Day Nine - Buttermere walk  

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we went south & west to Buttermere

We took a bus from Booth's Market in the center of Keswick to Buttermere, about an hour's ride south & then west.  The route goes through Borrowdale, past Seatoller., and then up & over Honister Pass, only at 1,167 ft., but still an impressive and austere looking place, and of course the roads are tiny. 

I went up front and asked the bus driver about a supposed 25% grade, and she told me that it is just on the other side of the Pass, and added that she did not mind if I came up to take photos right at the front of the bus, once there.  I sat and waited and as we got to the Pass she gave me a signal. 

Once on the trail it was generally overcast and the wind was really howling at times, especially at the southern part of the lake.  But sunlight did break through now & then, lighting up near or distant hills.

The walk around Buttermere was about 4 miles, with only minor grade changes.   

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again.

approaching Honister Pass old slate mines, still active walking path ahead, see note 2 25% grade downhill 
  Fish Inn at Buttermere start of the walk Sourmilk Gill
Buttermere is a very popular walk   in Burtness Wood Walla Crag behind Great Bay
  same view 2 views of Gatesgarth Beck Fleetwith Pike, see note 1
again   south end of the lake Dale Head, above Honister Pass
  Warnscale Beck Warnscale Bottom, see note 3 Gatesgarth Farm  
Gatesgarth Beck, from Honister Pass across the way is High Stile a small tunnel views from Pike Rigg (the trail back)
land of sheep the trail goes through a working farm Wilkinsyke Farm
what is it? back to Buttermere

note 1 - Fleetwith Pike is an iconic mountain that shows up again & again in online Lake District photos.  Although it cannot be seen in the photos, the OS Explorer map shows a walking trail going right up the 'front edge' of this mountain, an 1,800 ft. climb. 

On of my main hiking resources is Andrew Locking's website -  Andrew is a good photographer and a fabulous hiking resource for almost anywhere in the UK, but especially for Yorkshire and the Lake District, both in England.

On his current home page - just scroll down - are two walks at Buttermere, one from Nov. '19 and the other from Jan. '20, and there's also an entry for his recent walk up Fleetwith Pike.  He and his wife have also had many good hikes in Spain in the last few years, so his site is worth a look. 

note 2 - the path you can see straight ahead goes from Honister Pass to the top of Fleetwith Pike, on a short & nearly level walk. 

note 3 - Frank and Rich and I used to find it amusing (when chatting on our hikes in the old days) when we looked at Lake District hiker Ann Bowker's online photos, because it seemed that every single landscape feature, no matter how small, has a name.  Well, it's true, and the best source for names are OS Explorer maps.  In late January '20 I dug out the map & plugged in the place names.  Andrew Locking's website helped, too.

After the Buttermere hike my wife and I stopped at a local tea shop while R&L went to the Fish Inn.  We headed back to Keswick on different busses and took different routes & arrived at Booth's about an hour apart, giving my wife and I time to get some minor shopping, or exchanging, in.  

On non-Market Days, especially midweek at this time of year, Keswick is sleepy.   

Taking the bus out & back was a giant relief from having to drive on such steep & narrow mountain roads.  It's also a great ride !

The bus takes up the entire roadway, so it always gets priority, with oncoming vehicles slowing down & pulling over.  I was impressed at how skilled (and polite) the Bus drivers were on such crazy roads.  For us, there was an amusement park element at times, through really amazing scenery.  But for them.....they drive this every day, or multiple times a day, so you're inherently safe.   

If you looked around inside the bus, there was nothing but hikers of all ages, with the right looking kind of gear.  It could have been an REI or Northface commercial ! 

 In the morning at Booth's grocery strop, my wife spoke with two women friends in their 90s, who brought DSLR cameras to take Buttermere photos for use at home for other mediums like drawing, or watercolors. 

It was a good day out....

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