Hauntingly beautiful. Majestic. Enchanting. No matter how many adjectives you use, they’ll never do Buttermere the justice it so rightly deserves. Buttermere lake and village lie inside a dramatic valley where hushed woodlands and mighty fells cast shimmering reflections across the water. It has become one of the most-loved places in the Lake District, and rightly so. Whether you just want to relax and enjoy some of Mother Nature’s finest handiwork or take on something more adventurous, there’s something for everyone.
Best Things to Do in Buttermere
While there aren’t many attractions here as such, there’s plenty of things to do for adventure seekers and outdoor lovers. Besides the Buttermere lake walk, there’s a whole host of fells to tackle, including Haystacks, Fleetwith Pike Rannerdale Knotts, Grasmoor, High Stile, Robinson, Red Pike, and High Crag. As well as soaking up the immense views over Buttermere Valley, you can also seek out Warnscale Head bothy, a mountain shelter which overlooks the lake. From inside, look through the small window that frames the most incredible panoramic view.
Buttermere Circular Walk
The lake itself offers a 7km, low-level walk which is great for families with younger children. And there’s plenty to see along the way, from the wonderful wildlife that graces the area to cascading waterfalls that tumble down from the fells. You can’t miss Sour Milk Gill, a Buttermere waterfall that runs down Bleaberry Tarn. Alternatively, combine Crummock Water with the Buttermere walk to witness the spectacular Scale Force. You can start either walk from the village or at the opposite end of the lake at Gatesgarth Farm.
At the southern end of the lake, you’ll see the famous sentinels, also known as the pines. This row of ancient trees stands against a magnificent backdrop featuring Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks and is one of the most iconic scenes in the Lake District. On the eastern shore, you’ll walk through a rocky tunnel beneath Hassness Wood, which was created by a 19th century mill owner.
With its sheltered stony beaches and stunning backdrop, there are few places as perfect for enjoying a picnic or a spot of wild swimming. While there aren’t any boats on Buttermere, it gets deep in places, so it’s advised that only strong swimmers or adults swim in here. Alternatively, head up from Warnscale Bottom to the series of waterfalls and enjoy the views from the Buttermere infinity pool.
Honister Pass and Via Ferrata
Located at the top of Honister Pass, Honister Slate Mine is the only remaining working slate mine in the country. As well as enjoying a tour of the mines, you can take part in both indoor and outdoor adventure activities such as cliff camping, the Via Ferrata Xtreme, canyoning and the infinity bridge. These are definitely not for the faint-hearted or anyone who’s afraid of heights.
St James Church
Up from the village is the Church of St James, an historical chapel dating back to the 16th century. A stone plaque in memory of the late Alfred Wainwright can be found beneath the window that looks out onto Haystacks, where his ashes are scattered at Innominate Tarn.
A trip to Buttermere wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of the tea rooms in the village. You’ll find a wide choice of delicious homemade cakes and sweet treats, light snacks and hot food.
Where to Stay in Buttermere
Nestled between Buttermere and Crummock Water, Buttermere Court Hotel is surrounded by breathtaking lake and fell scenery. Muddy boots and paws are all welcome here and a friendly reception awaits after a day exploring the area. Sample mouthwatering dishes inspired by the seasons at the High Stile Kitchen restaurant, or head outside onto the terrace to dine al fresco and inhale the lakeside views. Combining incredible food, comfortable rooms and an unparalelled setting, this is undoubtedly one of the best places to stay in Buttermere.
OFFER – THIRD NIGHT FREE on Winter Escapes
Take advantage of this amazing, limited-time winter offer at the Buttermere Court Hotel – book a two-night stay and receive a third night for free.
Call 01768 770253 (quote Lifehop) or scan the QR code on the image below to book. But hurry – ONLY 99 CODES AVAILABLE.
Although Buttermere is beautiful all year round, it’s particularly magical during the winter. Imagine mirrored lakes glistening below clear starry skies and snow-dusted fell tops, atmospheric Christmas markets, and a glass of your favourite tipple in front of a flickering fire. Pure heaven!
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