Walk date – 28th September 2022

Distance – 4 miles

Weather – dry and sunny, cool breeze


Very gloomy first thing this morning over here in the east but there was a hint of brightness over towards the west so that’s where we headed. Back pain continues so we took a very short walk this morning around the waters of Buttermere. There’s nothing remotely strenuous about this lovely walk around the water which, apart from being an old favourite, is why we chose it. At least we would be getting some exercise and fresh air plus the possibility that a gentle walk might help in alleviating whatever is ailing the back muscles. It didn’t as it turned out but nevertheless the weather was very agreeable and it certainly brought out the crowds. If I had been counting just how many people we met, and exchanged greetings with, during our circumnavigation I would not have been at all surprised at a number approaching the one hundred mark. This was a very popular walk with all ages today.


 Public footpath route around Buttermere starting and ending at Gatesgarth Farm.

Having parked up in the parking area back at Gatesgarth Farm we made our way across the very obvious path towards Peggy’s Bridge. I use the word ‘obvious’ because it is but that seemed not to be the case with a pair of blokes who at several points were either ahead of us or lagging behind us. For this shot of the High Stile ridge I’m leaning on a metal field gate and there’s a gate of the same size and construction just out of shot to the right. Both gates display large notices to the effect that the fields are private property and not public pathways. Despite this both guys paused, checked their respective maps, and continued to dither over which direction they should proceed. We carried on and left them to it.

With the sun directly behind it Haystacks wasn’t revealing much of its personality but its familiar skyline tells you all you need to know.

Looking towards Mellbreak (L) and Rannerdale Knotts (R) from Peggy’s Bridge …..

….. and the view upstream towards Warnscale Bottom and Haystacks. While we were on the bridge J told me that he had heard one of the afore-mentioned fellows mention that he could see Helm Crag. Given that Helm Crag is over in Grasmere and that there is nothing in the Buttermere area that resembles that name we began to wonder if he had inadvertently used the wrong name for whatever he was looking at because it certainly wasn’t Helm Crag.

Beyond Peggy’s Bridge we followed the path around Buttermere and as the two fellows didn’t we could only assume they had taken the path leading up to Scarth Gap. Let’s hope they reached their planned destination. Above shot shows J reading the inscription on the commemorative stone bench while I try to get a decent shot of the High Snockrigg skyline.

The small and isolated building on the Buttermere shoreline. I’ve no idea what it is/was used for and as its on private land I’ll probably never find out either. Whatever its use its in a lovely setting.

Fleetwith Pike looking majestic in the morning sunlight.

Grasmoor (L) puts in an appearance behind the slopes of High Snockrigg. We’re in the shade of the High Stile ridge at this point which, together with the cool north westerly breeze, has the temperature dropping a notch or two.

Another memorial bench beside Comb Beck at Horse Close. Towering above everything is High Stile.

Approaching Burtness Wood now so we’re in for a lengthy stretch in the shade. Rannerdale Knotts and Grasmoor are on the skyline and more ripples appear on the water as the breeze strengthens a little.

This sunny little bay was a welcome sight during the walk through Burtness Wood ……

….. which only offered dappled sunlight plus the strengthening breeze. Imagine this shot turned into a one thousand piece jigsaw!

Another sunny little bay turned up so we wandered down to the shoreline for this shot of the Grasmoor fells opposite. The ripples on the water appear to be getting bigger and it was quite draughty down here.

Approaching the bridge spanning the outflow of Buttermere …..

….. and a look back after we’d crossed over.

After the shady walk through the woods it was good to be back in the sunlight again so we took advantage of one of the many large rocks scattered around here, sat in the sun for five minutes, tucked into a chocolate bar and just enjoyed the view. Plenty of others were doing just the same.

The view along the shoreline towards High Snockrigg from our chocolate stop. After our short break we walked over towards the permissive path, which avoids having to enter Buttermere village, to continue our walk back to Gatesgarth farm.

Looking along the permissive path towards High Snockrigg and Robinson. The dried out branches of a long since fallen tree, bottom right of the shot, resembled a lizard like creature crawling up from the shoreline. Pity it didn’t have something which looked like a head to make it even more lifelike.

Still rounding the foot of the water with a silhouette view of Fleetwith Pike, Grey Knotts, Brandreth and Haystacks at the far end.

Approaching the tunnel entrance as we make our way along the path. I’m not very tall so I can usually avoid the eternal puddles in here by keeping to one side, J is much taller so he sticks to the middle and splashes through them.

We emerge back into sunshine at the other end. Imagine this one as a thousand piece jigsaw, or maybe its better not to.

A better view of the High Crag/ Red Pike ridge from this side of the water. High Stile is the high point in the middle with just the top of Red Pike appearing to the right of it. The lesser bump on the extreme right is Dodd.

Beyond Hassness Crag Wood now and approaching the spit of shingle jutting out into the water, the path subsequently turns away from it and leads on towards the short stretch of road walking back to Gatesgarth. The famed ‘Buttermere Pines’ adorn the shoreline.

Looking back along Buttermere towards Mellbreak from the shingle beach. The breeze has strengthened considerably now and we noticed white tops appearing on some of the waves.

Fleetwith Pike, dark and foreboding on one side, sunny and welcoming on the other.

Looking directly across into Burtness Comb flanked by High Crag (L) and High Stile (R) and their connecting ridge on the skyline. Might be a bit draughty up there right now given how strong the breeze is down here.

High Stile, Red Pike and Dodd as I take a look back before we  lose the view.

The path turns away from the water and eventually leads us over to the one just visible on the extreme left of the shot. Won’t be long before we are back at the farm now.

As the path swings away from the water you have the chance to see just what is below you when walk the connecting ridges between Dale Head, Hindscarth and Robinson. Up on the ridges most of what you see in the immediate vicinity are numerous paths criss-crossing those grass covered fells, down here you get a much better idea of what is beneath your feet and just how impressive they really are.

Haystacks and the Buttermere Pines once again.

High Crag, and its bracken covered lower slopes, in the sunshine. The bracken is turning brown everywhere now and is beginning to die back. I’m always glad to see the back of it but on the other hand it does mean that we’ll be looking at a very brown landscape for the next few months. Some folk are never satisfied, are they?

High Crag and High Stile form the backdrop to the buildings of Gatesgarth farm as we arrive back at the car park. There are many more cars parked now than when we arrived a couple of hours ago, and several cars looking to park too, and of course lots and lots of people all out to enjoy a walk in the sun. Unfortunately the sunshine wasn’t to last much longer and by the time we were back up at the Honister Mine the cloud had joined forces, the grey gloom was everywhere and rapidly making its way towards Buttermere. Once we were back home, by mid afternoon it began to rain and continued to do so all evening and through the night. So it looks as though we were lucky enough to get best of the weather the day had to offer and with it the enjoyment of two sunny hours in a lovely little area of Lakeland.