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A village sandwiched by two lakes, offering classic views

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Buttermere Perimeter
Scale Force
Buttermere and Crummock Water are two lakes next door to each other, just ten kilometres or so away from the town of Keswick. In the distant past these two bodies of water were joined together but, over the years, stones, soil and other materials were brought into the valley by mountain streams. These gradually built up until they separated the water completely.
Today, this new patch of land is a few hundred metres long. It resembles an island, surrounded on all sides by blue water or towering mountains. Green lawns shine brightly against the background of rocky slopes. Buttermere village lies sandwiched in the centre of it all. It's one of the Lake District's classic views, containing everything the National Park is famous for in a single snapshot.

A view of Buttermere
Photo Caza_No_7
As you may expect, the area is full of good walks and hikes. The most popular route is around Buttermere’s lake. As it's a relatively small body of water the path is only 7 kilometres long. It takes two or three hours to complete the circuit at an ambling pace, and there are several places to stop for refreshments. Along the way, you'll be treated to some exceptionally good photo opportunities, easily on a par with any other landscape in the country.
Buttermere's sibling, Crummock Water, is at least twice its size. This is a peaceful lake enjoying a complete ban on watersports. Small boats are allowed, as long as they're carried to shore by hand. Like Buttermere, there's a path around the entire circumference of the water. It takes a good few hours to finish the route, but it's still easily done in an afternoon.

Crummock Water
Photo judepics
Crummock Water is fed by Scale Force, which is the area's most well known waterfall. It features a single drop of 36 metres, and several smaller drops after that. Altogether it's over 50 metres tall, making it the highest waterfall in the Lake District. The surrounding trees stretch their spindly branches over the water, creating a somewhat creepy atmosphere. The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge compared them to "the bushy hair over a madman's eyes".
The Buttermere valley is full of interesting destinations like this. More experienced walkers will want to aim for the summits of the various mountains that surround the water. One of the most popular is called Haystacks. It was strongly recommended by Alfred Wainwright, the famous hiker and guide book author. He visited every hill in the Lake District many times, and picked out this one as his favourite. At his request, his ashes were scattered here after he died.


Photo Tango22
Haystacks (597m, 1,959ft) isn't the tallest hill in the lakes, nor the most popular. However, it was the favourite of Alfred Wainwright. From its summit, there's a full view of the tarn where his ashes were scattered. Beyond the water, there are grand panoramas across peaks like Great Gable and High Crag. The reason for Wainwright's admiration was that Haystacks offers an unrivalled variety and quality of sights, while still being very easy to climb. It's the perfect place for people of all ages to enjoy everything the Lake District has to offer. Most ascents start at Buttermere, and go via the Scarth Gap Pass. There are several routes, but the average journey time is somewhere around four hours.
Visitor Information
Many popular Haystacks walking routes start from the car park on the B5289 at the South-eastern end of Buttermere. Keswick Tourist Information: 017687 72645

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