley and they returned to the cottage via the lake.
We continued on towards Hen Comb . . .
The forecast for the day was for worsening weather heading in from the west.
The rain shower heading across Lorton Vale seemed to be outflanking us but we were still dry.
From the top of Hen Comb there's no sign of last year's moorland fire on Gavel.
This pictures also includes Blake Fell (over the back) and the striking outline of Carling Knott overlooking Loweswater, plus a rain drop or two.
A true photo this time using that magic ten second delay button and the camera perched on a rock !
The view from the summit looking around from Loweswater to Lorton and Buttermere all the way round to Great Borne.
On the way back down we decided against the windy western descent of Hen Comb
and instead retraced our summit steps and walked down to the old lead mines in upper Mosedale.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures generally taken with my Panasonic Lumix TZ60 Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . .that refreshing ice cream after rounding the lake.
Previous walk - 18th May - In search of the Real Rannerdale Bluebells 2021
A previous time up here - 16th October 2008 Buttermere Round the Lake (complete with pictures of old paths and Sykes Cafe)