Buttermere
photo of Buttermere above and below the waves
Buttermere Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional
General Description
Use the drop-down menu above to view STILL photography if available - VIDEO will be shown on each "Site" page if available

Buttermere lies above Crummock water with a distance of just 2 miles separating the two lakes. Buttermere is the smaller of the two but perhaps arguably the more photogenic. Below the waves and near to shore (photo b), you may come across sections of rock face to photograph while out in the lake, the old tree makes an interesting backdrop to any photo in these very clean and clear mountain waters.

Buttermere is fed by the surrounding mountains with plenty of good walking for all (photo a). A small stream in the north feeds into Crummock water and where also, we suspect the fish are!

Being surrounded by mountains and waterfalls means only one road passes by on the east side. Several small lay-bys along the road are able to hold no more than two cars each along her shoreline. The western side of the lake has no vehicle access other than a pathway for walkers and keen, fit divers taking you across a small bridge named Peggy's bridge. East and southern sides have a handful of lay-bys although access is difficult due to recent attempts to reduce access, however, these are still usable.

For those with other Interests
A very popular lake for walkers who come in droves to follow the trails both high above and at shoreline level depending on your abilities. A popular Inn will be found at the northern end if you enter Buttermere village by car or on foot. This lake is a scenic beauty. Those into Wordsworth will also find they can step back in time at Wordsworth house in nearby Cockermouth.

Places to Stay
A guest house and Hotel can be found at Buttermere village. Near by at Crummock water there is also a village called Low Lorton where the pub owners have a good caravan and camping site.
Try "Stay.co.uk" or alternatively check some of these links > Hotels and Guest Houses Youth Hostels for Families etc.

How to get here
If coming from Cockermouth, look for the B5292 signed for Lorton. You'll head out of Cockermouth and then over a crossroads then under a bridge carrying the A66. The remainder of this road is narrow and twisting. A few miles down the road and a sign appears "High Lorton : Keswick B5292" the other direction is "B5289 Low Lorton" - take the Low Lorton and you are on the road for Crummock water and soon afterwards, following the this same road, Buttermere. This is the low altitude road and the safe way out after any diving in these lakes.

If you are coming in from the M6 Penrith J40 (route a) follow the A66 / Ullswater road. You'll come to a roundabout with A66 / Keswick on the sign. Follow the A66 until you reach until head into Keswick your other alternative (really six and two threes) is to take and follow the Borrowdale B5289 sign taking you along the Derwent water shore and passing the Watendlaith tarn turn off and continuing on what is a very good road until you hit Honister Pass - braking all the way down until you swing around a sharp corner and "behold" the full glory of Buttermere hits you.

route b) If you are coming in from the M6 Penrith J40 and heading for Keswick - this is the shortest route but you are suggestively advised not to return this way because of altitude - follow the A66 but don't come off at the Keswick signs as we need to by-pass Keswick. On your left side is the turn off for the B5292 : Winlatter forest / Lorton sign. Come off here. Within minutes you are now going to turn to the left along the unclassified road for Swinside / Buttermere. Watch for the road branching off at Little Braithwaite - you are going right, not the Swinside road to the left. Near the end of this route as you descend towards the lakes there is a parking place on your left "Newlands Hause" which is the high point on this route at 333 metres) where you can take some superb shots of the view and catch a glimpse of Crummock water from this height. Arriving at the bottom of the descent you are turning right and straight onto Buttermere.

Detailed Information for Divers

Main Attraction
Is diving the prominence that protrudes into the lake on the east side / road side of lake. We have also noted on western shoreline rock formations and steep shelving lakebed but have not fully explored these areas at time of writing.

Viewing Freshwater Life
In the area we explored, we found this lake close to being devoid of life. No fish were seen although some interesting signs of life in the form of minute sponges? and small crustatia on small areas of lakebed.

Dive Planning Help
Permission should be obtained from the National Park Authority warden for this lake.
Warden is: Mark Astley. Tel: (01900) 85267
Map of Buttermere click to dive site 2 click to dive area 1
Clickable map! >
Property of the National Trust
Warden Permission Required.
Disabled divers will find there is easy access on the south shore but see parking below.
Ramblers and fell walkers will have a wonderful day!
Who's the nearest for Dive Air?
Scottish Sub-Aqua Clubs:
Solway Sub-Aqua Club: Wigton based. Air compressor at Wigton.
West Lakes Sub-Aqua: Cockermouth based club. Air compressor sited at Cockermouth.
British Sub-Aqua Clubs:
West Cumbria branch is based at Egremont.
Solway divers branch is based at Whitehaven.
Kendal + Lakes branch is based at Kendal Leisure Centre.
Altitude, Visibility, Temperature, Torches
Altitude and Depth:
Lake Altitude at 390 feet (104 metres). Care should be taken regarding routes leading away from this dive site. The maximum depth is 26.4 metres in this lake along it's central line continuing for some distance.
Divers should avoid the following roads: at Buttermere village, sign-posted for "Keswick". This route takes you up over Newlands Hause at over 1,249 feet above sea level which is not where you want to be after a dive. Also, do not use the B5289 south, past Buttermere which takes you over Honister Pass at 1,335 feet. If you need to head for Keswick the best route is head for Cockermouth. Otherwise, the lesser of two evils is the Buttermere village / Keswick route if you are desperate, however at 1249 feet above sea level, this too will place you at risk of triggering a DCS incident.
During summer
Visibility: 10 + metres.
Temperature range is 11 to 13 degrees Celsius.
During winter
Visibility improves to 15 + metres.
Temperature range is 3 - 5 degrees above zero.
Torches: Not required. Very light and clear.
Thermoclines: None observed.
If new to freshwater diving: this is a near ideal introduction to the lakes with good visibility and easy access for the disabled along the last three southern lay-by's. Lakebed is of medium silt.
Communication intel
phone icon Mobile phones do not work in the dive area. Do test your mobile for signal strength, you may be lucky with your service provider. For some strange reason you may find you can dial out - but you can't receive calls.
phone icon Public phones: A public phone is located outside the Inn / pub offering tasty bar meals. In an emergency a phone can also be requested at the guest house / hotel between Crummock and Buttermere.
More useful Information for buddies
For the latest on the weather: "Scuba Weather Report"
For more air details see "Dive Clubs & Air".
Note: The above page's will remain open while you click to gather info.

Nearest toilet: If you find one - please tell us!

No powered boats (RIBs etc.) allowed on lake.
For Angling or Canoeing contact relevant agency - see links page for non divers.
Warden is: Mark Astley. Tel: (01900) 85267
phone icon Reporting thefts or finds - Police: 0845 330 0247

National Park Authority "Visitor centre contact listing"
NT Address:- National Trust HQ
The Hollens, Grasmere, Ambleside,
Cumbria, LA22 9SW. Tel: 015394 35599.
Or Email: enquiries(at)ntrust.org.uk
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