I woke up on Tuesday to be greeted by, as expected, a wet and windy day. It was forecast that conditions would change mid afternoon, but most of the day looked like it was not going to be conducive to getting up on the fells. So after breakfast I had a decision to make about what to do. I hadn’t come up to Buttermere to spend the day in a Youth Hostel and working on the principle that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing, (I don’t actually agree with that statement) I donned my waterproof coat and prepared to get wet!
I decided that my best option was to spend the morning taking a stroll around the lake and decide what to do in the afternoon later on, depending on how things were looking.
As I set out, this was the view over the valley towards High Stile
Approaching the small picturesque Church of St James at the end of the Newlands Pass,
I decided to pop inside and take a look.
Leaving the shelter of the church, I set off through the village towards the lake, passing the Fish Inn
which, in the 1790’s, used to be the home of Mary Robinson, the landlord’s daughter, who was known as “The Beauty of Buttermere“. In 1802 she was swept off her feet by a visitor to the Inn, calling himself “Colonel Alexander Hope” and they were married. It turned out, however, that he was in fact John Hatfield, an undischarged bankrupt, who was already married. After conning some local residents out of money, he scarpered, but the law caught up with him and he ended up being tried in Carlisle and hanged. More detail can be read on the Fish’s website.
Famous visitors to the Inn have included the Lake Poets, Wordsworth, Southey, and Coleridge.
The circuit of the lake is very popular as it’s quite an easy walk, but very scenic, so on a fine day the route gets busy. It was quieter today, but I wasn’t the only one braving the wind and rain.
Carrying on I soon reached the lake to be greeted by choppy waters and an atmospheric view down towards Fleetwith Pike.
The waterfalls of Sourmilk Gill were in full spate
I carried on through the woods down the west shore of the lake
Looking across towards High Snockrigg (great name that!)
I continued down the path . Another view of Fleetwith Pike
and to my right High Stile visible through the cloud
and High Crag
Getting near to the top of the lake
There’s Haystacks. Glad I wasn’t planning on going up there today!
An atmospheric view of Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks
I crossed over, past Gatesgarth farm, to the east side of the lake. A walk down a short stretch of road and then back on to the path along the lakeside.
Looking across the lake to High Crag and High Stile
Getting closer to Buttermere village, the path goes through a tunnel excavated through the rock.
Looking across to the waterfalls of Sourmilk Gill and Red Pike
It had taken me just over a couple of hours to circumnavigate the lake . My coat had kept me dry but it was time to get out of the rain. There are 2 cafes in the village. Unfortunately one pf them was closed for the week for renovation but the other, at Sykes Farm, was still open, so I popped in for a brew and a nice bowl of hot pea soup. In fact, I ended up having a couple of brews as I whiled away the time for an hour and a half, drying out and deciding on what to do in the afternoon. There were signs that the cloud was beginning to clear, so there was a chance of a drier walk in the afternoon.