Buttermere

(See also Buttermere Village)

Buttermere with Fleetwith Pike by Ann BowkerButtermere, the lake, shares its valley setting with Crummock Water. They were once a single lake, but are now separated by a narrow strip of meadowland. After the last ice age, sediment deposited from Millbeck created the division. The lake’s name may be from the Norse Buthar, a farm family of the 9th century who lived here.

Buttermere Fell High Snock Rigg courtesy Charles WinpennyThe National Trust cares for the lake and the land around it. The lake sits in a deep valley with Robinson-Hindscarth ridge to the north, High Stile ridge, High Crag, and Red Pike to the south (all are over 2400 ft), and Fleetwith Pike to the southeast. Warnscale Beck flows into the lake.

Buttermere Lake and Whiteless Pike by Charles WinpennyA low-level four-mile circular walk around the edge of the lake takes about an hour. The path goes into a tunnel on the north bank. A high level walk goes from Buttermere village past Sourmilk Gill, a famous waterfall, to Red Pike and south to High Stile and High Crag, returning to the village. Near Gatesgarth, at the southern end of the lake, you can launch a dinghy or a windsurfer.

Buttermere view from Fleetwith Pike by Tony RichardsW. G. Collingwood, private secretary to John Ruskin referred in his book The Lake Counties, to Buttermere and its sister lake Crummock Water as ‘Nature’s art for art’s sake’. A painting of the lake by Turner hangs in the Tate Gallery.

Photos courtesy of Ann Bowker , Charles Winpenny and Tony Richards

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