A pleasant lakeside walk, followed by a gradual rocky scramble up to a ridge, before a long and steady descent to villages and farmland, eventually arriving in Keswick.
A short walk from Buttermere brings you to the western shore of Crummock Water which you follow to the end. Climbing up into the narrow ravine of Gasdale the landscape becomes wilder and more remote, before emerging onto a ridge with fine views of the neighbouring valley and lofty crags. A gradual descent brings you past the disused Force Crag Mine, before a leisurely meander through the villages of Braithwaite and Portinscale and into the urban environs of Keswick.
A tranquil start along side Crummock Water offers iconic Lakeland views. Contrast this with the remote and desolate walk up Gasdale, rewarded with fine views over the Derwent Valley & Keswick beyond.
The path in Gasdale is narrow with lots of loose rock which could be slippery if wet. Erosion will necessitate some minor scrambling in places on the way up to the ridge. Care is also needed on the road into Braithwaite and crossing the A66 which can be busy at peak times.
There are no opportunities for refreshments en-route until Braithwaite, so you will need to carry food and drink. There is a cafe in Buttermere and the pubs will offer packed lunches if ordered in advance.
Braithwaite has shops and pubs as well as a restaurant and bistro, while the larger town of Keswick has a full range of amenities available.
Points of Interest.
Crummock Water & Buttermere.
Once a large post glacial lake, but since the last Ice Age erosion from the fells above, depositing loose material below has split it into the two lakes we see today. Home to the rare Arctic Char and migratory Sea Trout and Salmon. Red Squirrels are also rare inhabitants of the area.
Force Crag Mine
For 200 years mining has taken place here for lead, zinc and barites. The mine closed in 1990 due to shaft collapse. The National Trust are undertaking a conservation project to protect the unique collection of mining machinery.
Some of the paths are rocky and wet underfoot so boots are essential. There is some scrambling over loose rock, so walking poles may be preferred. Waterproofs and extra layers should be carried due to changeable weather conditions and the exposed nature of the ridge line.