Homage to the Buttermere Valley
Comparisons are, of course, invidious, and never more so when attempting to distinguish the merits of each of the Lakeland dales with respect to all the others. In their varying ways, every one of them is supremely beautiful. But the Buttermere valley is surely in class of its own. Within its relatively compact space there is a succession of relatively small but perfectly-formed lakes and as wide a range of dramatic peaks as anywhere else in the Lake District. The valley ‘walls’ on both sides are more often steeper and closer to the lakes than in other dales, thereby creating a closer fusion of these features than elsewhere. And although the area is readily accessible, its distinctive topography also gives it a very secluded feel, as if more remote and disconnected than other dales: apart from farms and a few other buildings, there is only the hamlet of Buttermere in the middle and the village of Lorton at the northern end; traffic is light, and no motorboats or steamers disturb the tranquility of the lakes. Yet at the same time it is not so far off the beaten track to lack high quality hostelries, such as the Bridge Hotel and the Fish and Kirkstile Inns (I receive no commission!). The valley also contains an infinite variety of walks and splendid panoramas, to suit all tastes, many of them more accessible than in other dales (and for that matter, no other valley has such a proliferation of paths composed of splendid green sward).I could go on: but a picture is worth a thousand words - let the photos from my various visits over recent years speak for themselves of the unrivalled qualities of this magical landscape!FURTHER INFORMATIONFor further details of this walk, see the following:Richards, M. Lakeland Fellranger series - The Western Fells (2011) & The North-Western Fells (2011). Cicerone. Wainwright, A. A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Book 7: The Western Fells (1958), & Book 6: The North Western Fells (1964). Westmorland Gazette/Frances Lincoln. Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL4 (1: 25 000) The Lake District: NW Area [or equivalent].
Photos per row