The village of Buttermere lies between Buttermere Lake (after which it is named) and Crummock Water; both of which are surrounded by beautiful countryside. The village can be easily reached over the Honister Pass (B5289) from Keswick or from Cockermouth.

Buttermere Lake
Buttermere Lake (credit: Pixabay)

The village is basically a small hamlet with a few houses, a small Victorian church (1841) and a few old inns. Set in amongst dramatic scenery with woods, fells and green hills, the area is popular with walkers and climbers and boasts a number of good hotels and guest-houses. A gentle walk from the village runs round Buttermere Lake, passing through a cliff tunnel beside woods and trees. A six mile trek north-west, starting from the Fish Inn, takes you around the edge of Crummock Water and on to Scale Force, the highest waterfall in England, with a drop of 120ft (36m).

Crummock and Buttermere lakes were probably once joined together but are now separated by low-lying meadows and woodland. Buttermere "the gem of the Lakes", is one of the most photographed and painted sites in the district, where the surrounding steep hills reflect almost perfectly in its gentle waters. Dramatic fells rise up along its north-east shore, including Red Pike, High Stile, High Crag and Scarf Gap. About a mile to the north-west is the two-and-a-half-mile long Crummock Water. Here Brackenthwaite Fell rises steeply from the east shore and Mellbreak rises from the west.

Buttermere is a good centre for exploring the nearby wild and majestic scenery of the Lakes. There are a number of accessible car parks and several lay-bys near each lake offering spectacular views. Information boards provide maps of popular local guided walks.

The village made newspaper headlines in 1802 when Mary Robinson, known as the 'Beauty of Buttermere' (daughter of the landlord of the Fish Hotel) was married to a so called gentleman; calling himself the Honourable Alexander Hope MP. However, the said 'gentleman' was later found to be a bigamist and a wanted man named John Hatfield. Hatfield was later caught and hanged in Carlisle for his crimes. Pretty Mary eventually married a local farmer, had a large family and was buried at Caldbeck. Wordsworth included the tale of the 'Maid of Buttermere' in Book VII of The Prelude.

Map of Buttermere


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