Lake Buttermere Walk

Lake Buttermere Walk

The lake of Buttermere is surrounded by the significant high fells of High Stile to the south west, Fleetwith Pike and Haystack to the south east, Robinson to the North East and Grasmore to the north west. Such walks would be considered as moderate walks.

This lovely four and a half mile walk around Buttermere is more a good quality family walk of great beauty, almost entirely on good foot paths. Of special interest on your Buttermere walk is where the foot path passes through a rock tunnel. Whilst considered by many to be the most beautiful of all the lakes within the Lake District.

The village of Buttermere is situated to the north western edge of the lake and very busy on weekends and school holidays.

Within the small church of St James, on the fringes of Buttermere village at the junction of Honister and Newlands passes, you will find a stone memorial tablet set into a south facing window sill to commemorate Alfred Wainwright. The window looks outwards towards his favourite walk, Haystacks. Where it’s interesting to note his ashes were scattered.

Buttermere Walk

You will find car parking in the small car park near the Fish Hotel or on the main road. Start walking down along the rough farm road to the left of the Fish Hotel. With the road bending towards the left go through a gate. After approximately 140m go through the gate ahead of you and follow the clear foot path towards Buttermere lake. Do not go through the gate to the right which leads to Scale Force. Pass through the further gate at the lake side which is a National Trust sign. Turning right towards Sour Milk Gill, which you should see coming down the mountainside before crossing the small bridge. As with all Lake District waterfalls and streams there best seen after a nights rainfall. With the name Sour Milk referring to the white water and its similarity to off milk.

Having crossed the small footbridge, turn left and go through the small gate into Burtness wood. Following the clearly marked path along the waters edge continue upon your route. You will come to a split in the footpath, and keeping to the waters edge path continue on. After about ¾ of a mile pass through a small gate, continue upon the clear path until you come alongside a stone wall and cross a footbridge. Once over the bridge make your way along the lakeside path between the fences. At the farm, go through the small gate and turn right alongside the stream to the road. Turn left over the bridge.

After a short distance the road once again runs by the lakeside, before bending away yet again. Return to the footpath along the waters edge for one mile. Here you will pass through a tunnel of rock making your way to the far end of the Buttermere lake. With the lake shore to your left you will see a small gate to go through and up rough rocks to another small gate following the clearly marked pathway. This will now take you back to the village of Buttermere.

Tarn Hows Walk

Tarn Hows

No matter where we live, we love our walks, family walks, walks with the dog or solitary walks for thinking. Yet if we could all pick a walk for all seasons that was close to where we live I think this might just be it. This is a great family walk.

A Tarn Hows walk may simply consist of a walk around the lake, although I would advise to include a short diversion down to Glen Mary Bridge, returning via the waterfalls, thus adding a mere mile to your walk.

Monk Coniston Hall was once home to the 19th century industrialist James Garth Marshall, the Victorian creator of Tarn Hows which is located between the villages of Coniston and Hawkshead.

Tarn How may be somewhat artificial by nature, whilst set within one of England’s grandest National Parks, yet the beauty and splendour are considerable. As a result of this and sharing similarities to Cat Bells walk vast numbers of visitors are attracted here each summer. Therefore it may be better to do this walk out of season, when you may be fortunate enough to be rewarded with the peace and tranquillity the scenery and setting deserve, without the large number of visitors and those having summer picnics.

You may consider walking the picturesque route created by James Garth to wow guests at his country residence of Monk Coniston Hall to Tarn Hows or from Coniston village. Either way you will be rewarded with some wonderful scenery and look out for the Old Man of Coniston walk, maybe for another day.

Tarn Hows walk

Leaving the car park entrance closest to the lake, turn right along the road. Almost immediately leave the road and the track curves left. Within a short distance fork left onto a grassy path. Follow the path over the top of the ridge and down the far side to meet a wall on the right. The path continues down hill , curving left and then right. Continue on through the gate, at the wall corner bend left. Upon reaching the ruined barn follow the wide track to the gate. In the lane turn right and continue down the path to the road at Glen Mary Bridge.

Crossing the footbridge over the stream to the right and turn right through the small gate. Continue up the left hand side of the stream. Keeping with the stream as it bends its way past the magnificent waterfalls you should see signs for ‘Tom Gill Waterfall’ Once at the top of the fall go through the small gate in a fence, making your way up the path along the stream to reach the Tarn Hows at the stream outflow.

Here you should see a broad well maintained path. This path goes completely around the tarn, ultimately returning to the stream outflow and concludes your walk.

There is a small stone to the south east of Tarn Hows, inscribed;
National Trust The Tarns are given in memory of Sir James Scot of Yews and of Anne Lady Scot, 1930.

The view from the memorial stone over Tarn Hows, is superb and one of the best, most photographed in all of the Lake District. Not forgetting that the tarn is artificial and the water level was raised by a dam and weir constructed at the south west tip, thus creating a single tarn. With trees alien to the Lake District were planted. This is a great example of what can be achieved by sensible and creative countryside development.

The name ‘The Tarns’ refers to its earlier existence prior to the raising of the water levels with the damn, when there were several stretches of water.