|Site 1: Eastern shoreline|
How to get here
As per main page instructions. Only one road running down the east side of Buttermere lake.
We parked up by a farmers gate on the west side of the lake with our shore cover able to move the cars if access was required to the fields by either the National Trust or farmer.
The last time anyone probably swam in this out-of-the-way lake may have been back in the days of the Roman empire when this area was home to legionaries.
Today, this lake offers only a few access points. The northern end of the lake is not accessible and is very shallow in any event at less than 10 metres.
Like her big sister Crummock water, Buttermere has not been spoiled by large parking areas and tourist developments. The surrounding mountains supply Buttermere with her clean, clear water to enjoy. (photo a)
Our dive plan was to head out across the breadth of the lake to the deepest point and then move north towards a prominent piece of land that comes out into the lake (photo b).
From the moment you step off dry land, you are straight into soft sludgy silt and that was our first surprise, the second surprise was how clear the lake is (photo a).
We found the centre of this lake bottoms out at 23 metres after a nice gradual descent. Turning right (north) we found depth increasing and finally held steady at 26.4 metres. The land that protrudes into the lake has a very steep slope to explore. The question remains as to what created this prominent feature of the lake. Maybe an old stream delta or possibly rocks deposited from the previous ice age?
At 17 metres depth on the tip of this prominent feature you will find a rock face with a nice overhang. The northern end of the lake is estimated by us, to be 23 metres or less with a gradual slope into the central area.
The central lake area is home to many 12 and 25 litre buckets and large 25 kg plastic bags belonging to farmers and their chemicals. There are also some tree branches standing upright that may have been placed in this position by other divers exploring this "fairly?" unexplored body of water.
We also found a large old umbrella that once belonged to a very optimistic angler. Sadly, anglers would have more luck casting into a bath tub than in this lake which is almost entirely devoid of life. Worms, beetles and other aquatic life were hard to find here.
Hazards to Divers
Divers should avoid the following roads: at Buttermere village, signposted 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.
There were no hazards when last dived unless you consider the odd small tree a hazard, however, water clarity is very good and these submerged objects are quite visible except perhaps to those with vision impairments.
Diving Buttermere by Freshwaterdiver