WMB 122 Western Lakes Beginner (Blue) Ride
Start/Finish The Bridge Hotel, Buttermere, NY 175 169
Total distance 6.9km
Total ascent 185m (600 feet)
Time 1-2 hours
Maps OS Explorer OL4: The English Lakes, North-western area: Keswick, Cockermouth & Wigton 1:25k, Harvey’s British Mountain Map Lake District 1:40k
Very little ascent so suitable for all weathers, though trail surfaces are rocky and slippery in places.
From Buttermere village, take bridleway that leaves the road at the Bridge Hotel and crosses the valley floor, passing through gates. At bridge over river, pass through a gate and take short section of stone staircase ahead. Do not climb the staircase for more than a few metres – this will take you up the fell to Red Stile and beyond – instead bear left onto wide, rough bridleway.
Follow path as it undulates through trees, crossing small watercourse and wet, rocky sections. Keep to the main and most obvious path where minor paths leave to left and right, starting to descend towards forest’s edge.
At end of the trees, pass through gate and descend a short distance on same track to join an undesignated lakeshore path with improved surface. Follow this path to the foot of Scarth Gap bridleway, bearing left and descending to a gate in wall.
Cross valley floor to Gatesgarth if returning to Buttermere along the road. Turn left as the bridleway exits onto the road and follow minor lakeside road to Buttermere.
If extending the ride, return along lake shore to a bridge at the lake’s edge, then continue towards Scale Force. The bridleway remains mostly level, only climbing when it reaches the foot of the falls, at which point retrace your steps back to Buttermere along the rocky bridleway. by Matt_Skinner