Day Nine - Buttermere walk  

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we went south & west to Buttermere

Booth's Market, in the center of Keswick, is an open-air bus station for all Lake District destinations and hiking trails. We went to Buttermere, a classic Lake District hike, about an hour's ride away. The route goes through Borrowdale, past Seatoller, and then up & over Honister Pass, only at 1,167 ft., but still an impressive & austere looking place, and of course the roads are tiny.   

Once on the climb I asked the driver about a 25% grade, as per the guidebook, and she said it's on the other side of the Pass, adding that I could take photos at the front of the bus, once we reached the pass. The 25% grade was a fairly short section of the long descent.    

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

The four mile walk around Buttermere was fairly level.

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 Youth Hostel at the pass 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
again   south end of the lake Dale Head, above Honister Pass
  Warnscale Beck   Highland Cattle  
Gatesgarth Beck, from Honister Pass across the way is High Stile a small tunnel the simplicity of everyday life
land of sheep the trail goes through a working farm...
what the heck is it ? back to Buttermere

All place names are from the OS Explorer map, or, from Andrew Locking's website www.andrewswalks.co.uk

Andrew, sometimes with his wife, goes for long walks every other day, often in the Lake District, and I used his well-indexed site as a reference during trip planning. He's a talented landscape photographer, and has a great collection of close-ups of birds, bugs, & garden highlights.     

Taking a bus out & back was a great relief from having to drive on such steep & narrow mountain roads. There's an amusement park aspect, because a bus full of hikers has a lot of mass, and quickly accelerates downhill. The drivers we had tended to let it run for awhile, knowing the roadway, so we were flying at times. 

A bus takes up the entire road, so it tends to get priority, as oncoming vehicles slow down & pull off.  If they don't, the bus drivers seemed skilled and considerate, no doubt used to close calls. 

It was a good day out. 

Once back in town at Booth's Market, we purchased some basic grocery items, and, sampled the extensive array of gourmet pastries. My wife & I tried a mushroom & leek pie, which nicely complimented salads. That night we all ate at home. Trying to adhere to a vegetarian diet, my wife & I often made dinner at home, while R&L went out on the town a few times. 

Turns out probably the best restaurant in Keswick, The Pheasant Inn, was in easy walking distance. It has a great menu, having spotted it online during the planning stage. The Inn also got some air time on a recent Rick Steves Lake District travel show, on PBS. 

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