17th December 2008

A figure of eight from Buttermere - Rannerdale Knotts and a circuit Butternere


Walk Overview
Time 09.30 to 13.45
Duration 4 hr 15 min
Distance 7.6 mile
Ascent 1200 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Buttermere - Road above Crummock Water - Rannerdale Knotts - Low Bank - Buttermere - Wilkinsyke Farm - Buttermere shore line - Gatescarth Farm - Peggy's Bridge - Burtness Wood - Scale Bridge - Buttermere
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Buttermere Village

There are a few different options for parking in Buttermere. A couple of decent sized car parks the road side leading up past the church onto Newlands pass and the sneaky couple of spaces next to the bridge. Despite these options and the village being so small they all fill up pretty quickly.

For such a small village there are a couple of hotels / pubs, public toilets and a couple of tearooms, one of which sells the best ice cream you could ever hope to find.


Route Map

We set out from Buttermere this morning and headed back along the road to Crummock Water on what my mother would describe as one of those "dark days before Christmas".

I know the Lake District is a special place, although up until today I didn't realise just how special. Lets be honest here, even the trees on the Wizard of Oz didn't have four mouths, so this must count for something. Eating barbed wire though, I have to admit that even I found that a bit strange.


Looking behind we get a view to the head of the valley with Haystacks, Brandreth / Grey Knotts and the top of Fleetwith Pike visible below the cloud.

Is it really steep, you may be tempted to ask? Yes, but it doesn't last very long.

And now looking up.

With a view like this, the opportunity to keep stopping for a breather was most welcome.

Rannerdale Knotts summit.

Search lights above Haystacks.

The weather forecast hinted that rain may move in by mid day, so we'd already decided that if it had started by the time we got back to Buttermere, then enough would be enough, and we'd head back home. I don't think I could be described as a fair weather walker; not that there's anything wrong with only wanting to walk on good days, far from it in fact. But, because I don't actually 'need' to get out, sometimes I just don't fancy walking in the rain. I suppose this is the good side to being able to pick and choose when you walk. Anyway:
It wasn't raining so we continued on our way and added a circuit of Buttermere to the route.

The roof tops of Buttermere seen from my detour up to the church.

It actually brightened up a little as we walked through the woods next to the lake. Although I say brightened up; in truth it was too dull to be bright and it was too bright to be dull; never mind.


Heading into the tunnel, , ,

, , and having been dripped on all the way through, we emerged out of the other side.


Almost at Gatescarth now with a view across Buttermere to Haystacks, Scarth Gap and High Crag.

I took this picture of Fleetwith Pike and Littledale Edge from the new path along this side of the lake. All I can say is roll on next spring when hopefully the total mess they've made of the edges of the path will start to grow over. The path itself is spot on, but if they really had to use a digger to scrape away the fellside at the edge of the path, the very least they could have done would have been to remove the top layer of grass (sod) first and then use it to cover the bare ground. Almost no effort has been made to leave it in a tidy condition and I suspect it will take years for it to recover.

There was quite a bit of tree felling going on today, and the place was filled with that nice small of pine wood.

Buttermere with Fleetwith Pike at the far end of the lake.

The slightly longer, alternative route back to the village took us to Scale Bridge.

Walking back to Buttermere, and just in time as it turned out. Shortly after setting off to drive home the rain finally arrived and never stopped for the rest of the day.

I suppose if you can't think of a name for the hotel you've just built next to a bridge, then "Bridge Hotel" is as good as anything.

On the other hand - perhaps they built the hotel, and when they couldn't think of a name, someone suggested building the bridge so they could call it "Bridge Hotel".

One the other (other) hand, If the hotel and the bridge were built at the same time, , , , Sorry, I'm running out of hands here so I'll stop now before I say something really daft.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks