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" An Afternoon Round of Buttermere "

Date & start time:      25th March 2023.   2.30 pm start.

Location of Start :     The National Trust car park, Buttermere, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 173 172)

Places visited :          Dubbs Bridge, Burtness Woods, Gatesgarth, Hassness and back.

Walk details :              5 miles, 350 ft of undulating ascent, 1 hours 50 mins.

Highest point :           Getting out on a less than brilliant weather.

Walked with :              Myself and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                     Overcast, threatening light rain.


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After the excitement of the recent end-of-winter snow the weather has turned milder and that for us usually means WET !

After a few local days dog walking in the vicinity of Loweswater, I take advantage of a clearing in the weather to head up the valley to Buttermere.

Even in Cumbria, walking the same local routes close to home can get repetitive, and they don't sell ice cream this end of our lake !

So with that in mind I leave Buttermere Village and head across the valley towards

the Sour Milk Gill water falls and the Dubbs Bridge crossing of the river.

There seems to be an event of some sort locally today.

Several temporary signs and this tent give clues as to the nature of a local running (or hiking) event.

They've got a dog like mine over there . . . hang on that is my dog . . . get back over here Dougal !

Sour Milk Gill full of water, as is the field next to the path.
The river out of Buttermere is also full to the brim.

Below Dubbs Bridge it overtops the bank and floods across the local fields.

We're heading round the lake on the popular, all-terrain footpath, first on the southern side,

making it an anti-clockwise circumnavigation if that helps.

High Crag high above a re-planted section of Burtness Woods.
Hassness House across the water.

The Hassness How Beck plunges down the fellside from the slopes of Robinson Fell.

There is a public footpath up the grassy slope to the right but I've never tried it.

Back on this side of the lake the weather is kind

and I capture a reasonable picture of Fleetwith Pike, seen beyond Hassness Woods.

Comb Beck cascades out of Burtness Comb and passes the Stuart Elliot Seat,

placed in memory of a Mountain Rescue member who died whilst out on a training mission of all things.

A slight obstruction delays our onward walk but the belted galloways are a gentle breed.

The dogs however are not impressed and give her right of way !

A slight rain shower seems to be falling on Gatesgarthdale after having crossed over Fleetwith Pike.

However by the time we get to the river crossing at Peggy's Bridge the weather here is clear once again.

The rain seems to be limited to the higher fells at the head of the Warnscale Valley.

The Dubbs Beck waterfall is flowing well and naturally the river here, under Peggy's Bridge is full too.

Green Crag seen beyond the waterfall.

There's also plenty of water flowing down Black Beck to the right of it.

The craggy outline of Haystacks, as seen from Gatesgarth Farm.

I see they have a new cafe building at the farm this year, a nicely clad container

which will no doubt be serving snacks, teas and ice cream over Easter.

Back down the other side of the lake now, but first this involves a short section of road walking.

The culvert draining this fellside stream seems to be blocked and a large puddle completely fills the road.

Don't try crossing through when there's a car coming the other way !

Back to the lake . . . next to the Buttermere Pines.

The old Ash tree is holding on despite major damage to the main trunk.

The more normal view, the prospect first seen as you drive up the road from Buttermere Village.

A brooding Muddock Crag overlooking the main road.
Burtness Comb seen across the valley, now we are back by the lake.

A more somber rain shower seems to be heading up the valley towards us

and it drains the colour from the view.

High water in the lake means accessing the tunnel path below Hassness is a little more tricky than normal.

A short rock scramble and we're there . . . not even wet feet !

We're still dry as the rain hasn't arrived, but our footwear is now damp due the puddles inside the tunnel.

Still signs of the old boat landing, but there seems to be to see less each year.

A choice of routes . . . either the dogs and I continue by the water side to complete the strict lake-shore round walk,

or we continue on this upper path, straight for an ice cream at Sykes Farm Cafe !

The ice cream won and we say goodbye to the lake.

Just a field crossing or two and we're nearly there.

- - - o o o - - -


Hi Roger, 

  What memories those pictures brought back that you took on the 25th, at Easter of 1959 our scout troop held a camp just to the right of the picture that you took from Peggy's bridge, we had very high winds and rain for 3 days leaving our camp under more than 6 inches of water as the river overflowed, we had the tents on the higher pieces of ground but eventually they all blew away and we finished up in the upper level of that barn for a night until our parents arrived to rescue us.  We made dixies of thick Lincoln pea soup ( not very thick ) and that is why the farmer had green pigs for a while.

Peter Mingay.   Port Dalhouise, Canada.


- - - o o o - - -

- - - o o o - - -

Also this week

I had chance to entertain two guests to diner here at my home.


The meal for three included Chris Butterfield

who is described as . . " a 'Wainwright Aficionado'

and is not only Alfred Wainwright's most dedicated archivist,

but also a great modern-day ambassador of AW's legacy."

I hope he can say the same about the supper I cooked !


Chris is over researching High Nook Farm

where Wainwright took up the offer of 'Bed and Breakfast'

with the then farmers, Jeanie and Billy Hope,

whilst researching his final "Western Fells" Pictorial Guide.


- - - o o o - - -

My other guest that night was Peter Hudler from Austria.
He's an international cellist, over here from Austria.

To some he might look familiar . . . he's the son of Helmut Hudler who I met through the old Online Fellwalking Club all those years back.

I hosted Peter for the night after he arrived in Cumbria from Vienna (via Edinburgh Airport), and before he set off next day for his first concert.

Peter is doing a short tour of Village Halls in the north of England, performing a variety of cello pieces in many different styles.

A wonderfully eclectic collection of music, first developed for his Edinburgh Fringe appearances a few years back.

I was able to attend his concert on Orton near Kendal next evening . . .
. . . where his virtuosity was very much appreciated by all who attended.

Also able to attend the concert was Barbara Burgess (Pete Burgess's mum).  Sadly Peter couldn't join us on the night.

This was us relaxing in Peter's hotel in Orton after the concert, before I returned to Loweswater and Barbara to Staverley.

- - - o o o - - -

Hi Roger!

This is my answer to your link to "all those years back“ – 15 years ago now !!! Unbelievable!

Best regards, Helmut.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Today's pictures taken with my iPhone 11pro phone camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . tickets to an wonderfully interesting concert.

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 14th March 2023 - Snowy Coffin Route

A previous time up here - 28th February 2016 - A Buttermere Pines Morning

Next walk - 26th March 2023 - Causey Pike with the Mob